27 days to go — are you ready?

My Digital Studio…getting you ready for — Mother’s Day!
Sunday, May 12th.  Are you ready?

If you’re not, we have some wonderful My Digital Studio options for you — a swatch book to create your very own personalized cookbook for your mom…or mum.  Also some great card templates to show some love to those special moms in your life.

And for any grads…we have some great sentiments for those, too.

*Because I Love You Swatchbook Template – 134373 – Price: $12.95
*For Mom Greeting Card Templates – 133476 – Price: $2.95
*Pure Gumption Stamp Brush Set – 134535 – Price: $3.95

Check ’em out


Birthday Love, Long Distance

Fun (or not so) facts:

  • distance from Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Madras, India (MAA)  is…8,969 miles / 14,434 kilometers
  • time difference between LAX and MAA…13 1/2 hours
  • last time hubby and I visited family in MAA…2008 (too long ago!)
  • time it takes for a birthday card to reach MAA from LAX by mail…about a week

I’ll admit it…I. am. spoiled!  In the late 90’s while living in Japan, if I wanted to communicate with family, I used a totally high-tech call back system and I called my family.  If I wanted to instant message friends (and they were willing to meet me at odd hours), I plugged in my phone cable, punched in my modem passwords, waited for the dial-up to connect, and then, by golly, we chatted.  This may sound old-school now, but at least I didn’t have to send word via pony express, hope that connections were properly made along the way so that weeks later my communication would, by God’s grace, reach its destination.  But NOW…things are even better!  We can skype, chat, and vonage our way into the homes of loved ones and not only are we able to exchange our words and thoughts, but we can show off those extra pounds we’ve put on, parade our latest look, and add emphasis with key facial expressions.  Being as spoiled as I am, however, even our most modern technology does have its drawbacks.

For one — when I have taken too long constructing a card, have let the days pass me by, and have not (air)mailed a birthday card at least one week in advance, technology cannot help me get it there yesterday…until now…well sorta.

Without further ado, I present to you, “Get Your Party On!”.  I created it for my father in law, Hari Uncle.  I was working with Unity’s HHSC44 challenge, with a clear vision of what I was doing, and then boy did I get stumped.  As soon as I got those supplies out and (finally) turned off that critical voice in my head, they lead the way — my motto of late, “just go with it” (wanna see the flick, too)!  Used distress inks to give the birds and owl a watercolor look, then used watercolor pencils sans the water for the feathers. Markered up the party hat. Can you guess that the sentiment is covering up the mistakenly smudged sentiment below — well it is — like I said, “just go with it”.

It’s a doubly special day, celebrating a wedding anniversary AND a birthday, so get your party hat ON!  Even though there are many miles (and kilometers) between us, you are always with us in our thoughts, and we receive your love through care packages, email, and regular phone calls.  Until we get to share in person, Hari Uncle, it is with great love that we send you these birthday wishes…long distance.

Happy Birthday, Hari Uncle!

stamps: {Ippity} Party Hat Wishes, Unity Aug 2010 KOM All You Need, Unity Aug 2008 KOM Remember Happiness

ink: ColorBox Brown, ColorBox Frost White, Tim Holtz Antique Linen, Tim Holtz Broken China

accessories: Papertrey Ink CS, Michaels scrap CS, EP, twine, Kimberly watercolor pencils

My Rainy Valentine

I know, I know…Valentine’s Day was three days ago, however, hubby and I are celebrating this weekend, and what better way to keep the spirit of love alive than to extend the holiday just a wee bit.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, 2010 (and still continuing) has been quite rough on us.  Fortunately, we’re not alone facing the meanness of life.  We have our faith, we have our loved ones, and we have each other.  Even with the challenges we’ve had so many moments of deep, rich laughter, and of course, over the silliest things.  How cool is that!

When thinking about creating my Valentine’s valentine, a particular image and sentiment came to mind — Unity’s Rain or Shine.  I love the sentiment, “through rain or shine, you’ll always be mine” — perfect!  I used Get Sketchy’s GS#74 as my guiding inspiration for the layout, and knew that I wanted to use red, white, black, and yellow (hubby likes those classic colors) so that the card would have a clean and classic look.  Using one of my new favorite tools, the Stampamajig (seriously, all that hype out there — I say worth it!), I lined up my various umbrellies from Unity’s Rain & Flowers set on three panels of cream-colored CS, then layered them on some Me & My Big Ideas B&W polka-dotted DP, and adhered it to Papertrey Ink’s Pure Poppy CS.  I tied a small bow with some red ribbon from Michaels.  For my sentiment, I stamped it in ColorBox Frost White on black CS from Michaels, then embossed with white detail EP.  I then stamped a cloud from Unity & Bella Blvd’s Sunny Happy Skies (using my Stampamajig for layout!) around the sentiment in Frost White, cut it out, and adhered it with 3D adhesives.  On the inside of the card I stamped the image from Rain or Shine in Versamark to give it that watermarked look, and signed around it in white ink.  Then the most important part…I placed the card on top of hubby’s dresser…in perfect view to surprise him after work.

To the one I wanna spend all my “under the umbrella” days with — Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend!

stamps: Unity Rain or Shine, Unity Rain & Flowers, Unity & Bella Blvd. Sunny Happy Skies

ink: ColorBox Frost White, ColorBox PaintBox, Palette Black Noir, Versamark

accessories: Papertrey Ink CS, Me & My Big Ideas DP, Detail White EP, ribbon from Michaels

Avoid Your Words, Please

Ahh…the memories…picking out the song.  It’s a special day, you’ve waited for it all your life, and now time for the momentous first dance.  Do you keep it traditional or spice it up with some silly? Do you take lessons to prepare for or decide to “just go with it” and let it be organic?  Whatever the decision, it’s almost a guarantee that in addition to choosing the dress another big decision hurdle will be choosing the song.

Here’s one that will be forever dear, but which didn’t quite make the cut…

Saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you,

it’s not that I want you, not to say, but if you only knew

how easy, it would be to show me how you feel…

Of course, the mere fact that it was a suggestion means that whenever I hear Extreme’s early 90’s rock ballad, “More Than Words”, I pause and listen carefully to the “honey, it’s [almost] our song”.  In the same way that Michael Bolton’s “Said I Loved You, But I Lied” can stop me in my tracks with the initial title and chorus (way to grab our attention, Michael), the line “saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you” can also make me take pause.

Over the past year or so my husband and I have been (and continue to be) put through the ringer!  We’ve been moving through some incredibly difficult circumstances.  By the grace of God, our love for each other, and the incredible support of dear ones around us we are making it through.  [Can I get an “Amen!”]  This being said, when I do pause and listen to our almost song, it really gets me thinking.

How many times do I tell my husband I love him?  How many times do I say or do something totally inconsiderate or hurtful?  How much more powerful would my I love you’s be if I could tell him without the words?

This is a challenge I give myself — tell my husband I love him.  tell him every. single. day.  tell him — and avoid the words.

In honor of what I think would happen, I bring you, “Avoid Your Words, and Grow…Love”.  Based on Unity Stamp Company’s weekly sketch challenge (HHSC43), I made it a goal to make a CAS (clean and simple) card with ribbon and felt.

So, if like me, you have been blessed with some truly amazing loved ones in your life, then go on and tell them “I love you”, tell them even more, and every so often, say it, but avoid the words.

stamps: Unity Stamp Co. “Fly With Me” KOM

ink: Versamark

accessories: Papertrey Ink Kraft CS, PaperSource soft white double faced satin ribbon, PaperSource Aegean Silver EP, Sizzix Tipsy Hearts dies, felt

Birthday Wishes

New month, new calendar pages — fresh start — I love it!  Not to mention the fabulous 75° sunny and breezy weather that we have been experiencing in Southern California.  And what better way to celebrate all this new, new, new than by ringing in a BIRTHDAY!  That’s right — today’s my dear sister-in-law begins another new year – Happy Birthday!

So in her honor I got to play with a new Unity stamp in my collection and make this cute little card (with input and guidance from my hubby, of course — truly it becomes a gift from both of us).  And contrary to my recent bad behavior — I not only made the card, but also actually sent it in the mail (just don’t tell her – ‘cuz I only sent it yesterday)!  Happy Birthday, Dear One.

Birthday Wishes card

Happy Birthday Wishes to my Dear Sister-in-Law

Card: Birthday Wishes

Stamps: Image June 2010 KOM “Fly Free” by Unity, Sentiment “Chelsea Sentiments” by Inkadinkado

Paper: Michaels scrap cardstock

Ink: ColorBox White

Accessories: ProvoCraft Paper Shapers, Kimberly Watercolor Pencils, Marvy Embossing Markers, Stamp N Stuff Detail Clear EP, Recollections Brads

Happy Anni-verve-sary!

Have I mentioned that I need structure? that I need deadlines? I do.  It’s genetic.  My mother, my brothers, and I have become masters in the art of procrastination.  Not to say we’re not responsible or ambitious — we just get wrapped up in so many things at once that without structure, deadlines, some rules — we are overwhelmed and running in circles.

Fortunately, even in the world of papercrafting and cardmaking there are deadlines to be found.

Recently another new favorite stamp company of mine, Verve Stamps, launched a release of its latest and greatest, while also celebrated three years in the business.  The cool part (yes — in addition to the great stamps) is that Verve fans were invited to play along.  We were given five sketches or layouts of cards, invited to use their stamps and our cardmaking prowess, and yes — we were given a deadline.  Did I make it?  Well…sort of.  I definitely made the cards on time.  It was the first-time process of watermarking and uploading to my Splitcoast Stampers gallery that took a little more time — I think I was within five minutes.  Either way, good learning experience.

Card sketches and layouts to celebrate Verve's 3rd Anniversary

These are the sketches to celebrate Verve's Third Anniversary

So, wanna see what I made?  I’m happy to share.  If you want more details about these cards, feel free to visit my Splitcoast Stampers Gallery.

Homemade card that reads, "Be Still and know that I am God"

"Be Still and Know that I am God"

Homemade card with the message, "May All your Dreams Come True"

May All Your Dreams Come True

Homemade card that reads, "Birthday Wishes"

"Birthday Wishes"

Homemade card that reads, "The flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today"

"The flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today"

Handmade card that reads "Wrinkles should only indicate where smiles have been"

"Wrinkles should only indicate where smiles have been"

Happy Anni-verve-sary, Verve!

My Two Dads

Reminiscent of the late 1980’s U.S. sitcom, I have been blessed with “My Two Dads”.  My relationships with each are as different as they are.  For the many reasons that makes them each unique, I wholeheartedly love them both, and am thankful to have them in my life.

Many things that I love about my dad can be categorized by his zest for life.  He likes things bright, bold, and a little zany.  Here’s what I mean — his favorite color is orange, and I don’t mean some muted burnt sienna orange, or a light pastel orange, I’m talkin’ neon, calling your attention, bright orange!  He drives what we call “The Blue Bomb” — it is one of the easiest cars to find in the parking lot and one of the easiest to follow on the freeway — it truly striking in its hue.  From all the places my dad visits — near or far, there are two items he must have to commemorate his travels — a shot glass, and a bumper sticker.  He loves all foods spicy, flavorful, and always followed by chocolate.

A graphic word cloud created by "Wordle" using  dad-related words
A graphic word cloud created by “Wordle” using dad-related words

To make my dad’s Father’s Day card I employed the use of Wordle, one of my favorite free Internet tools for creating graphic word clouds.  I basically did a free word association with all things “dad” – and for those words that I wanted to appear larger, I repeated them.

The result was a word cloud graphically represented in my choice of colors, font, layout preferences, etc.  I printed the image on dark green card stock, punched out several squares and then used a glue stick to arrange them over a textured wheat-colored card stock.  I punched out two gift tags, stamped “No. 1 Dad” and attached the tags with an orange eyelet, and stuck them on with a double-sided 3D foam adhesive.  Inside I used an Autumn Leaves “You are Amazing” stamp.  The result – a masculine and personalized card acknowledging the truly amazing dad that I have.

Number One Dad Father's Day card

Handmade Father's Day Card using Wordle

When I think of my Papi, I think of his love and fascination with all things scientific, historical, and indigenous.  As he is himself a mix of French and Incan, the interest in native people from his native Perú (and all over the world) totally makes sense.  The Nazca Lines have always intrigued him — how did they get there?  what do they represent?  what can we learn from them?  — all curious questions.  In addition to his insatiable appetite for knowledge and learning, my Papi also likes to stay below the radar.  This can be chalked up to humility, or simply attributed to his desire for a simple contented life.  When I hear my Papi’s voice in my head, his rant and rave will forever be “hay que preservar el castellano” — he never referred to us speaking Spanish, it was always “el castellano”, which can be literally translated to Castilian (but refers to Spanish) — but this has always been his way to remind us that we didn’t merely speak Spanish, but “castellano” — big difference!

In honor of Papi, I chose a bright pattern, highlighting geometric lines often associated with Native cultures, made sure to choose stamps bearing good news in “castellano”, and kept is simple and below the radar with a small, but honest, “Happy Father’s Day” message.

Handmade Father's Day card for my Papi

Papi's Father's Day card

To both of my dads, I love you, I am grateful for you, and wish you a Happy Father’s Day.