Thursday, April 30, 2009

Moving Into A New Studio

We have added onto our house. What is the old combination livingroom and kitchen is now my new studio. I have been moving in very carefully for the past few days.

This involves going through "stuff" that I forgot I had!! Wow, do I have a lot of "stuff". And all of it is treasure. LOL

More cards and ranch life after the move.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

As The Deer

One of my favorite scripture songs is As The Deer Paneth for the Water. It is such a wonderful acknowlegement of the grace of God in our lives and how we desperately need Him.
The Rubber Stamp Avenue mountains are stamped on the upper portion in dark tan on a light tan cardbase. Next are the trees which are stamped in dark green and positioned almost at the bottom of the card.
The deer are a die cut by Quickutz. They have been cut out in a reddish brown cardstock. The entire outline of the deer has been sponged in dark brown ink.
The phrase is computer generated, cut out in a rectangle and layered first on the same reddish brown cardstock as the deer and then on dark brown cardstock. I used a large enough dark brown border to enable the use of a decorative corner punch.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Random Thoughts

I was listening to the radio and an interesting commentary. I learned that in Iowa Party A can now wed Party B. This seems to not specify species. So Party A is human and weds Party B, a sheep it is perfectly legal. This sheep has all the rights and benefits of a human. Now wait, Party A can legally insure Party B for millions and collect when Party B dies of old age at 5 - 10 years of age.

Oh my, the polygamist's are next to get legal standing. Why not? We have surrendered with moral high ground with barely a whimper. When sliding down a slippery slope it is almost impossible to regain that high ground without a lot of pain and litigation. We have allowed to be "fixed" what was not broken.

In the political realm, Silence Is Consent. I am no longer silent. There is no anger, not even much upset, but like a many who share my views, I am determined to exercise my right of free speech for as long as it remains legal.

Outside My Box

This is a card that was published in the Card Sketch Challenge of Stampers Quest online magazine in March. My normal card size is A2 or 4.25x5.5 inches. Also known as a quarter fold as it is the size of a quarter of a sheet of standard 8.5x11 inche cardstock. This card sketch was long and narrow.
The front of the card is stamped with a paisley Tim Holtz image from Stampers Anonymous. I used VersaMark ink and fineline gold embossing powder. The edges were then sponged with a medium brown dye ink.
The light turquoise bars have been embossed with a Cuttlebug A2 paisley folder. How did I get that paisly white? I sanded it. The paper is what is called "white core". This means that when you look the edge of the paper carefully you will see three distinct layers of color. In this case there was turquoise, white and then turquoise. After embossing the raised portion is literally sanded with sand paper and this removes the turquoise layer, letting the white show through.
The bars and the phrase are layered onto a medium brown cardstock and trimmed to a narrow border.
The final touch was the slightly darker turquoise ribbon with a ribbon tassel attached.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ranch Life

We have had one of those ranch disasters. It happens on most ranches and is sometimes simply unavoidable.

My husband checks cows at least two times a day when the cows are calving. He likes to sit and watch them and immediately notices anything out of the ordinary. Today he noticed that one of the calves was very thin and weak. This means that it is sick or that the mother is not letting it eat. Yes, there are bad cow mothers and we boot them out of herd because the cost money and never seem to get over it. They also don't raise as good a calf and this costs when it comes time to sell calves in the fall. (for those of you unfamiliar with ranch life, it is a business and like any business you have to have to profit to stay in business)

What Joe saw was that the cow was only letting the calf such from the back and then not for long. He caught the calf, loaded it up on the ATV across his knees and put in a pen by the barn. He then told me to go feed it. The calf peed all over him on the way in from the pasture. (oh, he was a happy camper, LOL)

This baby was dehydrated and scared. Remember that scared part. I sure do. This is about an 80 pound calf, I can just straddle it's back. Now mixing the milk is the easy part. It kind of goes downhill from there. Even in as bad of shape as this baby is, it is still pretty lively.

I got a piece of the little rascal several times. Each time I touched it, the calf would beller. If you are out in the pasture and this happens you will have the whole herd breathing down your back in short order. (not a good feeling I can tell you, but sure scares the predators off)

I finally get one arm wrapped around his middle as he flashes past, so we are now in the ground rolling around. Now I have only one arm available to get control of this calf. The other hand has a bottle full of milk that I am trying to keep upright so the milk doesn't run out. (and I am old and fat and slow to cap it off) There is dirt flying and I am desperate to get my legs over his back, get him up and backed into a corner. Finally I am in position to try to feed him. The calf's rear is in a corner of the pen, I have his head between my legs and my left hand under his jaw.

Now I get a little milk on the nipple to make it taste like milk, dribble a little milk down the front of his nose and over his lips so he will lick that warm milk and want more. (at least that is the idea) Next I stick my finger in his mouth and open it just enough to get the nipple of the bottle in. I hold his mouth lightly shut with my left hand and pull and push that bottle in and out of his mouth simulating him sucking on the teat of the cow. Small amounts of milk get in the calves mouth and hurrah, after about five minutes he begins to suck.

During all of this my husband is out in the pasture trying to get the cow in so we can educate her on motherhood. She is one of those contrary animals the just goes crazy and runs into the pickup breaking her leg. We had to put her down. It is very sad. They don't know that we want to help them. This baby will survive because my husband is very observant and I am a good calf momma when I have to be. Just a few more feedings and the little rascal will be sucking my pants as I try to leave the pen after each feeding.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hunter and Dog card

Today I have yet another offering of cards made for the Stampers Quest Design Challenge for Sweet Grass Stamps.

I really really like those Sweet Grass stamps. Great quality deeply etched rubber that stamps beautifully. You will never be disappointed with their product.

These cards are the same basic design with different scrapbook papers as the card front.

Both have some torn edges that have been sponged. On the second card I did used red paper under the corrugated cardboard to accent the red in the plaid of the background.

I love those pheasant feathers. They are so beautiful. It has to be God's hand in the making of them as I have never seen anything man made that is as perfect or attractive.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sweet Grass Hunter

Here is another design from the Stampers Quest
Design Challenge for Sweet Grass Stamps.

The scrapbook paper covering the card front has faint images of wildlife. The edges of the card are sponged with dark brown ink to give a vintage look and to add depth.

The images were all stamped with black ink. The hunter and the dog have been lightly tinted with colored pencils. Both the hunter/dog images and the phrase were torn around, the edges sponged with light brown and then dark brown inks. With the very edge "burned" with black ink.

I have used pheasant feathers as an added embellishment. They seemed to be perfect for a card featuring a hunter and his dog.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Using Corrugated Cardboard

Yesterday I showed you a quick and easy way to turn your cardboard boxes into great embellishments. Today I am showing you how to use that corrugated cardboard on a card.
One side of the corrugated cardboard is torn. I gently rubbed a dark brown ink pad over the corrugations and then sponged the torn edge heavily. This was layered over a striped vellum. The vellum was cut with a mega Fiskars decorative scissors, then the cut edges were lightly sponged.
The image of the fisherman and the phrase are by a fantastic Montana stamp company, Sweet Grass Stamps. Stampers Quest showcased the quality and versatility of their stamps in their last Design Challenge. The image and the phrase were both stamped with black Archival ink by Ranger.
The fisherman was colored with Rose Art colored pencils. Yes, Rose Art, the inexpensive ones that you find with the school supplies. As you can see from the picture of the card the fisherman image was cut out on three sides and torn on the fourth. The phrase was torn on all sides. Lighter brown inks were "swirled" in a short distance on both with the final touch being a heavy sponging of dark brown ink and the very very edges "burned" with black ink sponging.
Pheasant feathers were placed at both ends of the phrase. Three bronze colored brads were used as a masculine accent on the fisherman.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tutorial - Making Corrugated Cardboard

This is a very inexpensive embellishment. You will need a piece of a cardboard box and a plastic floss pick as shown in the photo on the left.

Insert the pointed end of the pick between the first two ribs that are glued together. Shown in photo 2.

Holding the pick at a 45 degree angle between the already freed corrugations and the top layer of the cardboard, gently push the pick downward. (photo 3)
It may take you a few tries to find the angle and pressure that work best for you.

TEA Party

I have gone and done it now. I am officially one of those dangerous right-wing, God-fearing, radically subversive, conservatives that has Homeland Security in such a dither. Oh me, Oh my, I am daring to think for myself and am not buying into the liberal political machine media. I saw some of that reporting and experienced it for myself.

I went to the TEA party in Scottsbluff NE. It was reported in the local liberal rag that there might be 30 people there. This morning they reported "maybe" 200. Folks, I was there and they cut the number of attendees by more than half. There were at least 400 people there. Probably closer to 500.

We said prayers, honored our vets, and expressed our concern for the direction our country is going. No cars were overturned and ignited, no store windows had bricks thrown through them and no one was hurt or jailed. There was no trash left behind to pick up (as after the inauguration in DC) and there were several people walking around with old shopping bags looking for trash. LOL Guess we conservatives are just not trashy. Hmmmm, does this sound odd for a protest. Must have something to do with the basic values and character of the protesters. We are not destroyers of other peoples hard work and do not desire others hard work to fund our lives. We respect and honor our police. They are the good guys, even if they have orders from Homeland Security to "watch those subversives".

There were at least four County Deputy's on hand. Poor guys, they must have been bored silly. And they had to stand far enough away that they couldn't even hear those speaking. The speakers were constantly interrupted by people driving by on the street that were honking and cheering.

There was one lady there with signs protesting our protest. I watched closely. I did not see one person behave in a rude manner towards her. They may have questioned her stand but it was done civilly.

In closing let me say that I honor and pray for our current President. He was voted into office by a majority of the people. I do not agree with his policies and feel that what he is trying to accomplish (radical socialism) in our nation is against all that our founding fathers believed in and is in direct conflict with the very basic ideas of our Constitution. As an American I have the right and the duty to let my views be known. As my President he has the duty to see to it that I continue to have that precious right and to do all in his power to protect it for those who agree AND even more importantly for those who disagree with him. When freedom of speech is lost for one point of view it will soon follow that NONE have freedom of speech.

My quest to change America will continue. Through peaceful protest and the expression of my views. God Bless America, her President and ALL her people.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hot Pocket

It has been requested of me by a Kathy that I show a picture of Hot Pocket. A little history here is required. Hot Pocket came from a litter of 6 and the mother died. When we found them Hot Pocket was a tiny weak little bag of bones. Ready to die. We put the whole litter of six with another cat that had a litter of two and supplemented the six with regular bottle feedings. Hot Pocket got fed more often and at the beginning and end of each of the other feedings.
We noticed that all the babies had mattery eyes and little coughs, so we began adding a few drops of baby vitamins to one feeding a day. Made a big big difference.
How Hot Pocket got her name: She was always picked on by the other kittens so she spent a lot of time in the house with me. When I went outside I had to take her with me as our Scottie, MacDuff, regarded her a squeaky toy. She fit perfectly in my pockets for about a month. My husband said that she stayed nice and warm in my pocket and soon he was calling her Hot Pocket.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

PearlEx and Glue Tutorial

Sweet Grass Stamps has some very lovely stamps. This phrase was sent to me to use in a Design Challenge with Stampers Quest online e-zine.
The colorful textured border on the left of the card is made with PearlEx pigment and mica powders and white glue. There are several ways to achieve this look. All of them extremely messy. My preferred method is to:
1. Using card stock of choice, spread on a thin coat of a mix of diluted white glue. I usually have Elmer's on hand.
2. Dab a mid sized paintbrush in a seperate container of diluted glue, then pickup some PearlEx powder.
3. Dab the brush that is loaded with the PearlEx powder onto the glue covered cardstock.
4. Keep repeating this with process with various colors of PearlEx powder until your cardstock is covered.
5. At this point you can add more sparklies. Like glitter, embossing powders, just about anything that will stick in the glue.
6. Now heat it with the heat gun. The glue will bubble and become textured. The more glue you have the wilder the texture is going to be.
Other ideas:
1. more glue and PearlEx can be added after the first heating
2. Stamp over the finished product and emboss with a gliltzy embossing powder
3. right after finishing up with the heat gun you can slightly smush down the bubbles if they are
too large.
4. antique with a permanent ink by dusting the tops of the texture with your ink pad
5. put fibers in the glue before heating
6. try different methods of getting the glue and Pearl Ex together on your cardstock
some like to put a thick layer of glue on the cardstock and sprinkle the powder over the glue
and then heat - much tidier
7. do a lot of them while you have the mess out, then they are available for various projects
I work on quarter or half sheets, then cut to fit the project I am working on

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ink Blocks Indians

Here is the same image done using different Distressed Embossing Powder (by Ranger) finishes. This embossing powder has a dull finish and feels sandy to the touch. Perfect for the carved look of these stamps.

The brown background on the left is a leather look gift wrap. I love using this gift wrap for backgrounds and accents on masuline and woodsy type cards.

Please note the faux snakeskin strip. A short tut for creating this paper can be found in an earlier post on this blog.

Finishing touches for the design are sponging in black around the card base on the leather look gift wrap, around the Indian image and the faux leather strip.

On this card the background attached to the card base is again gift wrap. There is sponging with dark brown ink around the card base, and the Indian image. The faux snakeskin strip is layered onto dark brown cardstock.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Perfect Match

Have you ever had a piece of paper that you just
loved the color of and could not find an ink
or embossing powder to match it???
I have a solution. It is soooooo simple and
it works every time.

The above card is it!!!
Stamp with clear pigment ink or VersaMark,
apply clear embossing powder and heat
with a heat gun.
The result is a perfect match
that is several shade darker than your card stock.
How easy is that?
Now you can add to your card and embellish as desired
or send it just as it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Match the inside to the outside

A lovely finishing touch for a card is to have the inside
match the outside, as in this card.
It is also a way to use a scrap.
And we paper addicts hate to waste even the smallest
scrap of paper.
When you use a border punch there is often a strip of
paper left over. It is perfectly straight and just cries out
to be used somewhere, so I glue them along
the inside of my card.
Since the strip came from a part that is on the front
of the card, using it on the inside "pulls" the
entire design together very nicely.
The above card was created using Basic Grey clear stamps.
For once I stamped right on the front of the card base,
using VersaMark ink and ivory embossing powder.
The ivory on white is very elegant and subtle.
The blue punched border was stamped with the
same image using clear embossing powder.
The phrase was computer generated, attached
to the same blue cardstock as the punched border and
trimmed to a narrow border on the top and bottom.
A Fiskars Ripple decorative edge scissors was
used to cut the white and the blue cardstock.
It takes a little practice, but this matching of
the cut on both layers can be that final little
touch that finishes off a card perfectly.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rain, rain, rain, Praise The Lord

It is raining. I know that to a lot of you that will seem so boring.
You have to understand. We have been in a ten year drought.
Normal rainfall is 15 inches a year. Last year we had seven and
that seven or less has been the average for the last ten years.
I hope it drizzles and rains and lets that wet stuff fall from the sky
all day and night.
Yes, thank you Lord.

Ink Blocks Indian

Ink Blocks has some fantastic Indian images.
This one was stamped with VersaMark
and Distressed Embossing Powder by Ranger was
used to create a rough carved woodsy look.

The embossed image was cut out in a square with
the corners then being rounded with Fiskars corner scissors.
The edges were sponged for depth and drama.
The three brass brads add a little interest.
The paper on the card base is a gift wrap.
It was glued to the card base and then sponged with
dark brown ink for that vintage look.
The two narrow bars of faux snakeskin have
been mounted on dark brown card stock
that has been trimmed to a narrow border.
I used a clear glitter pen to accent the eyes of
the Indian and the eagle.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fireman Card

Our daughter, who lives in Aurora CO has a very good friend who happens to be a fireman. I wanted to make some special cards for him.
Since I have this wonderful new Silhouette die cutting machine and have joined some Silhouette user groups on Yahoo Groups I actually had a fireman logo. Well, this was just too much. I HAD to make some fireman cards.
Here is the very first one. Very simple and basic. I used a Spellbinders die with red card stock to cut a label, it was then embossed, sponging it while still in the die and right after embossing. The very edges of the die cut are also sponged in black. Using a toothpick to apply the glue, the Silhouette fireman logo was then attached to the red cardstock. The red label was glued to a dark yellow cardstock, the corners rounded and black dye ink was sponged around the edges of this piece also.
Red rivets accent the label. It is a masculine card that I hope he will like and be pleased to send to others.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another Blizzard

When I got up this morning at 5:30 it was still raining. By 7 the snow had started to accumulate.
It is now a full blown blizzard. Visibility is down to 50 yards. It is hard to tell if it is actually snowing or just blowing around what had fallen previously.

Needless to say we are staying home today. It's a good let my creative muse have free rein.