Sunday, March 29, 2015

CYCI #63 - Whale of a Sketch!!

Hello again!  Well, last week was certainly a busy/productive stamping session...3 blog posts and 4 cards...that's pretty good for me! Lol!  Hope you were able to visit my post from the Creative Hop on Monday, and if not, link is HERE; it's a lot of fun, I promise!

On to this week's CanYouCaseIt challenge for the week.  Today we have a trusty sketch to be inspired by! Here it is:
Here's my interpretation:
I was completely inspired by the Maritime DSP for this card.  I went with the whale (fussy-cut from the DSP) as my shape and lowered the sentiment a tad.  I also used the DSP for the water and the fishy sentiment accent circle.  The Night of Navy school of fish and silver embossed anchor images came from the Sea Street stamp set.  The sunset is a twist on the Bokeh technique (sponging a few colors then stenciling the white on).  I was very happy with the bright and colorful fun and graphic card...looking forward to reusing the sunset technique for another card soon!  I can also see the fun Maritime DSP working perfectly for a boy themed birthday card, invitations, even party favors!  The more I work with it, the more I keep finding uses for it, too. I even made a party hat out of one of the flags in my last post!
I hope I have planted a seed of inspiration for your own creation.  Please visit to see more of the design team creations, the great entries that we have, and don't forget to upload your own project and play along.  TTYL and see you next week!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Man Style - Crashing Fancy Friday Like a Boss!!

Hello there!  Welcome to my domain!  Earlier this week I was working on my card for this week's CYCI when my I suddenly found myself sharing my crafting space with wifey.  She was in a panic about having to make something masculine for one of her hops, so I let her borrow my new Adventure Awaits stamp set and use my Maritime DSP and we had something of a stamp off.  I know what you're all thinking...she's so lucky to be able to glean off of my talent.  LMBO!  I kid, I kid... 

So after I finished my card (which will post this Sunday 3/29/15; but I'm sure that you already have it on your calendar, right?) she asked me if I wanted to make a man card and play along with the Fancy Friday Artisan Team Hop.  What an honor!  So I made two!  Lol!  P.S.  Unfortunately I am not officially associated with the team :-(  I'm just related by marriage.  Maybe someday I can grow up and put my Artisan pants on... But in the meantime, here's what I put together:

For this first card I went with a simple design, but a complicated process!  Aside from the card base, all of the paper that you see started as Whisper White. I started by embossing my new favorite stamp, then sponged Night of Navy and Blackberry Bliss all around.  Then I masked the image and used the sunburst stencil to create the rays. After that, I painstakingly cut out the negative space of the rays to create the main image on the forefront.  BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!  I created the background layer by sponging Crushed Curry and Real red to create a sunsety color scheme.  Connected the two, trimmed to a 4"x4", added the layers and base, and voila! Oh, yeah...I finished it off with a broad coating of glittery shine,  but its hard to capture that in the pic.  I know that you may be thinking, "Hey, Stampin' Stud; this is supposed to be a man card but you used glitter!"  Well let me tell you something...a real man knows how to appreciate some well placed glitter.
My second offering:
I wanted to go with a traditional masculine card so of course I grabbed the manly and versatile Guy Greetings set and some black, white, and gray CS.  But I couldn't keep it boring so I had to give it some good ol' Stampin' Stud silliness.  After all, who doesn't want a card that brings a grin?  So I crafted the party hat out of a scrap of Maritime DSP (the banner is the perfect size and also comes in Night of Navy and Coastal Cabana), lightly colored the pants with the blender pen and Basic Gray, and chose a sentiment that you could give to your party hat wearing mentor (Lol!).  As I was playing with the layout, I realized that it needed something else...after looking around and asking Mercedes for a Man-Doily, I realized that there is no such thing and I would need to improvise. I drew inspiration from the talented Holly Stene and die cut a vellum star to finish it off.
Well thanks for hanging out in my man-cave today! If you're new to me, please visit my last post; it features my favorite card to date as well as a little Q&A/TMI for you.  Hope you enjoy(ed) and I look forward to spending more quality time with you in the days, weeks, months, and years to come!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Awesome Adventurous Curious Goat - Creative Blog Hop

Hello, friends! Today I have a special treat!  I know...You're saying, "But it's Monday.  Why are you posting on Monday?  You never post on Mondays.  Shouldn't you be at work?"  To which I reply, "Yes, I am at work, and yes, I realize that it's Monday.  I said that this is a special treat!" 

This is a post for a Creative Blog Hop!!   I was nominated all the way from Canada by the sweet and talented Krista Frattin  at to participate.  Hope you shoot over to her blog and check out her amazing projects!  This hop has been described as a sort of creative "chain letter" and my two nominees will be below.   But first, here's my card! I have to admit, (off the record; don't tell my others) I think that this is my favorite card so far...hope that's ok to say...I know its taboo as a parent (Lol)...anyways...

Isn't it fun?!?  I finally got the Adventure Awaits stamp set (more on that to come in a future post)and paired it with the Adventure Bound DSP.  The goat is From the Herd but his curiosity got the best of him and he snuck in to the scene. Hope you like him as much as I do!

So part of the hop is to answer a few questions. Here I go..

 A LOT! Well, for me at least. I keep pretty busy with a more-than-full-time job, doing my part to raise 3 daughters, taking care of my lovely and wonderful wife (actually letting her take care of me ;-) and now I'm a stamping hobbyist.  Aside from that, my current stamping commitments include a place on the Design Team at the weekly challenge site of Can You Case It and a monthly blog hop, but specifically I am looking ahead to Mother's Day...there are 3 Moms in my life, so I have a lot of brain storming and creating to do!

 Well...I'm a Dude!! Lol!  As I have come to realize, we of the male persuasion are definitely the minority!  I would have to assume that this reflects in my work.  I like to have fun with my designs, I like to "think outside of the box" and try things that may be unconventional, and since I'm new to this art, I think that I offer a fresh perspective to a lot of the products and techniques.


It all started because I wanted to be allowed to hang out in the craft room with my awesome wife.  There had always been a sign on the door that said "Only Ye of Crafting Blood May Enter" and I always thought it was just a gimmick until one night when I grabbed the door handle to go in and it scorched my hand!  Suddenly there was a fog that filled the hall and an eerie voice resonated through the walls..."Thou have awakened the Keeper of the Kraftroom!  As an Uncreator, you are to remain banished from this realm!"  The thought of being separated from my wife for another night was just too much, so I replied "Keeper, I humbly request permission to enter.  I am pure of heart and creative of brain.  I hereby accept the oath of Creativity.  Paper and Ink will be as my Food and Water and without these I shall surely perish."  I knew that the Keeper was doubtful as I could hear it in his tone when he answered "I have heard your kind before.  They take me for a fool and attempt shenanigans just to enter the Sacred Room of Kraft.  I should smite thee NOW!!"  I knew that I couldn't outrun him, since the fog was so thick that I couldn't even tell which way was out. But it didn't matter, because I was serious and sincere. "Keeper," I said, "If I will never be allowed to enter the Room of Kraft, then strike me now!  A life without Crafting is a life that I cannot bear!" After a long pause, there was a rumbling and the fog started to dissipate.  Suddenly, I found myself standing in the hall, with the door to the craft room wide open.  I walked in slowly, still in disbelief over the ordeal that I had just gone through.  As I passed the door, there was a note taped to the Do Not Enter sign.  It read, "With great creativity comes great responsibility.  Start a blog and post your cards to Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  You shall call yourself Stampin' Stud to commemorate the epic strength and courage that you showed tonight.  I'll be watching you.  Now that you have vowed to create, you must continue until the end of your days...or face my wrath.  Regards, Keeper"

Aside from that, I just like to have fun, strive to impress my wife and hopefully make her proud of me (or just not embarrass her. Lol!). 


Ummm...Pretty random, I guess. Sometimes I have an idea for a finished product, but mostly I just get inspired by a stamp set or DSP.  I try to keep the project simple and limited to one or two stamp sets.  Usually, if I need to make a project and don't have a vision, I will just pick a few stamp sets, sit in the comfy craft room chair, listen to some Christian hip hop, and stare at the stamps for a while until something clicks.  By the time I start making something, I usually have a vision of the end result.

And now it's my turn to nominate!

I met Jeanna at the Stampin' Up! Leadership Convention earlier this year, and not only is she hilarious, caring, and kind, she is also extremely talented!  I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing skill and heart.  Jeanna will be posting her Creative Hop post on March 30, 2015, so remember to visit stamptimesomewhere and see the great stuff she comes up with!  I'm know I'm excited...
Once again, big thanks to Krista Frattin for thinking of me for the hop.  It was a lot of fun and I HOPe to do it again sometime!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ahoy, Mateys!! CYCI#62

Welcome to another edition of CanYouCaseIt?!  This week we have another Designer's Choice challenge.  These are a lot of fun because you can play along with any type of project, no parameters to follow, no limit to your creativity!  Please share your projects on our CYCI site so we can see your wonderful creations!

My card for you this week is a fun and versatile Boy-themed 4"x4" note card.  Take a look: 


All in all, this was a fairly simple card.  I achieved the chevron background using the striped stencil and white sponging, and the main image is stamped onto a crinkled piece of Kraft cardstock.  I rolled the edges to finish off the "treasure map" affect.  The ribbon for the sentiment is the backside of the 5/8" Natural Chevron.  Oh, and I just discovered the Maritime DSP, which I used for the red anchor banner, so keep an eye out for more of that to come!! 
Thanks for joining us at CYCI this week.  If you haven't already, please head over and see what the other designers have made for you, as well as this week's entries.  Don't forget to enter your own project too!
SPOILER ALERT (kinda, but actually not really...just wanted to get your attention :-)  Come back tomorrow (or if you're not reading this today, then tomorrow is Monday March 23, 2015, but then again if you're not reading this on Sunday March 22 the post that I'm referring to will already be up and you will have likely already seen it...oh never mind, this is too confusing...just keep reading, please. Lol!) because I will be part of a creative blog hop...I promise lot's of fun and a really cute card, one of my favorites so far! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

CYCI#61 O'Clean and O'Quick (St. Pat's Hats)

Happy CYCI Day!  We're back with a Clean and Quick Challenge - simple card in 10 minutes or less.

Here's my take on it.  Since St. Patrick's Day is this week, I added some Irish flair...

I went with the Guy Greetings stamp set for the focal point, stamped in Wild Wasabi, gold buckles drawn on with the Gold Dazzle Marker.  Background paper made with Wild Wasabi sponged onto my absolute most favorite paper - the Irresistibly Yours Specialty Designer Series Paper (Free during Sale-a-Bration!).  If you haven't had a chance to play with it, you NEED to!  The options are nearly's one of those products that I'm afraid to use because I don't ever want to run out. Lol!  Finished off the sentiment with some Washi and sequins, and O'Voila!...St. Pat's card is complete!
Hope you visit Can You Case It? to see what our other talented designers have created for you...and of course, PLAY ALONG!  After all, how can you win if you don't play????  And who doesn't like to win???

Thursday, March 12, 2015

OSAT Showers Bring Spring Flowers...or something like that...

Hello, again!  Today we have a very special treat for you...a Blog Hop!  In fact, it's my very first!  This has been brought to you by a group of creative stampers that was formed on Facebook known as "One Stamp At a Time" (aka OSAT). Some days, that's my motto, especially when stuck on a never ending stack of swap cards or invitations that were super cute when I designed them, but by the 34th identical sentiment they kind of lose their appeal... anybody feel me on that one?  Anyways...for those of you who arrived here via Megan T, thanks for participating in the Hop!  For those who may be starting here; at the bottom of my post there is a link to the very talented Holly Stene, so please take the time to continue on and check out what she and those after her have created for you this week. Now, on to my card...

This week's theme is Spring Flowers.  I'm in California, so Spring may have a different meaning for me than it does for y'all on the East Coast or anywhere else that has a true Winter.  I can only imagine how nice it must be to start getting temperatures in the double digits again,  especially when we barely go out when our temps drop into the 50's! Lol.  I do, however, miss a lot of the things that other climates have going on; playing in the snow, White Christmas, affordable housing, and most of all -- visible season changes.  I always hear beautiful tales about how gorgeous the landscape is when the seasons change, and I have never had an opportunity to experience it myself :-(   So this week, I visualized Spring Flowers as a refreshing pop of brightness and color after a long and dreary Winter.  See what you think: 


I really enjoy look of water coloring mixed with the emboss resist, and I thought that both the sentiment and the image from Stampin' Up's Indescribable Gift stamp set fit the Spring Flowers theme perfectly. 
Hope you enjoyed my card and I really hope that you click the "Next" button below to visit Holly and see what she made for us. See you there!!
Just in case, here is a complete list of the Hoppees:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

CYCI#60 Color Challenge

Well this week's card certainly lived up to it's name... it was quite a challenge for me.  I pulled the Wild Wasabi, So Saffron, and Soft Sky cardstock and ink pads from their respective homes and stared at them for awhile.  I wondered what I had gotten myself into by asking to be challenged.  But I persevered and ended up having some fun with it.  At first, the color combo was leaning toward Baby style, but I have already done a few of those recently so I wanted to show a little more versatility.  I remembered an idea that I had for an Easter theme when I was making what I refer to as my "Baby Star card" using the Little Sunshine stamp set.  This week's colors lended themselves to an Easter Egg, so I decided to try it out.  When I cut the oval, it was a little bland, so I gave him some personality.  See what you think:

I saw the sentiments from the For Peep's Sake set, and everything just came together when this little guy walked out onto the card.  He's so funny!
Thanks for checking it out, and I hope you all play along and check out the other designers' great projects for additional inspiration at!  Will these colors will be challenging for you?  Or was I just psyching myself out?  I would love to see what you make, so please post your cards to win that coveted title! 
See you next week....

Saturday, March 7, 2015

My New Tattoo...I Wish :-(

I want a tattoo.  I don't have any tattoos (yet).  I've wanted to be tattooed for a while, but I haven't yet got around to it.  I know that may sound weird, but it's pretty close to the truth.  When people say that they want a tattoo but don't have any, I have found that its usually either because they're scared of the pain, they don't want something "permanent" on their body that they may regret in the years to come, or perhaps it's taboo in their family or religion.  For me, it's quite the opposite. 

About 12 years ago, I was close to a co-worker that had some pretty extreme tattoos.  I mean punk rock style, dark, graphic, and very visible. And he kept getting more.  Every few months, a new image would appear on one of his arms, lower and lower creeping toward his hands.  He now has full sleeves and more.  I was still a skeptic back then and one day I asked him a question that anybody with visible tattoos has probably been (or will be) asked..."What if you don't like them when you're older?"  His response came natural and quick, and now that I'm looking back on it I am sure that I wasn't the first to have this conversation with him.  He explained that every tattoo was like a memory.  It signified something that was happening in his life at that time.  Whether it was the logo of his favorite band, a cool graphic design that he really liked, or something serious and sentimental about his daughter, every tattoo had a meaning and connection to him.  He was already able to look at his body and pick out older tattoos that he would not have chosen again, but he didn't "regret" them.  They were just reminders of previous phases and events in his life.  And he would have these memories for years to come, as he continues to grow old. 

That conversation was pretty eye opening for me and it still resonates.  It didn't mean that I was going to start treating my body like a scrapbook and go out and get a Vanilla Ice, Pok√©mon, or Reebok tattoo, but it took away the fear of commitment.  That was when I realized that I was not only open to getting a tattoo, but I really wanted one. I appreciated art, I had significant life events to remember, and I wasn't afraid.  At that point, I just needed to pick one.  And that decision dragged on for about 10 years.  There were so many factors to consider; not just "what do I want to get," but I had to consider placement, style, etc.  Then, about a year or two ago, my paradigm shifted again. I realized that I was searching for the perfect tattoo, but there is no such thing (for me).  I have so many interests, and such an appreciation for different styles of art and symbolism, that I was just spinning my wheels trying to pick one.  That's when I knew that I couldn't pick a tattoo that I wanted because there isn't just one.  I need many.

Now my tattoo planning has stalled again.  I have developed a short list of 4-5 tattoos that I want to get, along with positions and placements for them (mostly).  I am coming to a point where I am almost ready to take the plunge.  But now I still need to decide on which one I will get first, commit to the style, and find the artist. This has lasted for about a year. For the style, I look at Pinterest and I pin tattoos that I like in hopes that I will blend them together and create the right one for me.  I'm sure that I'm the only one that does that. But the quality is a whole other issue.  I have watched enough Ink Master to be worried that my tattoo wont turn out the way that I want it to.  I have become an expert critic.  So now I drive by tattoo shops and wonder if that's a place that would be good enough to tattoo me.  I have looked up tattoo shops on Yelp to see how good my local ones are.  I have thought about traveling to Vegas or Southern California or some other mecca of artists to ensure that I will get the best ink that I can.  And that's where I'm at...hopefully to be updated soon...

So you may be saying "Wow, that was a really personal story. But I thought this was a Stampin' blog.  Thanks for wasting my time."  But wait!  My story ties into my card!  One of the tattoos that I like is the traditional (and some may say overdone) anchor.  I like the graphic as well as the symbolism.  So I was browsing Pinterest and we had just gotten a new box of SU! products in.  I put down my iPad and started unboxing our stuff.  Suddenly, the Guy Greetings set caught my eye.  It was like one of those movie vignettes in my mind of part flashback/part vision; I was seeing the stamp set, Pinterest, my tattoo, and my new card in a whirlwind of flashing, spinning, fading images, complete with a dramatic music soundtrack.  Ok, actually that's a little dramatic.  I saw the anchor stamp, and thought it would be cool to do a card that looked like a tattoo.  My creative inspiration came from the new style of "watercolor" tattoos (not my style for tattoo, but I thought it would make a nice card).  It was outside of my comfort zone, but I threw it all together and I really like the outcome.  See for yourself:


I embossed the anchor, then used the Aqua Painter in a combination of flicks, drips, and swirls to create the splotchy look.  Inks are Real Red and Night of Navy.  I was so happy with the outcome that I am thinking about doing a series of cards with a similar theme.  Not sure what the theme will be though, Lol.  It's just a work in progress.

Well, thanks for hearing me out. I was a little out of my comfort zone with the sharing of the personal info as well as the creation card.  Hope you like both, and perhaps you can find encouragement for your own tattoo story.  And if you have any advice, please share! It's not too late for me...

Sunday, March 1, 2015

CYCI#59 Sketch Challenge (aka Fun Times!)

Today's post has been brought to you by CYCI, your local purveyor of fine card making challenges.  This week, we were inspired by the following sketch...
And here is the card that I came up with...
I had a lot of fun making this card.  When I first saw the sketch template, I immediately thought of a Polaroid picture. The challenge was to create a card that would fulfill my vision.  I wanted to do a semi  realistic image, and Stamin' Up's Adventure Bound paper stack had the perfect variety for me to work with.  I tried a few different things, but the grass background and the Cheerful Critter bunny ended up going together so well that I just ran with that combo.  I cut a slit in the DSP for the bunny's torso then shredded it to mimic the blades of grass, and I added Dimensionals behind the sign to help it to pop out of the picture.  The banners were die cut using the balloon framelits and colored with Blendies.  To round out the celebratory theme, I textured the background layer with Lucky Stars.
Please click the link at the top of my post to play along and upload your own creation.  I would like to see what you come up with.  What kind of Polaroid can you create?  How does the sketch inspire you?  You can't win if you don't play...
See you next week with another challenge, and hopefully sooner if I can get up off my rear and make another card.  Over the last couple of weeks, I have been a "Weekend Warrior" when it comes to stamping, so bear with me and I hope I can at least get a few projects a week out to share with you.  Thanks for visiting and see you soon!