Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winter Cheer

Hello everyone!  I thought I would get a last post in before Christmas!

I'm sure everyone is getting beautiful Christmas cards this time of year, but have you ever thought about sending Winter cards after the holidays to celebrate (yes, I said "celebrate") Winter and it's beauty?  After all, the kids and adults can go sledding, the skiers are thrilled here in Colorado and elsewhere and, let's face it, the snow is beautiful.  For those that aren't so crazy about Winter, a card can cheer them up and let them know you are thinking about them.  So, without further ado, here are several cards created by me and my talented co-design team member with B-Line Designs, Michelle Bodensteiner.  The first one is a beautiful sledding card by Michelle.

Isn't this a gorgeous card?  I love the fact that it is not a traditional rectangular card.  The oval shape showcases the sledders (Winter Fun HO20E) and creates such a beautiful frame.  Michelle doubled the scalloped frame (My Mind's Eye - this could be easily die cut as well) using pop dots which gives the scene a 3 dimensional look.  Michelle stamped the sledders with markers using the Direct-to-Rubber technique and then added some color pencil to the children' shoes.

For added texture on the children' image, Michelle stamped part of the pine tree small (HO103D) so that it looks like the little girl is holding it.  Then the Bough Duo (HO149F) was stamped randomly around the edges of the scene with green and red markers.

I love all the little details Michelle used to create such a lovely scene!  Even the deer on the side of the card is a stamp.  It is from the Gift Tag cube (HO106F) and is stamped in brown.  Then she used a Wink-A-Stella pen to add sparkle to the deer!  To finish the card, she used two snowflakes from Jolee's and lots of lovely crystals placed in the scallops.  Even the deer has a crystal tail!

This beautiful piece would also make a fabulous Christmas tree ornament or a tie-on tag for gifts simply by adding a ribbon loop to the top.  So versatile!

I created another winter scene using Dream Catcher (HO145F):

The card is a combination pop-up/shaker card that is fun to make.  I stamped the Dream Catcher scene with Navy ink and colored her outfit with color pencils.  Using foam tape and acetate I created the shaker box within the pop up.

I used the snowflake Border (HO141E) for the sides of the card and navy blue ink.  I punched multiple white snowflakes for the top and bottom borders of the card.  To finish the inside of the card, I stamped the word "Believe" (HO116C) with black ink.

Here is the front of the card:

I used the Pine Tree Small (HO103D), stamping them twice.  I had previously made a (snow mask) with plain copy paper to give the scene a little dimension.  To finish I stamped Let it Snow (HO143C) with navy blue ink, went around the edges with blue ink and finally added some ultra fine glitter to the snow.

Hope you have enjoyed these winter cards.  For more information regarding the stamps that where used, please stop by

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2016.  Stay warm and enjoy Winter!


Friday, November 6, 2015

Yvonne Blair Designs Blog Hop

Hello Everyone!  Recently I was asked by Yvonne Blair of Yvonne Blair Designs to participate in a blog hop featuring her fabulous new products.  Of course I said "yes" as I have been enjoying creating with these new products!  My fellow designers and I are creating different projects using Yvonne's Inky Art Journal and her very own new Journal Buddy tool.  I also used some of Yvonne's stamps available through Impression Obsession.  Here is my project:

I was defintely looking to create a journal spread that made me happy each time I looked at it.   This spread definitely "fit the bill" for me as I smile every time I look at it.  It is so easy to do when Yvonne's lovely stamps have such positive messages!

Yvonne's Inky Art Journals come in three sizes - 4" x 6",  4" x 8" and 6" x 8".  I especially LOVE this 4" x 8" journal size as it is also the size of some manila tags.  Therefore, if I completely mess up the page, I can remove it and create a tag with it later.  The manila cardstock pages are so wonderful to work with - very easy to blend colors for backgrounds!

I blended Ranger Squeezed Lemonade and Broken China Distress Inks onto the two page journal spread to create the background base.  I then used Tim Holtz's Textured Impressions Bubble stencil and Broken China Distress Ink,  applying the ink randomly to the background.  Yvonne's Impression Obsession stamps - "Blow Your Worries Away" and "Choose Happy" were stamped onto the pages in Archival Black ink.  I also used Yvonne's Journal Buddy and Peacock Feathers Distress Ink to add stenciled "underlines" to the sentiments and to add some added interest to the pages.  Love this look!

As you can see in the above photos, I used Yvonne's "Grunge Circles" stamp to create "bubbles" on the pages.  I stamped my "bubbles" with clear pigment ink and followed up with white embossing powder.  Then I added Ranger's Glossy Accents to the inside of two bubbles to finish the look.   I think they really look like real bubbles!   I wrote the words "fear" and "failure" using a Ranger Fudeball black pen to represent some of the "worries" that need to be blown away!

I stamped the "Single Daisy" 8 times and the "Sm Butterfly Trio"twice onto scrap cardstock, blending Picked Raspberry and Lemonade Distress inks onto the flowers and watercoloring  the butterflies using the new Wilted Violet Distress Ink.  Finally, I cut all the pieces out and set them aside.

I wanted some of the flowers to be in front of the bubbles and others to be behind, so I began by laying out three flowers on the pages and adhering them.  I then re-inked the "Grunge Circles"                stamp and carefully lined up the stamp to the original stamping so that just the outside edge was inked over some of the flower petals.  I then white embossed them so it looks like the bubble is in front of the flowers and followed up with Glossy Accents applied to the inside of the "bubble".

Once the Glossy Accents was dry, I adhered the rest of the Daisies to the pages along with five butterflies.

I hope you have enjoyed my journal pages.  To see more ideas using the Inky Art Journal and the Journal buddy, please visit these other talented ladies' blogs:

Cheryl Boglioli
Linda Ledbetter
Yvonne Blair

I can't wait to see what they have created with Yvonne's products!

Now here's the best part!  If you leave a comment on each of our blogs, Yvonne will put all your names in a bowl and draw a winner!  The lucky winner will receive a 4" x 8" Inky Art journal.

Giveaway 1.jpg
Giveaway 1.jpg
If you would like to order Yvonne's journal or the Journal Buddy Tool,  please contact Yvonne at  She will be happy to help you out!  Her stamps are available through Impression Obsession at

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Juggling Julia

Hello everyone!  I have been so busy lately "juggling" many different things lately but finally decided to take a break and create some play time for myself.  I just received this B Line stamp which fit my mood perfectly, so I decided to sit down and have a little fun making some cards with her.
Here are the results of my play time!

Isn't that the truth!  Sometimes life really can be a juggling act!  I found a circus tent template on line and decided to use it as a background for Julia.  I used Scattered Straw and Spiced Marmalade Distress inks and watercolored the stamped image of Julia. I then used Evergreen Bough for the juggling balls after I had stamped them 5 times onto scrap card stock and cut them out.

I cut the tent pieces out of a heavy double sided patterned paper I had in my stash and adhered them to a piece of white card stock along with banners cut from coordinating card stock scraps.  I stamped out the saying onto scrap white card stock and cut apart the words.  After going around the edges of the words with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, I adhered the words and juggling balls with pop dots.

To finish this piece I added a final banner to the top of the circus tent and a B Line star with a gemstone to the center of the star.  Now my life is perfectly described with this card!

I was having so much fun that I decided to create some more cards using this same stamp.  Just look at the variety and different looks that can be achieved using one central stamp with various sentiment stamps!


Now I have a fun birthday card as well as an encouragement card for someone special!

I used  Rhonda Palazzari Crafter's Workshop and Tim Holtz Bubble Layering Stencil for the background of the "fan" card as well as Squeezed Lemonade, Scattered Straw and Evergreen Bough Distress Inks.  It is hard to see on these samples, but I finished all of the cards with some Stickles placed on Julia's outfit.

I hope you can stop "juggling" things in your lives and take some time to play!  It's good for the soul! I know I sure feel better!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Little Wings Photos

Before Summer slips away from us, I wanted to introduce all of you to my friend Linda Ledbetter's awesome hummingbird photos!

I absolutely adore hummingbirds - they are such amazing little birds with what seems like endless energy.  Unfortunately, I only see an occasional one here in the foothills of Colorado.  They seem to prefer being at higher altitudes, so I have to go to my friend's house up higher to enjoy them!  As I don't have that opportunity very often, the next best thing is to enjoy a gorgeous framed photo of a sweet little guy (I should say "gal") in my house.  Here is my favorite one:

Here is a closer look at it:

Isn't that beautiful!  Linda used an app to give the photo a watercolor look.  I love it.  It makes me smile and be happy to see her every day.

Linda takes these photos in her backyard garden.  She has a tremendous amount of patience to wait for just the right shot!

If you would like to see more of Linda's beautiful photos, head on over to and click on the "little wings" icon.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Layering Stencil: Monoprint

Here we are at the last challenge for Tim's A Compendium of Curiosities III book - Challenge number 34, Layering Stencil: Monoprint!  It just doesn't seem possible!  The time has flown for me and I have loved every minute!

I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for all your wonderful comments and for playing along with these challenges!  All of you are so talented!  I have SO enjoyed getting to know all of you - even though I haven't met most of you personally, I still feel like I know you.  Hopefully our paths will cross in the future!

Many of you have commented that you have enjoyed the use of my family photos in my artwork.  I have had so much fun incorporating these photos into my projects and have loved creating some wonderful keepsakes for my family along the way.

As I started off with a family photo for one of my first projects, I thought I would finish up with several as well.

You will find this wonderful monoprint technique on Page 48 of the Compendium of Curiosities III book.  You will see that there are actually two different ways to incorporate this technique.  I decided to go for it since it is the last challenge and created two different projects - with each one I have used the technique differently.  Here they are side by side, one tag and one journal page:

As  you can see, both projects are very different, a vintage tag with a photo of my mother-in-law and my very first journal page using bright colors.    First the vintage tag:

This is a photo of my husband's mother, Rosa Maria Cura Mostek.  She is originally from Spain.  This tag project is a tribute to her amazing journey from Spain to the United States shortly after she married.  It is also a way to thank my wonderful husband who has never complained about all the time I spend working on my art and waiting for dinner on more than one occasion when I didn't want to quite working as I was "on a roll".

I started by creating a monoprint on cream card stock with the Flourish Layering Stencil.  While I can't tell you how I did it, I followed the first technique using Broken China, Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs, and Hickory Smoke Distress Paints and Antique Linen Distress Ink.  I could have kicked myself when I realized I had become so engrossed in the project I forgot to take step-by-step photos, so I took some close-ups of the project.

I created a frame by die cutting Tim's Sizzix Postage Stamp from Grunge Board.  I then added a layer of gesso and added Antique Linen Distress Paint over the top when dry.  I finished my frame by adding Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs Distress inks around the edges.  Once this was completed, I added the photo of my mother-in-law after adding some Vintage Photo ink around the edges.

I adhered my frame to my monoprint tag and then began adding several Idea-ology pieces I had painted with Cracked Pistachio, partially dried and then rubbed off a bit to create a patina.

My mother-in-law fell in love with a young Czech man who escaped from then Czechoslovakia after WWII and came to this country shortly after they were married, not knowing any English or anyone here in this country.  I felt Tim's "Life was meant to be a great Adventure" stamp from the Handwritten Thoughts Stamper's Anonymous set was quite appropriate as well as the Idea-ology Word Band choice.

The "angel" wing from the Idea-ology Adornments: Regal represents Rosa's faith and Guardian Angel watching over her.

I added the crown from the Adornments: Regal as she reminded me a bit of a young Queen Elizabeth.  Lastly, I created a bow from Tim's Crinkle Ribbon, using Antique Linen and Broken China Distress Stains.  I added a Trinket Pin, Jump Ring and Heart Charm with the words "All my Heart" representing her love for my father-in-law.  I finished the project by adhering the finished tag to a piece of Aqua color solid card stock.

Now for the second project.  This is my first first journal page (which I have been dying to start) using a photo of my mother, uncle (in the back) and their cousin.  It always puts a smile on my face as I think of simpler times, a fun picnic and wading in the stream.

Now I definitely don't have a step-by-step of this monoprint technique as that would completely give away the technique.  I can tell you I used Picked Raspberry, Cracked Pistachio, Twisted Citron, Dusty Concord and Mermaid Lagoon Paints along with Twisted Citron and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Inks.  I wanted to leave quite a bit of white on the page as well.

The wonderful sentiment is from Tim's Stamper's Anonymous set Handwritten Thoughts.  Here are a few close-ups:

 Thanks for being patient with my longer than usual blog post.  Hope you have enjoyed both projects.

This final challenge is being sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  Linda Coughlin will be offering a $25.00 shopping spree in her online store to the winner of a randomly chosen project.  Tim and Mario  are generously offering a fabulous prize package to the winner of the Curiosity Crew Choice.  A big thank you to all of them for supporting these challenges!

Finally, I would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our fearless leader, Linda Ledbetter.  She has done such a wonderful job putting these challenges together and keeping the Curisioty Crew in line!   I feel so honored that I was asked to participate - I have stretched myself so much artistically and had so much fun along the way, especially being associated with all the other terrific gals on the Curiosity Crew!

Now head on over to Linda's website, study the rules and enter your project!  We can't wait to see what you create for this final challenge!

Hugs, Susan

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Altered Surfaces

We have arrived at the next to last challenge - No. 33 - for the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge!  Say it isn't so!  I have been having so much fun with these challenges that I hate to say goodbye to them!

The current challenge, Altered Surfaces, can be found on Page 45 of Tim's Compendium of Curiosities III book.  It's never too late to get your autographed copy which can be found here.  Tim and Mario are also providing a fabulous prize package to the winner chosen by the Curiosity Crew.

The wonderful folks at Inspiration Emporium also have a generous $50.00 shopping spree just waiting for the randomly chosen winner of this challenge. You will love their product selection and customer service!

Now all of us on the Curiosity Crew want you to participate, so head on over to Linda Ledbetter's site here for all the rules!

Here is my project:

A lovely blog comment was made that she enjoyed my use of family photos in past blog challenge posts.  It made be realize that I hadn't incorporated any for awhile! Time to dig out more photos! 

I have always wanted to do something with the above hilarious photo of my mother (center) with her best buddies, Pat (left) and Ginger (right).  She has tried to convince me that this photo was taken in Wenatchee, Washington at the carnival during the Apple Blossom Festival.  However, I know better as I have this photo that shows what happened to these naughty girls:

Now for the challenge piece.  I chose to alter the large number 3 as well as the arrow.  I thought the technique would be most effective on larger pieces.  The number 3 is from Idea-ology Alpha Parts  Numeric and the Arrow is from Alpha Parts Framed.  I attempted to use the technique on the framed sentiment, also from the Alpha Parts Framed, however, I think it is much more effective on the more solid pieces.  I can't tell you how I accomplished this look as you have to find out yourself by turning to page 45 of the book, however, here are close-ups of the two altered surfaces:

I began my project by placing patterned paper cards from Idea-ology Pocket Cards behind the photo and adhering them to my Burlap canvas (also from Idea-ology)  I then adhered  a red strip cut from Tim's Sizzix Alterations Frameworks Courtyard die so that it would peek out from behind my photo as well as another card from the Pocket Cards.   I adhered my enlarged photo over the paper and die and added some Film Strip Ribbon on either side of the photo.   This is how it looked at that point:

Now I began to add more details to the canvas, including a Flash Card with the word "Friend" (I added an "s" from Alpha Parts to the end) from Flash Cards Elementary, Two Remnant Rubs from the Numbers Sheet, several pieces from the Ephemera Pack (Thrift Shop and Expedition), some tiny playing cards from my stash and a Word Band.  I threaded Correspondence Paper String through the Word Band and adhered blue eyelets.  The Paper String was wrapped around to the back of the canvas.  I did the same thing on the right side of the piece as well.  Here are some close ups of the details:

I used Distress Paints to add color to the Alpha Parts Framed "Good Times".  The red ticket is an actual raffle ticket and the other two are from the Ephemera Packs.

One last look at the finished project:

Looking at this piece in my studio will definitely make me smile!

Ok, now it's your turn to create a project using Altered Surfaces!  I hope you have as much fun as I did with this project!  My mother will either laugh or be horrified that I chose these photos!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fabulous Frosted Film

Here we are at Challenge Number 32, just two more to go!  I confess I had not used this product before, but I love it now!  You may find this challenge on Page 59 of Tim's Compendium of Curiosities III book which still can be purchased here.  This challenge is once again sponsored by the generous Tim and Mario who are providing a fabulous prize package to the winner of this challenge! Head on over to Linda Ledbetter's site for all the details and enter!

One randomly chosen winner will also win a $25.00 shopping spree to The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  Good luck to all!

Now for the technique.  Here is my latest challenge project:

I decided to use a canvas this time which features beautiful die cut flowers and frosted film butterflies.  I used a sentiment from Tim Holtz's Stampers Anonymous Life Quotes that I felt would blend well with the "dreamy quality" created as a result of blending the die cut butterflies with the  frosted film.

I started off by creating my butterflies. I used Tim Holtz's Sizzix Butterfly Duo die set.  (I obviously didn't use the included texture fade).  You will have to go to Page 59 to see how I accomplished this technique.  Here are the finished butterflies:

I then decided I wanted some texture to my canvas, so I started with a coat of white gesso on the canvas.  When it was dry, I added Wendy Vecchi's white embossing paste through Tim's Flourish Stencil.   Finally, I added some watered down Tumbled Glass Distress Paint to the background and then some white Picket Fence Distress paint to the raised surfaces.  This is how the prepared canvas looked:

Now I was quite unhappy with myself when I first created this texture pattern.  I originally had a "white on white" pattern, but decided that it was too "white" for my butterflies to really show up well.  I tossed around the idea of starting all over and painting the canvas with Tumbled Glass Distress paint first and then adding the white paste, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  One of my mottos is "there is a way to fix anything" so I was determined to fix it.  It ended up being easier than I thought to use white Picket Fence Distress Paint to highlight the raised surface.  The Tumbled Glass background was watered down a bit so that the background wasn't too dark.

I then cut a number of flowers from my absolute favorite Tim Holtz Sizzix Alterations Tattered Floral Garland as well as some greenery from the Alterations Spring Greenery die.  I colored the flowers by blending Picked Raspberry and Squeezed Lemonade Distress inks.  When dry, I assembled them and added Buttercup and Petal Pink Liquid Pearls to the flower centers.  The greenery was colored with Peeled Paint and Gathered Twigs Distress inks.

I laid out the flowers and greenery on the canvas until I was happy with the layout.

Unfortunately, even though I lightened the background a tad, the colors seemed to vary each time of the day I photographed the piece.  It is actually a little lighter in color.

Now I wondered how I was going to stamp my sentiment on the canvas.   I certainly couldn't do it the traditional way due to the texture.  Then I remembered the technique I learned from Cheryl (who learned it from Candy), etc. of stamping on white tissue paper, tearing around the sentiment and using Matte Medium to adhere it to the background with a paint brush.  Worked like a charm!  The tissue blends right into the background!

Finally, I adhered all the flowers and greenery as well as the butterflies to the canvas using Matte  Medium.  Once again here is the finished project:

See what I mean about the variation in background color!

Here it is on a darker background and different light (even though it is really a slightly lighter blue):

You may have noticed I added antennae to the butterflies before I adhered them to the canvas.  I achieved this by cutting two small pieces of black linen thread and creating a knot on either end.  I then folded each in half and adhered them to the back of the butterflies' bodies.

All of us here at the CC3 Challenge are looking forward to seeing your submissions!  You all are such talented artists who have blown us away with  your creativity!  Let's see more of it!


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Layering Stencil: Paint Resist

Challenge Number 31 - only three more to go!  The official countdown has begun!  It's never too late to join us, we would love to see your work!  I hope everyone has Tim's fabulous book, Compendium of Curiosities III, however, you may still order it here.  Tim and Mario also have yet another incredible prize package awaiting the Curiosity Crew choice winner!  It could be you!

This challenge is sponsored by the generous folks at the Inspiration Emporium.  They will be providing a $50.00 shopping spree for one lucky randomly chose winner!

Now for the challenge..head on over to page 47 of Tim's book, study the technique and enter to win!
Here is my project:

I decided to create a box to hold some of my stash as I seem to have so much of it - it's addicting!  I started with a paper mache box that I painted with Seedless Preserves Distress Paints.  I only added the paint to the edges of the sides and top of the box.

I painted the box inside as well as the lid inside and outside edges.

Next I applied the technique to five card stock pieces, one for the lid and 4 for the box sides.  I can't tell you how it was done, however, I can tell you I used Tim's Wildflower,  Flourish, Traveler and Bubble Layering Stencils.  I also  used Seedless Preserves Paint and Squeezed Lemonade, Dried Marigold, Seedless Preserves and Peacock Feather Distress inks.

I then adhered all of the panels to the box and finished the box by adding one of Tim's Idea-ology Curio Knobs to the box lid.  Finally, I added some butterflies from B Line Designs to all the panels.  Here again is the finished project:

Now that you have seen my project, head on over to Linda Ledbetter's site here.  You will find all the rules for participating - hope to see your projects there!