Monday, July 27, 2015

Ain't Nothin' But A House Party.....

Celebrating two of the most fabulous people I know!  Full of rainbows and unicorns, good friends, good food, games AND a pinata!

Happy Monday, Friends! It's coming up on birthday time for two pretty cool peeps--you'll know who they are because they are both wearing my fabulous handmade unicorn t-shirts!!  We had a super time celebrating the birthdays of two special people--my daughter, Number 3, and one of the best guys I know, our friend Joe.  The two of them dreamed up the idea a year ago and this year, it happened!  It was a blast!

I tried my hand at rainbow layered jello----good gravy!  They are tasty and for me, that is huge as I don't particularly find jello to be actual food.  Putsy, but ultimately, worth it!  This is the recipe I used from MustHaveMom.

Joe's daughter made the most amazing cupcakes and rainbow cake--she's a budding little master baker! 

The rainbow theme is an important one for our little band of warriors because it reminds us of God's covenant with His people (See Genesis 9:13)....A promise that He is near and for us (See Romans 8:31).  We've experienced much in this life we have been given and find great reward in fellowship with one another.....I just love them all!

 My creative little birthday buds came up with a bunch of games, like Unicorn Ring Toss and Pin the Horn on the Unicorn.....and, of course....a pinata!
Yes, it's a little makeshift, but it worked!

I'm pretty proud of the t-shirts, but never could have pulled them off without the loving help I always find at I Brake For Stamps!  The unicorn image is a stamp available in two sizes.  I own the Large stamp and think it's a great image.  So, when I wanted to make the t-shirts that is the image I wanted to use.  And my good fortune can also be yours!!!  The exact digital image I used is available HERE at I Brake For Stamps! 
Here's a closer up of the shirt:
If you want to make one of your own, I have more detailed directions posted on the I Brake For Stamps blog.  You can see that HERE.

Have a great day and don't forget to be awesome!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dwelling In the Shelter

.....And, resting in the shadow.......

Life is funny---and, not necessarily in the "ha ha" funny way we all need from time to time.  Life can get heavy.....and, dark.  Bad things happen to good people.  The world is rapidly changing and struggle is rampant for all---even those you think aren't really struggling.  They are.  We are.  I am.

I could weave you a tale about this person or that who I know that is facing a challenge--a life altering, nothing will ever be the same again challenge. I could tell endless stories about the kids I work with.  What happened to them, what horrific tale makes up their earliest days......or, I could tell you about the spitting, the kicking, the mouthing off, the running away, the law enforcement interaction that can consume a day......I could type endlessly about my personal struggles and maybe, even, one up you.  Or, you could see that you really don't have it all that bad, afterall.......

But, in the would any of that help?  In this world of trouble, we must be a light.  A lamp for truth, encouragement, hope.  We must speak of the good rather than tear down with the endless stream of critical words, name calling, bashing.  We must illuminate hope.

I used one of my most favorite verses on this canvas I made for my mom. At the time, I had just a little idea of what it meant......the good news is, I'm still a work in progress and I'm still learning to understand and abide--

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."  Psalm 91:1 

The Daughter of God image by Donna Downey is an older image from Unity Stamps....and, it's who I am.  For this, I am eternally grateful.

Be awesome.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

We Go Together.....

Happy Day, Sweet Friends!  We go together like....Like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.  Remembered forever as shoobop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom...Chang chang changitty chang shoobop...That's the way it should be.......

If I'm going to have it rattling around in my head all day, so are you.  I share afterall....And, nothing goes better together than stamping and sharing....well, except for chocolate.  Chocolate goes pretty good with stamping and sharing, too....

So, in the interest of sharing and stamping AND chocolate, I have a fun tutorial that I wrote for Sweet N Sassy Stamps and their Monday Tutorial feature that I'd like to share with you, too! Be sure to visit SNSS's blog for lots of inspiration and sharing!  For my contribution this month, I wanted to design a project that made an out of the box use of their Bookmarks & More Dies:
I bought the dies and the coordinating stamps, Bookmark Bits & Pieces, to make hand made book marks for my kiddo's class.  THAT project is right on the top of my TO DO list.  This MAY be the golden year!  It's a great little set and would also be a fun school or birthday party project!

For today's project, though, I used the bottom bookmark die seen above.  You could easily adapt the top die for this project, too, by trimming off one end.  I may just do that next!

In addition to the Bookmarks & More Dies from Sweet N Sassy Stamps, you will need: card stock for two dies, a complimentary card stock or designer paper that measures 1 1/2" x 7 3/4", adhesive, a hole punch, ribbon, stamps, ink and a scoring/paper cutting tool.  And, most importantly.....a treat!

Begin by cutting and scoring two bookmark dies:
Using the die cut shown, with the rounded end on the right hand side, score at 1 3/4" and 5 1/4". Do this for both bookmark die cuts.

Next, join the two bookmarks by adhering the two bottom sections together.
 And hole punch the top of the bookmarks:
Set the bookmark piece aside and prepare the wrap.  For this, you can use either a piece of designer paper or a complimentary piece of card stock.  I've chosen to use the card stock and stylize it with the new Floral Pattern Background stamp, also from Sweet N Sassy Stamps.
As a reminder, the wrap piece measures 1 1/2" x 7 3/4".  Along the length, you will need to score at 1 3/4', 3 3/4", 5 1/2" and 7 1/2".  Place adhesive on the two 2" sections only:
After removing the adhesive backing, secure the wrap piece to the front and back panels of the tag box:
Add your treat, secure the top with ribbon and decorate!
This would make a super easy shower, party or classroom treat!  It will easily accommodate a prepackaged candy, like a fun size candy bar or bag of m&ms.  The possibilities are endless!

I couldn't resist decorating mine with an adorable image from Sweet N Sassy Stamps You & Me set.  I mounted the peas and carrots die cut image on a label die cut (also from Bookmarks & More) and added a few sentiments.
Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you are feeling inspired......and, awesome!
TTFN, Jane

Monday, July 20, 2015

Birds of a Feather....

Happy Monday, Friends!!  It feels so good to have spent some time in the Studio again!!  Welcome to my Monday, I Brake For Stamps share!  Please be sure to check out the rest of the IBFS design team--they are sharing a ton of inspiration over on the IBFS blog.  I Brake For Stamps is such a versatile company with over 4,000 rubber stamp designs---one of the many reasons I love working with them!

Recently, I've been partial to this bird sheet, called Sheet 141A Birds. I can't stop using it! I'm not sure if it would be overkill, but I also have my eye on the companion sheet, 141B Bird Nests.  I know I've mentioned it before, but I do have some real life bird issues......but for some reason, they still highly appeal to me in stamp form!

I started with a card stock base of yellow (crushed curry, if you are making note!) and covered the front with a piece of designer paper.  You can see the pattern peaking out on the edges.  The pattern you see behind the birds, is actually white card stock that has been stenciled thanks to Stampinback stencils!  It's the same stencil I used here for my "Different" card.  I sometimes forget how fun and interesting stencils can be!

The black windowed card stock is mounted on dimensional tape over the stenciled piece.  After coloring the bird image, I trimmed it carefully and added it over the window.  A few finishing touches and, wahla!  Yes, still the sequins.  It may be a disorder of some type.....LOL!

The best reason I have for loving IBFS, is the woman at the helm!  Be sure to say a sweet hello to Bo Bella when you stop by the store.  Save a little, too, with my coupon code SAVE10JANE.  Be awesome!

Thanks for stopping by!  TTFN--Jane

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Grant Me

Happy Thursday......or is it?  Here in my neck of the woods, happy is a day to day thing.  I mean, I choose joy, but sometimes, my circumstances just don't cooperate and it can be a struggle.  The Serenity Prayer has long been associated with self help groups, but really---isn't the world just a big self help group?  We all need help from time to time.  The Serenity Prayer is a quick and simple reminder and encouragement:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference!'s the key!

At least I had the wisdom to use my newest distress inks to create my colorful background--the newest colors to me:  pistacho, lagoon and coral.  I think they look pretty good together.  Although, by the time I had blended all of the colors, the coral hue was darker than you'd think and I ended up using a rust colored card stock for the base of the card.

I used the beautiful Serenity Butterfly image from Technique Junkie Stamps to create a random background pattern and embellishment to finish the whole project off.  And, sequins.......I know.....I'm sorry.  I'm not sorry.  They're pretty :)

TTFN.  Make it awesome.  Jane

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lotus Flower Inside and Out

Happy Middle of the Week, Sweet Friends!!  Today, I have a sneak peak of some new goodies that will be available shortly over at Sweet N Sassy Stamps!  I'm borrowing a layout I saved long ago in my arsenal of "go to when I'm stuck" ideas.  I like to keep a sketch pad full of such ideas....for when I want to stamp, but feel as though my mojo has left the building!  What do you do when that happens to you?

I love the lotus flower image above. It's from a beautiful set, not suprisingly, called Lotus Flower.  There are several images and beautiful sentiments that make up the set.  Sentiments, like this one:
I love it when I have a stamp sentiment that perfectly fits just how I am feeling!  I'll be sending this to a very special someone.

Also on this card, another new goodie, is the Floral Pattern Background.  And, yes, sequins.....I can't stop.  Please bear with me ;)

Have a great day and don't forget to be awesome!
TTFN, Jane

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dare To Be Different

Happy Monday and Welcome to my blog!  I'm so glad you stopped by for my Monday I Brake For Stamps post.  I've stepped out of the box a little (for me) and tried something new without really even realizing it until I was at the "pull it together" point.

The background/focal point of my project was unintentional and really just about feeding my soul.  The biggest reason I stamp is the  therapeutic value.  I find great peace in doing things other might consider putzy--like fussy cutting and zentangling (which is kind of a fancy word for doodling, I think)!  I like becoming absorbed in a project and working with my hands rather than my mouth.  I like the way art teaches me to follow as I watch an action become a completed work.  There is great release in this for me.

After a very busy week, I desperately wanted into The Studio.  Once I got there, however, I was still feeling drained and uninspired.  On my desk, lay the clutter from weeks earlier.  I had been using a fabulous Stampinback Stencil from I Brake For Stamps. It was part of my desk clutter.  Also on my desk, were a collection of distress inks.  So, I picked up a few of my favorite colors and created a colorful stenciling.  Really just focusing on the soothing effect of adding color to white card stock and blending them together.  Later, I started the doodles.  Eventually, I thought about my commitments and decided to abandon the doodles for something more productive.....more blog worthy........and then, still needing the peace, I returned to doodle the remainder.

Once done, I couldn't cover up any of it, so I opted for some stitching around the perimeter.  I also like to sew---but just on my cards.  I know, I'm a dork.  But, it makes me feel accomplished--because sewing is hard :)  I mounted the sentiment,  Dare To Be Different, on a die cut that mirrors the zig zag stitching and added a few sequins---because, who doesn't like a bit of sparkle?  Next thing I was blog worthy :) and different--just the way I like it.

If you find yourself over in the IBFS store and you are looking to save some coin, please use my coupon code SAVE10JANE and be sure to send Bo Bella a sweet hello from me!

Make it a great day, be awesome! 
TTFN, Jane

Monday, July 6, 2015

Come Fly With Me

Happy Monday, Friends!  I've taken, what I hope will be a short hiatus, from blogging.  Funny how our plans so often can be interrupted by life--eh?  I'm glad to be back and happy that you've chosen to join me for a new goodie from I Brake For Stamps!

Well, "new" may have been a bit of a stretch.....I've owned this wonderful stamp set, Come Fly With Me, for a few years!  I love the whimsical characters.  They are fun to color and, also, fun to add to colorful backgrounds!  I haven't used it in a while so, in some ways, it feels fresh and new to me.  I guess that's part of the beauty of having a ginormous collection of stamps.

Water coloring seems to be all the rage in some of the stamping circles I follow.  Everyone is using this water color product or that.  I'm not going to lie, it's a little hard to keep up with.  Besides that, I've never been much for the band wagon and I have absolutely no way to discern if this water color product or that one is the best.  So, I stick with what I know and what I have. 

I've been playing around with the four colored sharpies (sad, I know....just four colors!) that I have and regular isopropyl alcohol ever since I developed this tutorial. In somewhat of a happy accident, I ended up with the piece you see above.  I think it emulates a water colored looked, but also has the depth of color we typically see with alcohol based inks.  It isn't at all what I was going for, but I decided to go with it just the same.

Isn't that kind of how life works, too?  Not always what we are going for........but sometimes, the only choice you have is to go with it.

If you'd like to come fly with me, and shop the IBFS store, you can use my coupon code for some savings!  Say a great big "HIDEEHO" to one of the sweetest gals I know when you get there!  SAVE10JANE

TTFN & Don't forget to be awesome!  Jane

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's a Song......Sing it! Technique Junkie Stamps July Hop!!

Isn't that just the truth?  Life is a song....Sing it!!!  I'm glad you are joining me today as I make an attempt to resurrect my blog!  What a better day??  We are hopping today to show the whole world the new stamps at Technique Junkie Stamps!!  If you haven't started at the beginning, you are totally going to want to!  I know I would NOT want to miss Pat, Pam, Beth and Robin's amazing talent!

Speaking of Robin, if you have been hoping right along, you should have just been to Robin's blog...she always has the most interesting things to share!!  I love visiting there!

My first card, above, features Life is a Song and Treble Clef.  The flourishes of the Treble Clef image immediately made me think of the Bandana technique.  You'll find this technique and many others on the Simple and Easy Inking Techniques CD
My second card features another beautiful background image, Layered Feathers, and inspirational sentiment, Believe In Yourself!  I'm currently working with kids 7-16 years old in a day treatment program.  I want to make a card like this for each of them!!!  What a great encouragement!

Also encouraging is the news that all of the new release images will be on SALE for the next week!!  Don't wait too long---SALE ends on July 8th!

Now, I'll send you on your way to see what Jerri has made!  I love her style and I know you will too!

TTFN and don't forget to be awesome!  Jane