Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Quiet Saturday Morning.

Everybody still sleeping, I can spend a few more minutes on the computer and post a new card for my favorite Challenge, Sweet Sketch Wednesday
After making the Top Three (yes, I know, I keep repeating that but I'm still sooo happy!!!) last week I had to make a card for this week's Challenge. Moreover, the sponsor is Bugaboo Stamps so I really couldn't miss it!

As usual, there is a Sketch to follow:

And here's my card:

Patterned papers are a real treasure for me: they are difficult to find in my town so I usually have to order them and quite expensive so this time I decided to paint my background paper. I made a frame with some paper strips and make paint dots around them. I don't know if this solution seems a patterned paper but I like it.
I even used one precious button for the sun: I have a passion for buttons and I have problems in using my favorite ones... but I'll talk about this another time.

I really loved to think about summer and warm weather, I'm one of those girls who could go to sleep on January 6 and wake up in April. I hate the dark cold winter days. I resist until Christmas - I love Christmas - but after that, nothing.
While painting this little frog, I dreamed about summer holidays, long wam sunny days, some sun tan on my too pale face, no jackets, socks, boots, scarves, hats... Have you ever counted how many things you have to wear in winter?

The only pro is: more time for crafting and I'm really trying to spend every spare minute making new cards while dreaming about summer...

Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Day... A New Challenge!

It's a Bugaboo Challenge again!

Bugaboo Digis are particularly dear to me. In the past, I used to buy digi stamps every now and then but I mainly colored them using Photoshop and the result never satisfied me completely.
One day I discovered Bugaboo Stamps and I immediately fell in love with these whimsical digis, with cute little animals and people.
Then, I discovered Challenges and decided to open a blog to be able to be part of this incredible world.
I bought some of their digis and started painting them with watercolor pencils. Copics are not available here, at least not in my town and in any case I find myself at ease with watercolor pencils, my printer's ink does not bleed so everything is perfect!

Little by little I've taken confidence and even made a Top Three in a Challenge.

But I will never forget that all started when I discovered Bugaboo stamps!

This week's theme for the Catch the Bug Challenge is Winter Whites.
Here's my card:
I'm quite pruod of this card because I managed to use a tool I found in a magazine a while ago and never attempted to use: a plastic embossing tool. I frequently use brass embossing templates but this works differently. I wanted to have a white on white embossed effect on this card and these swirls seemed perfect for the look so I had a go and I'm very happy with the result.
Winter is white but it's also a bit light blue and light pink for me, as I told you before I love pastel colors! And I love glitter: I put a lot of white and blue glitter on this adorable snowman!

I'm entering this card in another challenge where the theme is Winter again. The Challenge is Incy Wincy Designs Challenges # 78:
http://incywincydesigns.blogspot.com/2011/01/challenge-78-winter-wonderland.html

Well, that's all for today but stay tuned. I have another card ready for another challenge with another adorable digi from Bugaboo!
And I've also been able to print some digis from a old download I made back in 2006: I really look forward to have them painted!

Better go and prepare something for lunch!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time for a Color Challenge

Today it's all about COLOR.

It seems that color is a main topic for me, even when I was a little girl and someone gave me a gift I asked "Was there another color?". As time passed, my mom stopped bringing me something without my approval of its color...

Even my little daughter smiles and laughs when I match her socks with her dresses or her vests with her briefs.

For this reason, today challenge is quite a challenge for me: I had to work with four colors. They are not among my favorite ones so it was a nice way to think about something different from my usual pastel color schemes.

I've made a card for ByLori Designs: they have their second challenge and they ask for a card with these colors: 
and this is my card:
I wanted to make a Father's Day card but I'd just found this fabulous birthday stamp and I couldn't wait to use it!
This is Landon, from ByLori Designs Puddle Jumpers and it's one of the two digis I asked for when my card was chosen as a sample for the shop.

It's a bit darker than my usual cards but I find it quite elegant and the colors together are very very nice.

Today I'm planning to go back to my pastel colors and make a couple of cards and cut some embossed shoes and bags for my shop. In pastel colors, of course.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Made the Top Three at Sweet Sketch Wednesday!!!

I'm SOOO HAPPY!
I made the Top Three at Sweet Sketch Wednesday!
My favorite challenge: difficult enough to be proud when I manage to enter a card, super-sweet comments and attention to both my card and my post...

I've just had a look at the new challenge and it's a real challenge! My daughter is still laughing after watching me sketching the sketch on a piece of paper...
The sponsor is Bugaboo Stamps which is another favorite of mine so better go and think about my new card!

Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow with another card!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One of the things I love when I decide to take part in a challenge is that I have to "think outside the box" and make something which is in the mind of someone else. It's a bit like commission work, I have to do something different from what I usually do.

That's the reason why I decided to start entering challenges: I still make cards with the images I love but I have to work with sketches or colors or themes.

One of the treats I gave myslef last Christmas was a couple of stamps from Lili of the Valley and yesterday one of my dreams came through: I painted one stamp and mounted it on a card! I love it!!

The aim was to take part in a Lili of the Valley challenge: they gave a sketch to follow to make a card with one of their stamps.

Here's the sketch:
And here's my card:
I wish I could receive this card for my birthday!

I used my watercolor pencils as usual and some papers from Wild Rose Studio and Die Cuts with a View, a new cherry red satin ribbon, some pearls and - of course - some glitter in the apron.

I love this image, this little bear is so sweet... and her cat too!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Sweet Sketch!

While trying to discover the inner reasons that bring me to blue for Valentine, I made a card for a challenge, for my favorite challenge, Sweet Sketch Wednesday.

I decided to go for a winter/snow theme and... it is turned out in pinks! For such a theme I would expect ice blue colors but no, I preferred pinks...

Anyway, this is my favorite challenge because every time I entered a card I received so many sweet comments! Unfortunately, I don't manage to enter each week but I always look forward to wednesdays to see what they come up with.

This is the sketch to follow:

Luckily enough for me, the sponsor is DigiStamp Boutique: I really love their digis and I have some to choose from to make my card.

I colored the digi with watercolor pencils and used a patterned paper from Dovecraft and some punched snowflakes embellished with little rhinestones.

I love the way it turned out, even if it has no traditional color for a winter card. I'm not a winter person so some pink helps me to get through cold and dark days!

Well, better go. Monday morning means house cleaning... but I'm happy because today it means Post Office too!
On Saturday, while sending some cards to a US Customer, I found out that our Postal Service raised shipping fees on Jan. 01 and I was shocked because it was an incredible increase. It took some time to figure out how to update the shop, crossing my fingers that this increase wouldn't affect my sales. 

Have a nice week!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blue or Pink & Red?

After my post yesterday I had a look at my Etsy shop and realised that the card I showed you was not a unique case: I had already made several Valentine cards in blue. It seems that this year I prefer blue for Valentine...

Or maybe blue cards are the ones I finish more easily.

Today I'm showing you a pink and red Valentine card which has been on my table for a while: I wanted a fully pink & red look but I did not manage to achieve the "perfect" look. But yesterday I managed to finish it.

Here's my card:
I bought a set of Alice in Wonderland digi stamp from Zenware Designs mainly because I loved this Queen of Hearts. Alice has never been a favorite of mine but I love these cute set of digis so I decided to have them. I painted it with watercolor pencils as usual and glued hearts with 3D dots. The dress has clear glitter here and there and the crown has pearls.

Looking through Challenges I found that Meljen Designs asked for Pink & Red: http://meljensdesignsdt.blogspot.com/2011/01/challenge-42-and-fun-new-release.html
I'm entering the challenge with this card but I'm so sorry I'm not entering with a Meljen image. I adore her digis and have bought some. In addition, she posts freebies every Monday, so I have a full collection of adorable digis. But this card is ready and so "Pink & Red" that I have to enter it!

The question is: am I a Blue Valentine this year or a more classic Pink & Red?
Considering that I'm making another Blue card maybe I'm not traditional in 2011!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Birds in Love!

Hello!
I can't believe it's almost one week since my last post. It's incredible how a few things added to my daily routine leave so little time to my crafting - and blogging - time.

Anyway, I did not write BUT I managed to make some cards. I'm still into the Valentine/Love theme. It started snowing this morning so maybe I'll make some winter cards this afternoon.

Yesterday, I made this card with colors a bit different from the expected color scheme for Valentines. Looking through my list of challenges, I've found that it is perfect for two of them.

Here's my card:
I love these fat birds in love! This digi is from The Paper Shelter (http://www.thepapershelter.com/), a shop I've just discovered with very sweet images.
I painted them with my watercolor pencils and decided to mount them on a turquoise card instead of a pink one. I used some glitter here and there and couldn't help myself from putting a red touch on the card!

I finished it following the requirements of the two challenges:

Papertake Weekly Challenge:
which has The Paper Shelter as sponsor (how lucky I am!) and which asks for ribbon and pearls. I've used a white satin ribbon I've found in my stash of ribbons and some green and blue pearls.

which asks for a sentiment with a Love theme. This requirement was not difficult to follow since it was a Valentine card!

Well, I've a couple of hours to spend on some new projects, I feel so lucky when I can dedicate so much time to crafting and painting!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Time Well Spent...

When I saw this digi in Bugaboo shop I thought it was The Stamp.
I've always spent hours reading books to my little daughter: in the afternoon, at night, while waiting for the doctor... She has always loved to sit down next to me and listen to a story, old or new, short or long, every moment was perfect to enter the magic world of tales.
And I've always loved to read, trying to make different voices for the different characters, to sound happy when the characters was happy or sad or angry or astonished or frightened...
They have always been really precious moments I'll treasure forever.

I still read tales to my daughter even if now she sometimes reads something to me: she practises and I enjoy the story as much as I do when I read for her. So this card is meant for children who want to thank their mothers but also for those mothers who want to thank their babies for the joy they bring in our lives.

When I read the requirements of a few challenges I thought this stamp was perfect for three of them.

Here's my card:
I used a card from Lasting Impressions with embossed dots and I glued the Bugaboo Reading Time digi - which I painted with watercolor pencils - and a light yellow ribbon which matches the color of the envelope.

I'm entering these three challenges:
Catch the Bug Challenge Blog: Emboss It! They ask for a card with dry or wet embossing.

Incy Wincy Designs Challenge # 76: Go Dotty. They ask to use dots and this card has a lot! Moreover, this challenge is sponsored by Bugaboo Stamps, so that's perfect!

A Spoonful of Sugar Challenge #134: Thank You. This card has become a Thank You card for every mum but also for every baby who sit down and listen to what we tell, with enthusiasm, love, tenderness and curiosity.

It's the first time I enter these last two Challenges, so I'm pretty excited!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Great News and a New Card

I'm sooo happy!

In November I found a little contest at ByLori Designs: they asked to have a look in the shop to see which images did not have a sample card and make a card with that digi (see my post dated Nov. 26).
I chose Lollipop Kaylee and... my card was chosen! Now it is there, next to the digi stamp! You can see it here: http://loriboyd.blogspot.com/p/lollipops_27.html

I'm so proud of my little Kaylee! I love this card!

ByLori Designs is also looking for new DT members and of course I applied. And, starting this month, they are holding weekly challenges.
This week they asked for card following a color pattern:

With one of the two digis I won after my card was chosen to be featured in the shop, I made this card:

I chose Lollipop Ella and made a very femminine card, with light green papers, roses, ribbons and pearls. Of course I glittered the dots on her dress...

More or less the same colors were asked in this week Cupcake Inspiration Challenge # 93:
so I decided to enter this card in this Challenge too. It's the first time I enter a card there!

Well, that's all for now!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A new Card...

A I told you yesterday, in these last days I had time to craft while my daughter was drawing next to me. We had fun, chatting and saying silly things, sharing pencils and asking for advice.

Today, schools have started again after 17 days and at home silence is back.

As this afternoon I sat at my craft table alone I was a bit sad again, I missed her laughter, comments on my cards and sweet thoughts. And I was so happy when I showed her my latest card, which I painted the other day with her.

This is the card:
I know that blue is an unusual color for a Valentine card but I wanted a change from the traditional pinks and reds.

I used a DigiStamp Boutique image colored with watercolor pencils and mounted on a light blue square card decorated with a flower paper which is so old I cannot recall where is from. Pearls, rhinestones and - of course - some glitter are also added.

I made this card because I loved the digi then I decided to enter the DigiStamp Boutique monthly competition:
They ask for any card made in January using a DigStamp image.

While looking through other Challenges, I found that Crafty Hos' Challenge Blog asked for a monochromatic card and I decided to enter this challenge too:
It's the first time I enter this challenge so wish me luck!

Yesterday, I really made a mess while linking my card: I pasted the wrong link once, I corrected it using another wrong link and I repeated the same mistake in both challenges I entered, so today I must be far more concentrated... My daughter is watching TV so no risk to be absent-minded!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sadness & New Challenges

Here we are.
Time has come to put away our Christmas Tree.

In Italy, Christmas holidays end on January 6 when we celebrate the "Epiphany", the day the Three Kings visited little Jesus and brought Him their gifts.

We usually hang stockings near chimneys or in the kitchen and on January 6 children find them full of sweets and little gift, delivered by the "Befana", an old woman with worn clothes and shoes who arrives riding a broom.

Our daughter being still a little girl, we do celebrate each and every magical occasion we have in this time of the year. When I was a little girl, I did not believe in Santa bringing gifts but I did believe in this old lady riding a broom and I still remember when, at the age of 8, my parents confirmed my suspects that this old lady did not exist.

As we usually prepare our Christmas Tree a bit earlier than the traditional day, we also put it away a bit later than foreseen, the Sunday after January 6. So today is The Day.

I'm sad because I love the atmosphere, the decorations, the lights, all the things which happen in this time of the year, and the corner of the Christmas Tree will be sad and dark tomorrow morning. But Christmas is over, everywhere around us is no more decorated, sales in shops have begun, the school is reopening tomorrow so it's the right moment to put things away.

For our family, Christmas time is really a rich period, with lots of events and - in particular - lots of eating and celebrating.

We start on Christmas Eve when we eat fish at my mom's. Then, we have our Christmas lunch with my in-laws. Then again, December 26 being a holiday, we have lunch at my mom's. Of course, we celebrate the arrival of the New Year on December 31 and we have lunch at my mom's on January 1. Of course, we try to spend time together every Sunday even if it's not an official holiday. We finish with January 6 but these last years we tend not to celebrate with any kind of lunch...
Because... in between December 24 and January 6 we have three important birthdays: our daughter, one of my brothers-in-law and my mother.
Do you understand why I say we spend most of our time eating and celebrating (and buying presents and opening them)?
Sometimes I think it's a real tour-de-force...

To blow away the sadness of these last couple of days, my daughter and I spent some time together painting and creating, so I had the chance to make some cards for the shop and for some challenges.

Today, I show you a card made using a very sweet digi from Bee Crafty http://www.artisangroup.org.uk/page5.htm

Here's the card:
I decided to enter it in two Challenges:

Sweet Sketch Wednesday Challenge # 83, which gave us a Sketch to follow: http://sweetsketchwednesday.blogspot.com/2011/01/sweet-sketch-wednesday-83.html

and

Aud Sentiments Challenge # 19 which says: Only Have Two Words:
http://audsentimentschallengeblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/challenge-19-and-winner-of-18.html

It's the first time I enter this last Challenge!

Well, that's all for today, better go and start putting Christmas things away...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Anything goes...

As I promised yesterday, here I am to show you the card I made yesterday for my mom's birthday:


I used a very cute digi from Whimsie Doodles which I painted with watercolor pencils. And although Christmas is over, I had to put some glitter on the hearts... I LOVE GLITTER!!!
My mom loves lilac so I chose this color scheme especially for her. It's a sweet little card which I'll probably repeat for my shop.

This morning I had some time to have a look to my favourite challenges and I noticed that I could enter this card in two of them, they both have an "Anything Goes" theme.


I'm sorry this time I cannot enter this challenge with a Bugaboo Stamp but I don't think I have time to make another card before the challenge closes.

Yes, I know that one of my goals this year is to make a card a day, but school are still closed, holidays are not finished and I still have a quite hectic schedule.
I'll write a post about our Christmas holidays in the next few days and maybe you'll understand why I'm so busy...

P.S.: while reading what I've written before posting, I've noticed that sometimes I write some words in the English way (favourite) and some otheers in the American way (color). Please, forgive my unconsciuos confusion.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011!

Welcome 2011!!

Even if holidays in Italy are not yet over and we still have our Christmas tree on, today I started thinking about the "after".

I adore the months from September to December but I do hate January, February and even March. Days are still short, cold and there's no more Christmas presents or decorations to think about. So, I generally make plans and think about clearing out my craft room. This year I need to go further and have a clear out of the entire house.

While reading my favourite blogs this morning, I happened to read an insteresting post with some New Year resolutions which sound familiar to me.

The blog is the lovely Bloggabella (http://stampingbella.com/blog/?p=6459) and I borrow some resolutions from her post because her English is for sure perfect while mine is not.


live simply. “collect less”.. use what i have MORE.. and enjoy the simple things.  PURGE and CLEAN the stuff I don’t need and reorganize

be more ORGANIZED.  I think this will be my biggest hurdle LOL

be healthy. Kick some bad habits and adopt some good ones.  I would usually say LOSE WEIGHT LOSE WEIGHT LOSE WEIGHT.  I am going to alter my focus and focus on HEALTH in general.. the rest should come by naturally (we can only hope!) LOL

While I really need to collect less, purge and clean my craft room and reorganize (and stay organized) I'm not too obsessed by weight but yes, every now and then I think about losing some kilos. Actually, I already started being more healthy back in October when I finally decided to have a go and start swimming again. And trust me, I feel great!

Every January, once Christmas decorations, gift wraps, glitter and trimmings have gone I start to feel the need to throw away old things and make space. Generally, I think about making space for something new but this year I need to make space for nothing, just to enjoy the space. Am I becoming a minimalist as my sister is?
I really feel a bit overwhelmed by the stuff accumulated in our home and I hope I'll be able to let old things go without becoming too emotional...

Anyway, today I've made a card for my mom's birthday but I haven't the picture yet so I'll post it in the next few days. It's been a while since I last sit down in my craft room to make a card and I really enjoyed it so I may add a couple of resolutions to my list:

make a card every day: be creative, take part in the wonderful challenges around the web and hopefully win at least one!

paint at least once a week: I used to paint wood pieces for my ebay shop but when I closed it painting was no more a priority. Recently, I've taken my brushes out of their storage to paint some little plaques and I've found out that I miss that!

That's all for the new year resolutions!
Again, my best wishes for a wonderful 2011!