Monday, May 31, 2010

Thanks to All Who Gave The Ultimate Sacrifice!

I hope you all take a few moments today to remember the real reason for this Memorial Day "holiday."  I would like to share an email I received from the USO today, since they say it much better than I ever could:

"Dear USO Supporter,
Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans who risked their lives to ensure our freedoms.

It's a time for us to pause from our usual routines and honor all that their commitment has meant to us, our families, and our country.

We ask our men and women in uniform to put themselves in harm's way, and we're confident they will never shy away from even the most difficult of challenges.

Sadly, we also know that some of them may never make it home.

But each day, I am reminded about the other casualties of combat. When I visit a military hospital, I see young men and women who are facing a life they could never have anticipated. I see their wounds, witness their limitless spirit, and am inspired by their determination as they work to recover.

So on this Memorial Day, let us honor those no longer with us. But let's also take a moment and thank those who do return, and offer them our gratitude and the opportunity to have full and productive lives.

Sloan Gibson
President and CEO, USO"
Sgt. Heather Johnsen, the first women to serve on the honor guard at Arlington National Cemetary.  
Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Please remember our soldiers today and everyday that have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms!
~~  Lee  ~~

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Operation Write Home Memorial Day Weekend Blog Hop

Welcome!  This is the third blog hop that I've had the honor to be involved with this wonderful organization.  You will notice that lots of others have also been involved with this organization for an extended amount of time for many reasons, but the most important reason is to SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! 

For those that would like to keep up on Operation Write Home when you're on facebook, go on over to the OWH facebook page and "like them" (become a fan) so you can keep up on all of the different blogs, pick up some occasional freebies, see what the new challenges are or even hear some stories or see some pictures from the soldiers or families that receive some of our cards! 

You are at blog #42 in this hop.  If you got here from Tammy's blog, My Craft Central, then you are in the right place!  If not, you can start at the beginning of the hop at the Stars and Stamps blog.  If you find a broken link, you can also go back to the Stars and Stamps blog to find your next blog.  You can also  continue from my blog since there are over 140 blogs involved in the hop this weekend.

The reason I got involved with Operation Write Home was that I used to make cards for my daughter's unit, the 220th Colorado Army National Guard MP Unit, while they were in Iraq. The soldiers were so appreciative of all the cards I made them to send home to their families. When I heard about this organization from my daughter, I knew I could continue making cards for the troops even though I didn't have a particular soldier to send them to anymore. We used to be able to send boxes or letters to Any Soldier, but since the events of September 11th, this is considered too much of a security issue.
"There is a myth about the origin of Taps that is circulating about the Internet. The true story is that in July 1862, after the Seven Days battles at Harrison's Landing (near Richmond), Virginia, the wounded Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, General Daniel Butterfield reworked, with his bugler Oliver Wilcox Norton, another bugle call, "Scott Tattoo," to create Taps. He thought that the regular call for Lights Out was too formal. Taps was adopted throughout the Army of the Potomac and finally confirmed by orders. Soon other Union units began using Taps, and even a few Confederate units began using it as well. After the war, Taps became an official bugle call. Col. James A. Moss, in his Officer's Manual first published in 1911, gives an account of the initial use of Taps at a military funeral:

"During the Peninsular Campaign in 1862, a soldier of Tidball's Battery A of the 2nd Artillery was buried at a time when the battery occupied an advanced position concealed in the woods. It was unsafe to fire the customary three volleys over the grave, on account of the proximity of the enemy, and it occurred to Capt. Tidball that the sounding of Taps would be the most appropriate ceremony that could be substituted."

Words to Taps
(Note: there are no "official" words to Taps. The words below are the most popular.)

Day is done, Gone the sun,
From the hills, From the lake, From the skies.
All is well, Safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep, Peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor, God keep.
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night, Need thee so?
All is well, Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars, Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
'Neath the sun, 'Neath the stars, 'Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.
The first card I made for today uses stamps by Firecracker Designs by Pamela.  I actually won this stamp set from another OWH blogger, Shelley Schmidt.  Ironically, she is also using this stamp set today and is also offering this set as BLOG CANDY!!!!  All of the papers I used are from my stash and the ribbon is May Arts.  I stamped the image with Memories Midnight Blue ink and colored it with colored pencils and blended the colors with blending stumps and OMS.  Kaisercraft made those awesome pearls and I got the little soldier in an assortment at Hobby Lobby.  The edges are cut with Fiskars decorative scissors.
The next card uses a retired Stampin' Up! wolf stamp that is stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink.  The other stamp is by D.O.T.S. and is embossed with embossing ink and Stamp-n Stuff EP.  The embossed star paper is from Hobby Lobby and the card stock by The Paper Studio.  The blue ribbon is May Arts and the other is from my stash.  Silver Peel-Off Stickers are by The Paper Studio.  I used a American Crafts silver metallic marker to fill in the heart and words.  No glitter is allowed on these cards, but we can always use our trusty bling like this from K&Company.
I love to make cards for the kids!  This adorable digital stamp is created by Sassy Cheryl's.  I just adore her images, and she is actually having a sale this weekend, and she has some adorable patriotic images, too.  I printed this image from my printer and immediately heat embossed it with clear EP.  This image is also  colored with colored pencils and baby oil.  As you can probably tell, I was able to use up a bunch of my paper scraps. :o)  The oval is a Bazill piece, the red stars by The Paper Studio, the checked pieces by Creative Memories and the rest of the pieces are from my stashes.  The mulberry star has also been in my stash forever.  The rub-ons are by Mini-Marks by American Crafts, and the saying is by Sassy Studio.  I love getting bargains, so I snagged up several different colors of leis at the Dollar Store, and used some of flowers from them on this card.  The princess brads are another eBay find. 

What's a blog hop without BLOG CANDY?????  One lucky commenter will have a choice between an Art Warehouse clear acrylic stamp set OR a $10 gift Certificate for digital stamps from Michelle Perkett Studio!!!  The winner will be chosen on Monday June 1st.  Of course, I'd love for you to be a follower, but it's not necessary to win.  I hope you're enjoying the hop so far.  There's much more to see, so keep on hopping!

Your next stop on the hop is at the multi-talented Jan Hunnicut's blog, she's gone stamping.  You may also know Jan from the Stars and Stamps blog, so make sure and give her some love for all of her work there too!

For those of you that don't already know, my daughter, Sgt. Chelsey Burgess, is finally pregnant after trying for over five years!!!!!  She's due on December 31st, so she won't be deployed again this year.
~~  Lee  ~~

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Joann's Birthday Card

It's no secret that I've been in love with the art of ching-chou kuik for quite a while.  I make a lot of cards for my friend, Joann, and she was also amazed by this artist's work.  Joann's birthday was Tuesday, so I knew I had to make a card for her with one of these images.  This is a stamp I bought at Sweet Pea Stamps called Red Hearts by ching-chou kuik.
I stamped the image with Memento Black Tuxedo ink and colored it with colored pencils that were blended with OMS and blender stumps.  The hair is highlighted with Xmas Red Stickles and her eyes, hearts and sun are accented with Crystal Glaze for dimension.  The image and the sticker are mounted on red corrugated paper on top of white card stock from Hobby Lobby.  The design paper is made by The Paper Studio and the border is also a section of design paper by Heidi Grace.  The black rhinestones are by Colorbok and the red and white ones and the flowers and ribbon are from my stash.  To finish things off, I used a white gel pen to add some highlights and a black Zig pen for the doodles.  I just love the classic look of red, white and black together. This image definately was a good choice for these colors.
If you love looking at a lot of different cards, then you'll want to stop back here on Saturday the 29th for the Operation Write Home Memorial Day Weekend Bloghop!  There are around 130 different blogs involved in this hop, and many of them will be offering BLOG CANDY, tutorials and even challenges!  These hops are always lots of fun, so even if you can't make it on Saturday, most of the events will be available all weekend long.  I will be drawing the winner of my blog candy for this event on Tuesday, June 1st, so
please make some time to come back and check us out!
~~  Lee  ~~

PaperPlay Challenges:  Up In The Air - Something that flies
Stampavie and More:  Happy Birthday For a Girl
Flutterby Wednesdays:  Open - Fairy, Butterfly or Angel
The Diedrich Dare:  Make it SPARKLE! 
Little Red Wagon:  Birthday Theme
Crafty Creations Challenge (CCC):  Favorite Stamp
Papertake Weekly:  Sketch 41
Sew Many Challenges:  Anything Goes
A Spoon Full of Sugar:  Celebration
Aud's Sentiments:  It's Your Day!
The Crazy Challenge:  It's a Girl Thing
Crafty Creations:  Use Your Favorite Stamp
Ooh La La Creations:  Bright and Cheerful
Pile It On:  Out of the Box

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More Mother's Day Cards

I wanted to share a few more cards I made for Mother's Day.  One of these days, I may actually make several of the same layout or use the same image for more than a couple cards.  I always have the intention to do this with multiple cards, but I guess I get too bored doing the same thing over and over.  You will see that most of these cards use the color pink.  These were made for a promotion that my daughter did for her Mary Kay business, and the color pink is usually identified with this product.

The first card is the one I made for my daughter.  Her favorite flower is the Calla Lily and her favorite color is green.  She loved this coloring on another card that I made, so I knew what to make for her.  This pic was taken before I added the Stickles to the flower portion, but I still like this look too, especially when you're sending cards to Operation Write Home and you can't add glitter to these cards for the safety of the soldiers.  I love these Prism Glossy card blanks from The Paper Cut.  They need very little added to them since you don't want to cover up this awesome quality.  I've had these Stampin' Up! flowers for awhile, but I've never inked them up.  The ribbon is from Hobby Lobby and the rhinestones are from Hero Arts.

Next is another simple card that took very little time to make.  The Fiskars border punch classed up the side of the card, and these 99 cent package of swirls from Target added a little extra.  The daisies are made by Eureka Stamps, and I stamped them with Memento Black Tuxedo ink.  The finishing touches were the addition of the white gel pen to the flowers and the punched edges.

This card was one I showed yesterday, but I wanted you to see what the addition of the doodles make on the card.  Instead of my normal white gel pen additions, I used a green gel pen too! lol  This Hero Arts stamp was a perfect companion to this DP because of all of its' swirls. 

I love the soft elegance of this next image.  The Hero Arts Paris Rose image is stamped with Stampology onyx black ink onto Paper Adventures Strawberry Delight DP.  I added several layers of chalk to the image to add color and then stamped an Autumn Leaves Flourish instead of adding a ribbon to this one.  The last thing I did was to add some faux stitching to the edges, but I wished I had used either a soft grey or brown instead of the darker brown gel pen that I used.

This card was probably one of the easier cards that I've made.  The design paper is from The Paper Studio, and as soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to use it with.  I had some of these dried daisies from Darice that I've been wanting to use for awhile.  All I did was add a ribbon to the flowers and adhere them with my trusty Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive.  The DP was added to the brown card stock and then I added some more faux stitching with a white gel pen.
I've hoarded the DP as well as many others long enough, so I decided it was time to use it.  This was used as a base to this DCWV glittery DP that was cut out with a Fiskars Oval Cutter.  The Hero Arts Rose Portrait was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink onto white card stock.  It was then cut out closely to the edges and glued to the matting with Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive.  Next I added some dots with a white gel pen and faux stitching and scallops with a silver pen.  The ribbon was another eBay purchase and the Thinking of You stamp by PSX was stamped with Autumn Leaves Stampology Onyx Black ink.

Instead of trying to do all of these cards in a day or so, I find it much easier to break them down into smaller groups of less than 10 a day.  This way it doesn't seem like a job and I'll still enjoy making them.  I must admit, this would be a great job since I do enjoy making cards so much, but thanks to my disabilities, I'm limited to what I can do.  As long as I don't overdo things, I don't end up in bed for days at a time to recover like I used to.  Now I would like to spend more time on trying new techniques so I can add some more special touches to the soldiers cards.  I hope to see some of you take part in the Operation Write Home Memorial Day Weekend Blog Hop that is being held on Saturday, May 29th.  Go to the link for more information.  We love to show tutorials during the blog hops, so if you have one that could help us in our card making, we'd love to have you join us. 
~~  Lee  ~~
If The Shoe Fits - Mother's Day or Special Lady
Simple Doodles - Thinking of You
Hand Full of Stamps - #27 Just a Little Dottie
No Time to Stamp? - Mother's Day
CCEE Stamper's - Mother's Day
Raise the Bar! - For Mom
Paper Play Challenges - Week #18 Stamp/Digi & Bling
Tuesday Taggers - Out of Your Comfort Zone (a BLACK card for Mother's Day!)
Craft Your Passion - #5 Colors: Pink & Green
Kaboodle Doodles - Celebrate Spring

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Cards

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!  I spent time with both of my daughters and the grand kids, so mine was fabulous!  I made over 30 cards for my daughter for a Mary Kay promotion that she was running, so needless to say I was a bit swamped with Mother's Day cards.  I thought I'd share a few that I made with you.

The first card is made with a free digi I found at by Nina B Designs.  I colored the hydrangeas with colored pencils and blended them with blending stumps and Goo Gone.  The sentiment is by PSX and the paper by DCWV Once Upon a Time set.

The next card is another freebie digi; this time a DZ Doodles image.  I also used the colored pencil and Goo Gone technique with this one along with a white gel pen for highlights.  Behind the bears is some brown Magic Mesh & this yummy, shiny paper is made by Bo Bunny.  The ribbon is by Heidi Swapp and the corners are finished off with a Fiskars corner punch.

The next card uses the Marcella by Kay paper.  The lace is some of my stash trims that I have from my mom.  The butterfly from Victorine Originals is stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on paper that I used the spray starch technique on.  I followed the tutorial on the gg designs Gazette by Deb Lovett, and I really love the results.  I haven't used much of my Pearl Ex, so I was happy to see something I could actually do without having to buy a bunch of other products.  The rhinestones were from packages of bling I bought from Tuesday Morning, but I'm sorry I can't remember who makes them.

Another card I made using the spray starch technique uses a gg designs Floral Mini.  I won this set through the gg designs Gazette, so it pays to check to see if the manufacturer of stamps you love offer any type of incentives.  The sentiment from PSX is stamped on some yummy Paper Temptress paper that I also won!  Guess I've been luckier than I thought lately!  All of the images were stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  The designs on the card stock is made on a Martha Stewart scoring board that I bought at Michael's.  I originally was going to do the embossing the other way too, but I thought it would distract too much from the images.  The bling is some more of my stash rhinestones.

 Hero Arts made this gorgeous Paris Rose image that was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  I very lightly colored the image and old writing paper with colored pencils and blended with baby oil.  The design paper was from The Paper Studio and I think the ribbon is May Arts.  I love these easy peasy cards that have such a sophisticated look!

Here's another card using the Swirl Flower made by Hero Arts.  This image was also stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink onto white card stock.  This paper is an oldie from The Paper Studio that I've been hoarding.  The ribbon is some more from my stash that I bought from my favorite seller on eBay.  I did add some doodles to this after I took the picture (like it wasn't busy enough!).
The last card for now is another Victorine Originals butterfly that is stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  I used some more of my gorgeous paper using the Spray Starch Technique.  The grey mulberry butterfly was in my stash, but it looked so nice as a shadow with this image.  The lace stamp is an oldie that doesn't have a name on it.  After cutting off the bottom edge of the card, I added rhinestones in the flower centers and on the butterfly's head.  The swirls were a 99 cent package of stickers from Target.

I can never seem to make a bunch of the same cards when I'm making so many.  I get side-tracked by all the paper or images I want to use.  I guess that's why we hoard stuff, so we have things to use for big projects like this.  Maybe this is why I teamed up with Operation Write Home, but instead of using up my stash it gave me an excuse to buy more! lol 
~~  Lee  ~~
Dare U 2 Digi Stamp - Anything Goes
Pile It On - Challenge #18 Cute and Cuddly
Simple Doodles - #17 You're on My Mind
Hand Full of Stamps - #27 Just a Little Dottie!
Paper Play Challenges - Week 18 Stamp/Digi and Bling
Fab 'N' Funky Challenges - Challenge #22 Show Us Your Funky Edge
Flutter By Wednesdays - #108 Anything Goes
Inky Impressions Challenges -  #34 Summer Creation
For Fun Challenges - A Card for Mom
Raise the Bar - Challenge #17 For Mom
If the Shoe Fits - #33 For Mom
CCEE Stampers - Mother's Day
No Time To Stamp? - #138 Mother's Day
Whoopsi Daisy Challenge - As You Like It
Lexi's Creations - #13 Animals
Gingersnap Creations - GC52 Kraft (or Light Tan)
Creative Craft Challenges - Bloomin Marvellous
Guess I should post more of the cards I make all of the time so I can enter more challenges! lol

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Friendly Amish Boys Peoplescapes Swap

I decided to join in on another swap in the Stampscapes II Yahoo Group swap last month.  The theme this time was Peoplescapes, which is to use people in a prominent position in your creation.  I almost didn't enter because I couldn't think of any stamp I had that would fit the criteria.  I decided to go shopping at a local stamp store and found this awesome Amish boys stamp (I was also raised along many Amish families).  Unfortunately, it was in a package of clearance unmounted images that the owner couldn't remember who made it.  Sooooo, if you happen to know who made it, please let me know so I can give them proper credit AND see if they have more images I like!  teehee!  Maybe I can find an image with the boys plugging their noses when they realize how close the skunk is to them! lol
All of the images are by Stampscapes except for the barn which is made by Alley Cat and the skunk which was part of four skunk images made by PSX.  I colored the scene with reinkers and Adirondack, Sea Brights & Memories ink pads with the help of make-up sponges, and for some of the details I used Adirondack pens.  Since many of the images needed a little bit extra, I used a Zig Millenium black pen to add the finishing touches like extending the road.  I also used some white and colored gel pens for highlighting.

This was my first Peoplescapes, and I'm glad I joined in on this swap.  This group has challenged me to do things that I normally wouldn't do which is a good reason to join a group or a challenge.  I used to get stuck in the same rut all of the time in my card making, but when I get stuck now, all I have to do is do a little blog hopping.  There is so much inspiration out there, and if you can't find something to inspire you then you obviously haven't looked very much!

~~  Lee  ~~


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