Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Nancy McClelland: Soup Time

"There are so many things to do with this set, but I decided to use the colander with veggies." Nancy McClelland's comment refers to 11146MC Soup Time Clear Set (drawn by artist Nancy Baier):

Using these stamps, she cooked up a charming card that is perfect for sending any day of the year:

"My love is card making and coloring with my Copic Markers," explains Nancy. " I have an Intermediate Copic Certification. [For this card,] I got to use many colors and just have fun."

If you take a closer peek at the image, you can see her pretty results:

Nancy's recipe includes markers G12, YG03, G46, YR04, YR07, E55, R14, R17, R24, Y15, Y19, YR31(1/2), C1, C3, E50, E41, E42, E43, E44, E21, E31, and E55.

After die cutting the image into an oval and layering onto a slightly larger dark teal oval, she placed it onto a gathered ribbon base for a lovely accent.

The sentiment was die cut into a tag shape with Spellbinders Ribbon Tag Trio Two, and the brads, clip, and bow make it stand out so beautifully:

When stamping your own projects, suggests Nancy, "don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else. You should have your own style, and don’t be afraid to show it. Try something new!"

"There are many helpful aids to show you color combos and sketches to help you get a jump start. The Internet and YouTube has changed everything. Don’t steal/lift someone's work, but ask permission to use something that you liked. Most designers are delighted that you praised them and appreciate their work."

Would you like to cook up a similar card, Inky friends? Please help me in thanking Nancy for being our wonderful Inky Guest Designer this month. By leaving your comment, you'll also be entered in a BLOG CANDY giveaway.

This time we'll have a longer open period than usual. On Tuesday, January 7th, I'll randomly choose the winner for the same set that Nancy used above. I'll post the lucky person's name here on the blog, so please check back to see if you've won!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Funnies: Gator Puns

While I was writing Tuesday's post showing you Jennifer Bradley's whimsical alligator cards, I ran across these puns. They're written by Don H. Morris, and I hope they make you laugh (or at least smile as you groan):

Some Friendly & Some Not-So-Friendly Critters
Puns Created by Don H. Morris

Friendly Critters

Della Gator
A critter who knows how to get other critters to do their work well.

Investah Gator
This critter always checks out a story before believin' a rumor.

Navah Gator
This critter is handy to have around to helop you find your way.

Mitah Gator
This critter helps you find out what happened when you fail, so it doesn't come down as hard on you as it would otherwise.

Varie Gator
A critter who changes clothes a lot.

Not-So-Friendly Critters

Insti Gator
This mean ole critter likes to start fights. Sometimes they turn into riots.

Liti Gator
This here critter is an attorney. (Write your own ending here.)

Intero Gator
This critter really knows how to ask tough questions!

Subju Gator
Another mean ole critter who likes to force other critters to do what he wants.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Season's Greetings

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Inky friends! I hope that holiday joy may surround you, both today and every day.

Card created by Trudy Sjolander. :-)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Gator

Starting this Friday, I'll be out of town for the next 18 of 20 days. Some of that time will be for a vacation, and the rest will be for the CHA show in Anaheim.

So even though I'll be saying "Later, gator" soon, I'll still be appearing here and there, thanks to the auto-schedule feature. It's just that my blog schedule will be a bit different than usual for the next few weeks, and now you know why. :-)

What image could be more appropriate for today's projects than 10301H Alligator, which reminds me of that common farewell saying. A while back, our friend Jennifer Bradley had created a whole series of alligator cards, starting with this clean-and-simple layout that really does make me smile:

What's better than a single alligator? Why, a bunch of them, of course!

By the way, did you know that a group of adult alligators is called a congregation, while several juveniles form a pod? (Yep, such useful information you glean here, ha!)

We've definitely got a congregation on this adorable card...don't you love those blue alligators:

This guy is backed with stripes:

But circles look nice, too, along with a cute paper-pieced critter:

Now we've got more circles, combined with a fun pocket card design:

Jennifer made this 3" x 3" mini-card for a little boy's birthday:

And then she gussied things up in a girly way, by adding a flower to this she-gator:

Please stop back this Friday for a related post!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Nancy McClelland: Ollie Ostrich

"I had a great time working with this image, [and] I knew the minute I saw it what I wanted to do," declares Nancy McClelland. She's referring, of course, to the ostrich stamp in 11035MC BaZooples #4 Clear Set (drawn by artist Vicki Schreiner):

"Because of my love for Copic coloring, I tend to stick to the basic stamping for my images," Nancy explains. "I do find that some of my images look so much better when heat embossed. First I colored with Copic Markers using my interpretation of an Ostrich (E41, E42, E43, E50, Y23, W0, W12, W4, and W7). Then I added the feathers on the tail."

When you see this image (6007H in wood mount), which was fussy cut and popped up with foam tape on the card, you just have to smile:

After the image was done, explains Nancy, "I gathered several papers and then started laying things out for the card."

Many of the papers came from her scrap stash, plus she used Lilybee Designs Paper in Destinations. Here's an angled view of her various layers, including a zigzag strip, which is one of my favorite parts:

After you put everything together, you end up with this absolutely delightful card:

Bet you can think of some-birdy special who would get a real kick out of this project! Thanks to Nancy for her whimsical card, and to you for stopping by today.

Friday, December 20, 2013

In Honor of Daisy

As I did earlier this year with Bo, today I'm postponing our regular Friday Funnies to talk about our sweet Daisy:

She has bladder cancer, which has reached the end stage. This afternoon we have an appointment at the vet, where we will have to say goodbye to her.

One of the hardest parts is that she has looked pretty normal on the outside, except when she goes to the bathroom (and then it's obvious how far her disease has progressed). I shot this video only two weeks ago:

We've been blessed to have her a lot longer than originally anticipated, though. She was diagnosed at in October 2012 (at 12 1/2 years old then), and we were told she would likely be with us for only 7-9 months.

Daisy is one of the smartest and most adorable dogs I've known...and, of course, I'm not biased at all! In her prime, she was an amazing Frisbee catcher. This photo from last summer shows her following Steve as he cleaned up the yard, while she carried her favorite toy:

We'll miss her dearly and mourn the loss of Daisy, but we feel fortunate to have known her and our memories will make us smile. I like this boy's reasoning about dogs (please click on the article to enlarge it):

I wish you warm thoughts, Inky friends, as you recall spending time with your own pet(s), whether they are with you now or have been part of your life in the past. Thank you for letting me tell you a little about ours. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Mixing Chef

Cooking is such a big part of the holidays, in addition to the rest of the year, and 10961LC Prepping Chefs Clear Set (drawn by artist Ronnie Walter) works great for decorating all kinds of food-related projects:

For example, when Anna Wight was the Inky Guest Designer during October last year, she created this adorable candy gift using an empty spice jar, which coordinated with her wonderful card featured on our blog:

Prior to that, I'd used the same stamp set to make a nice little recipe folio:

If you'd like to make one for yourself, you can download this PDF file of the instructions.

Recently, Tammy Cappolina emailed to show me her annual cookie exchange recipe book. You may recall that last year I'd posted about her previous versions.

I think this year's project turned out so darn cute, don't you:

Here's a close-up view of the Mixing Chef image (2232G in wood mount) from this set:

"I made 13 of them, and the Carla Craft Binding System really makes it fast and easy for me," reports Tammy. " I always make them this size, 5" x 8 1/2". That way, I get two books out of one 12" coil."

"Of course, the cookies are the star of the party," she says. "I'm attaching my recipe for you. They are easy to make and very yummy!"

For the exchange, Tammy made Ice Cream Kolachkes. Below is the recipe, in case you'd like to try them for yourself:

Ice Cream Kolachkes

2 cups butter, softened
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cans (12 oz. each) Solo Cake & Pastry Filling
Powdered sugar for dusting

Beat butter and ice cream until blended (mixture will appear curdled). Add flour and sugar; mix well. Divide dough into four equal portions; cover and refrigerate for two hours.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough into a 10" x12" rectangle; cut into 2” squares. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each square. Overlap two opposite corners of dough over filling; pinch tightly to seal.

Repeat with remaining dough and filling, placing kolachkes 2” apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 11-14 minutes or until bottoms lightly browned. Cool one minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 10 dozen.

* * *

What a unique ingredient list...don't they sound intriguing?

"The kolachkes come out flaky like a pastry," describes Tammy. "They look so pretty on the plate. I used raspberry and apricot fillings."

Yummy, huh! Let us know if you give them a try. Or please email me to share your favorite holiday recipe, Inky friends. I'd love to hear about it! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Nancy McClelland: Owl I Need

Nancy McClelland has been married to her husband, Bill, for twenty years. They met at their twenty-year high school reunion and got married just six months later.
They each have two grown children plus seven grandchildren together. Now that they're empty nesters, they've got two furry children that run their lives, Brutus the St. Bernard and Harley the Yorkie.
Although the feathered trio in 10974SC Owl Family Clear Set (drawn by artist Ronnie Walter) is too small to represent Nancy's clan, that single owl image would make a perfect "I love you" card for her husband:

"I have these googly eyes in my stash that I thought would look so cute on this owl," shares Nancy. "They have these fun eye lashes and eye shadow, so I planned my card totally around them."

"I wanted to feature a window card, so I picked out a few papers and a Spellbinders die that would frame my image."

Here is Nancy's delightful creation:

The papers are from We R Memory Keepers' Anthologie collection, and the die is part of Spellbinders' Eyelet Circles set.

"You can see there is a wood grain paper on the inside of this card to add a background for the owl," she explains. "I typically leave my cards blank on the inside to that they can be used for any occasion, but [in this case] I needed something for the image to mount on."

This side view shows how owl was fussy-cut and then popped up on foam tape:

The foam tape gives extra dimension for the cut-out image, which shows through the round window on the front of the card:

Nancy used Copic markers (E31, E33, E37, Y17, Y19, Y26, G03, G07, E27) to color the owl, and she added glitter to its wings, along with bling on the die-cut circle.

Additional bling adorns the sentiment panel and flower centers on the patterned paper, and the ribbon (which was custom colored using Copic Various inks) provides a lovely finishing touch:

I'd say that her project ended up being "owl-dorable," wouldn't you agree? Thanks for visiting with us today, Inky friends!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Funnies: Italy

Today our friend Joe is coming home from Italy, where he's been living for the past two years, and we're so excited to see him again.

In honor of his presence, I'm posting a few Italian-themed jokes...probably not a very politically correct thing to do, but I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do!

Q: Did you hear about the Italian chef that died?
A: He pasta way.

Q: How do you make holy water?
A: Boil the hell out of it!

Q: How to you silence an Italian?
A: You tie their hands behind their back.
* * *

An Italian man immigrates to the United States and moves in with some distant relatives in New Jersey. They tell him he should apply for citizenship and they will help him study for the test. They go over all the U.S. history from the Revolutionary War to present day. Finally, he feels he has enough knowledge to pass the test, so he sets an appointment.

The big day arrives, and he walks into the testing room. The agent giving the test thinks he will have a bit of fun, so he says to the man, "We have a very simple test for you today. If you can use three English words in one sentence, you will be granted citizenship! The words are green, pink, and yellow."

The Italian man ponders over this for several minutes and finally says, "Okay, I think I can do that." He continues, "I hearda the telephone go green, green, green, so I pink it uppa and I say, 'Yellow, who is this?'"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Snowball Penguin

"So, what can I say about these guys except that they just make me laugh," shares Nancy McClelland, who is our Inky Guest Designer during December.

She's referring to 11195MC Snowball Penguin HoneyPOP Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung), and I couldn't agree more with her feelings about these cute little penguins:

"I love the Inky HoneyPOP stamps," Nancy continues. "They work with or without the honeycomb [paper shape]."

Her very first HoneyPOP card was made using 11051MC Halloween Frog HoneyPOP Clear Set. The first HoneyPOP card that she taught was created with 11045MC Sundae Birdy HoneyPOP Clear Set. "This little bird works on so many type cards and occasions," explains Nancy. And she uses 11044MC Turtle HoneyPOP Clear Set to teach techniques and shading in her beginning-level Copic Classes.

I haven't seen her other HoneyPOP projects, but I'd have to imagine this one is the pièce de ré's amazing! Check out the wonderful details on the front of her penguin card:

All the images (on the outside and inside) were colored with Copic markers (Y15, Y17, Y19, BG000, BG53, BG57, T4, T5, and T7), and then Nancy fussy cut them out.

She used Heidi Swapp Color Magic resist paper and made her own custom colored paper by spraying it with Heidi Swapp Tropicana Teal, as you can see in the hexagon-shaped borders of the background pattern, which is beneath the penguin (popped up with foam tape and adorned with glitter and fuzzy pom poms):

"I always enjoy using HoneyPop images and putting together the cards," says Nancy. "I like to challenge myself to use them in a non-traditional way, but this card screamed center fold and the snowball in the middle."

To me, this card screams "wildly creative." Take a peek at the inside for even more fabulous details:

If you look closely at the snow on both the front and inside, you'll see that Nancy did some recycling by using packing foam. "I adhered the lightweight foam to a piece of silver paper, and embossed it with a snowflake design [using a Tim Holtz Alterations Embossing Folder in Snow Flakes. Then] I cut the paper to make the snow drifts. The finishing touches are a few snowflakes and bling."

Even one of the snowflakes that was die cut from Spellbinders Create-A-Flake 4 utilizes the same packing foam:

Another card with tons of marvelous elements is Michelle Pearson's card, using the same set:

There is so much eye candy here, it's hard to pick a favorite part. But one piece that just steals my heart is this little birdy poking from behind the sentiment, which is so darn adorable:

The single snowflake stamps line the edges in vertical borders, set off with layered circles and rhinestones:

And a couple layers of washi tape make a fun, colorful "ground" for the snowball:

If you're looking for more of a "clean and simple" appearance, you'll appreciate Michelle's other card, which is featured as this week's project on the main Inky website.

Thanks to Nancy and Michelle for their inspiration, and to you for visiting with us today! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Nancy McClelland: Vintage Christmas Bells

Nancy McClelland uses these words to describe her stamping style: clean, straight lines, layers, color, and accents.

"I think my design background makes me want things to be too perfect," she says, referring to her interior design degree, "so lots of fussy stuff, not so much."

For today's project, she used 11205MC Vintage Bells Christmas Set (drawn by artist Trudy Sjolander):

"I love making square cards, and I also love the standard green and red Christmas colors," Nancy explains.

You can see how these preferences and her signature style are shown in this gorgeous card:

"The bow at the top in one of my NEW favorite items of the year," shares Nancy. "This bow tie is a die from Amuse Studio that comes in two sizes. I’ve chosen the smaller of the two for this card. It was cut from red felt, and then I used an embossing folder to add the texture."

Take a closer look at that neat bow:

You can see how she used the same Spellbinders Grand Impressabilities Sea Flowers on the gold layer, to repeat this pretty pattern. It's sandwiched between the image panel cut with a Spellbinders Tear Drop Circles die and the burgundy cardstock pre-embossed in glittery swirls.

The Christmas bells image (3091J in wood mounted) was colored with Copic markers (R05, R14, R24, R29, Y21, Y23, Y26, Y28, G20, G21, G24, YG21, YG03, E44, G99, and G94). A Spica marker in Sand was used to add sparkle to the clapper, and Glossy Accents lines the bells' edges. 

For the perfect finishing touch, Nancy layered the holly leaves, dotted them with Glossy Accents and ultrafine glitter, and then topped them off with rhinestone "berries":

What a special card that would certainly brighten anyone's Christmas!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Funnies: What It Feels Like

About five to eight inches of snow blanketed the Twin Cities yesterday. I'm pretty sure it was on the upper end of that amount in our suburb. My car got stuck three times--two of them in my own driveway!

The second time, Steve was watching and kept telling me to turn the wheel this way and that way, and to step on the gas and then step on the brake. He was pretty calm about it. When it's the other way around and we're in the car together while he's driving, I admit that I can get a little bossy.

Thinking back to all that slipping and sliding on the roads reminded me of this joke:

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen. "Careful," he said. "CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW!"

"We need more butter," he continued. "Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!"

The wife stared at him. "What in the world is wrong with you?" she demanded. "You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"

The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Born In Bethlehem Congrats

Congrats to Jennifer Scull, whose name was drawn randomly from Sunday's blog candy entries. (Jennifer, please email me with your address before December 15th to claim your prize.)

Jennifer Scull said...
everything about this card is just perfect and shows your love for God in each detail! the banners are amazing as are the rays on the paper. this is one of my favorite of Nancy's sets. so excited to have you here at Inky Antics this month! :)
December 2, 2013 at 9:33 AM  

For her prize, Jennifer has won 11208MC Born In Bethlehem Clear Set (drawn by artist Nancy Baier):

Thank you to all who helped me welcome Nancy McClelland as our Inky Guest Designer for December. I'm so excited to show you more of her terrific projects in the upcoming weeks!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Festive Snowguys

Do you like to make Christmas cards that are lighthearted and whimsical? If so, we've got some great ideas to share with you! They feature cute stamps using 11189MC Festive Snowguys Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):

Debbie Fisher decorated the front of her card with the candy cane snowguy image:

He's so "sweet" (yep, pun intended!), with his rosy cheeks and glittery treat:

This card is extra special because of the beautifully decorated inside:

I just love that teeny tag that hangs from the layered sentiment panel:

Michelle Pearson used the same main image for her cheerful version in brighter red and green shades:

You may recall seeing this similar card a few weeks ago. Wouldn't it be neat to create a set of coordinating cards like this, to give as a gift?

Using the Skating Snowguy image from this set (0912F in wood mounted), she also created a clever combination penny spinner/shaker card with two unique features on the same project:

To recreate this card yourself, you can download a PDF file of the instructions here.

What do you think, Inky friends? Aren't these cards "snow" much fun? (I know, you can groan with me, ha ha!)