beauty lies within

expressing self by creating

been so distant August 27, 2007

Hello all!

I haven’t been blogging much lately, but am happy to say that school is back in session as of today and I received a shipment from SU! on Friday (timed that just right). 

I am now focusing on some contest categories in the latest Stampin’ Success…since I haven’t submitted since my Artisan Entries.  Wish I could show you my work in progress, but you know how those rules go!!!  Oh the possibilities with all my new stuff. 

Have a great day!  Off to create:)


computer challenged goal August 20, 2007

Within the next day or two, I will be focusing on creating a blog roll so you can take advantage and view some really awesome stamping blog sites.  And there are many “must see sites” I would like to share with you.

My blog has been up and running for approximately 2.5 months now, and I just can’t figure out how to do this.  So bare with me while I work on this personal challenge:)

Thanks for stopping by and checking my site.   Have a wonderful night.


just a little patience August 16, 2007

Oh my, where to start with this one.  I’m trying to learn to like the Wanted stamp set, and trying to find some creative ways to use it…and I’m having trouble. 

While browsing some blogs yesterday, I found inspiration on Allison’s blog, Stampin’ when I can…  I was looking at her background blog design while waiting for her site to download, and thought, “Now, that’s a cute design.”  You can also find really cool stuff on her site. 

Okay, here’s my creation:  (scroll down further for detail pics)

wanted transparency card

This is a Difficulty Level: 5 (and you must have patience)


Chocolate Chip (and a Transparency Sheet) 5-1/2″ x 11″ folded in half; Groovy Guava mat 5-5/16″ x 5-5/16″; Creamy Caramel 5-3/16″ x 5-3/16″; Close to Cocoa strip 1″ x 5-1/2″.

To create the design on the Creamy Caramel CS, you have to locate the center & stamp circle image using Stamp-A-Ma-Jig tool.  I used Wanted stamp set designs colored with Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa and Chocolate Chip Stampin’ Write markers.  I measured 1-1/2″ out from the center of the circle and stamped the smaller Chocolate Chip circles.  This process continues to cover the whole piece.  The Larger circles are 2-1/8″ apart from one another.  I used the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig tool for the whole design (this tool is my best friend).  I pierced the cardstock between designs (comes out to 2-1/8″ boxes).  I created faux-stitching with a Chocolate Chip Stampin’ Write Marker.  Added some small white dots with a White Uniball Signo gel pen.  Sponged edges with Chocolate Chip ink.  I punched out a half-circle to bottom right corner of card using a slit punch.    It’s all smooth sailing from this point on! 

wanted upclose


This card is covered with a Transparency Sheet.  I stamped the horse to the bottom right corner using Stazon White ink.  The stamped white scalloping to the left of the ribbon is actually the paisley stamp from the Wanted stamp set.  The cardstock and ribbon covers up the tails of the paisleys leaving only the scallops.  I used Stamp-A-Ma-Jig tool to align this design.  They start 7/8″ in from the left side of the card.

wanted upclose 2        my 3 year old son’s creationethan’s creation


The ribbons actually anchor the transparency sheet in place so I don’t have any adhesives showing on front or back of card.  I adhered the 1″ x 5-1/2″ strip of Close to Cocoa cardstock over the paisleys.  Added Chocolate Chip 5/8″ Grosgrain ribbon.  Layered Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon and tied in place with hardware from Hodgepodge Hardware-Pewter.  Stamped star image, with Chocolate Chip ink, on a star chipboard piece from On Board Blossoms & Basics, punched hole, attached to hardware piece with Linen Thread.  Added a strip of Caramel Gingham ribbon.  Added a circle/spiral from Hodgepodge Hardware-Pewter and created faux-ribbons from thin strips of Groovy Guava and Close to Cocoa cardstock. 

Usually my 3 year old son is my official stamp cleaner.  I let him play around today while I was making this card.  He’s just so much fun.

Have a great night!


Vintage-ish August 14, 2007

Filed under: weekend sketch challenge — mjalbright @ 4:15 am

If you know me, you know that vintage is so not my specialty.  When I started tonight, this was not what I had in mind.  My cards are mostly bright and almost always include watercoloring.  This was truly a challenge for me that took longer than planned.

This card was made for Beate’s WSC #14.

vintage-ish card


There are many layers to this card, so I apologize if the directions ramble on for a while:)


Used Always Artichoke CS measuring 4 1/4″ x 11″ scored at 5 1/2″ & 10 1/2″.  Stamped the little 1/2″ fold with my Linen BG stamp and Always Artichoke ink.  Scalloped edge using Fiskar scissors.  Adhered a small strip of plain Always Artichoke CS measuring 3/4″ x 4 1/4″ over the flap.  Adhere a piece of Blue Bayou Prints DSP measuring 2 1/2″ x 4″ to card front.  Stamped flower image from Artfully Asian stamp set using Chocolate Chip ink.  Adhered the 1/2″ flap down.  Attached hat pin from Pretties Kit (with a clear bead, white & brown threads, and a spacer bead on it) to the flap.


Used a piece of Bordering Blue CS measuring 3/4″ x 4″.  Attached Chocolate Chip Tafetta ribbon to the piece with sewing machine and white thread.  Adhered over piece of Blue Bayou Prints DSP and the small 1/2″ flap.

vintage-ish card upclose


Used River Rock CS measuring 2″ x 3″ stamped with Linen BG stamp and sponged edges with River Rock ink.  Matted with a 2 1/4″ x 3 1/4″ piece of River Rock CS and a 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ piece of Always Artichoke (scalloped edges).  Made 3 stitches to bottom right corner using white thread.  Stamped Sentiment from Artfully Asian stamp set using Bordering Blue ink on Confetti White CS.  Cut out desired pieces and sponged edges with Bordering Blue ink.  Adhered to River Rock piece.  Created shadowing to sentiment pieces using River Rock and Chocolate Chip ink blended with an Aqua-Painter.  Attached buttons from Fresh Favorites I colored buttons.  Pretties Flower created using a circle from On Board Blossoms & Basics covered with Blue Bayou Prints DSP.  Middle petals sponged with River Rock ink.  Attached to River Rock piece with a blue (ice) rhinestone brad.  Added a couple threads of brown thread tied around the brad.   Adhere to card using Pop-Up glue dots.


I attached a strip of Blue Bayou Prints DSP measuring 2″ x 4 1/4″ to inside of card.  A small strip of Confetti White CS measuring 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ over Blue Bayou piece.  Stitches made to pieces with brown thread.  Attached a small tab created with Chocolate Chip Taffeta ribbon.  Attached another blue (ice) rhinestone brad.  I adhered a piece of River Rock to the very back of the card (to cover sewing and brad) measuring 4 1/4″ x 5 3/4″ stamped with Linen BG stamp and River Rock ink.  Scalloped edge. 




fun & fast notes…..I’m not that fast! August 9, 2007

I’m really liking this Fun & Fast Notes stamp set.  As I sit down today with the mission of trying to get some RAK’s out, I’m discovering that I don’t do this very “fast” 🙂 

fun & fast b-day note

This little card is so sweet.  I used Certainly Celery as card base measuring 4 1/4″ x 8 1/2″ scored at 4 1/4″ to give you a square card.

I used Rose Red Prints DSP 1 7/8″ x 3 3/4″ with Basic Black matting 2″ x 3 7/8″.  I made a small slit along the left side of this paper to thread my black gingham ribbon through and tied in a knot. 

Stamped “happy birthday wishes” with Basic Black.

Birthday cake stamped on Shimmery White 1 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ with Stazon Jet black ink and watercolored with aqua-painter, groovy guava, purely pomegranate, and certainly celery classic stampin’ pads.  All the fine doodle lines were colored in with certainly celery, rose red, and pumpkin pie stampin’ write markers to coordinating colors.  I added iridescent ice to the top layer of the cake (can’t see well in photo).  Matted with Groovy Guava 1 7/8″ x 2 3/8″ and Basic Black 2″ x 2 1/2″.

I folded down the top upper right corner of the card and attached a green rhinestone brad.  I added a small piece of Rose Red Prints DSP.  I then added a strip of Basic Black scalloped to right side of card using the Slit punch.   

Have a wonderful day!


convention freebies

Tonight I finally got the opportunity to sit down and take a look at my convention freebies.  I just love all the stuff I got and see a lot of potential.

This is a Gate-fold card that I created.

happiness gate-fold card

Stamp sets used: Fun & Fast Notes and Happiness background stamp.

Card base: 3 7/8″ x 8″ Barely Banana cardstock scored at 2″ & 6″.  Stamped “happiness” sentiment with Whisper White craft stampin’ pad.

Front matting: 3 1/8 ” x 3 3/4″ Certainly Celery Prints DSP with edges pierced and faux-stitched using White uniball signo gel pen.  Cut down middle at 1 7/8″ and attached to Barely Banana card base.

Front matted square with stamped image:  2 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ Rose Red; 2 3/8″ x 2 5/8″ Barely Banana; 2 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ Shimmery White; 2 1/8″ x 2 3/8″ Shimmery White again (stamped piece).  All piece edges were sponged lightly with Creamy Caramel except for top Shimmery White piece which was watercolored with Soft Sky classic stampin’ pad using Aqua Painter.  Used Stazon Jet Black & Barely Banana to chick, Cert Celery for stem, and added a small touch of Pumpkin Pie to beak.  Colored in the fine doodle-lines with markers of same color.  Grass created with strip of Certainly Celery with close cuts made to create grass…I used “retired” small corner rounder to scallop the grass.  Added Wild Wasabi dbl-stitched ribbon to base of grass and stapled in place.

Flowers are from Build-A-Flower Accents & Elements Kit.  Larger flower is adhered to a coordinating chipboard flower from On Board Blossoms & Basics and used Spring Flower Bouquet punch for center.  Lighter shade of green flower popped out with 2 stampin’ dimensionals stacked on top of one another so it is raised higher than the chipboard flower.  All flowers have brads from Rich Regals.   Added small dots to chicks flower to coordinate/flow with the DSP background used. 

Thanks for looking!

Keep creating:)


genuine friend August 6, 2007

Filed under: weekend sketch challenge — mjalbright @ 12:09 am

I quickly make this card tonight due to not posting anything lately.  I probably won’t be able to post again till later this week…I will be leaving town tomorrow early am for a funeral.

This card was made for Beate’s WSC #13. 

wanted - genuine friends card

Card base: 4 1/4″ x 8 1/2″ Really Rust scored at 5 1/2″ and folded to create small flap.

Inside matting: 4″ x 5 1/4″ Outlaw DSP (Wanted stamped with Chocolate Chip.  Used stamp-a-ma-jig tool and stamped again with versamark..applied crystal clear stampin’ emboss powder and heated).  Stamped “genuine friend” from Amazing to Zany stamp set.  Scallop punched stamped image and a piece of really rust cardstock.   Attached Pewter Jumbo Eyelet and attached to card with stampin’ dimensionals.  Used piercing tool to add some details around circled image.  Added 3 stars to bottom right corner of card. 

Outside matting: 2 1/2″ x 4″ Outlaw DSP (stamped images with versamark and applied crystal clear stampin’ emboss powder)

Used Weathered BG stamp on small folded-over flap using Really Rust ink.  Made a slip for 5/8″ Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon using hobby blade.   Added a build-a-brad to ribbon/flap with a small hemp tie. 

Sorry if I forgot any details. 

Have a wonderful night!


my “DREAM BIG” history August 2, 2007

Filed under: my fam,Uncategorized — mjalbright @ 2:03 pm

As many of you know, the convention theme was “Dream Big”.  I don’t like to toot my own horn, and I don’t like to throw around winning the Artisan Award.  But, I thought I would share with you some pics so you too can dream big and be inspired.  

My new years resolution for 2005 was to pick a goal/dream each year to better myself and the lives of others:

  • 2006 was a triathlon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 
  • 2007 was to submit entries for the Artisan Award & to place cards in the Ronald McDonald baskets at SU! events I attend.

I get a $500 shopping spree from the SU! catalog (that I haven’t even submitted yet…I know, that takes some self-control).  I WILL USE $200 OF THAT AMOUNT AND DONATE TATTOO KITS FOR SICK CHILDREN ADMITTED TO HOSPITALS

 Art therapy for sick kids & their siblings is so important.  I lost my 11-year-old brother to cancer when I was 10 years old.  Back then, I wasn’t allowed to visit the hospital due to their policies.  He was admitted for weeks to months over a 5 year period.  I SPENT A LOT OF TIME DRAWING.  IT WAS MY OWN THERAPY.  IT MADE ME HAPPY.  

A successful peer demo at convention stated to me, “don’t be selfish with your work… need to show people”.  This was stated to me not in a negative way.  It was stated because I’m currently a hobby demo who needs to have workshops to educate people (sales too).    I hope the kids who get to utilize the tattoo kits will be inspired to create…….and well enough in the future to enjoy the wonderful world of stampin’ .

                 mj albright artisan display    artisan award menu and bracelet 

 shelli and i at artisan dinner    bracelet upclose

Keep Creating!!!


convention survival kit gift

Filed under: RAK — mjalbright @ 10:50 am

This set was given to me by my upline Deb Kemp while en route to Convention.  

RAK from Deb Kemp

Consists of items to pamper and a nametag for my convention bag.

Thanks Deb.  You’re wonderful!


tagged with a nomination

Filed under: Uncategorized — mjalbright @ 1:26 am

I have been nominated by Teresa @ inkfully yours and by Jennifer @ Jen’s Stampin as a “Rockin’ Girl Blogger”.

I am so behind getting to this tag, and I know all the sites I frequent have been tagged as well, so I probably shouldn’t tag.  But I will list blogs that I recommend checking out. 


The two I mentioned above

Beate Johns @ fresh & fun

Angie Tieman @ schwooo

Vera Matson @ Southern Style Stamping

Susie @ Berkerblog