beauty lies within

expressing self by creating

Artisan Projects now displayed September 28, 2007

What a crazy day so far, and it is only 8:15 am.  Dropped dog off at the vet.  My son is sick and throwing up.  Carpets to be cleaned today on 1st floor.  High School football game this evening……ughhhh!  This is supposed to be a lazy rainy day FRIDAY:) 

On a brighter note, I have been waiting for Stampin’ Up! to post all the winning projects submitted for the Artisan Award.  It is finally on the Demo Website. 

 If you are a US Demo and want to take a peek, go to:

My Business>My Business Resources>Stampin’ Up! Publications>On Stage…scroll down and to the right are the names of the winners.  Click on names to see all winning entries.

Have a great weekend!


balance is important September 25, 2007

I promised my 13 yo. daughter that this was her week since I scrapped my son last week.  This page layout, colors, theme is sooo appropriate for a teen girl I must say.  The layout is from Beate’s weekend sketch challenge, and the colors are from my sample card I made for the challenge.  THERE IS A LOT GOING ON WITH THIS PAGE..READ ON:)

 (scroll down for detail pics)

I love this picture of my daughter Morgan.  She’s smiling & happy…but this was a sad day for us as this pic was taken before we left to go to her grandmother’s funeral.  I comforted her and offered support.  I was just happy to capture a smile from her on this day as she was truly aching inside.  Also, hard to capture a teen girl in a pic with her mom.  I will definitely cherish this page forever! 

Okay…the details.  Where to start.  The page is just an 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of Purely Pomegranate Textured CS horizontally with Basic Black CS measuring 8″ x 10-1/2″ layered on top.  There’s a piece of Certainly Celery Prints DSP 3″ x 10-1/4″ going across the page. 

 happy me & my morgan sentiment details

Sentiment piece is 3-1/8″ x 4-5/8″ Groovy Guava Textured CS with 3″ x 4-1/2″ Purely Pomegranate Prints DSP layered on top.  Stamped happy sentiment from Define Your Life stamp set.  Applied Stazon Jet Black ink to “h” chipboard letter from On Board Lots of Letters, applied Versamark Ink & Crystal Clear Embossing Powder, heated to set and attached with Mini Glue Dots.  Picture matted on Basic Black CS, Certainly Celery CS, and Groovy Guava Textured CS.  

happy me & my morgan details

I wanted, again, a whimsical feel to the page.  The Almost Amethyst Circles were created with my Coluzzle Cutting System.  I wanted my daughter to be the main focus so I put a circle over her face..and carried the circle theme by adding additional ones to both corners of the page.  The upper right circle runs off of the Basic Black CS and turns to Basic Black when it hits the Purely Pomegranate Textured CS.  It is hard to see, but I have a flowing curvy line traveling through the page that was created with my paper-piercing tool…I pushed to tool all the way through the paper to create larger holes.  I then filled the holes with Crystal Effects and topped with Dazzling Diamonds Glitter….It is so cool because the Crystal Effects filled the holes and you can see through the page (even cooler when looking at the page with a light source behind it…resembles a Light-Bright Toy because of the Basic Black CS).  Hard to see but on the bottom I wheeled my Little Bits wheel in Versamark, applied Crystal Clear Embossing Powder, and heated to set.  This wheel coordinates with the Little Flowers Stamp set, so the bottom border is the stamped flowers punched out with a 1/2″ Circle Punch and applied to page with Stampin’ Dimensionals.  All the other stamped circled flowers are from Big Flowers Stamp Set and punched out with 1-3/8″ Circle Punch.

STAMPS USED:  Little Flowers, Big Flowers, Little Bits Wheel, Define Your Life, and It’s All Good.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Purely Pomegranate Textured CS and Prints DSP, Groovy Guava Textured CS, Certainly Celery CS and Prints DSP, Almost Amethyst CS and Prints DSP, Basic Black, Whisper White.

INKS USED:  Versamark, Basic Black, Purely Pomegranate, Certainly Celery, Groovy Guava, Almost Amethyst, Stazon Jet Black, Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Coluzzle Cutting System; 1/2″, 1-1/4″, 1-3/8″ Circle Punches; Scallop Punch; 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch; Round Tab Punch; Linen Thread; Stampin’ Dimensionals; On Board Lots of Letters; Mini Library Clips; Vintage Black Brads;  Certainly Celery 5/8″ Grosgrain Ribbon; Ice Rhinestone Brads; Crystal Effects; Dazzling Diamonds Glitter; Build-A-Flower Accents & Elements Kit; Paper-Piercing Tool, Crystal Clear Embossing Powder.


ginormo-priceless card September 24, 2007

Filed under: weekend sketch challenge — mjalbright @ 4:32 pm

I must say that I didn’t know how this card was going to turn out.  But, I bought a new scrub top and just loved the color combo on it.  If you ever want to find some really wild color combos–just seek out your local medical uniform shoppe and you will find so much inspiration from all the busy bizarre patterns:)

I made this card for Beate’s weekend sketch challenge #20.

ginormo-priceless wsc        wsc20.jpg

Here is a pic of my scrub top (oh so busy but love the colors):

scrub top pic

I used the same card dimensions as Beate on her sample card.

Card Base:  5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Purely Pomegranate CS folded in 1/2 layered with a 4″ x 5-1/4″ piece of Basic Black CS with two top corners Ticket Punched.  A piece of Certainly Celery Prints DSP horizontally along bottom of card measures 2-1/4″ x 5″.  Stamped swirls from Priceless stamp set with Versamark, applied Crystal Clear Embossing Powder, and heated to set.  Added two black brads from Vintage Assortment Brads to top of card base.  Added a small looped tag of Groovy Guava Ribbon from Sherbert Ribbon Originals to bottom left of card. 

Sentiment Piece:  2-3/4″ x 3-1/4″ Groovy Guava CS layered with a piece of Purely Pomegranate Prints DSP measuring 2-1/2″ x 3-1/4″ on top.  Stamped “So Kind” with Versamark, applied Black Embossing Powder, and heated to set.  Stamped a small flower from Little Flowers stamp set and punched out with a 1/4″ Circle Punch and adhered between words of sentiment.  Ribbon is layers of Groovy Guava and Purely Pomegranate ribbons from Sherbert Ribbon Originals with a piece of Certainly Celery 5/8″ Grosgrain Ribbon tied around them.   3 scallops created with my 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch & Almost Amethyst Prints DSP and attached to right lower corner. 

 ginormo-priceless card wsc details

Main Image Piece:  2-1/2″ Square of Basic Black CS.  Certainly Celery CS measuring 2-3/4″ and Almost Amethyst CS measuring 3″ layered beneath the Basic Black piece.  I wanted the flowers to be fun, bright, bold, whimsical…just fun!!!  The main middle flower is 5 layers total:  first larger flower base stamped from Ginormous Flowers stamp set with Almost Amethyst ink on Whisper White CS; second is Almost Amethyst Prints DSP and my Scallop Punch; third is a scalloped flower image from Big Flowers stamped with Certainly Celery ink; forth is a piece of Groovy Guava CS punched with a 3/4″ Circle Punch and stamped dots/circled image from Priceless stamp set; fifth layer is an image from Little Flowers stamp set stamped on Whisper White CS and Purely Pomegranate ink punched out with a 1/2″ Circle Punch.  I topped the flower off by adding a Purple Ice Rhinestone Brad to the center.  The other two flowers were created with my Build-A-Flower Accents & Elements Kit…again, different layers topped off with a Green Ice Rhinestone Brad.  All the elements & layers of the flowers are off-centered just to add a whimspical touch.  I paper-pierced the two corners of the Basic Black that didn’t have flowers just for balance.  Attached to card with Stampin’ Dimensionals

Oh…the places I find my inspiration:)



spook-tacular RAK September 20, 2007

Filed under: RAK — mjalbright @ 12:54 pm

What a nice surprise in the mail today to get me in the mood for one of my favorite times of year. 

RAK from SCS’s STAMPIN UP CHICK!   Thank you so much.


I just love how she stamped the “witches brew steam” on vellum — adds a nice touch of dimension & detail.  Silver cord with a touch of black gingham ribbon holds the triangular tri-fold card closed.  Front sentiment says, “Witching you…”, and inside says, “a haunting halloween.”  How cute!


Grateful for you friend September 19, 2007

I’ve been warned that the Splitcoast daily challenges can be addictive….hum, yep!  But, I do like having a template to follow so I can create something daily (for now).

Here is todays challenge:

dotted autumn sc142         

I just love my Dotted Autumn & Fall Flowers DSP.  The paper lets me incorporate the ever so lovely soft sky into my autumn themed creations.

I used the “g” negative space from On Board Lots of Letters, covered with DSP, sanded edges, and sponged with Close to Cocoa ink.  Then I added a different pattern of DSP in Soft Sky to fill in the “g”.  The pumpkin, leaves, and acorn were stamped on Shimmery White CS.  I added some pewter wire works and a brad.  The faux-grass, which I can’t get enough of, was scalloped with my 3/16″ corner rounder punch then I cut on the lines of the design on the paper so it looks like little individual pieces of paper:

dotted autumn sc142 image upclose

This card has so many layers to it.  The challenge pattern consisted of 4 layers, as my card has.  I wanted to add something to the right side of the card where it opens.   The card size is 4-1/4″ x 10-1/2″ scored at 5-1/2″ so you will have a shorter side (which is the front and you’ll have a 5/8″difference from back).  I added more scalloping out of Fall Flowers DSP, then another layer of Really Rust CS.  The inside back piece of the card is wheeled with my Autumn Dots wheel in versamark:

dotted autumn sc142 layers upclose

STAMPS USED:  Dotted Autumn stamp set & Autumn Dots wheel.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Old Olive, Really Rust, Whisper White, Shimmery White, Close to Cocoa, Fall Flowers DSP.

INKS USED:  Old Olive, Really Rust, Close to Cocoa, and Versamark Pad.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Pewter Brads from Vintage Assortment, Wire Works, Ticket Corner Punch, 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch, On Board Lots of Letters, Sanding Blocks, Stampin’ Sponges, Linen Thread, Word Window Punch, Ribbon from Jersey Ribbon Originals.


tuesdays color challenge September 18, 2007

This is my first attempt at a Splitcoast Challenge.  I never participate because I don’t know all the rules and such.  I couldn’t pass this challenge up though.  Some of you know me by now, and know that I can’t pass up a great cause!

I will be sending this card out to a girl named Victoria.  She is battling cancer.  Her teacher has requested cards for Victoria from every state in the United States.  You can find out more @

cc132 moose you set

This Tuesdays colors are River Rock, Chocolate Chip, and Really Rust.  So ready for fall with these colors.  I’ve been waiting to use my Moose You stamp set for the longest time — couldn’t resist with these colors.

This is a joy-fold card that was created using my Scor-Pal.  I made a belly band out of ribbons to hold the card closed.  The scalloping is two layers adhered to one another…a layer of DSP & Chocolate Chip CS.  All edges are sponged with Chocolate Chip ink. 

STAMPS USED:  Moose You stamp set.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Apple Cider DSP, Chocolate Chip, River Rock, Really Rust, Whisper White.

INKS USED:  Chocolate Chip, Really Rust, River Rock.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Vintage Brads, Chocolate Chip Satin ribbon, River Rock velvet ribbon from Sherbert Ribbon Originals, 3/16″ corner rounder punch, stampin’ sponges.


my “Zany” little ONSTAGE boy! September 17, 2007

Filed under: weekend sketch challenge — mjalbright @ 8:52 pm

Okay…so I knew that the latest issue of Onstage was to be made available to us SU! demos mid September.  I waited and waited.  I was so tickled with a melted heart to see my little boys picture in the table of contents and displayed as one of my winning artisan award entries.  YOU CAN ALSO SEE HIS PHOTO PUBLISHED IN THE DICTIONARY NEXT TO MISCHIEVOUS!!!  The story behind the “Zany” page was that I wanted to capture the perfect portrait of my little Ethan.  I chased him around for hours and he kept making faces at me while sticking out his tongue…LOL.  I gave up and just went with what he was giving me. 

ethan’s rainy day page                            mm060756.jpg

I haven’t scrapbooked in over 6 months.  So I took another take on Beate’s weekend sketch challenge and created a 6″ x 6″ scrapbook page of my little Ethan.  I had already made a card in my prior post if you would like to scroll down to see a card with her same layout.

I wanted to create journaling with raindrops incorporated around and within.  I used chipboard petals from On Board Blossoms & Basics and covered them with Soft Sky CS and Crystal Effects.

ethan’s rainy day journaling details

For his little 1-3/4″ square pic, I used all colors of cardstock in my theme and mounted on a chipboard scalloped square from On Board Lots of Letters.  You can also see the large scalloping created with my Coluzzle Cutting System with Soft Sky DSP.

ethan’s rainy day page pic details

STAMP SETS USED:  ABC alphabet lower and Happiness stamp sets.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Blue Bayou, Wild Wasabi, Real Red, Basic Black, and Soft Sky CS & Prints DSP.

INKS USED:  Blue Bayou Classic Stampin’ Pad and Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker.

ACCESSORIES USED:  On Board Blossoms & Basics and Lots of Letters, Black Brads from Vintage assortment, Black buttons from Earth Elements & Neutrals, Linen Thread, Write me a Memory Volume II fonts CD, Coluzzle Cutting System for large scalloping, Jersey Ribbon Originals, Crop-A-Dile, 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch, Crystal Effects.


“BLING”le bells… “BLING”le all the way!

Filed under: weekend sketch challenge — mjalbright @ 12:14 pm

Oh my!  My first christmas card of the year.  Not sure if I’m ready for this, but I had to use my new Season of Joy stamp set from the Holiday Mini Collection.  

I made this card for Beate’s weekend sketch challenge #19

season of joy wsc#19                    

This is a 4-1/4″ x 8-1/2″ card size folded in half for a 4-1/4″ squared card made from Soft Sky CS.  I wanted to use my Dashing DSP matted on a piece of Real Red CS…so I went with this simple designed sheet due to the other patterns being way too busy for the card.  The Dashing DSP measures 3-7/8″ square with a 4″ Real Red CS mat with all corners ticket punched.  All edges were sponged with Chocolate Chip ink.  Used my Crop-A-Dile to dry emboss 3 circles to the left side just for some balance.

 The image..well how nice!  It is my image and sentiment all in one with a touch of some holiday bling.  I inked the whole stamp in River Rock ink then went back with my Real Red, Chocolate Chip, and Old Olive Stampin’ Write Markers and colored some details that I wanted to stand out.  I used Versamark, Heat & Stick Powder, and Dazzling Diamonds to all glittered areas (including poinsettia flower). 

 season of joy wsc#19 details

I wanted to make the snowflake in the word “joy” stand out and carry the soft sky color into the image.  I used my 1/2″ circle punch and punched out the original stamped snowflake on the piece of Whisper White CS.  I stamped the image again in Soft Sky ink on Soft Sky CS. and adhered to the back of my Whisper White piece.  Ticket corner to the corners, then matted on a piece of Chocolate Chip CS

I used Chocolate Chip Satin Ribbon from the Holiday Mini Collection to go across the bottom of the card.  I punched a 1/4″ circle to middle of poinsettia flower, layered a piece of ribbon from Sherbert Ribbon Originals which was then threaded up through middle of flower and tied in a not to secure in place. 

STAMP SET USED:  Season of Joy

CARDSTOCK USED:  Soft Sky, Real Red, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Dashing DSP.

INKS USED:  Soft Sky, Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Versamark, River Rock.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Chocolate Chip Satin Ribbon, Sherbert Ribbon Originals, Dazzling Diamonds, Heat & Stick Powder, 1/4″ & 1/2″ Circle Punch, Crop-A-Dile tool, Stampin’ Sponges, Ticket Corner Punch.

Happy Monday to all!


a great cause…please read! September 10, 2007

I had to branch away from Stampin’ Up! (sort of) for such a great cause.

I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ALEXA.  She is Lauren Meader’s daughter.  And this stamp set was designed especially for her with proceeds going towards Pediatric Cancer Research.   You can purchase Alexa’s stamp set for just $12 plus s&h.

Go get a box of kleenex and please take a moment to read her story on Lauren’s blog (click on Alexa’s story in header….even more, browse around her awesome site).

princess alexa suspension card   princess alexa suspension card details

This is a 5-1/2″ x 11″ card folded in half suspension card.  You can view Beate’s tutorial on scs.  Isn’t this little princess precious with all the crowns???  I think so. 

STAMP SETS:  Alexa’s set; Canvas BG; So Swirly jumbo wheel.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Tempting Turquoise, Pumpkin Pie, Rose Red, Regal Rose, Shimmery White.

INKS USED:  Same as CS colors, Old Olive, Blush Blossom, Close to Cocoa, Stazon Jet Black.

ACCESSORIES USED:  1-3/8″ & 1-1/4″ circle punches, coluzzle, 3/16″ corner rounder punch, ticket corner punch, certainly celery 5/8″ grosgrain ribbon, dental floss, sticky strip, Aqua Painter.

A for Alexa card                 A for Alexa side view(side view)

This is a cute 3″ x 8″ card folded in half.  I love the color combo and the cool girl.  How fun is this??? 

STAMP SETS:  Alexa’s set, Big Deal Alphabet.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Elegant Eggplant, Bashful Blue, Purely Pomegranate, More Mustard, Shimmery White, Old Olive.

INKS USED:  Same as CS colors, Close to Cocoa, Blush Blossom, Versamark, Stazon Jet Black.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Wire Works, Silver Brads, Aluminum Circle Tag, Scallop Punch, Coluzzle, Mellow Moss Grosgrain Ribbon, Purely Pomegranate Dbl-Stitched Ribbon, Paper Piercing tool, 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch, 1-3/8″ & 1-1/4″ Circle Punch, Aqua Painter, Round Tab Punch.

alexa’s fluttering by card

This card is 4-1/4″ x 8-1/2″ folded in half.  I found inspiration in Beate’s card and used the two strands of purely pomegranate dbl-stitched ribbon for balance on the card.

STAMP SETS:  Alexa’s set, Whimsy Jumbo Wheel.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Purely Pomegranate, Whisper White, Cutie Pie DSP, Bashful Blue.

INKS USED:  Purely Pomegranate, Bashful Blue, So Saffron, Whisper White Craft Pad, Stazon Jet Black, Certainly Celery.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Purely Pomegranate dbl-stitched ribbon, Certainly Celery 5/8″ grosgrain ribbon, Scallop Punch, 1-3/8″ Circle Punch, Coluzzle, Crystal Effects, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter.

Finally, like I mentioned before, I did a triathlon last year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and raised money for Blood Cancers.  I completed it and came home with such a rewarding emotional feeling inside.  I also brought home this medal.  I have been displaying it proudly, but wanted to give it to someone who totally inspires me to do what I do.  I wanted to give it to someone to show that I care.  I found this in Alexa.  I will be sending her these cards, my triathlon medal, and one of the Stampin’ Up! tattoo kits that I am donating.  If I do start training again for next May’s triathlon…..It will be for Alexa:)  I’ll keep you posted.

triathlon medal for alexa

Have a great day!


my crazy brain starts working…… September 8, 2007

at midnight when I should be sleeping!!   

 seasonal whimsy wsc#18

Sentiment details upclose:  I LOVE THE BUTTERFLY!!  So graceful and sweet.

seasonal whimsy wsc#18 sentiment upclose

I have spoken to many fellow stampers & communicate with them that it takes me 1-2 days to make a card….and I have discovered that I am sooo not alone!  But then, I started to think something was wrong with me after I had dinner with the notorious Brent & Amy from SU!  They said that many “work better under pressure and deadlines”….this is not me.  I am going to give you a glimpse as to why I can’t post a card everyday:) 

Friday am — Beate posts her weekend sketch challenge on her blog fresh & fun:


I spent the day brainstorming up some ideas.  I already had my heart set on using my Seasonal Whimsy stamp set so I knew I wasn’t going to use a circled image.

 What colors to use?  Well, it would have to be many bright colors that all coordinate due to the stamp that I picked.  I started browsing through my SU! catalog and found the perfect combo on page 150.

I always draw up sketches for all cards that I make.  I’m such a visual person.

seasonal whimsy wsc#18 sketched ideas

Family goes to bed.  It’s midnight and I get the opportunity to put all my thoughts together. 

I started out thinking I would use my stampin’ write markers for the image.  Well, it just wasn’t working for me.  I didn’t like the way it turned out.

 seasonal whimsy wsc#18 markered image(markered image)

I knew what I was going to do next…which meant that I would be spending more time on some unexpected details.  But, glad I changed the look.  

 seasonal whimsy wsc#18 image pieces(stamped detail pieces)

I went with stamping all images in the desired colors, cutting them out, sponging additional ink for more detail, adhering to a base stamped piece to give some awesome depth and dimension!

seasonal whimsy wsc#18 image upclose(final stamped image)

 At approximately 3am, I finish a card.  I woke up a few hours later only to change the card again…LOL.  I always do this.  I walk by it – change it – walk by it – change it again!!!

Okay!!  So I’m crazy right?