beauty lies within

expressing self by creating

can’t go wrong with chocolate November 30, 2007

Ever just need a little simple gift to give/exchange during the holidays?  This clear transparent gift bag holding 10 chocolate squares is a hit!  Great for teachers, co-workers, mailman, UPS, and a fellow stamper girl who live close by to me *wink*.  I discovered this cute creation on Lauren Meader’s Blog… My Time, My Creations, My Stampendence.  Click –> here to see her creation with the template.  Needless to say, I ran out to the store the very next day to buy all items needed to make this. 

ghirardelli gift

How cute right? 

I stamped the Acetate with an assortment of SU! snowflakes in Stazon Opaque White ink (drying time is extremely quick).  Used Scor-Pal to create all of the scoring lines.  I used Sticky Strip to hold together (can hardly see).  Filled with an assortment of 10 different chocolate squares.  Punched two 3/16″ holes in the top and closed with Purely Pomegranate Satin Ribbon. 

Here is an upclose pic of the tag:

ghirardelli gift upclose

I first stamped the sentiment with Certainly Celery ink on Whisper White CS.  Used Coluzzle to cut out the circle.  Next, used Coluzzle again to a piece of Soft Sky Prints DSP and used 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch to create the scalloping (the scallops didn’t meet up perfectly, so the meeting place is hidden behind the poinsettia).  I had to add Purely Pomegranate to the main image tag due to the ribbon, so added the flower.  But I also wanted to incorporate more Acetate so I used my Scallop Punch & Acetate, sponged edges of the scalloped Acetate piece with Stazon Opaque White ink, and placed this piece over the poinsettia.  Added 3 Silver Brads and adhered with a Stampin’ Dimensional.  Added a touch of Baby Blue Stickles to some of the details of the stamped sentiment.  Punched a 1/16″ circle to top and attached to Satin Ribbon with Silver Elastic Cord.

STAMP SETS USED:  Season of Joy; snowflakes from sets Snow Flurries, Simple Snowman, and Seasonal Whimsy.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Whisper White and Soft Sky Prints DSP.

INKS USED:  Certainly Celery & Purely Pomegranate Classic Stampin’ Pads; Stazon Opaque White ink.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Acetate sheet measuring 8-1/2″ x 9-1/2″; Scallop Punch; Crop-A-Dile for 3/16″ Circle Punch; 1/16″ Circle Punch; Coluzzle Cutting System; Baby Blue Stickles; Stampin’ Dimensionals; Silver Brads; Silver Elastic Cord; Purely Pomegranate Satin Ribbon.

That’s it!  Very easy.  Thanks to Lauren for the inspiration. 


my private life November 27, 2007

We made it home safely last night.   Wow!  So much to see and do at Atlantis.  The architect, marine exhibits, shoppes, food, and activities kept us quite busy.  

We arrived on Thanksgiving and spent the day browsing until dinner time.  We had Thanksgiving Dinner at the Cafe at the Great Wall of Water.  With being our traveling day, we were exhausted and retired after dinner.

The following days, we spent enjoying all the waterslides, pools, beach, and food.  We interacted with the dolphins and got really upclose to these awesome mammals. 

Here are a couple pics to give you a little glimpse into my private life.  Let me just say…so many great pics obtained for future scapbooking:)

  royal towers

kids on atlantis beach

Will be back to stamping tomorrow.  I have to clean, wash clothes, and somehow fit decorating for the holidays into my busy schedule. 

Have a wonderful day.


blog candy winner is… November 21, 2007

#53 Donna Baker Says: I’m SO glad I found your blog last month! Your creations are out of this world bang-up awesome! Congrats on the hits and thanks for all the inspiration.

Thanks so much for participating.  I so love reading all the comments and try to respond when time permits:)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I will return on Tuesday with the full report and pics of my trip.


it’s official! 1 day to go…

till I’m on the beach in the Bahamas:)  This Atlantis Resort is quite the place (I may even get the opportunity to see a Regis & Kelly Live show while there).   I can’t wait to give thanks this Thanksgiving with my family on the beach away from all the normal hustle and bustle at home (if we survive Philadelphia Airport Thanksgiving Morning…and the flight…so afraid to fly).   Done rambling.  How appropriate but to make a card with a “beach theme”.

by the seashore tag card

This was made with a new MFT magnetic tag card  (great for holiday gift cards) & Daisy Box Blend Flowers (holiday mix).  I just sponged Bordering Blue ink to the white flower so it coordinated with my card and ribbon. 

So many cool little details on this card: 

  • I created the scalloped border on the main image with the wave/water edge stamp in the stamp set (cute isn’t it?)
  • Ahhh, wondering how the tag card is going to fit in the provided envelope?  The sentiment swivles so it can be turned in to the inside of the tag card.
  • I added little Chocolate Chip polka dots to all the red polka dots to make the Chocolate chip coordinate and flow with the pattern of the printed flower
  • The water…..oh so refreshing (and did I mention 1 day to go…he! he!)  It was watercolored with Bordering Blue ink, color spritzed with Bordering Blue Stampin’ Write Marker, added some Micro Beads and Crystal Effects.

This was a very fun card to make.    I included some upclose photos below to show more details.


 by the seashore tag card upclose 1 main image/flower  pic upclose.

by the seashore tag card upclose 2  water details pic upclose.

STAMP SET USED:  By the Seashore MFT

CARDSTOCK USED:  Chocolate Chip and Bordering Blue CS (SU!); White CS (Papertrey).

INKS USED:  Chocolate Chip, Real Red, Blush Blossom, Bashful Blue, Creamy Caramel Classic Stampin’ Pads; Real Red Stampin’ Write Marker; Stazon Jet Black ink.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Crystal Effects; Micro Beads; Aqua-Painter; 3-16″ Corner Rounder Punch; Crop-A-Dile 3/16″ Circle Punch; Jersey Ribbon Originals; White Thread; Sakura Black pen for leash and nose; Color Spritzer Tool; 1/2″ Circle Punch; Earth Elements Colored Buttons.


ho-ho-ho-home for the holidays November 19, 2007

Filed under: my favorite things — mjalbright @ 1:46 pm

The news is out so I thought I’d share with you if you haven’t seen yet.  Kim (MFT Lady) posted on her blog & SCS her new DT members.  I am so excited to announce that I am on the My Favorite Things Design Team.  I am so thrilled to be in a group of such very talented ladies.  

Did you know that there is a weekly sketch challenge on SCS?  Here is my card for mftsc05 (I’m like a week late here):

home for the holidays - mftsc05  When I saw this sketch, I had to give it a try.  It is a standard card 5-1/2″ x 8-1/4″ with Basic Black CS folded in half with 2″ cut off the upper front.   Corner Rounded the upper corners.   Dashing DSP to inside measures 4″ x 5-1/4″ with all four corners rounded.  Added a 1/4″ x 4″ strip of the Dashing DSP to the top with 5 black brads equally spaced.

The front of the card:  I added a layer of Old Olive CS measuring 3-3/8″ x 4″ with bottom corners rounded.  Added another 1/4″ x 4″ strip of the Dashing DSP with 2 black brads.  Stamped sentiment to bottom right. 

The main image piece in order of layers:  Basic Black CS 2-1/2″ x 3″ with top corners rounded; River Rock CS 2-1/2″ x 2-3/4″ & edges sponged with River Rock ink; hard to see in pic but another River Rock CS piece measuring 1/2″ x 2-3/4″ on top of larger river rock…placed to the bottom of this piece to create the depth and flooring & sponged with Old Olive ink;  The chimney image and all the elements were stamped on Papertrey White CS with Stazon Jet Black ink and used Aqua-Painter to color in;  Next layer is the Christmas tree stamped on Papertrey White, colored with aqua-painter and Old Olive ink, sponged edges with Old Olive ink, colored lights in with Real Red Stampin’ Write Marker, adhered to main image piece so it would overlap on top of chimney and hang off the edge;  next is the festive christmas rug colored in with Real Red, Old Olive, and River Rock inks;  finally, added all the gifts.  Added a little sparkle to all the elements with a Gelly Roll metallic glitter pen (love this). 

The ideas and possibilities for this Home for the Holidays stamp set are pretty much endless.   I had so many thoughts, but went with a traditional look. 

home for the holidays upclose - mftsc05

Once I thought I was finished, I had to add the paper-piercing around the main image. This extends to the back part of the card, creating a box and making the eye go right to the main image. 

STAMPS USED:  Home for the Holidays MFT

CARDSTOCK USED:  Basic Black, River Rock, and Old Olive CS; Papertrey White; Dashing DSP.

INKS USED:  Stazon Jet Black; Old Olive, River Rock, Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Sahara Sand, Going Gray, and Creamy Caramel Classic Stampin’ Pads; Real Red and Old Olive Stampin’ Write Markers.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Vintage Brads Assortment; Gelly Roll Glitter Pen; Aqua-Painter;  3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch; Stampin’ Sponges; Paper-Piercing Tool.


Welcome Baby Isaac November 18, 2007

Filed under: weekend sketch challenge — mjalbright @ 1:26 am

Here is another card using Beate’s wsc#28.  I wanted to make a baby card for Charmaine who just had a baby boy this past week.  After looking at all the other samples for this weekends sketch, I thought maybe I did my first samples wrong.  So, here’s another take on the challenge with the stamped image in the circle on the sketch. 

congrats to charmaine card

For this card, I used She’s Having a Baby stamp set from MFT.  How simple and cute this turned out.  And, gotta love Chocolate Chip with Soft Sky & Very Vanilla.

The card base is 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ piece of Chocolate Chip CS folded in half.  Next two layers are Blue Bayou CS 4″ x 5-1/4″ & Soft Sky Prints DSP 3-3/4″ x 5″ with Ticket Corner Punch to the corners.  Sponged Chocolate Chip Ink to DSP edges.  Added a piece of Twill Tape with Soft Sky Dbl-Stitched ribbon layered on top and tied in a knot. 

The teddy bear image was stamped on Very Vanilla CS with Stazon Jet Black ink and colored in with an Aqua-Painter and Chocolate Chip ink.  Punched image out with a 1-1/4″ Circle Punch.  Adhered to a Blue Bayou CS circle punched with my 1-3/8″ Circle Punch.   Scallop Punch to a piece of Chocolate Chip CS and punched holes to each scallop with my 1/16″ Circle Punch.  Adhere all pieces together and attach over ribbons with Stampin’ Dimensionals.  Stamp “welcome baby” to bottom right of card. 

Next, for balance, I had to add something to the right upper side of the card.  When all other ideas are used…turn to the wonderful Jumbo Eyelets…you can’t go wrong!   I wanted to carry the theme of using the twill tape over to this side of the card.  I punched 3 holes and attached the Pewter Jumbo Eyelets with my Crop-A-Dile.  Before adhering the two pieces of CS to the card base, I adhered a strip of Twill Tape to the back of these pieces, then attached to the base.  So, your end result is seeing the twill in the holes of the eyelets. 

congrats to charmaine upclose  Just adds a soft touch….love it!

STAMPS USED:  MFT’s She’s Having a Baby

CARDSTOCK USED:  Chocolate Chip, Blue Bayou, & Very Vanilla CS;  Soft Sky Prints DSP

INKS USED:  Stazon Jet Black Ink; Chocolate Chip Classic Stampin’ Pad.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Pewter Jumbo Eyelets; Stampin’ Sponges; Crop-A-Dile Tool; Aqua-Painter; 1-1/4″, 1/16″, and 1-3/8″ Circle Punches; Scallop Punch; Twill Tape; Soft Sky Dbl-Stitched Ribbon.


how elegant November 17, 2007

I’ve always been a fan of Thomas Kinkade artwork.  With a house full of kids, I wouldn’t dare invest in a portrait for my wall,  so I’ll settle for the stamps of course:)

thomas kinkade card

I first fell in love with TK stamps, from Cornish Heritage Farms, when I saw an image stamped in Purely Pomegranate on Lori Craig’s blog.  You can see her card here.  I haven’t even thought of attempting to color in this stamped image.  I couldn’t replicate the original and I think it just wouldn’t look right…so go monochromatic and be safe right??

thomas kinkade card upclose

I wish I lived in this setting.  It is so my style with the light posts, stone & brick houses with the beautiful windows, the church, and all the trees covered in snow.  How picturesque.  Okay, I’m back to reality with my Wisteria Lane type neighborhood and all the desperate housewives all over the place who know everything about everyone…LOL.

This card base is Purely Pomegranate CS measuring 4-1/4″ x 8-1/2″ folded in half.  Layers are as follows:  Whisper White CS 4-1/8″ square with Ticket Corner Punch to all 4 corners; Holiday Harmony DSP 4″ square with Ticket Corner Punch to all 4 corners; Vellum paper 3-3/4″ square with sentiment stamped to bottom middle in Purely Pomegranate ink.  All three of these layers here adhered together, added a piece of Purely Pomegranate Satin Ribbon across, then adhered to the card base.  Main image stamped on  Whisper White CS measuring 2-3/16″ x 3-3/16″ (just an odd image size) matted on Purely Pomegranate CS 2-5/16″ x 3-5/16″.  Added 4 brads from Vintage Brads Assortment and attached to card base.  Added 4 more brads to the outer 4 corners of the card base. 

That’s it.  This card took 10 minutes to make.  This is a definite mass produce card for giving out this holiday season. 


TAKE TWO November 16, 2007

Filed under: weekend sketch challenge — mjalbright @ 8:30 am

TGIF right?  That means it is time for Beate’s wsc#28.

FIRST CARD was made with a Stamping Bella stamp:

wreathabella - wsc28

I just love this image (these girl images remind me of the blonde in the bubble gum commercials), the colors, and the use of the chipboard for this card.  This is also my first take with Copic Markers (a friend of mine has been SO KIND to let me borrow to give them a test drive)….let’s just say I’m a “comic with copic” LOL.  They do take some getting used to. 

While playing around with this card, not knowing if this is a known technique out there in the world….but I put my Purely Pomegranate Satin Ribbon in my Cuttlebug embossing snowflake folder and got an awesome result:

wreathabella ribbon detail - wsc28I was tickled with this ribbon.  I have been wanting to use this embossing folder for some time, but didn’t want to use it on cardstock due to taking away from the main images of my cards…such a nice subtle touch when on the ribbon.

Here is an upclose pic to show the copic markers & use of chipboard. 

wreathabella sideview - wsc28

STAMPS USED:  Wreathabella & Season’s Greetings Sentiment from Stamping Bella.

CARDSTOCK USED:  Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, Mellow Moss, Purely Pomegranate, and Papertrey White CS.

INKS USED:  Brilliance Graphite Black; Chocolate Chip Stampin’ Write Marker; Copic Markers E47, E33, BG10, R59, YG63, E11, BG93, and 0 Colorless Blender.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Garland Galore Chipboard; Paper-piercing tool; Scallop Punch; 1-1/4″ & 1-3/8″ Circle Punches; Sanding Block; Purely Pomegranate Satin Ribbon; Photo Corners Punch; Stickles (Icicle); Cuttlebug Snowflake embossing folder.


SECOND CARD was made because I wanted to show my love for Stampin’ Up! and to be true to where it all starts:

it’s snow time card - wsc28

Dusted off this old set and gave it a try because I found these flat puffed circles covered with glitter at my local stamping store and instantly thought of this set.  

Card base is Wild Wasabi measuring 4-1/2″ x 9″ folded in half.  Next is Chocolate Chip 4-1/4″ square; Real Red 4″ square; Papertrey white 3-3/4″ square.

The trees were stamped on a separate piece of cs, colored, cut out, then adhered to main image piece so they “come off” the edges.

STAMP SET USED:  It’s Snow Time

CARDSTOCK USED:  Wild Wasabi, Chocolate Chip, Real Red CS; Soft Sky Textured CS; Papertrey White CS.

INKS USED:  Soft Sky, Real Red, Wild Wasabi, Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue, Summer Sun, and Chocolate Chip Classic Stampin’ Pads; Real Red Stampin’ Write Marker; Stazon Jet Black ink.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Fire Circle Rhinestone Brads; Aqua-Painter; Jersey Ribbon Originals; Chocolate Chip Satin Ribbon; Staples; Scallop Punch; 1-1/4″ & 1-3/8″ Circle Punches; White Lightning Glitter Dots; Stickles (Icicle); Stampin’ Sponges.

Take a moment to see what Charmaine, Jenn, Laurie, Lori, and Sharon have created for this weekend sketch…you will definitely be inspired by these very talented girls.

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend.  Yep, that means going to work for me…ughhh.  This week went way too fast. 


Blog candy for 45,000 hits November 15, 2007

Wow!  Almost there.  I know!  I know! — But the number is slowly climbing and I have to give a BIG THANKS to all who check out my site and give me your feedback.  I was one to never share my work.  I always just created for SU! monthly contests and kept everything top secret.  Well, since blogging entered my life, I seem to just post here and enter less contests.  Although, keep your eyes open for the next Onstage issue that will be mailed out on Dec. 5th (a little late for my winning entry — thanksgiving themed), but I’m so proud of it.  

So, here’s the blog candy I’m offering: 

  • Heidi Swapp 4 pieces Clocks — XL Ghost shapes
  • Heidi Swapp 4 pieces Flowers — XL Ghost Shapes
  • Stampin’ Up! 5/8″ Old Olive Grosgrain Ribbon — 2 yards
  • Papertrey White Cardstock — 10 Sheets

blog candy 45,000 hits

All you have to do is leave me a comment with an entry number.  One entry per person.  I will leave this open until the day before Thanksgiving and post the winner that evening using 

Sorry for the lack of posting.  Busy as usual.  The holidays are approaching, deadlines to meet, kids running around with runny noses, our big beast of a dog  (drooly old saint bernard) celebrates his 5th birthday today and for some reason the kids feel the need to have a party??, and **toot-toot** leaving for the Bahamas (Atlantis) on Thanksgiving morning.  I NEED HELP:)  


Pocket Card featuring DSP

Filed under: my stuff — mjalbright @ 4:42 pm

I made this  card a week ago for scs pocket card challenge and never posted it.  I’m deciding to post this very simple & quick card because it features Stampin’ Up!’s Designer Series Paper and thought it may spark some creativity and encourage others to take advantage of SU! Paper Party Promo.

dsp pocket card

You can find Beate’s scs tutorial for this card here.

STAMPS USED:  Holiday Blitz and Short & Sweet

CARDSTOCK USED:  Very Vanilla, Real Red, Old Olive, and River Rock CS.  Dashing DSP.

INKS USED:  Old Olive and Real Red Classic Stampin’ Pads.

ACCESSORIES USED:  Old Olive and Real Red 5/8″ Grosgrain ribbon; Bold Brights and Earth Elements Brads; 1-1/4″, 1-3/8″. and 1/16″ Circle Punches; Scallop Punch; 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch; Sticky Strip.