beauty lies within

expressing self by creating

simple love cards for soldiers January 29, 2008

These cards where made to be sent overseas so soldiers have Valentine’s cards to send home to their loved ones.  You can find out more info –>here<–  on Beate’s blog…you have to act fast.  I made these this am and it only took about 1hr.

rak for soldiers

I was told to “keep it simple”, so here is what I came up with.  I had to add some details because the card base is Whisper White and it needed a little dazzling.

STAMP SETS USED:  SU! Priceless and Short & Sweet

CARDSTOCK USED:  Whisper White, Regal Rose, and Real Red

INKS USED:  Real Red

ACCESSORIES USED:  Regal Rose 5/8″ Grosgrain Ribbon, 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch, Crafters’ Tool Kit (paper-piercing tool & template), Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, Cotton Candy Stickles.

Finally, it has been brought to my attention by a viewer that she was having difficulties seeing my posted pics due to my waterseal and shadow box that I insert.  I do appreciate all feedback and I’m working on a solution for the issue.  I do place my waterseal over areas that don’t contain details for your viewing, so I will not be removing or lightening this feature up at all.  With help from some of my friends, I have researched “how to get a bigger image file when you click on the photo”.  I’m hoping it worked for this pic.  I will do my best & continue striving to share with you my work….but bare with me as I am still learning the whole bloggin’ stuff 🙂

Have a wonderful day. 


PART II – Beate’s wsc32 January 25, 2008

I thought I would take the card I made for Beate’s wsc32, in the post below this one, and combine it with her Wednesdays tutorial on SCS for making a pull treat pouch

I’m going to do this every friday.  I will be posting a sample for her sketch..and later in the day, I will post a coordinating project from her SCS tutorial (good way to get things done I think).  There will be a “Part I” and a “Part II” to showcase.

Here’s what I came up with (gladly, my computer is working with me this afternoon):

part 2 beate wsc  How cute of a Birthday gift to give to someone.

I used all the same supplies, CS, DSP as I did for my card sample here.

It is true what they say….”the Hershey Bars do taste better where I live.”  I’m only about 10 minutes from Hershey, PA and lovin’ it.  The candy bars are “fresh”.  I’m not originally from this area (shout out to all yinz in the “Burgh” – Pittsburgh, PA that is.  *wink* to Charmaine).  So, I really enjoy spending weekends at Hershey Park and just in that area (I frequent a scrapbooking store at the Hershey Outlets…oops, hope hubby isn’t reading). 

Here is a upclose pic of the large Pull Treat Pouch:

part 2 beate wsc large bar upclose

Here is an upclose pic of the small Pull Treat Pouch (there is no tutorial that I know of for this.  I just played around to create a coordinating smaller one to hold a smaller candy bar…Get on it Beate:)…lol )  This would be a great little treat that you could send into school for kids parties, and it isn’t hard to make:

part 2 beate wsc small bar upclose

Here is a pic of both Pull Treat Pouches to show a comparison in size:

part 2 beate wsc both bars exposed

Thanks for stopping by and for all the information provided on my computer problems. 

Enjoy your weekend 🙂


beate’s weekend sketch challenge #32

It’s Friday and that means it is time for Beate’s wsc

beate wsc32    

I HAD TO USE the cute little cake image from  Bitty Birthday stamp set (such a cute little inexpensive set from Stampin’ Up!), but I’m just not sure about combining it with the dotted flowers.  Oh well.  I’ll have a b-day card handy.

Oh the details that are hard to see.  I applied Crystal Effects all over the place; to the dotted flowers on the Berry Bliss DSP, to the cake icing, and to the punched out little flowers. 

For the main cake image — stamped first with Stazon Jet Black ink on Shimmery White CS.  Used Aqua-Painter with Close to Cocoa, Purely Pomegranate, and Pretty in Pink ink to color.  Then, I restamped over the image (with the help of the handy Stamp-A-Ma-Jig) with  Versamark Ink, applied Heat & Stick Powder, heated to set, applied Iridescent Ice, heated to set again.  Punched out with a 1-3/8″ Circle Punch and applied with Stampin’ Dimensionals to a piece of Purely Pomegranate CS that I used a Scallop Punch to.  I added a small Pretty In Pink CS trim to the Shimmery White CS circle that was created with a 1-1/4″ & 1-3/8″ Circle Punch. 

beate wsc32 upcloseupclose to show colored-in ribbon, cake, and DSP flowers.

Sentiment, “happy birthday”, stamped in Chocolate Chip ink on Shimmery White CS and punched out with a Key Tag Punch.  Used Crop-A-Dile tool to add some dry embossed circles.  Used horizontal Slot Punch so I could thread Purely Pomegranate Dbl-Stitched Ribbon through and tie in a bow.  I used a Close to Cocoa Stampin’ Write Marker to color the white stitching of the ribbon. 

The four little flowers are from One of a Kind stamp set that everyone is using right now:)  I wanted these flowers to coordinate with the Berry Bliss DSP.  I stamped them in Close to Cocoa ink, colored in the petals with a Pretty in Pink Stampin’ Write Marker.  Used a Rose Red Stampin’ Write Marker to add dots similar to those on the Berry Bliss DSP.  Covered all the brown parts of the petals with Crystal Effects.  Finished them off by adding a pink brad from Soft Subtles Brads Assortment.  Attached with Mini Glue Dots and Stampin’ Dimensionals

All pieces of CS and DSP have their edges sponged with Close to Cocoa ink.  I used a Ticket Corner Punch to all the corners.  Added more pink brads to the four corners of the card base.  I also needed something to match the DSP behind the main image…so I added a scalloped strip to the right of the card that I created with a Slot Punch

Check out these blogs to see more creations with Beate’s sketch.  I’m certain you will be amazed:

Cambria Turnbow

Charmaine Ikach

Jenn Balcer

Laurie Schmidlin

Lori Craig

Sharon Harnist

I may have to take the weekend off from blogging…I work a 12hr night shift tonight, finished up a wedding invite package, AND I RAN OUT OF SPACE ON MY COMPUTER….I have to backup pics to disks and somehow restore some memory (or go buy more).  I have Photoshop and I keep getting a pop up that “scratch disk is full” and all sorts of memory/drive stuff that I know nothing about.  Can you say Geek Squad to the rescue.   If you have any tips on how to organize and back up precious & priceless pics, I would be happy to hear from you.  See, with having to create scrapbook pages (okay, not that often), I have to constantly see the pics.  I’m afraid if they are not on my computer, for me to see, I will forget about them.  Or, how am I supposed to remember which disk I saved it to?  Okay, I’ll confess….I’m up to like 5000+ pics that I have to somehow create a library for.  And I hear it is time consuming.  I can’t be the only one who is hesitant to hit the DELETE BUTTON.  Or am I???

Have a wonderful weekend.


Beate’s Mini Milk Carton – Acetate style January 23, 2008

Did you ever have one of those moments where you’re doing something and it hits you?  An idea that stops you in your tracks and sends you creating?  Last evening, while with my family, I threw my hands up in the air and ran to get all supplies needed to create a milk carton made out of an Acetate Sheet. 

beate’s mini milk carton acetate  Kinda difficult to see in the pic, but it’s a mini milk carton.  You can see Beate’s full tutorial on how to make one of these here.  How cute!!!  Now you can see all the yummy kisses inside which is just perfect for a Valentine exchange.  I had to keep the details on the outside simple due to being able to see the chocolate & the aluminum wrappings (well, as simple as I can…I do go crazy). 

I used MFT stamp set How Sweet It Is.  The kisses, well I stamped them on Whisper White CS, colored in with a Chocolate Chip Stampin’ Write Marker, and added Crystal Effects.  I cut them out and attached to Whisper White CS with Stampin’ Dimensionals.  The scalloping was created with a Slit Punch.  On the scallops without kisses, I dry embossed a circle using a Crop-A-Dile Tool.  Tied Real Red 5/8″ Grosgrain Ribbon in a knot.  The sentiment was stamped in Chocolate Chip ink on Whisper White CS and punched out with a 1-1/4″ Circle Punch.  Next layer is Chocolate Chip CS punched out with a 1-3/8″ Circle Punch.  Layered these on an Aluminum Circle Tag and adhered to acetate with Sticky Strip.  I added a small strip of Real Red CS to the very top of the carton just to cover up the Sticky Strip that was visible. 

Pics uploaded.  Blog updated.  Now, time to eat all those chocolates 🙂

Have a wonderful day.


I need to relax January 22, 2008

I seem to be extremely busy lately.  Trying to get a lot of things done, and not having enough hours in the day to complete everything.  While I was creating this card I thought, “how nice it would be if I was able to take some time out of the day just to relax”.  Never happens.  

I dusted off a really cute MFT set called Time for the Bubbly and created this kick-stand card. 

mft relax card 

Ohh La La, right?   Look at her soaking it up with some bubbles and bubbly.  How dare she!  I bet there are kids knocking on the door…lol

mft relax upclose  Here is an upclose pic to show you the shadowing, tub, and flooring details.  For the tub, I applied Ranger Crackle Accents (I love this stuff..apply, walk away, and it forms a shiny embossed cracked appearance…similar to Cracked Glass technique using Glassy Glaze Enamel).   I made a wooden floor in the image.  Also, when looking at the stamped image, I didn’t want to have a mirror hanging on the wall.  I made it into a picture/frame using flower images from MFT Bundles of Bouquets stamp set

On it’s way to ya Kim 🙂

Enjoy your day.

STAMP SETS USED:  MFT Time for the Bubbly and Bundles of Bouquets

CARDSTOCK USED:  Shimmery White, Close to Cocoa, Old Olive, Regal Rose, So Saffron, BasicGrey Perhaps-Beatrice.

INKS USED:  Brilliance Graphite, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, Blush Blossom, Old Olive, Creamy Caramel, So Saffron, Regal Rose, Rose Red, Pretty in Pink

ACCESSORIES USED:  Regal Rose 5/8″ Grosgrain Ribbon, Aqua-Painter, uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen, Ranger Crackle Accents, 3/16″ Corner Rounder Punch, Crafters’ Tool Kit (paper-piercing tool and template), Gellyroll gold glitter pen, Baby Blue Stickles (to bubbles), Horizontal Slot Punch.


a stampin’ sunday January 20, 2008

I met with some stamping friends of mine this evening for a post-poned christmas party.  It was nice to get out of the house and communicate with other women (and stamp).  I had to take along a gift to exchange and a swap card to make.

I’ll start with the card.  I’ve read some chatter about the card on pg. 177 of the catty.  I recreated it and thought it would be a cute card to swap:

pg 177 sample 

I started with a So Saffron CS base and used Bali Breeze DSP folded in half (place crease of fold to left side of card with opening to the right of card) to create a belly band.  I used a 1-1/4″ Circle Punch to the right side.  Stamped floral swirls/leaves from Stitched Exotics Stamp Set in Old Olive ink.  Tied Old Olive 5/8″ Grosgrain Ribbon in a knot around the belly band.  Flower image from Stitched Exotics Stamp Set as well and stamped on Rose Red CS with Rose Red ink two times.  Cut out the first flower and adhered to the belly band.  The second one, I punched out with a 5-Petal Flower Punch; added a new Flower Fusion Accents & Elements orange flower to the middle; attached a Silver Brad; attached Stampin’ Dimensional to the back of this flower and placed on top of the first cut-out flower.  Stamped some swirls (from Stitched Exotics) to the top and bottom of the card in So Saffron ink.  The sentiment, “For You”, is from One of a Kind Stamp Set.  I stamped it in Old Olive ink and colored in the tiny flower image with a Pumpkin Pie and Rose Red Stampin’ Write Marker.  For the paper-piercing, I took off the belly band and only placed it on the card front (lay the card flat).  Now you have a guide where to paper-pierce.  Using paper-piercing template and tool from Crafters’ Tool Kit, I created the horizontal piercing above and below the belly band. 

Really simple card to make.

Now for the gift I made.  I made another one of Lauren Meader’s Ghirardelli Gift Wrapper made out of Acetate.  You can see the template and directions on her site…really fun to make.  And it was a hit, so huge thanks to Lauren for sharing & inspiring:)

lauren meader ghirardelli gift wrapper  Can’t go wrong with Chocolate’s as a gift.  I wrapped the chocolates inside with Berry Bliss DSP.  I used One of a Kind Stamp Set for this project.  I stamped the flowers to the Acetate sheet with White Opaque StazOn ink.  The sentiment was stampin in Chocolate Chip ink on Pretty in Pink CS.  Punched out with Key Tag Punch.  Stamped the large and 3 small flower images in Purely Pomegranate ink on Whisper White CS..cut out large one and punched out smaller ones with Boho Blossoms Punch.  Restamped the large flower in Chocolate Chip ink on Pretty in Pink CS and cut out.  Used 1/4″ Circle Punch to Close to Cocoa CS and added to middle of large flower and small flower to tag.  Added a pink Fire Circle Rhinestone Brad to tag flower.  Punched holes in top of gift wrapper and my tag.  Threaded Chocolate Chip Satin Ribbon through the holes and tied in a knot.   

While at the get-together, I had the opportunity to play around with punches again.  Here is a medallion I made this evening. 

su! punches medallion  Oh the possibilities:)  Punches used where Scallop Punch, 1-3/8″ Circle, 1-1/4″ Circle, 5-Petal Flower, and Boho Blossoms.  Finished off with a Circle Rhinestone Brad.  Seriously, not hard.  I have been getting emails how people are having difficulties re-inserting and aligning the CS.  Just add a small amount of Snail Adhesive (or whatever adhesive you prefer) to the middle of the CS piece; use your finger to guide the CS to proper placement; punch; and re-punch.  Don’t worry about the adhesive…it will be covered with other layers of CS.  Hope this helps:)

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.


Another Scallop Tutorial January 19, 2008

This time it is creating a “Starburst pattern” with some common SU! punches. 

But first — an update — It is official, I’m heading to California and attending CHA!  This is my birthday gift from my husband.  Ahhhh, I get to go away by myself to Californ-I-A.  I have never been there before.  So it’s going to be so exciting….the west coast and CHA:)  Did I mention, I love my man.  I will be with the MFT gang and will have the opportunity to meet some of my idols *wink*     

Okay, now for the tutorial.  Here is the card and upclose pics first:

love starburst card  card base River Rock Textured CS 6-3/4″ square folded in half to create a long card.

 love starburst card medallion upclose  medallion upclose

love starburst card sentiment upclose  sentiment upclose


Tutorial to create starburst medallion & spiked trimming:

starburst tutorial  Punches needed to create starbursts tutorial step 1  Using image from Boho Backgrounds, stamp Blue Bayou ink on Blue Bayou CS and Scallop Punch x2 to create the starburst pattern.

tutorial step 2  Using image from Boho Backgrounds again, stamp Groovy Guava ink on Groovy Guava CS and use 5-Petal Flower Punch.

tutorial step 3  Place punched flower back into the 5-Petal Flower Punch as shown and punch again.

tutorial step 3 end result  end result is a starburst created with the 5-petal flower punch.

tutorial step 4  Next layer to medallion is the larger of the 3 flowers from Boho Blossoms Punch.  Stamped image from One of a Kind stamp set with Rose Red ink on Rose Red CS.

tutorial step 5  Focus for next layer is now on the small flower from the Boho Blossoms Punch.  Used Blue Bayou ink on Groovy Guava CS and punched out small flower.

tutorial step 6  Now, you’re dealing with a very small punched flower.  The best way I could come up with is….flip the flower over and place a Mini Glue-Dot on the back of it.  Slide back into the Boho Blossoms Punch and use a tooth pick to get the flower where you need it to be to create the starburst punched pattern (don’t worry about that glue dot, it is the back and will be needed to adhere).

tutorial step 6 end result  This is the end result of the small flower punched x2 to create a starburst pattern.  I then attached this to a Pewter Build-A-Brad.

tutorial step 7  Here are all the pieces punched and ready for assembly to create the starburst medallion.

tutorial step 8  Finished assembled starburst medallion.  For the mini medallion (the “o” in the word love), I just did the last three steps and added a pewter brad from Vintage Brads Assortment.  Used Jumbo Outline Alphabet and Blue Bayou ink to create sentiment.

But wait, there’s more.  Did you see the spiked scalloped trimming running horizontally across the card.  Well, I did a tutorial about using the Scallop Punch to create a mini scalloped border.  If you do step 1 (create the starburst circle) and punch out the middle (or cut with paper snips), you now have a spiked trim created to coordinate with the starburst medallion. 

 tutorial step 9 spiked trimming  just bend to desired shape/pattern.

I played around with this, and I recommend the same and find which way you prefer.  If you punch the 1-3/8″ Circle Punch first, you have to cut the starburst and try to work it back into the punch small sections at a time.  If you do the scallop punch x2 first to create the starburst, you either have to do a guestimate where to use the 1-3/8″ punch or just use paper snips.


how in the world… January 18, 2008

am I to use this LARGE flower stamp???  But, I had to have it due to my love for watercoloring.  And this stamp, From the Garden (hostess set level 1), yells out “color me”.

I originally wanted to use it for the wsc, but realized that the size of it just wouldn’t work for the sketch.  So, I made my mom a Mothers Day Card.

from the garden mother card

If you look closely, I wanted the leaves and flower petals to pop in and out of the frame/border of the main image.  It really added a lot of dimension to the flower. 

I started with an Old Olive CS base measuring 5″ x 8-1/4″ folded in half (I know, weird dimensions, but it’s an odd-large flower image).  Rose Red CS 3-7/8″ x 4-3/4″ adhered to card base.  Next layer is So Saffron CS 3-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ and used Scor-Pal to score lattice lines (hard to see due to the flower covering up).  You can see a tutorial on Debbie Olson’s blog on how to achieve this look.  Adhered stamped flower (will talk about that in next paragraph).  Had to carefully cut a Pumpkin Pie CS that is 1/8″ wide to fit as a mini frame that would weave in and out of the flower image.  Stamped “Mother” from Everyday Flexible Phrases stamp set

from the garden mother card upclose 1

For the ginormo-flower, I stamped it twice on Shimmery White CS with Stazon Jet Black ink (one time for the flower and one time for the leaves).  I used an Aqua-Painter for coloring.  For the flower, I used stampin’ pads Rose Red, Pumpkin Pie, and Ruby Red inks.  For the leaves, I used stampin’ pads Old Olive and Always Artichoke inks.  I cut out the flower and set aside.  To the leaves, I added Glassy Glaze Enamel and created the cracked glass technique to them.  Sponged on some extra Always Artichoke ink to add some extra detail to the cracks.  Carefully cut out the leaves.  Adhere the flower on top of the leaves as they would appear originally.  Adhere to card weaving leaves and petals inside and out of the Pumpkin Pie CS mini frame.

from the garden mother card upclose 2  Lastly, can’t forget the last flower detail.  Adhered some new Orange Glass Beads to the middle of the flower using Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue.

I have come to the conclusion that this is a great image for scrapbooking.  Will have to play around more to see what other cards I can make this this flower:)


dedicated to my man

Filed under: my fam,weekend sketch challenge — mjalbright @ 9:30 am

Is it a “cutesy” & “manly” card all in one?  I think so:)

Going to ramble about the man who inspired this card, so you can just skip down to the card if you don’t want to read the following paragraph.

For the first time, I think I was able to pull off a masculine card for my husband that totally incorporates my style…so now I can’t wait for Valentine’s Day (yep, already have his card done ladies *wink* and will grab it right back off of him after he opens it).  He is a great man.  Busy with work so I try to do the little things (yucky ironing and preparing the quick semi-good meal…those things that interrupt you when you’re really into creating something and suddenly have to stop).   I see how much he is working lately and I just wanted to write my thoughts on how I’m feeling and how much I appreciate him.  One thing I can say about him is that he handles stress so well…he is stronger than me and has way more patience.  I love to watch the interaction between him and the kids.  I’m the strict one, and he’s so layed back. 

My birthday is approaching very quickly and not one bit excited…why is that?  It becomes less fun when you pass a certain number?   I was joking around saying I wanted to go to California in February and attend CHA as my b-day gift.  To my surprise, he said, “set it up and let’s go”.  I responded with a, “Shut up!!” (but wanting to jump up and down).  My strategy was to START BIG and suggest traveling, then say, “Well, how about all these Nestabilities”…it works ladies — start big and negotiate…lol.  I think he justs needs to get away and what better place than CA right?   But, I’m gonna pass, stay at home with the kiddos and save the traveling plans for the SU! Convention.

Now, the card created for Beate’s wsc#31

cutesy & manly card     wsc-_31.jpg

I think this is the perfect card for my man. 

Stamp sets used:  Classic Backgrounds, All In The Family, Stamp of Authenticity, and Define Your Life.

Cardstock used:  East Coast Prep DSP, Tempting Turquoise, Wild Wasabi, More Mustard, Real Red, and Shimmery White.

Inks used:  Stazon Jet Black, same as CS above.  Real Red Craft, Versamark Pad.

Accessories used:  Fire Circle Rhinestone Brads, Jersey Ribbon Originals, Staples, Scallop Punch, Coluzzle Cutting System, 1/2″ and 1″ Circle Punches, Spiral Punch, Round Tab Punch.

cutesy & manly card upclose 1                 cutesy & manly card upclose 2

You gotta love this All In The Family stamp set….It gave me really thin legs, a short hot red dress, and blonde hair with no little grays sticking up out of control:)

Now, head on over to the blogs of these extremely talented girls to see their creations for Beate’s wsc:

Cambria Turnbow

Charmaine Ikach

Jenn Balcer

Laurie Schmidlin

Lori Craig

Sharon Harnist


took a break January 16, 2008

from studying.  Okay, I read for about 30 minutes till I saw Beate’s tutorial on making a milk carton box.  I have always wanted to make one of these.  I thought, how cute of a gift for a new baby or as a shower gift. 

it’s a boy milk carton

I used Kraft CS for this project just to keep it simple and quick.  I used Nursery Letters Jumbo Wheel in Versamark ink to the bottom of the box (before assembling), applied Crystal Clear Embossing Powder, and heated to set.  Added kraft stars to top of box created with Star Punch, and adhered using Mini Glue Dots.  Used Fiskars scalloping scissors to top of carton just to add a little something up there cause, like I mentioned, it is plain with all the details at the bottom of the carton. 

The sentiment medallion — started with Shimmery White CS and Scallop Punch.  Next is Textured River Rock CS and 1-3/8″ Circle Punch.  Then, Bashful Blue CS and 1-1/4″ Circle Punch.  Adhere these together and attached a Pewter Jumbo Eyelet to top using Crop-A-Dile Tool.  Added a yellow striped ribbon tab to back of this medallion…ribbon from Sherbert Ribbon Originals.  The star & sentiment is from Nursery Necessities Stamp Set.  Stamped the star in Versamark ink on Kraft CS and used Large Star Punch to cut out.  Stamped sentiment in Blue Bayou ink on Kraft CS.  Attached this medallion to box using Bashful Blue Striped Grosgrain Ribbon.

  it’s a boy milk carton upclose

It didn’t take long to make this.  Tried to keep it simple and let the details of the sentiment be the main focal point.

Thanks Beate for the great tutorial:)