Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Colored Pencil Card Winners!

We had some wonderful entries this month and I want to thank everyone who submitted a card. I know this can be a challenging medium but you all did a magnificent job! The three winning artists, as chosen by a blue ribbon panel of judges, (Carla & me) are two new members and one original member Judy Inukai, Martha Bickford and Shirley Rodriguez. Congratulations ladies!

Judy Inukai (left)
We chose Judy's card because of her vibrant use of bold color. I think she might have gotten a cramp in her hand from pressing hard on her pencils! I know I've experienced that. To get really intense color you just have to dig in. As you can see Judy's card is also a love poem to her "honey". We admired her simple yet elegant composition and her clever use of vellum. Well done Judy!

Martha Bickford (center)
Displayed on the little easel is Martha's charming entry. She has captured our slumbering cat in mid-dream. Little does Martha know that our Stella, loves cheese but alas never gets the opportunity to try mice! Again, color played a big part in making this card so special. The pleasing palette of grays and oranges is unexpected but works wonderfully well. Please take note of Martha's subtle use of shading in the foreground. Well done Martha!

Shirley Rodriguez (right)
Can you imagine a prettier thank you card? Shirley has combined several techniques here to make a lovely composition. The subtle embossed background showcases the foreground elements. Notice how Shirley keep your eye moving around the picture plane starting with the little butterfly in the lower left peeking from behind the large tulip which points to the companion butterfly which leads down to the little bluebird and eventually to the message in the lower right. Shirley's use of soft pinks in the blossoms is beautifully executed. Well done Shirley!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tomato Babies

We put our tomato plants in 10 days ago. As I was watering them this afternoon what did I see? Tomato Babies! We have three varieties this year, Early Girls, Better Boys and Cherry Tomatoes. These are living up to their name Early Girls.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dramatic Dragonfly

Look at this awesome card made by my friend Kathie McGuire. I've seen this tri-fold card before but this one takes the cake. As usual, Kathie's attention to detail and design flair combine to make this dramatic masterpiece. Thanks Kathie!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

How to make Banana leaves




The Banana leaf featured on the card is very simple to make. Start with green cardstock, a yellow colored pencil and a green colored pencil (lighter green than the cardstock). Color some green onto the cardstock followed by some yellow. Press hard with your pencils so you get lots of the pigment onto the cardstock. Using a tissue, "polish" the colored area until it becomes shiny. Cut out a long leaf shape with points at either end. Curl the leaf between your fingers to bend it and glue the points together. Now you're ready to add this traditional Ikebana element to your floral arrangement card. Enjoy!
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Banana leaf card

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Paper Pastimes

My friend Carole Crawford sent me a picture of the cover of the July/August issue of The County Register from her home province of Alberta in Canada. The card featured in the lower right is one she made in our workshop when we were together in Victoria in May. I'm looking forward to doing some workshops in Calgary next year! You can visit Carole's shop at paperpastimes.com and the County Register here www.countyregister.com
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

A little gloom is a good thing

I taught my last classes in June on Wednesday with no more classes scheduled until July 6. Don't get me wrong, teaching classes is the very best part of my job and I love doing it but....it's nice to have a little down time. Here in San Diego we have something called June Gloom. June is cloudy here, not much sun which disappoints the tourists. We natives relish the gloom because we have SO much sunshine it's a nice change. I'll be out in the gloom tomorrow planting our annual tomato crop. Is there anything tastier than a home grown tomato? I think I'll put in some Basil too, thinking ahead to fresh tomato/mozzarella/basil salad in a month or two, oh boy. A little gloom is a good thing!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tea Lights

Here's a project from my "Don't Throw That Away" book. The little lights are intended as mini versions of traditional Mexican Christmas decorations. Now I see little battery powered tea lights everywhere and they would be perfect for these little lanterns as party decorations. Instead of the brown paper bags, use some colorful wrapping paper to coordinate with whatever theme you want. They're fun and easy to make!

Tea Lights

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Tea Lights Template

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Tea Lights Instructions

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Sunday, June 14, 2009




Once a month I teach classes in Monrovia California. I used to teach at a store called Stampin' On Cloud 9 but that store closed a while back. My regular students formed a search party and found my new home in Monrovia, Scrap N Yap. Elizabeth and her staff have been so wonderfully accomodating to us. Although Scrap N Yap is mainly devoted to all things Scrapbooking, they have welcomed us rubber stampers with open arms. I really look forward to my visits there, more like a party than a class. Oh, and did I mention their huge beautiful chandelier lit classroom. Thanks Elizabeth for inviting us, we feel right at home!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009




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Green Bamboo




This is a variation on one of my Paper Greenhouse projects. The bamboo is easy and fun to make. Here's how to do it: Start with a sheet of green text weight paper. Rub some dye based ink in a darker green over the paper directly from the pad. Cut three pieces measuring 5" x 2 1/2" from the inked sheet. From a lighter green piece of cardstock, cut a pile (about 20) of small leaves as shown in the picture. Set these aside. Tightly roll the inked paper onto a bamboo skewer(or something similar). As you roll, add some glue to the inside of the paper to secure it. When you get to the end, squeeze the paper tightly around the skewer sealing the edge. Slip the roll of paper off the skewer and repeat with the other two sheets of paper. When you have all three rolls done, flatten them down and carefully cut small triangle shaped notches randomly along either side of the flattened "bamboo". Reshape notched rolls until they are cylindrical again. Using a little white glue insert two or three leaves into the notches as shown. Cut the tops of each piece of bamboo diagonally. When the glue dries, you can use them to decorate a card. Have fun!
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Purple Stella

Over at EnjoyMichaelStrongstamps yahoo group we have a colored pencil challenge this month. Here's our cat Stella and her little friend all done up in purple. Hop over to http://groups.yahoo.com/enjoyMichaelStrongstamps/photos/albums/936397552/pic/list and take a look at the colorful cards.
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