Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday: Good Riddance

Thoughts for Thursday – back?  Well sorta.  I don’t really want to commit to an every Thursday TFT episode cuz frankly I don’t know that I can really, and well it is Thursday and I am having a deep thought… so here we go…  Starting today I will post a TFT when and if the thought strikes me on Thursdays.  *grin*

Since we don’t have television service at our house (almost 2 years now!) I was reading the news today and read this awesome article about a Good Riddance event at Times Square in NYC “during the third annual Good Riddance Day -- the unofficial holiday on which luck-strapped individuals are encouraged to rid themselves of the ending year's setbacks and prepare for the future.”

Click here for some inspiring photos.

People are starting fresh with hope.  The basic idea was that each person got a piece of paper with the words “Good Riddance Day.  I want to say good riddance to:” They wrote whatever it was that they wanted to put out of their life on that paper and threw it away into a giant shredder to be shredded into bits and pieces, but away from them forever.   Emotional dejunking at it’s easiest.

This really got me thinking.

What am I holding on to that I can let go and start fresh?

Oh friends, I came up with a huge list.  But I am not going to bore you with my huge list. 

Instead, here’s a few from my short list:

* I want to say good riddance to my silly self doubts and fears.

* I want to say good riddance to my extra hamburger and hello to Curves again.

* I want to say good riddance to the feeling of helplessness that comes from infertility and other health issues so I can move on. *whew* and *yay*.

* I want to say good riddance to procrastination.

* I WANT to say good riddance to junk food. LOL!

So, I’m going to say good riddance to these things today and move on to a fresh new start in 2010.  No crazy resolutions that will likely get broken, no obscenely difficult goals to obtain, just good sensible goals that I am sure I can and will attain sometime during the next year.  I am excited about finding this and think that it’s a great way to start a new year fresh!


I am sure we all have our “things” that we want to say good riddance to.  I thought I’d make a Good Riddance form to share with whoever is interested, to fill out for yourself, to write down what you want to get rid of, and shred to a bajazillllion pieces so you can start the new year fresh.  Just click on the photo for a full printable size sheet.  You don’t have to share with us… just say good riddance :)

~Inky Smiles & Inky New Year’s Eve!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Friends – Digi LO

We are snowed in here in Utah today.  I still feel a little under the weather and ooogy, but I am going to try to make it up to work today after the weather stops dumping slippery stuff on the highway.  I’ve been listening to the news today and there are literally hundreds of accidents up and down I-15. ARgh.

I decided to make some good use of my time and tried a project that isn’t really working out so great and also played around with my digi supplies and created a digi layout.

I love this photo of me and my sweet Sadie.   My friend, Lisa, took this photo of me and my girl up Payson Canyon at Camp Maple Dell (scout camp) this fall. 

I also love this photo…

Look at that tongue lopping out.  Isn’t she the cutest thing? It looks like she’s grinning and smiling.  I just love her.  She’s like velvet. 

Excuse me while I go get my puppy fix and snuggle her for a minute.

Here’s the layout I created this morning. 


I think I might rework it a little and do more tweaking.  I was mostly just playing around this morning with this.  Love, love, love all the colors but I am not sure I like how cluttered it feels.  Oh and I need to work on doing corners with the pinking sheared paper behind the photo. (That was not a template original.. just me playing around and learning a new skill.)

The base layout is a template. For the life of me I can not remember who it is from or where it is on my computer.  I know Jeanne will know cuz it was on her site that I first saw the template.  Originally there was a butterfly to the top left of the photo area.  I deleted it on my layout.   I added all the papers and textures to the clipping masks on the template and added a big bracket at the back of the pile of goodies under the photo.

Digi Credits:
I am not sure where the big bright orange distressed background paper or the brown bag paper came from.  I am such a terrible credit giver with digi scrapping.  Honestly, it’s kind of a pain to keep track of everything and keep a running list going as I am always changing my mind as I go along, too.

Here’s the paper pack (Vintage Dreams by Lori Barnhurst and Michelle Coleman of Little Dreamer Designs) I used for most of the papers and the embellishments I used to create centers for the small flowers.  

LDD_VintageDreams-RetroPP LDD_VintageDreams-RetroEL

~Inky Smiles!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Skipping Stones Design SSD05 – Earth Has No Sorrow

I’m sorry that I’m posting this a bit late.  I like to have my posts scheduled to go at least the day prior to when they’re due.  I’ve been sick with a nasty bug since last Wednesday.  I finally found my voice again and now my stomach is having issues.  ARGH. LOL!  What craziness, eh?  So I did find some time to play over the Christmas holiday and played with some more of my Skipping Stones Design stamps.  Heather sent me a set to be used for a tutorial, which I will post here soon, and I liked the little birdie stamp from it.  It coordinated nicely with my Basic Grey Urban Prairie paper.

Kim Teasdale has been keeping us on our toes with her fabulous sketches this month and sadly this is our last sketch from her.  This was a fun sketch for me.  Again, it took me out of my box and made me do something a little different, incorporating both vertical AND horizontal lines on the same art piece. 

For the sentiment I used Healing Wings.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this set and can see loads of projects to make with it.

SSD Healing-Wings

Here’s SSD05:


And me, with my crazy train brain, rotated it just a bit…. like this:


And then something happened and my scissors went crazy and lopped off the ends of the horizontal pieces… and THEN the earth shook cuz I was breaking the rules again and the stars fell from the skies and landed a little closer to the oval and I ended up with this….

It’s overcast and dreary and snowing today and we have really lousy lighting, so I snapped the best pics that I could… please forgive the cruddy lighting.

I promise, in real life the scalloped oval does not blend in with the darker vertical strip. Argh!


I had LOADS of fun with this card.  I ran the yellow background paper thru my Cuttlebug machine and embossed it for texture.  All of the paper is Basic Grey’s Urban Prairie, which is pretty much my favorite BG paper of all time!  I used CTMH inks to stamp the image and the sentiment and used a COPIC MARKER (*gasp*… I think I’m joining the bandwagon… LURVE, LURVE, LURVE them…) to shadow the little birdie.  I really like the effect of the shadowing.


Speaking of shadowing… I popped up the oval focal piece up off the card with LOADS of foam tabs from American Crafts.  I love their foam tabs because they are thin enough to layer and get the exact effect that you want.  The big vertical dark dp was elevated slightly off the yellow bg because of the embossing, so I wanted to make sure that my oval piece layed out nicely.  I loaded it up with foam tabs on the back, 2 layers on the right side, and 3 layers on the left side.


 IMG_6398web IMG_6406web

~ Inky Smiles!

PS.  Don’t forget about the blog candy giveaway… it’s coming up soon.. just make sure to link back to the original post so we can see your creations!

Stamps – SSD’s Healing Wings, Garden Stamp Kiss Set
Inks – CTMH Hollyhock & Black
Papers – Basic Grey Urban Prairie
Miscellaneous – ribbon, adhesive, Kaisercraft Rhinestones, Nestabilities scalloped oval and classic oval dies, Cuttlebug & embossing folder (name escapes me).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blog Candy Contest Reminder

Hey friends!

Just a reminder about the blog candy contest!!  I’m giving away a Skipping Stones Design Cupcake Cutie stamp set!  Please note the date change….

Here’s a reminder on the rules:

Here’s the deal… and you must follow these rules to qualify:

* Create any card or piece of artwork that is based on any ONE of these 4 sketches.
PLEASE NOTE: You do not need to use SSD stamps, but if you have them, we’d love to see you using them!  You DO have to use an SSD sketch to qualify.

* Post your card on your blog or other forum.

* Copy the URL and post it in a comment on THIS post. (Click on THIS to get to the correct post.)

* Link back to this post when you post your card.

I will draw a winner using a random number generator or will have Brent pick a name out of a hat on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30th MONDAY, JANUARY 4th, 2010.

**  Please note the date change.

~ Inky Smiles!

Merry Christmas!

I think one of my favorite phrases is “better late than never”.  It seems to be my life’s motto lately.  This has been a fabulous Christmas season this year despite crazy jobs and crazy sicknesses and all the other bits of life that seem to “take over” your life.   I’ve really enjoyed this Christmas season even though some of my best laid plans did not come to fruition.  (Sometimes you just have to let go of things that aren’t really necessary and enjoy simplicity.)  I told Martha Stewart, “no thanks”, this year and we put our tree up a little late and didn’t put out all the normal fru-fru that I traditionally stress over.   We got the lights up on most of our house (skipped the garage) because the big snow storm hit later that night. I skipped handmade Christmas cards and opted for some digitally designed (sorta handmade, right?) cards, half of which went out late, but they actually made it OUT this year WITH a Reader’s Digest condensed version of our normal Christmas letter.  YAY!

Brent and I have been focusing on spending time together as a family… me, him, and our Sweet Sadie.   We’ve attended some fun Christmas parties with friends, family, and coworkers and have had some awesome date nights with Christmas concerts and symphonies.  But most importantly we have spent countless hours together this past month playing games, watching movies, talking, laughing, teasing, and just enjoying the company of one another.   We spent Christmas day doing our own thing for part of the day.  

Our Christmas morning tradition is to sleep in until one or both of us decides it’s time to get up and get going for the day.. lol… and then we start up the oven and prepare Jimmy Dean’s Sausage Cheese Balls for breakfast with some orange juice or other beverage.   Then we head to the living room with Sadie and pile on the couch. We take turns each year reading the Christmas Story from the Bible in Luke 2 and then one of us offers a prayer to thank our Heavenly Father for the gift of his Son and our many blessings.   We usually end up letting Sadie open her presents, which generally consist of a variety of treats in her stocking and a stuffed animal or two for her to shred, first.  This mostly keeps her entertained while we open our stockings and presents.  We take turns opening presents and sometimes it takes half the morning. Then we find something yummy for lunch and hang out together and play with our new “toys”.   This year we spent a good part of the afternoon making desserts to take to his brother’s house for the Grotegut family Christmas dinner. :)

I love my sweetheart.  I am glad to have been able to spend Christmas with him again this year.  It’s our 11th Christmas together.   I also am grateful for all my friends and family members that I have also been blessed with.

Merry {Late} Christmas & Inky Christmas Smiles!



PS.  Don’t forget about the blog candy contest!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Place To Bark

Many of you know that I have a soft spot in my heart for furry creatures, especially dogs. Our sweet Sadie is a rescue puppy. Today I came across a GREAT opportunity to help out some of these special little friends.

A Place To Bark is a non profit shelter founded by artist Bernie Berlin (how cool is her name??? Brent and my sister call me Bernie as a nickname - variation of Ernie, long story - sometimes and Berlin is my most favorite place that I have lived on this planet) that rehabilitates and cares for dogs so that they can be adopted to permanent families. Recently they were given the opportunity to take part in a grant. The donor of the grant will match whatever funds they raise up to $23,000 which is enough to help them finish their shelter.

Anyway, let's help them get their shelter finished! Visit their website, A PLACE TO BARK, to donate. Every little bit helps & all donations are tax deductible.

Merry Woofmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sketch Contest & Some Delightful Candy!

So far this month we’ve had 4 sketches from Skipping Stones Design.  I’ve had loads of fun using them as a springboard to jumpstart my mojo/creativity.  I’ve even jumped off the highdive a couple of times and left the comfort of my own little cozy box.

Here’s a recap of the sketches and the cards that I’ve created with them thus far.  You can click on any of the photos to view larger.

SSD-Sketch-SS01    SSDSketchSS01Card1

SSS02   HulaNutsSSDSketchSS02


SSS04   SSD04FullWeb

Now I want to see what YOU have done with any of the sketches. 



And I have something fabulous to give away!  How does a brand spankin new set of stamps from Skipping Stones Design sound?  I have here in my possession a shiny new set of Cupcake Cutie stamps just all sorts of excited to find a new home.  I might also have a few other goodies to help you add some bling (hint hint) to your creations that I will add to the package. :)

Check out my Cupcake posts during the month of August for some fun inspiration using this delicious set of stamps!


Here’s the deal… and you must follow these rules to qualify:

* Create any card or piece of artwork that is based on any ONE of these 4 sketches.
PLEASE NOTE: You do not need to use SSD stamps, but if you have them, we’d love to see you using them!  You DO have to use an SSD sketch to qualify.

* Post your card on your blog or other forum.

* Copy the URL and post it in a comment on THIS post.

* Link back to this post when you post your card.

I will draw a winner using a random number generator or will have Brent pick a name out of a hat on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30th.

That’s it, kids!  Happy creating and I hope to see you post something here!

~Inky Smiles!

Skipping Stones Design Sketch SSD04: Fishing You…

I’ve been a busy girl this past week. I have a lot of schtuff to upload to share, but the days are getting away from me with all this Christmas prep going on. Can u say CRAZY days?

This weekend I played around with my Skipping Stones Design stamps again and created this fun little card with the Tropical Birthday stamp set. I really like this set! I tried a few different things with the images, but ultimately I decided on using the fishies.

Here’s this week’s sketch SSD04:


Once I started playing with designs I decided that the current position was not working for me, so I flipped the sketch and made it look like this:

And then I decided to elongate the card to a full sized 4.25 x 5.5” card. Really, the sketches are “just guidelines anyway” meant for you to use as a jumping off point in your creative adventure to creating your masterpiece, right?

Here’s the Tropical Birthday stamp set again:


And here’s my card:

I have wanted to do a “gel” card for a long time now, but not being a fan of “messy/gloppy” card projects I’ve avoided doing it. However, those little crafty angels that sit on your shoulders were sitting on mine having a heated discussion about whether or not I should do a “messy/gloppy” project. Ultimately the little red angel won and I set out to do my gel card. I rooted under the sink for Brent’s bottle of Dep Sport Endurance Styling Gel – Marathon Hold and went to work. I squirted some of the gel in a little cellophane baggie that I taped up really well with clear packing tape. In the meantime Mr Mess and Ms Glop came to visit because I failed to realize that the baggie I used had a couple of tiny holes on one of the edges, as if the edge hadn’t sealed properly. Yes, the Dep Sport Endurance Styling Gel – Marathon Hold was now all over the section of the workspace in front of me. So for the duration of the project I got to enjoy the wonderful scent of Dep Sport Endurance Styling Gel – Marathon Hold…. gaaagggg. I think if I do this again I will use aloe vera gel or something else... lol!


Gloppy Mess behind us… moving on….

I used a circle Nestabilities die to cut through each layer of the card and embossed the top green layer for added texture/interest. The fishies are actually stamped on the white card base. I traced a circle on the white card base and then random stamped the fishies in Ocean ink from CTMH. Originally I tried coloring them with a clear glitter pen, but they just looked kind of muddy. Each layer of the card is stacked up and carefully lined up the holes so that you can’t see the other layers beneath. I love the bubbles in the Messy Gloppy layer. They’re fun to squoosh.

The card looked kind of nekkid once I had the focal point and sentiment adhered to the card so I pulled out my ribbon scrap jar and fished (haha, pardon the pun) out that fun raffia-like ribbon that I used on the last card I made with the Tropical Birthday set. I tied the ribbon around the edge and moved the sentiment up over the top to neatly tie everything together.

Skipping Stones is having another sale today! Perfect timing for the holidays... Today you can get 25% off your order PLUS free shipping again. WAHOO! Just head on over to Skipping Stones Design and start shopping. Be sure to enter 25off to get your discount!

Stay tuned for some upcoming blog candy… oh, like say, maybe tomorrow… OR later TODAY... cuz I just typed it up and it's a ready to post!!! *grin*

Fishing you… a Merry Christmas!

Inky Smiles!

StampsSkipping Stones Design’s Tropical Birthday
Inks – Ocean (CTMH)
Papers – Cosmo Cricket, Gina K
Miscellaneous - Dep Sport Endurance Styling Gel – Marathon Hold (Schwarzkoph & Henckel), Misc ribbon, adhesive, Nestabilities Classic Circles,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Skipping Stones Design Sketch SSD03 – Stained Glass Butterfly

I was working on a lot of projects this weekend.  I can share two of them with you after Thursday when the recipient gets them. (She reads this blog from time to time so I don’t dare share yet.)  Today I actually wrote our Christmas letter and printed it out and created a digital Christmas photo card to go with them.  I created one last year, too, but never mailed it.. lol… I thought about reusing it and then remembered I think I posted it here on the blog. LOL!  Anyway….

One of my projects was the weekly sketch for Skipping Stones Design’s Tuesday sketches.  I just received a bundle of stamps from Heather in the mail and was delighted that the Healing Wings set was in the package.  I think this is a lovely set with some beautiful sentiments. I especially love the “stained glass” style butterfly.

Here’s the set:

SSD Healing-Wings

Here’s today’s sketch SSD03 from Skipping Stones Design:


This sketch threw me for a loop. I looked at it and thought, “what on earth am I going to do with that floating triangle?”.  LOL!  So I played around with the sketch and then turned the paper I had printed it out on… voila!  The light bulb went on and I went to town crafting.


And here’s my card:


I love the sentiment, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life” and wanted to highlight it on the card but not have it be the main focal point.  (It’s too tiny anyway.)  I stamped it on some white cs and inked the edges to take off the sharpness of the white edges.  I pulled out Bernie (the Bernina… been trying to think of a nickname for her…) stitched the two rectangular patterned paper pieces to my card base with a basic zig zag stitch for some fun texture. 


Almost every card needs some added bling and sparkle so I added some gems from Kaisercraft to the “floating triangle”.  I think it looks less floating and more anchored now.  The sentiment is popped up on the triangle which is popped up off the card and the focal piece with the butterfly using American Craft foam squares.

Here’s a photo where you can see all the fun little popped up layers.


Here’s a close up of the butterfly.  I stamped with Timber Brown Stazon ink and then colored it in with watercolor pencil , blended with OMS and then covered with Liquid Glass for sparkle and to make the colors more rich and vibrant.

I stamped the image on  a piece of cream cs for some fun shadow detail and then cut a teeeeeny little strip of pop up foam square and mounted the butterfly over the image on the cream cs and bent up the wings a little.  I think it looks like a butterfly that has landed for just a second… :)


Inky Smiles!


Stamps – Skipping Stones Design Healing Wings
Inks – Stazon Timber Brown
Paper – Basic Grey, Archivers
Miscellaneous – Kaisercraft rhinestones, CTMH Liquid Glass, watercolor pencils, Odorless Mineral Spirits, thread & sewing machine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Skipping Stones Design Sketch Tuesday SSD02

When Heather sent me this set several weeks ago I laughed and laughed and laughed.  I love the sentiments!  I couldn’t wait to play with the set!  This weekend was the perfect chance, what with our crazy weather and all.  We needed a little warming up around here!

SSD Tropical Birthday

Here’s Kim Teasdale’s Sketch Tuesday SSD02 for Skipping Stones Design:


And here is my take on the sketch.  It’s a simple, yet fun card.


I have a hard time sticking to the rules.. LOL… so I had to make a bigger “little” circle to fit my image.  I also used some brads and a funky ribbon bit to create the “illusion” of the three stripes on the left hand side.    The ribbon was this weird straw like ribbon that I snipped apart and created both the thing on the left and the 3D hula skirt.I snipped apart the ribbon and carefully placed it neatly on top of the skirt (which I colored in with watercolor pencils and OMS) and glued it down with that awesome Zig 2 way glue.  I held it in place with some pliers until it was nice and stuck to the paper.  I stamped a double image of the hula girl on scrap CS and cut out the waistband and glued it on top of the hula skirt.HulaSkirtweb

Here’s what the ribbon looks like when it’s whole:

{That’s a sneak peek of another project I just finished that I can’t wait to share… :) }

Glitterweb I had so much fun playing with sunshiney glitter!  The glitter is a custom Erin mix… I mixed red, orange and yellow glitters from Doodlebug until I got just the right sunset-y look.  I cut out a circle with my Nestabilities, cut off the bottom part of the circle, and then ran it thru my Xyron machine.  I carefully peeled off the Xyron backing tape and then generously sprinkled it with glitter and pressed the glitter down into the adhesive.   A few flicks, taps, and general shakes later, I adhered it to the card.

The water background is made with the Dots CB Embossing folder and  the texture on the top brown CS was made with the Forest Branches CB Embossing folder.  (It’s kind of hard to see in the photo, but it looks a little like bamboo…)

Every hula girl needs some bling so I added a littler sparkle to the flower in her hair with some Stickles and colored in her skin and make up with some watercolor pencils.  (I still haven’t made it on the uber expensive Copic wagon yet.)

Stamps – SSD Tropical Birthday
Inks – Stazon Black
Papers – Close To My Heart
Accessories – Cuttlebug Machine & Embossing folders (bubbles/dots and forest branches), Doodlebug glitter, Stickles, watercolor pencils, odorless mineral spirits, misc ribbon, adhesives, brads, Nestabilities dies.

May your coconuts never hang lower than your grass skirt and may you have warmth in your homes today as we freeze to death in icy cold Utah.

Inky Smiles!

PS.. Since you’ve made it this far through the post.. and if you’re visiting me today, Tuesday, December 8th, 2009…. here’s a little something special for you!  So hurry over and pick out your favorite stamps!  There’s no better time than now to get 25% off AND free shipping!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful….

But the snow is so


Uhm… sorta… the jury is still out on that one.

After a LOnG and crazy day in Salt Lake doing this with Mrs Georgia White and her daughter Sue ….


…. this is what I came home to:


Sorry for the blurriness.. it’s difficult to take a decent photo at night while you’re shivering to death.  Brrr.

I could barely get in my driveway….  I had to back up to the curb across the street from my house and get a good “running start/mad dash” because I was in our little Malibu and B had the Tahoe and loverly 4WD.

See the mad dash marks at the top of the photo that Sadie’s in?  That was lil’ ol’ me rolling mah wheels to make it up the driveway….

There’s nothing like mad wheel rollin skills and a crazy lady in a Malibu who has to “go” so bad she’s gonna leave the car in the street and run in the house.  I bet I was some sort of crazy sight… lol!

Thankfully Brent got home a couple of hours later and went to work…again…. so hopefully tomorrow morning we can get out of our driveway…. We’re expecting MORE snow overnight sooo…… ay yi yi. 

Here’s my man… hard at work:




I love fluffy snow.

Apparently so does Sadie… for a while.  And then she wusses out with me on the porch.

I think the UPS man forgot we had a sidewalk… see those footprints?  They are going right through my flowerbed.  “Tiptoe… thru the tulips…”  That’s ok.  I can forgive him this time… cuz he delivered my much anticipated box of treasures from Sephora…. Have I told you I heart Sephora yet? Oh, that’s a story for another day!


I think I shall head in now where it’s warm and cozy and enjoy a cup of leftover homemade chili and a chunk of hot cornbread!

Inky Smiles!