Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lucy's Challenge...

I have problems with the html keystrokes for adding a link, site, photo, etc.

I see that Lucy's blog link didn't make it through in my last post, so I'm giving it another go...and keeping my finger's crossed. can find Lucy's challenge over at Lucy's Cards.

Lucy’s Color Challenge

Oh well…

I probably inadvertently disqualified myself from Lucy’s first color challenge, which you can find here by not thinking...and adding glitter.

It wasn’t until after I added the glitter that I realized…uh oh.

And this was my second attempt.

[full sun photo]

[same card with no direct sunlight]

I had just finished my first card (below)...when I realized...I had printed the sentiment onto "white" card stock.


Also, you'll notice a big "boo-boo" on the card in the first two photos...I "glittered" the waves and not the sand!

That's what I get for trying to be cute.

Both cards were made using one of my original drawings I made in MS Word. I use the “free form” line drawing tool. I also made the tree trunk free-hand.

I’ve been having fun playing with drawing in MS Word.

Original drawings by joshuajiraffe designs

Both my hubby and my teenager son tell me that I should use Paint, but I haven’t quite figured that one out…yet.

Anyway…I’ve been using some of my original drawings on cards for the upcoming craft bazaar at the University …figuring they might appeal to the young college set.

Thanks for checking in…and thanks, Lucy, for a fun challenge.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Wyoming…

My take on…a Wyoming holiday greeting card.

This is actually my depiction of what I see when I look out my front door…snow capped mountains in the distance.

There is a school directly across the street from our house, which somewhat blocks the view but I can still see the snowcaps from my living room window.

When taking my son to school, this is what we see…minus the evergreens and the deer, which are “Dress it up” buttons.

Thanks for peeking…

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A few simple things...

A few simple things I’ve been working on for the craft bazzar.

I love covering these little shaker boxes. I prefer ribbon, but paper works just as well.

I saw the idea a few years ago in “Living” and have made them ever since.

Sometimes I fill them with homemade treats for teacher’s gifts or give them as tree ornaments.

Thought I’d make a few with some non- traditional x-mas colors and a more masculine bent for the craft fair.

I also like to color and decorate the insides with paper and ribbon.

Some of the first cards I ever made where these little gift tags.

I think the little penguins might be old Debbie Mum stickers…I’ve had them for a long time.

I just added ribbon and mittens from a package of “Dress it up” holiday buttons.

Recently, I’ve taken to drawing my own creations in MS Word Art.

This was drawn using the freeform line art in MS Word. I just added some flowers I punched out of cardstock.

Original drawing by joshuajiraffe designs

One day I might like to try and turn these drawings into rubber stamps.

Another card I made using another one of my own freeform creations drawn and colored in Word Art.

Original drawings by joshuajiraffe designs

The penguin and tree are from a package of “Dress it up” buttons.

This last card was made using some MS stamps and more “Dress it up” buttons.

Thanks for stopping by…

A Slow realization...

Ahem…it’s been a while.

At least I can finally say that our house is (mostly) in order now.

Also, I’ve been posting to my other Blog about our move and adventures westward.

I signed up for a craft show (my first), which is in two weeks.

I need…product, product, product, which I mostly don’t have but have been busy working on.

I’ve also been struggling with something as of late.

I’ve slowly come to the realization that my paper crafting doesn’t really seem to fit with what other paper crafters are doing.

Everyone is moving forward...using the latest products and techniques, while I seem to remain in place.

Maybe it has to do with the long 6-7 months that it's taken to pack up our home, move and get settled in our new house.

So I’ve stayed away, trying to figure out what to do…what I want to do.

I thought of taking on another persona…another blog…but I’ve decided to stick with who I am, at least for the time being.

And to admit…that I do simple.

In fact, I like simple.

Maybe it’s boring.

Maybe it’s plain.

Maybe it’s a throwback to the style that we all started with…simple, plain and unadorned.

But it’s what I do best.

I think.

I’ve found that something chemical happens to me when I participate in a card…color…sketch…challenge.

I’ve even talked it over with the husband…who would prefer to have his fingernails pulled out rather than talk “crafts.”

I recently told him…“somehow I lose myself when trying to create for a challenge. I create with my brain rather than from my heart.”

And…I usually end up not liking what I’ve created.

The husband, definitely not the warm and fuzzy type when it comes to my craft works, listened and offered up this gem…

“It’s simple…forget about what other people are doing and just make the kind of cards you like.”

Hmm…I thought I was doing that.

But upon reflection, I realized the right.

Whenever I enter a challenge, two things happen…

I forget about what I like and do best, and

I try to become “someone else.”

And I fail miserably at it.

Or maybe it’s more like what a good friend shared recently.

She was bemoaning how she resents things that take time away from her creative pursuits, but then added…”but the honest truth is I like to dream of those things more than actually doing them.”


Don’t get me wrong.

I love to sit and peruse the latest craft magazines or sit at the computer visiting blog sites offering yummy card goodness.

I ooh.

I aah.

I drool over the latest techniques and products and what the rock star paper crafters are doing and creating and the world they open to the likes of me.

I envision creating cards…like them.

But it’s not me…or at least not me at the moment.

Like my friend, maybe I much prefer the reading and the “dream” of doing those things…rather than the actual doing.

Maybe it’s simply that I am a “hand’s on” visual learner…I need to see, feel, touch and see a technique, otherwise I'm disappointed in how my attempts, or as is more often the case, don't turn out.

Don’t know if that makes sense, but there it is.

I may change one day.

I hope I do.

But until then, I’ll continue to do what…I think…I do best.


Thanks for stopping in…

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just for Ewe…

Another simple card I'll be making more of for the December market bazaar…

I love this Ewe stamp but haven’t played with it in a long while.

I found this sketch over at 2 Sketches 4 You , but was too late to play along.

I liked the sketch so much I decided it would be perfect for my very simple little “Thank Ewe” card.

Thanks for stopping in…

These boots...

Very simple and unadorned set of coasters I made using the enhanced background technique by Jennifer McGuire for the 2Peas Fall Stamp Camp, which you can find on Jennifer’s blog here. Check it out…very cool technique.

I bought some glass coasters years ago from Sally Foster to give to the grandparents…the kind where you put photos in little sleeves on the backside.

I had this extra set that I didn’t want to toss because…well…everything has crafting potential.

I’m getting ready for a craft fair in early December to be held at the University and figure I need items that might appeal to college students, and since we’re in the West, thought I’d use this boot stamp I have.

They’re coasters, so can’t really embellish with bling. But they could also be made into little hanging frames.

Thanks for peeking….

Saturday, October 10, 2009

HA Paper Piecing challenge

I’ve said this before (and I seriously need to alter the situation so I don’t have to repeat it again), but I don’t have many Hero Arts Stamps. In particular, I don’t have many that are conducive to paper piecing.

So I used this one (Five Big Candles), which I really, really like…

I’m not sure if this qualifies as paper piecing, but…

I decided to follow the color scheme on the front of the stamp and stamped each candle onto a different color of cardstock. The flames were all stamped onto yellow cardstock.

I added brads and sprinkles and these little wire thingies I bought at AC Moore when I still lived in Virginia and had all these craft stores available to me…sigh!

I also added a piece of lovely purple and lime polka dot ribbon by Basic Basic that I love, but otherwise, I decided to kept it very simple.

Thanks for stopping by…

Friday, October 9, 2009

Caardvark’s “Take A Bow” Redux

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working with ribbon.

I have tons of holiday ribbon that I bought on sale last year back in Virginia, specifically for making holiday tags and cards.

Last year I made several sets of (ribbon wrapped) holiday napkin ring holders that I saw in Martha Stewart's Holiday issue of “Living” and gave them as holiday gifts.

You wrap ribbon around empty round fabric tubes (toilet paper and paper towel tubes, as suggested by MS, are just too flimsy).

I’m making a set of green ruffled napkin holders for an artsy friend, and thought, hmmm…

they might just work as a tree ornament or…

for a holiday gift wine bottle collar!

Close up of the ribbon wine collars…

I also used a section from one of the many ‘Holiday Greetings’ ribbons to create this very simple card…

The little silver Christmas tree is from a set of decorative “cookie cutter buttons” I bought at to make cards for my “cookie baking group” back home.

Decided to carry the ribbon to the inside…

I seem to be missing quite a few of my ribbons. I hope they’re sitting in---as yet---one of the many unpacked boxes and not in someone else’s home!

Caardvarks…I LOVE this challenge!!! Thank You!!! Don’t know how many times you can enter, but I have lots of other ideas….

Thanks for peeking…

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


My blogging friend, Dawn, of Dawn’s World, sent me the "MeMe Award." The rules are simple…divulge 7 secrets about myself and pass the award on to 7 others. Like some of the others, I don’t really have any secrets, so I will just list 7 (mostly boring) things about me. More importantly, however, I don’t really know 7 other (paper crafting bloggers) well enough to forward to…so I apologize if this award starts to slow down with me.

So here we go…

1. I recently moved from a large metropolis on the East Coast to the small University town of Laramie, Wyoming.

2. Although quite happily (and surprisingly) adjusting to life in small town Laramie, Wyoming, I sometimes miss my friends (and my old home) something fierce.

3. When I was in grade school and High School, I used to keep little books filled with poems, songs, comic strips and pictures that inspired or “spoke” to me, but I didn’t know then that I was actually “scrapbooking.”

4. My mom, who is an excellent seamstress and made all my clothes, tried to teach me to sew…but I refused to learn from her and thus, now have to pay for something that was “free.”

5. Mom also urged me to take a typing class while in H.S., but I always claimed that I was too busy to take the class.

6. I now wish that I had listened to my mom.

7. I blog about our adventure/journey/move from the East Coast to small town Laramie and it really helps with the adjustment.

So…these are the two people I feel comfortable enough naming for this award…

Marije of scraphamster

Andi of Andi’s Perfect Gravy – A City Girl’s Ranch Life

Please stop by their blogs to see all the fun and creative things they come up with.

And thanks to Dawn, for thinking of me…so sweet of her.

Double Challenge (Kitchen Sink & Caardvarks)

While admiring several cards submitted for Dawn McVey’s recent Raspberry Suite Challenge, I came across Courtney Baker’s site, “One day at a time” and this challenge

where we’re asked to use something from the (junk) mail on our cards or scrapbook pages.

I absolutely love this idea since I “try” to recycle as much as possible.

I was a tad bummed because nothing (or so I thought) workable came in yesterday’s mail and our mailperson doesn’t arrive until after 1:00 PM.


So…while running around the house doing chores, I came across this….

I immediately saw the possibilities and this is what I came up with…

I'm thinking it might also work for the ‘Take a Bow” challenge over at Caardvarks where we’re challenged “to use ribbon in some wonderful way!”

Two challenges in one...makes me smile!

Card Deets:
Fall Sale Postcard (Chicos)
Fun Dots (Offray Ribbon)
Pumpkin Halloween Ribbon (Michaels)
Fall Plywood Pumpkins by Harvest Crafts (Hobby Lobby)

Thanks for looking…

Monday, October 5, 2009

Raspberry Suite Challenge

Card created for Dawn McVey’s current Raspberry Suite Challenge.

I haven’t been able to participate for quite some time…so I’m glad Dawn had another inspiring challenge.

I had to pull it together very quickly this afternoon since it’s been a hectic week. But when I spied this ‘peppermint figgy pudding’ paper by Basicgrey, I decided to make an xmas card using Papertrey’s “Believe” clear stamps and dark chocolate ink.

Thanks for looking…

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I put a spell on you…

A very simple card created for the current HA’s photo challenge.

I don’t normally like to post photos of my family, but this photo is so old and I’ve always thought it was so cute.

I have Halloween on the brain and the phrase, “I put a spell on you” popped into my head.

I used the HA’s clear designs fanciful swirls alphabet set to create the phrase and Heidi Grace Halloween clear stamps for the inside.

I really enjoyed creating a card with photos will be doing more of it…so thanks Hero Arts for the fun challenge!

Thanks for stopping by…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This is what happens…

when you’ve been away from crafting for too long.

So…I was all a twitter about this week’s Hero Arts Challenge using photos as the background.

Our photos are still packed in a box somewhere, so I decided I’d use one of the vintage photos I’ve picked-up at estate sales, etc. and saving for special occasions.

I couldn’t find those either, but did happen up an old postcard I thought might work and this is what I did with it…

So, lucky me…I’m creating my card, feeling pretty good about it. I go to pick-up my laptop to write my post and that’s when I realized…I haven’t used any HA stamps!!!!


Silly me! I used rub-ons, which I love, instead. Completely got carried away and forgot.

Don’t know if I can go back and add a stamp or, if I can use a HA stamp…inside.

Does that count?

Anyway…getting back to the card I did create---the writing on the bottom of the card is actually what’s written on the back of the postcard. I copied it before adhering the postcard to the background card stock.

The bats are a stamp by MS, the headstones and the ghost are confetti and the broom is probably from Michaels and something that I’ve had for some time.

Back to the drawing board…Jeez!

BTW: I got the idea to use the vintage photos (and postcards) from some really Fab altered vintage photos cards I saw in the most recent Somerset Studio’s The Art of Paper and Mixed Media.

If you haven’t yet seen this issue, check it out!

Thanks for peeking…

Caardvarks Sketch Challenge #5

So yesterday I finally jumped in and entered my first challenge in some time.

Today, I figured I’d stay the course and enter another Caarvarks challenge with this sketch designed by Heidi Van Laar...

This sketch said “Christmas” to me. Unfortunately, most of my Christmas ephemera and embellies are patiently waiting (somewhere as yet unbeknownst to me) in a box in the lower level of my new home.

This sketch said “Christmas” to me. Unfortunately, most of my Christmas ephemera and embellies are patiently waiting (somewhere as yet unbeknownst to me) in a box in the lower level of my new home.

So I went with my other most favorite theme…Halloween!

This card isn’t anything like what I started with, but I think we all know how that goes…

Not sure if this meets the specifications of Heidi’s sketch…

The “Boo” is actually the cardboard packaging from a Wilton Cookie cutter. I was going to trace the cookie cutter onto cardstock, cut it out and embellish, when I thought…”Hey. Why not just use the packaging since it’s so colorful?”

I also figured “Boo” could serve a dual purpose…the curved shape and the greeting.

I usually like to finish the inside of my cards, as I did here...

Thanks Caardvarks, and Heidi, for another great challenge…and for helping to get me back on the horse.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Caardvarks Sketch Challenge #4

[Edited to Add: Not sure if it fits but also submitting to the Papertake Weekly Challenge #24...first time submitting to Papertake.]

It’s been months since I entered any challenges. I’ve mentioned before that we just made a major move from the East Coast to Wyoming and I’m just now starting to surface after a 4 month hiatus.

Anyway, thought I’d try and get back on the proverbial horse and give this sketch challenge a try.

I’m still unpacking, so it’s frustrating trying to craft when things are out of order…but at least I’m crafting!

I find I have a hard time with sketch challenges…not sure why, but I find I get “crafter's block” when trying to interpret a sketch.

But here it is…my attempt at Wednesday’s challenge…

Designer papers are all from a DCWV Safari Kids Stack that I bought back home in Virginia before we moved but never got around to using. The little gems are from Martha Stewart.

I also decorated the inside of the card but can't get my photo to post horizontal, a problem I seem to have quite a bit.

Oh well...

It was night when I made my card, so the colors are off.

Thanks for looking…

Something old---but new to me!

Saw this cute idea in the pages of the newly hatched GreenCraft magazine from Stampington & Company.

I LOVE this magazine! I can’t wait for the next issue, but until then… there are so many wonderful and creative ideas to (hopefully) keep me occupied until then.

And I just loved the “The Magic of Mini” (pgs. 14 &15) creations by Becky Shander, wherein she used inexpensive peat pots to create tiny gift baskets.

I was so intrigued by her little treat baskets that I went right out to Ace Hardware and bought me a stack of these little pots. 50 for $4.99…what a bargain!

(Just for the record, I also enjoyed the miniature eggs baskets by Angela Harris as well, and will also need to give those a try.)

So…while rummaging around in my current mess of a craft room---since I still have yet to unpack many of my craft boxes from our recent move out West---I spied a package of pink and lime green princess crowns that I bought on sale over a year ago.


This is what I came up with while I was waiting for my boys to return from bb practice last evening.

I know…very simple…but simple is really what I do.

Great for giving little chocolates!
I have since learned that using peat pots for a variety of crafting treats has been around for some time…case in-point: a Martha Stewart video I found last evening where she made peat pot Easter Baskets back in 2001!

Oh well…

They may be old hat to you all---but they’re new to me…and I plan to have some fun with them!

Thanks for stopping by…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spoiled (& a crude, quick & dirty holiday tag)…

I may have posted earlier how I've been spoiled…craft store wise. I had no less than 6 craft and craft/fabric stores (Michaels, AC Moore, The Paper Source, Pearls, G Street Fabrics and Joann Fabrics) within a 5-10 mile radius from my home in Arlington, VA.

Now…I have 3 stores (Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joann Fabrics) within a 47 to 55 mile radius from my home in Laramie, Wyoming and all… over the mountains in Cheyenne, Wyoming or Fort Collins, Colorado. Remember, I’m a city girl (even though Virginia does have its rolling hills).

So what’s a gal…who isn’t (yet) comfortable cruising along a two-lane highway or alongside Big Mac trucks flying down the Interstate, all at 75 to 80 mph…to do???

Instead of AC Moore, I’ve been cruising the aisles of Ace Hardware and True Value!! And what have I found? Options, baby. Options!

It’s amazing what a gal can do…when a gal has to do what a gal has to do…to get her crafting fix!

A (very) quick and dirty holiday “tag” I pulled together yesterday using some of my Ace Hardware buys, including a 1/18” thin piece of Balsa plywood from Midwest Products.

I got the idea while thinking about the upcoming craft bazaar I signed up for at the University Wyoming (UWYO) in early December. This will be my very first craft fair and I’m wondering…”What the heck was I thinking!!!!” I’m incredibly nervous, yet excited! I have several ideas floating in my head, some past creations and some new ones.

Backside of card, which I know doesn't really fit with the front.

Close-up of the front. I used a page from one of the many books that we were going to donate but that I decided to keep for my crafting purposes. This page is from an old Spanish dictionary. I accidentally stamped on it upside down!

My holiday tag is messy and crude and needs LOTS of tweaking…but it uses my Ace purchases (the Balsa plywood and garden jute) and some really old beads from another era…like almost 20 years ago! I plan to stamp on the wood itself, which I’m sure has been done before, to create an outdoorsy, natural look that I’m hoping might appeal to buyers at the UWYO craft bazaar.

My piece of Balsa wood is approximately 3”x35” and cost $1.65. I figure I can get anywhere from 6 to 8 tags from one piece of wood…plus it’s smooth, which means no need for a whole lot of sanding. Nice!

Thanks for stopping by…