Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Writer's World Wednesday-Inspiration

"Where do you get ideas?"
"What provides you with inspiration?"
"Hasn't every story already been told?"

Regardless of how the questions come, people want to know how to create something out of nothing. While every writer is different, they are all observers. They all ask, "What if?"  However, this thin air creationism is not limited to writers.  Women are almost universally novelists.  Ask a woman why it's so troubling when her husband doesn't call if he's going to be late and, if she's honest, she will tell you a story.  A long, drawn out story that extends with every minute that passes.  Fifteen minutes equals an accident.  Thirty minutes means a fatal accident.  Forty-five minutes means planning a funeral and trying to decide how you are going to survive on life-insurance and one income.  After an hour, you are figuring out how to move on.

At which point your husband shows up and can't understand why you are so upset.

Novelists do the same thing.  We simply take one small idea and blow it out of proportion.  Way out of proportion.  It would be nice if we could limit this "mountain out of a mole-hill" ability to fiction, but it doesn't seem to work that way.  The nice thing is my husband now fully understands why it's important to call me if he's going to be late.

Until next time,

Friday, April 25, 2014

Oh So Pretty

I am in love with CTMH's April Stamp of the Month "Balloon Talk". In LOVE, I tell you.  This week's challenge at Color My Heart is to use the paper pack Ariana.  Since the paper is so pretty, I combined it with the "oh so pretty" sentiment. 

I cut strips of the Ariana paper, including a zip strip, using scallop edge scissors, glued them to a 4.25x3" panel, mounted it to my card base, and sewed along the edges.  The sentiment was stamped in Outdoor Denim pigment ink then covered with clear embossing powder and heat set.  I hand cut it out and mounted it on top with foam tape.

And done!

And oh so pretty!

Until next time,

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Believe in the Beauty of Your Dreams

Hi Everyone!  I'm here with my last Skylark post for  I'm going a little retro today.  This scrapbook page features my now 25 year old daughter way, waaaaay back in elementary school.  It was one of my favorites because it captured the promise of the beautiful woman to come.

If you've been paying any attention this month, you know that CTMH is running a fabulous promotion for signing up as a new consultant.  Spend $99 on the new consultant kit, get your choice of Cricut cartridge for free--which just happens to be a $99 value.  I've been focusing on the Art Philosophy cartridge (see last week's post and this post for more ideas). 

To create my tree, I used the tree trunk image from p. 53 along with the leaf shape (called Petal2) on p. 59.  I simply cut a bunch of leaves and took advantage of the different patterns that come on the front and back of the various papers.  Sorry...I forgot to measure the tree (best guess is about 6 inches), but the leaves are 1inch.

My accent pieces are all from the Skylark Complements, which is included in the new consultant kit.

If you have been sitting on the fence about signing up as a CTMH consultant, time is running out on this special.  You literally have NOTHING to lose.

Until next time,
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Writer's World Wednesday-Research Part 2

My novella is set in Guthrie, Oklahoma.  Since the Army has been gracious enough to move us around the country on their dime, this Pacific Northwesterner is now living in the great state of Oklahoma two hours of south of Guthrie. A few weeks ago, I took a field trip to get a lay of the land and found a treasure in the Oklahoma Territory Museum. Here are a few pictures:

These are just a few of them, but the experience taught me one thing: the internet is okay, books are better, but actually standing on the ground is the absolute best.  And, if you get the chance, talk to a museum curator who knows his stuff. That's priceless.

Until next time,

Saturday, April 19, 2014


My new Cricut Explore arrived yesterday.  It comes with a two-week subscription to thousands of images I don't own.  I am making hay while the sun shines!  And it's probably about to pay off for them because I found a cartridge called "Brooklyn Iron-on" which has great gaming/geek images.  Since I live with a couple of gaming geeks, the sayings and images on that cartridge make me smile...which is the theme for this week's Less is More challenge.

One of the other things that makes me smile about this card is the ability to use up scraps.  I cut the LEVEL UP! out of kraft, adhered strips of scrap paper to the back (CTMH Crystal Blue and Honey plus a plum from...somewhere), and then cut the game controller out of a brown from...somewhere.  I will say that having a fine point glue pen came in very, very handy for this card.

I will be sending this to my son-in-law for his birthday.  I think he will get a smile out of it, too!

Until next time,

Friday, April 18, 2014

With Sympathy

Sympathy cards are both easy and hard...just make something as beautiful as you can (easy) and then figure out what to say on the inside (hard).  For this card, I wanted to use the soft purple and yellow combination from Dynamic Duos #98.

I clear embossed Dalia from Our Daily Bread Designs, dropped Gypsy and Honey ink (CTMH) on a clear acrylic block, placed my embossed paper over the block, and swirled it around.  After it dried, I used an iron to lift off the embossing powder then went over the whole image with pearl paint to give it some shimmer. 

If I were to do this over again, I would use pigment ink for my sentiment to make it stand out better.

On this Friday when we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, it is good to remember Resurrection Sunday which gives hope and tempers our grief.

Until next time,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Picture Perfect

Happy Thursday, everyone!  I'm here with my third Skylark post for  I have a very cool plan for a scrapbook page, but I sold my Cricut Expressions in order to purchase the new Cricut Explore--which is now on backorder.  **Sigh**

So...another card this week, but I love how it turned out.

I trying to stick to supplies in the New Consultant Kit because the promotion for signing up this month is phenomenal...your choice of a Cricut cartridge.  Since the True to Life stamp set coordinates with the Art Philosophy (AP) cartridge, I have chosen to create projects using supplies which come with the AP bundle.  The "U and me 4 ever" ticket is from one of the AP coordinating stamp sets.  Like my card from two weeks ago, only the Baker's Twine doesn't come in the New Consultant Kit.

Because I am currently without a Cricut (**sigh**), I hand cut the tag, tickets, and "way cute" sentiment. The tag was stamped on Skylark paper in Desert Sand ink then paper pieced to create the multiple colors.  The sentiment is from the Believe in Yourself stamp set.

In a couple weeks, I'll be packing my bags for a mother-daughter trip to Paris.  Once it's over, I plan to send my daughter my favorite picture of the two of us from the trip.  I'm guessing there will be a lot of **sighing** going on trying to choose which one to send her.

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writer's World Wednesday-Research

Ahhh...research.  If I could be a research assistant for a famous writer, that would be my dream job.  I love research.  Put me in a dusty library or send me on a field trip to take pictures any day.  Love that part.

In addition to on-line research, nothing beats good, old-fashioned books.  I always check out a whole bunch and then find one or two which are gold mines.  Out of this stack, my best ones are: Land Rush of 1889, The Germans in Oklahoma, and Women Who Pioneered Oklahoma.  The bottom one is actually a German cookbook.  My heroine makes a mean Apfelstruedel, and God has blessed me with a couple of first generation German women who are helping me with recipes and language. Irmgard loaned me her recipe book with blue duct tape holding the binding together.  Ingrid has helped with language questions.  When the novella comes out, if you are paying attention, you'll notice my small tribute to each of these ladies.

As for field trips, stayed tuned.

Until next time,

Friday, April 11, 2014

hey there

This week over at Color My Heart we are working with Creme Brulee, Sorbet, and Juniper.  My card this week is an example of the 60-30-10 color rule (aka "gallon, quart, pint").

Supplies(italics = CTMH product):
  • CardstockCreme BruleeSorbet, and Juniper
  • Ink: Black pigment 
  • StampsBalloon Talk (April Special);
  • Accessories: black sequins adhered with Liquid Glass 
The general idea behind this color principle is to choose one color to take up 60% of the design, one to take up 30%, and one splash of color at 10%.  It doesn't mean the color takes up that much space on the whole card, necessarily, just that much space in the part that has color.

And that's it. The quick and dirty version of how much of each color to use on a project.

I do need to give credit to Sylvia from Sylvias Stamping Place for this card idea.  You can see her project here.

Off to a women's retreat this weekend.  Woot, woot!

Until next time,

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Curing Writer's Block

Happy Thursday, Everyone.  It's Becca with my second Skylark post for  This month we are featuring projects which can be made from the new consultant kit.

Ask any author about Writer's Block.  It's that dreaded condition where--particularly under deadline--you stare at the screen and words won't come.  They simply will NOT come.  With my first novella now under contract, I have been staring at my screen and pulling words out of my brain with the same painstaking (and painful) care as a dentist pulling teeth.  While there are as many cures for this condition as their are authors, I decided to try my favorite one first:  Chocolate!

The "prescription" reads: Take 2 pills per hour until cured

This was a very fast and easy project.  I cut a 2 1/8 x 6 inch strip of Skylark paper which already had the label area pre-printed, hand wrote my prescription, and used Bonding Memories Glue to adhere it around a McCormick spice jar.  I had washed the jar and peeled off any bits of the packaging label from McCormick but still had enough left to which the Bonding Memories Glue could adhere.

For the top of the jar, I popped out one of the flowers from the Skylark Complements, filed down the edges with a Sanding Kit (not included in new consultant kit), and used Liquid Glass to adhere it to the lid.  Even better, the lid is one for cinnamon sticks which has a large hole as opposed to the small, sprinkling type holes.  Makes it easy to pop a pill as needed.

Although this project doesn't take advantage of the free Cricut collection which comes as a bonus when you sign up as a consultant this month, it would certainly be a great way to welcome a new team member who might be worried about Artist's Block.  The same cure applies!

Until next time,

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Writer's World Wednesdays-Part One

I am not a public person. Though I can mix and mingle fairly well when required, I much prefer solo types of activities: papercrafting, scrapbooking, reading, and writing.  However, I'm about to become a more public person.  If all goes as expected, my name will be on the cover of a book which will be on the shelves at your local Walmart/Sam's Club in January 2015.

I'm thrilled. I'm petrified. I'm...not even sure what else.

To ease myself into the transition, I have decided to begin "Writer's World Wednesdays" here in the privacy of my blog.  I will share bits and pieces of what an author does with her time, where story ideas come from, research, etc.  But I'd like to make this a two-way communication, so please feel free to ask whatever questions you have.  No subject is off limits (though I will exercise some degree of censorship).

For now, please feel free to follow my Pinterest board called "Waiting on a Promise-novella" to see the faces, clothes, and living situation of Karl and Marta.

Until next time,

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter Eggs for Grown Up Kids

Yesterday I decided to purchase Tic-Tacs in order to send my son, daughter, and son-in-law mailable. "Easter Baskets".  By the time I figured out what to do, they turned into "Easter Fake Magazine Holders", but I've done nothing for so many years that I wanted to do...something.

To begin, I peeled the labels from three different colored Tic-Tac containers and poured their contents into a bowl to mix up the colors.  After refilling them, I scoured my CTMH Cricut cartridges to see what would work to turn them into something darling so I could participate in this weeks Heart 2 Heart challenge.

The wrap around portion of the magazine file folder from Cricut Artiste (p. 47) cut at 2.75" was the perfect size. I cut three shapes from the Dotty For You paper pack then adhered them to the Tic-Tac containers.  This picture actually shows the reverse order of things, but it gives you the idea.  I used Liquid Glass to adhere the back of the Tic-Tac container to the paper.  I left the sides free to give a little wiggle room.  I folded the front edges over top of each other, glued them with Bonding Memories Glue, and wrapped Lagoon Washi Tape all the way around making sure the overlap would be hidden by my accent piece (aka, the flower).

The flowers were cut from Art Philosophy (p. 29) but, since they were cut for a different project, I don't know the exact size.  I used a 1/2" hole punch for the centers and accented them by running a marker along the edges.  I popped the flowers up on foam tape. It's not like it will cost me extra to mail at this point.  I'll put them in small, bubble wrap mailers and not have to worry that the flowers will lose their dimension.

Had there not been leftover flowers sitting on my desk, I would have gone with small egg shapes and used the Washi tape to decorate them.  I could have wrapped ribbon around the containers.  My boys will just have to put up with flowers this year.  At least they're getting something!

Until next time,

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Believe in Yourself

Happy Thursday!  I'm here with my first Skylark post for  Since CTMH is running a special for signing up as a consultant, the DrPhilScraps DT members are creating projects which can be made using the consultant kit.

Now...the bonus for signing up as a consultant is your choice of Cricut cartridges.  The True to Life stamp set which comes in the kit coordinates with the Art Philosophy cartridge.  An example is the ticket shape.

To get the multi-dimensional effect, I stamped the sentiment in Lagoon ink (from the Believe in Yourself stamp set also included in the consultant kit) in the center of the top panel after the strip of Skylark Green paper had been glued on top.  I then stamped the ticket  from True to Life in Desert Sand ink over the pre-cut ticket shape, stamped "Believe in Yourself" in Lagoon again, put foam tape on the back of the ticket, then lined up the two images and affixed it.

To help keep the Baker's Twine in place, I used a small hole punch to create notches along the edges of the 4x5.25" top panel.  I glued a strip of Lagoon cardstock across the top of the back 4.24x5.5" card base and, again using foam mounting tape, mounted the top panel on the card base.

Again, everything used on this card (with the exception of the Baker's Twine) is included in the new consultant kit.

I think this would be a great card for anyone who needs a little encouragement, whether that's to take the plunge and sign up as a consultant or for any other reason.

Until next time,

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