Saturday, June 30, 2012

With a little help from our friends...

I just recently joined the Lawnscaping DT, and am still getting to know the lovely girls on the team... one of the sweetest, kindest ladies - Christiana - has just had her home broken into.  As a new friend, my heart broke when I read about all the stuff they took from her sanctuary, but also... the aftermath:  the violation of monsters entering your home, going through your personal belongings and making you feel like you'll never be safe again...

We're making cards for Christy,  but more than that, we would like to gift her with some money - not only to help her catch her breath from all the insurance dealings, but also to help her remember that there is more good in this world than cruelty.

If you'd like to help out, there is a pay pal button on my side-bar... and no amount is too small.  We're calling this "operation safe & sound" :)

To see a full list of participants (and their cards!) click over to either the lawnscaping blog or a blog named hero.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gallery Idol - final thoughts.

Hi peeps!

First of all, join me in celebrating the winner, Joscelyne Cutchens!  Who could compete with a polaroid camera that lights up with you remove the picture?  I'm only a designer, but apparently, Joscie is an engineer as well :)

I also wanted to take a quick second to thank everyone who encouraged me along the way.  You have no idea what that means to me.  I have absolutely no way of knowing why my card was even picked as part of the top 20.  Not that I don't think my card was fabulous, 'cuz it was, but so were so many others that weren't chosen.  With that in mind, I did the best I could and stretched myself every single week.  And I was so happy that many of you liked what I created!

To my fellow idol-ers, the top 20 ladies: you are a special bunch.  I have had so much fun "chatting" with you all, and getting to know you a little better.  Joscie, I can't wait to get my sweet treats and flair in the mail (hope it's not all melted, hee hee).  I have blog-stalked quite a few of you, and am so amazed at the artwork you put out - what goes on in your lovely brains, I will never fully understand :)  But it's been so reassuring, knowing that even the best of you have the same moments of self-doubt that I have, and have the same nervous excitement at the thought of your heart and soul on display...

Now that I have my weekends free again (!) I hope we can all enjoy a relaxing one!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hoppy birthday!

The lawnscaping gals are doing a little birthday hop in honor of Vera's birthday today - happy birthday, Vera!

What's more fitting for a blog HOP, than a hopping kangaroo?  *groans all around*

 I stamped, colored and cut out the kangaroo from lawn fawn's "critters down under," and stuck him onto a tag.  The grass and the speech bubble were cut using MFT dies.  I sponged the baking doily with an orange ink, versamarked the hero arts clouds background, and finished off the tag with some soft yarn.

Thanks for "hopping" on over *groans again*

For a full list of the participants, click back to the lawnscaping blog.

ps, I realize that my posting has suddenly become a bit more sporadic - I blame Gallery Idol, and my new DT positions.... it's so different when you can't share what you've been crafting right away!  I can't wait to start showing you more new stuff next week :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Heroes card drive.

**If you're looking for my Gallery Idol final project, click *here*

We're promoting a card drive over at Lawnscaping to send handmade cards that the troops can use to send home to their loved ones.

My heart goes out to Laurel, whose own husband has just recently been deployed with the US Navy.

Please click *here* to check out the original post with all the details and consider sending a card or 2 to brighten the day of a hero's family.

Thanks so much!

(ps, Gallery Idol top 5 is ON.  Click on the eggs & bacon card on my right side-bar to jump to the voting site.  I would so appreciate your vote!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gallery Idol, final round.

Oh my.

Somebody fan me down... is it really the final round of Gallery Idol??

This week's theme is interactive birthday cards.  Lemme just start off by saying mechanics and math are not my strong suits :)  But I think I managed to pull together a super sweet and clever card, and my kids have been "interacting" with it all weekend... hee hee.

Oh, and I realize that the photo-editing took a dramatic turn, but I really wanted to be able to show you all the details of my "from frying pan to table" card.  So, card pictures first, details at the end... enjoy the little "motion blur" to show how the eggs go down :)

For my card, I grabbed lawn fawn's "love 'n breakfast" set and paper pieced all of the elements.  I also stamped the wavy steam lines from "on the mend."  I then fiddled around with PTI's wavy spinner die, to shorten it to the size I needed.  The "egg-cellent" part of the sentiment is stamped, and I added the rest via computer.

My favorite things about this card:

I opted to not make the eggs spin down the card - the track was too wide for that.  Instead, I attached the eggs/bacon onto a strip of acetate, so they can be slid up and down.

I also love that I "re-inserted" the frying pan face and the top of the serving tray.  I had to go back to the spinner die and cut those out separately.

I wanted to mount the focal panel onto foam squares, so I backed the entire panel with vellum card-stock.  The track is translucent!

I love the pop of texture from the MFT rolled rose die.

I hope you like this card as much as I do.  If you do, I'd appreciate your vote!  You know the drill - click on the picture of my card on the right side-bar and it will bring you straight to the voting site.

Thank you for popping by!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Gallery Idol, top 5!


Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement - I'm so honored to have reached the top 5 round of Gallery Idol!

This weekend will be a crafty one, for sure :)

Hope yours is fantastic, and see you back on Monday for the interactive birthday card reveal!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

lawnscaping challenge: color splash

I thought I'd join in, just for fun, even though my term with lawnscaping only officially begins in July...

(A final little plug for Gallery Idol... today is the last full day to vote.  Click on the card ------------------->)

And, back to the card :)  I stamped a background using images from "blissful botanicals" and used an orange copic marker to "splash" some color around... I didn't color the flowers in perfectly on purpose - I wanted it to look more whimsical...

Then, I created a folded tag shape by die cutting a PTI tag sale 5 shape (but where I folded a piece of white cardstock and omitted the fish-tail part at the end.)  The tag is adhered to my card with foam squares, and I tied it shut with some yarn and thread (which I colored with copics to match my card.... I love doing that!)

 When the bow is untied...

it reveals a hidden message... I love this little interactive element!

Thanks for peeking!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gallery Idol, round 4.

Gallery Idol round 4.  I can't hardly believe that I'm still here!  

And when I read the challenge for this week: to use a household item on the card, I had my first moments of panic in this competition.  For each of the last rounds, I'd gotten an idea in my head within the first few minutes, and the end result was surprisingly close to that initial vision.  I wouldn't be so lucky this time.  

I tried melting plastic spoons.  That was a smelly, bulky-looking, hot mess.

I cut the bottom off of a water bottle and heat-gunned it to look like a plastic flower.  Very cool, actually, but still not the look I was going for...

I couldn't get over the fact that I'd just be plunking a hunk of plastic onto my card.   I was determined to create something that still looked still looked like a pretty card, regardless of what the theme was.

Soooo, a stack of coffee filters, some blueberries, food-coloring, and a corrugated cardboard box later, I give you my entry:

(for those of you with an eye for the PTI products I used, yes, I cut my friendship jar die apart.  I used my husband's hardware scissors and snipped the jar away from it's lid.)

I started out by die-cutting stacks of flowers out of our coffee filters.  Next, I created a water-bath of mushed-up blueberries and a tiny bit of green food coloring (the flowers look quite aqua in the pictures, but in real life are more of a very light blue.)  After I dunked the stacks into the color-bath, I worked quickly to peel apart all the layers and lay them out separately.  By the time I peeled the last ones apart, I started stacking them back up, in the order I'd laid them out.  I punched a hole in the stack, put a tiny brad in the middle, and starting fluffing up each layer (which is why you need them to be slightly damp when doing this).  

When I was done, I left the flowers to dry while I worked on the rest of the card.  I found an old cardboard box in our recycling bin, and peeled back the outer-layer to reveal the more weathered corrugated cardboard underneath.  (tip:  once I'd snipped and peeled away more of the outer layer, I used an eraser to get rid of the rest.)

I die-cut the jar into the cardboard, and stamped the coordinating image inside.  The sentiment is computer-generated onto vellum.

I hope you like my entry - and if you do, would you vote for me?  I'd love a chance to make it to the top 5 round!  You have until Thursday to vote - just click on the picture of this card on the right sidebar... it will take you where you need to go :)

stamps: PTI: friendship jar, daydreamer, text style II
ink: antique linen distress ink, PTI: spring moss, memento black, SU: crumb cake and bashful blue
paper: PTI: white, vellum
misc: red buttons, cardboard, coffee filter, mft leaves die, pti jar die

Sunday, June 17, 2012

designing with lawnscaping.

Hi all!

I'm beyond thrilled to have landed a spot as a regular designer for the lawnscaping challenge blog!  Y'all know (see, so excited that I'm talking southern) how much I love my lawn fawn stamps... I think it's a perfect fit.

Check out Laurel's big announcement on the lawnscaping blog!

Even though the new girls are only starting in July, I thought I'd share a card I made just for my sister:

A little back-story:  I had absolutely no idea what sentiment to pair with the platypus image from "critters down under."  A google-search later, I found out that discoverers couldn't believe such an animal even existed, and that the platypus is seriously the weirdest looking animal ever.  After mulling over some other sentiments, like "be unique," or "it's okay to be different," I got a call from my sister.  She and her husband are in the midst of a whole-house-renovation.  And little things keep going wrong.  But, there was a problem with the staining of their hardwood floors that had her sounding so stressed.  I thought a funny card would help brighten their day :)  Funny to me, anyways!

Have a great day, and see you back here tomorrow afternoon for my next Gallery Idol project!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gallery Idol & Precious Remembrance Shop.

Hi peeps!

I have some very fun news to share.

First of all, you may know this little competition I'm in, called Gallery Idol.... well, I made the top 10!

(see? there I am at the top right!)

On Monday, we'll be unveiling our next projects... the challenge is to use household items on our cards - eeep!  A bit of a switch from what I normally do...

My second piece of amazingly exciting news:  I am joining the Precious Remembrance design team!

Precious Remembrance is an up and coming company, and I am thrilled to be designing for them.  Check out the Precious Remembrance blog today to meet the rest of the team, or show them some love from here :)

Create It Wednesday : Andrea Budjack 
Project Thursday: Clare Prezzia
Inspire Me Friday: Aman 
Saturday Creations: Elena Roussakis (that's me!)

Starting in July, you can find me sharing my "saturday creations" on the Precious Remembrance blog... on.... Saturdays :)

Here are some other links if you'd like to go and explore the Precious Remembrance pages:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wishing you rainbows...

(One more plug to go vote for Gallery Idol!  There are only a few hours left.  Click on the side picture of the baby cards to be taken to the Paper Crafts voting site ---------------------------------------------------->)

You may remember, a bit ago, I created a card using Melania Deasy's "Aero Boy" digi stamp set...

When she previewed her new digi set, "little Rosie," I fell in love.  I mean, I do have a 7 year old princess living in the house and I knew she would go ga-ga for all of the cute little fairies.

I decided to print up and color the rainbow and this leaning fairy.  (It was a hard decision, since there are 7 fairies to choose from!)

The sentiment is from PTI's "up up and away" set, the patterned paper is from Studio Calico, and the stamped cloud background (behind the rainbow) is a Hero Arts background stamp.

Thanks for peeking!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

hey, good lookin'!

After all the fussy-cutting I did for my latest Gallery Idol card, I was in the mood for something simpler :)

(and speaking of Gallery Idol, have you voted yet?  Click on the pair of baby cards to go vote! ---------->)

Here is this week's Retro Sketch:

And here is my take on it:

I grabbed all 3 pairs of glasses from lawn fawn's "clear to see" and stamped a whole panel with them.  Then, I printed a sentiment onto white cardstock (I seem to be on a kick of printing my own sentiments lately...) and scribbled a red copic marker over the sentiment before die-cutting a heart-shape.  The twine and the 3 black rhinestones finish off my stab at this fabulous sketch.

Thanks for peeking!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gallery Idol, round 3.

I am so thrilled to be able to compete again - and this week's theme was right up my alley.  As soon as I read the masculine/feminine card set theme, my mommy-mind wandered towards creating a baby boy and a baby girl card set.

In my mind, what I've created are 2 nursery walls - one for a boy's room, and the other fit for a new little princess.  I love a baby room painted in soft stripes (where else in your home could you get away with that bubble-gum pink?!) and little lacquered white frames with alphabet art inside.  

When I say lacquered, I mean that I added some glossy accents to the scallop portion of the frames - in real life, it's such a pretty detail.  You may be able to pick up some of that detail in the close-up shot below:

I hope you can also see that I only swiped a bit of blue or pink onto the images, but left them mostly white, and colored around them with a light grey copic marker (T1.)  It gave them the vintage meets pop art feel that I was after.  Oh, and the sentiment?  It's an Elena-original :)  Sooooo, if any stamp makers need help with theirs... hahaha.  

In case it's not super obvious, let me list the products that match up on both cards:

1) the little Denami scallop frame (stamped and hand cut many, many times this past weekend)
2) the PTI stripes, for the backgrounds
3) the lawn fawn alphabet letters, above each frame
4) the grey polka-dotted diy faux washi tape (made using this tutorial)

The only things that differ between the cards are the images inside the frames, and the color schemes.  

And, because I do so much masking on this blog, I thought it was high time for a little step-by-step:

First, I stamped the scallop frame onto white cardstock.  (Hilarious, that you can see my notes and stamped images on the scrap paper underneath.)

Next, create your mask (sorry, this one is used, but you get the idea, right?)  I use Eclipsys masking paper - it's like a post-it note, but with removable sticky everywhere.  I stamped the scallop frame again onto the masking paper and then used scissors to cut out the circle in the middle.  After that, I aligned the mask with the original stamped image.

Then, I inked up one of the images - a crab (from lawn fawn's "critters of the sea.")  When I removed my stamp, I had to laugh for a moment at the funny crab-lady I'd just created for myself (note to self: make a new mask for tutorial purposes next time!)

And, when I finally peeled back the masking paper - voila!  A crab image, perfectly contained within the circle part of the frame.  Now, repeat with all the rest of the images :)

I had such a fun time creating this card set!  And now, to find a mom pregnant with a set of boy/girl twins, and be invited to that baby shower *wink*

Thank you so much for your encouragement and support!  I could not have made it past the first round without your votes - so bear with me while I ask you to do it all over again!  Click *here* to access the top 15 gallery, or click on the picture of my card set on the right sidebar (it will be up all week for your voting convenience.)  I would love to continue on for another round!

Stamps: Denami: scallop frame, PTI: distressed stripes, tiny treats: birthday, SU: greeting card kids, under the big top, every little bit, lawn fawn: critters of the sea, smitty's abcs, silly valentine, blissful botanicals, american crafts amy tangerine: lovestruck
Ink: SU: basic grey, pink pirouette, going grey, PTI: aqua mist, Memento black
Paper: PTI white cardstock
Misc: white tissue paper, glossy accents, computer fonts: Ld glorious and scrap casual (both from

Friday, June 8, 2012

Moving on!

I'm so thrilled to be moving on to the next round of the Gallery Idol competition!  Thank you all for your incredible support and encouragement.

hee hee.

(just in case you were wondering, I would have posted this card regardless if I made it or not.  I'm so proud of the top 20 and would have "woo-hoo-ed" no matter who made it!)

Have a great weekend, and see you on Monday with my set of masculine/feminine cards for the next round!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

lawnscaping challenge, take 2.

I had so much fun creating my last card, that I thought I'd give it another go for this week's Lawnscaping challenge.

Here, I cut a "T" shaped slit, folded each corner back, shaped, and secured them with a glue dot.

I love a good punny sentiment - this one was printed up on my computer.

A little Thomas-ear-surgery-update:  it went so smoothly - we were in hospital at 7am and out by 10am.  Wow!  And he was so brave - not a tear until he came out of the anesthetic (he howled and was completely disoriented  for a solid 10 minutes... but once I cuddled and held him, I think we both felt better.)  By supper-time, he was running all around and completely back to normal - thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers.

See you back here tomorrow!  The top 15 advancing through to the next round of Gallery Idol will be announced and I'll write a quick note either way :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

lawnscaping challenge #35

First off, thanks to everyone who left sweet comments about my Gallery Idol card.  And, if you haven't voted yet, would you vote for me?  I would love to have the chance to compete again next week!

Click on my "girl on fire" card over at the right ------------------------------------------------>

Voting ends on Thursday!

I thought I'd join in the fun over at the Lawnscaping blog - where we're asked to use patterned paper.

The patterned paper treatment on my card was inspired by *this card* of Nichole Heady's.  I adhered 2 different patterned papers, wrong sides together and flipped the one over to reveal a fun little scene.

I used "critters in the forest," "gnome sweet gnome," and the grass from "critters in the 'burbs" to create the scene.

I may be absent for a few days again - we're taking our son for minor ear surgery in the morning.  His daddy took him out for a late-night happy meal at McD's (since he won't be able to eat or drink starting at midnight all the way until it's all done and over with) - which means that right now, Thomas is happy as a clam :)

Thanks for peeking!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gallery Idol, round 2.



Words cannot even express how thrilled and honored I am to be participating in the Gallery Idol competition.  After the initial "heart attack moment," when I realized that I made it to the 2nd round, I got started playing around with the idea that struck me within the first 10 minutes of reading this week's theme.

The theme is "you color my world."

Sofia (my 7 year old daughter) immediately suggested a smiley-faced rainbow.  I also had flashes of crayons spelling out different words, die-cuts with rainbow colors peeking through the negative spaces - but yo - this is GALLERY IDOL.  I had to bring it... my style. *grins*

Here is my very own "girl on fire":

I remember seeing a breathtaking poster with a black silhouette-d lady, where her hair flowed upwards in swirls and flowers... I really wish pinterest had been around at the time!  Since our theme was COLOR, I kept the silhouette, the background script, and the ink splotches all very monochrome and let the colors sing and fly upwards on the card.  This lady is in l-o-v-e (and probably walking around humming "you make me feel like a natural woman" to herself, hee hee.)

Wanna know which stamps I used and how I created my little lady?

I first stamped my silhouette in SU's crumb cake ink.  See the cameo stamp? (from Paper Smooches' "pretty momma" set) - I inked her up, then gently wiped off the frame around and the back part of her head.  Too bad, so sad, lady - it all had to go *wink*

I then mapped out where I'd like the hair to start and how I wanted everything to flow using a pencil (making sure that her flourish-y hair started at her bangs, so she didn't look like a bald-on-top woman with hair only coming out the back - don't ask me how I'm able to give you this important tip):

Next, I added flourishes (from PTI's "fancy flourishes" set) in a rainbow of colors - red, yellow, orange, green, and blue!

uh, she didn't make the end cut... I gave her quite the poof on the bottom, didn't I?

For a final touch, a little bling-y butterfly (from SU's "elementary elegance" set - which I found to PERFECTLY coordinate with the smallest butterfly from the "beautiful wings" embosslit - did you SU demos already know that?  hee.  You probably already did.)

I really, really hope that you like my project... and if you did, I would be forever grateful if you would go vote for me!

Click *here* to visit the top 20's gallery and cast your very important vote!  I will also have a voting widget on my blog's sidebar that will stay up for as long as I'm in the competition - use it! haha.

Have a fantastic day, all, and thanks for coming by!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I just wanted to write a great big "thank you" to everyone who congratulated me on the Gallery Idol competition.  (If you're a bit non-crafty, or you don't know what I'm talking about, click *here*)

It was all shock and awe to see my picture there, in the collage of top 20 designers!  I can't wait to share what I've created for the next round of competition, so come back on Monday!  And if you like what you see, I do hope that you'll gift me with a vote ;)

And just so I'm not all take and no give, let me share a bit of eye-candy...

I used some sets from Clear & Simple Stamps' latest release: "au naturel" and "flower garden" - they are so beautiful!

I stamped the playful flower garden background in peach ink onto white cardstock and snipped it into 2 panels.  The willow-y florals on my card base are from "au naturel" and they were stamped in my new favorite ink: hero arts' wet cement.

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement and have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, June 1, 2012

olive you.

When one of your bffs asks you to create a card with an olive-theme for her 6 year old to give to her lunch monitor at school's end, you say yes.  You don't even think about how you don't have an olive stamp.  There must be a digital stamp online that would work, right?

When I didn't find anything online that I liked, I decided to get a bit creative.

Kind of swanky for a 6 year old, right? ha.  Just focus on the olive :)

Here's how I made it:  I found a balloon stamp (from an old Clear and Simple Stamps set - I couldn't find it online to even tell you its name)...see the one I mean - with the arrow pointing to it?

I stretched it a bit on my clear block to create more of an "olive-y" shape, and left out the balloon "nub" when stamping it.

Do you see the olive?  Lastly, I found a tiny heart (from lawn fawn's "love and breakfast") for a cute red pimento.

With a little coloring, I give you my olive:

I don't usually post tutorials to the blog, but tell me what you thought of this mini one!  I'd like to start doing these a little more often :)

Olive you!

Thanks for peeking and have a great weekend!