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Friday, June 24, 2016

Donating to Others

Two of the young moms at our church are working with the teenage girls this summer on a study to help them make good choices in their lives.   They have homework and are given points for several steps they make in this study.  The steps are given a ticket value.  These young moms have spent their own money to purchase several "prizes".    The girls receive points and tickets every week.   They are able to "shop" through the prizes and spend their tickets. 

To help these young moms with their budget, I made single sheet note cards.  I used these colorful blank note sheets and added the seahorse to one set and the sand dollar to another.   There are 8 cards and envelopes in each set.  I love donating to a good cause and I really feel these young ladies are a very good cause. 
I always photograph my work and sometimes make notations to identify donations.   I know there are thousands of other artists out there that donate, too.  I feel we are part of a community that makes someone's day a little brighter.   If you have a story for me, please leave a comment.   Thank you for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

To Stamp or not to Stamp........

As an avid rubber stamper, it is often hard for me to put a card together without adding an image or at least a sentiment to the card front.  But, there are so many wonderful pre-made tags and embellishments that make putting a card together a quick process.   These beautiful little tags and images are by Graphic45.   The tag at the top gives you the advantage of writing any wish for the receiver of the card:   a Happy Birthday, a Wonderful Wedding Day, to Get Well Soon, the Best on your Retirement, etc.  The little bird at the bottom of the card is surely the resident of the little nest at the top.  ")  
      Simply using a border punch at the top and bottom of the gorgeous decorative paper by DCWV gives an elegant touch to the front of the card.  This stack is called:  "Art Collage".  It contains some fabulous color combinations and patterns.   It also has pages that have collage images on them.  My motto has always been:  "Let your paper do the work for you"; and this stack most certainly does that!  
      Thanks for stopping by.   See you next time!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Vintage or Shabby?

I love the look of vintage things.....especially cards, albums, journals, etc.  I seem to have trouble going all the way.............all the way to "Shabby Chic".   As I work on cards, albums, and journals, I always think I'll make something in the shabby chic style.   But as I start adding papers, lace, and embellishments to the work, I feel like I'm overloading it.   Maybe I think it's starting to look shabby,  but not chic.   I realize this card falls far short of being in the category of Shabby Chic, but at this time in my creative box, I haven't been able to push the sides a little wider or even get out of the box.  I think I'm going to have to immerse myself in Shabby Chic literature, photos, cards and journals to push through.

I do like using text as my background.  There's something about the written word that has always intrigued me.  (My friends call me a "word" person :)  Flowers always seem to recall the by-gone era when ladies dried their flowers for use on letters, cards, albums and journals.  It is an endearing addition to any art work.

Butterflies are also an image that one sees often in vintage works, whether on a personal letter or in advertisements or on postcards.  These beautiful gold butterfly embellishments come by the sheet full from my dear friend Susan at

Lace seems to be the embellishment of choice on all vintage or shabby chic pieces.  We seem to have a large abundance of it on the market and stashed away in all those boxes and drawers.  Artists even join in swaps with other artists and thereby increase their array of laces.  I do like the elegance that lace provides for any art piece.

This vintage photo copy  of a lovely young lady comes from    They have quite a variety of collage sheets available in the online shop.  I really like the hand-written letter behind her and that the "bye-bye darling" showing across the front of her.
I am challenging myself to try for more "shabbiness" on projects and to get out of this box that prohibits me from adding "more" to the art works that just naturally lead to "Shabby Chic".   Does it really matter if we  just call it "vintage" instead of "shabby chic"?    (Forgive me if I've insulted a purist or two out there.   I am trying to understand it and reach for it.  ")

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Photo Art Journal

 Art journals are a passion of mine.   Everything I see just lends itself to becoming an art journal.  I have a vast amount of photos that need to be put into albums.   Scrapbooking per se is not something I have indulged in to a large extent.  But I do love making journals and decided I needed to get started on all these containers of photos.  An art journal style photo album appealed to me.  So I started with photos of my three girls.
 I used recycled card board from postage stamps ordered on line.  I love that each sheet of stamps is supported with a cut piece of card board to provide stability and keep the stamps from being crushed in the mail.  I painted on these page and  then cut  pieces from scrap card stocks for the house.   Each page will contain a house and the photos of the girls will be mounted inside the house.  I have used recycled plastic bread ties for the doors and most of them will also have a chimney from these recycled ties.  I have tried to add words/quotes/phrases to the page that compliment the child's personality.   Some will have quotes of things said as a child, as this one does.  I added an edging all around with various washi tapes.   Rachel was 2yrs old in this photo.  She is our second daughter.  She was raised in church and had already heard many Bible stories by this age.   She came running to the house one day looking very worried.  I opened the door and she ran in saying, "Run, the devil is coming!"    It was a helicopter.   (One never knows where hell will appear!)

 Sharla is our first daughter.   She has always been one to beautify the home.   She was about 16yrs old in this photo.  I did a fussy cut on the flowers and added them to the roof of this house.    The quote on this page is:  "Home is where the heart is."  Pliny the Elder

I love the numbers on these recycled ties.   This "door" did not have any, but the "chimney" had some nice ones.   This is also a painted page.
 Another painted page here.   I added a corrigated trim around this window.  Most of the smaller photos will have a frame around them made from scraps.  This photo is Rachel pulling her little sister, Jerusha (known as Ru), and her cousin, Dorrie, in the wagon.  I painted the recycled ties green to coordinate with the window trim.  I used a Mary Englebreit quote for this page:  "Wherever you go, there you are!"   (The paper I used for the house was a scrap from Cosmo of my favorites.)
 This is another painted page.  The house is all roses.   The photo is of Ru's 4th birthday.  Ru is our third daughter.   Rachel is reading her cards to her.  The quote says:  "I don't want to grow up.   I just want to be taller."   I'm not sure where I saw that, but it fit.  ")
I glued various pieces of scrap card stock to this page.  This is Rachel (about 9yrs old) with a stuffed house she received (birthday/Christmas?) that she lived with for several years!  LOL   She is definitely the animal lover in our family.  The quote on this page says:  "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."  George Orwell
 I also painted this page.......evidently one of my favorite backgrounds.  :)  This is Ru with her Sheltie, Boomer, relaxing in the recliner.  He really wasn't bad to be up on the furniture, but she had always held him when he was a puppy and he didn't realize he had grown so much!  LOL  The quote:  "If you want the best seat in the house, you'll have to move the dog."
 Ru in her cap and gown......Graduating Class of 1994.  She is the baby in the family and was the last of the three girls to graduate from our Bruner Home School.  We helped organize the first home school group in the Tulsa area.   We were fortunate to have the professor of law at one of the prominent universities here to help us with the by laws and the schooling laws of Oklahoma.  It has really grown by leaps and bounds since 1977!
      Thus ended 17 yrs of home schooling!   Mama got to retire!!!
     This is another page covered with pieces of scrap card stock.
 Another page with pieces of scrap card stock.  I love that I had the lined paper to write on at the top of the page.  Sharla was about 17-18 here, ready to go off to college and a job.  I had always read the Dr. Seuss books to her growing up.  This quote:  "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."  Dr. Seuss
 This is a view of the pages closed and showing their decorative edges of washi tapes.   I think it is very pretty.
Poor little album was so heavy I couldn't get it to sit up straight.  This is a very simple album.  I have really felt pushed to get these albums done and I've not even scratched the surface, but I do want to be more creative with the next ones.  Hopefully I won't let myself feel pushed by the very fast passing of time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Published in Take Ten Summer 2016 - Coming June 1

 I received the Summer 2016 issue of Take Ten today.   One of the cards that I had made for a previous challenge was picked to appear in the pages of this magazine.  I love this cover!   Isn't that a darling card they chose for the centerpiece?  I am always inspired by the many artists that get published in each issue.  It is amazing to me that there are so many artists with so many ideas and I have never any two remotely alike.  I love the challenge of trying to put together a card in 10 minutes.  I never throw anything away that I stamped or started for another project.   It may just be the thing needed to quickly put together a Take Ten card!
This was a very quick card to put together.  I used a line of paper from Scenic Route by Sarah Milne.  All of the sheets I have are double-sided.  Several have sentiments printed on them and I used one of those here.  I cut a panel from the printed card stock and layered it onto a card.  I adhered a ribbon across the lower half of the card.   Then I punched three circles from a coordinating card stock.  I used glue dots to attach a gold butterfly to each green circle.  I stamped the word "SOAR" onto the striped circle and attached them as shown on the upper half of the card.
        I am always thrilled to received a magazine from Stampington & Co!  I feel very privileged to be published in any of the magazines.  Thank you, Devon Warren and staff for putting this magazine together for us.

Another sign of Spring......

The Golden Finch is back.....but not in the numbers we have had here in the past.  There were times that the flocks would completely cover our front yard.   This year's flocks barely lined a portion of the driveway.   The thirsty little guys lined the watering pan I have sitting on a slab near our outside water faucet.

These little guys are really light up the yard when they land.  They were busy eating the bud covers that had fallen from our elm tree.  It really saddens me to see such small numbers.  I wonder what's happening to the Golden Finch population?   A topic I will be investigating.

This photo shows birds on both sides of the drive.  It is such a small showing compared to previous years.

This single little Finch was sitting above the watering pan waiting for a place to perch.   It was like watching musical chairs as one batch of birds would fly off from the pan and another four would immediately take their place at the watering hole.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Iris Springs Continues

As my bed of purple irises began to die out, my white irises, old-fashioned bronzes, and yellows began to bloom and really put on a colorful show.

In the background behind the white irises, my day lilies were shooting up buds on long stems.  These are dark yellow trumpets.......small but beautiful.

The white irises have a small showing of yellow beards sticking out from the centers and down onto the falls.

These old-fashioned bronzes were planted here by my mother-in-law over twenty years ago.   Some years they make no showing at all, but with all the rain they really came out for a great display.

This is another iris I inherited from a friend.  They really brighten up the corner of the yard where they are planted.   They always seem to be the last to bloom.  They usually take me by surprise!   I nearly forget them and then, voile! there they are!  It's almost as if a light has been turned on in that corner of the yard.  I have truly enjoyed this Iris Spring! 

Iris Spring

My irises went crazy this Spring!   Very little care goes into this marvelous bed of irises.  I inherited these lovely flowers from a friend who had become allergic to grass and leaves (almost anything outdoors) due to some medication she was on.   She had about 300 irises.  I didn't bring that many to my yard, but at least 100.  Over the years they have died out, or the hybrid ones have reverted back to white.   But the irises in this bed continue to  hold their colors.   It is such a great array of purples and violets.

The close-up here shows the various placements of the color in centers and the "falls" (the petals hanging down).   Two of my favorites:  1) lavendar centers with purple falls; 2) purple/white centers with white falls outlined in purple.

The irises above that have not unfurled are white with lavender outlines in the centers and on the falls.  Below is a close-up of one that has purple outlines and has unfurled.

Below is a photo of one of the lavendar ones as it begins to unfurl.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Stampington's Letter Writing Contest

If you love handwriting as I do, you will want to join in this contest and have the chance to win a $74 set from Expessionery - 20 stationery and a custom stamp!
Check out their new spring designs here:   Wish I had seen this earlier, but, alas, I have been neglecting my blog and emails this week.   "She who sleeps, later weeps!"  (my own saying....often said to myself!  LOL).
     My grandmother and I corresponded by letter for many years before her death during my second year of marriage.   I started writing letters to her as soon as I could print words.   She (and most of her sons) had beautiful handwriting.  I am so glad I have letters from her in that gorgeous script.   I also have writings of my father and uncle who inherited this gift from her.
     I am going to make this letter-journal to send.  I have several friends that I have corresponded with for many years.  I really believe this is a dying art and I truly enjoy writing.  Handwritten notes/letters are so special to me.
     Join in!   Leave a comment if you're going to join.  I'd love to know!  DEADLINE  4/20/2016.   See all the details here:

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Published in The Stampers' Sampler

 I was shocked to see these little guys appear in the Spring 2016 issue of the Stampers' Sampler.  I nearly threw these away!  The rubber stamp is made by All Night Media and I love using him for almost any celebration.  He usually appears on birthday cards but I decided on Happy New Year cards for this submission.  There was really a mad party going on!   Such excited little guys!   I guess staying up until midnight makes some people go crazy!   I utilized one of my corner punches on the white panel for this card and backed it with a gold metallic panel.
(I really enjoyed making the little banner for their party.  :)
 This trio looks like they're heading down the street in a samba line!   Each little horn has a rhinestone in honor of the New Year coming in.   Once again I used the gold metallic paper for backing the front panel.
This lonesome little guy isn't letting being along damper his spirits for New Years' Eve!   He even has the countdown going on!   I topped his hat with a rhinestone an gave him some shiny eyes.   I also used the corner punch on the top layer of this card.  The gold metallic paper was layered under his countdown strip. My, he is celebrating!
     Okay all you shy, hesitant closet stampers.............start submitting those little creations of yours!  I know Devon and the gang are anxious to see what you've been up to!   Thanks again, Devon to you and your staff for working so hard to keep these magazines going.
     Happy creating!  sharon  aka  inkybru

Published in Take Ten

I usually photograph my submissions before I send them in.   Forgot to do so with this one.  Therefore, the shadow on the left side of this photo is from the roll of the magazine as the card was next to it.   I could not get it to lie any flatter, so please excuse my horrible photography.  :(
     This card was sent in for the design challenge that Take Ten always has in their isssues.   I love doing them as I like a challenge!   But, alas, I don't always have time to get them in by the deadline.  
     So, I was very glad to see that this one not only made it, but was published!
These are some of my favorite colors:  the turquoise, lime green (or chartreuse, if you prefer :) and orange.   The paper I used contained all these colors!   How exciting is that?!   The reverse side had the lime green design and was perfect to show off the orange dragonflies I stamped and cut out to add to the circles.   I love the tiny blue bird washi tape that I used at the top.   I thought this made a delightful card.
     Thank you, Devin Warren and all your staff at Take Ten for the great work you do!
     Happy creating!   sharon  aka  inkybru

Published in RSM

I've been a little slow at posting some of my latest published cards.  This one was published RubberStampeMadness' Spring 2016 issue.  My very first publication was in RSM in 2003!   WOW!  Thirteen years ago!  Goodness time does fly when you're having fun.  LOL   The theme for this submission was filmstrips.   We were given some templates to use if we desired.  I have this wonderful rubber stamp of this man.   Well, I say man, some say "men".   Sorta of like, tomayto, tomahto?  LOL  I have always thought the man on this stamp could have been a 30's or 40's movie star.   I knew immediately that I was going to put him into the filmstrip.   The stamp also is called "One man show" (the reason I think it's man instead of men.....hehe).   
     I had some decorative paper that had filmstrips on them, so I cut a strip to go on the left side of the card.   I copied the template on card stock, stamped the images, cut them to fit the filmstrip and attached them.   I also cut a piece in a different color to layer with the filmstrip to make it stand out.   I hand cut stars from the same piece and glued them around the card as shown.   I used embossing powder to make the "Congratulations!" really pop.    I was very pleased when Roberta notified me that my card was being published.   Thank you, Roberta, and all your staff for continuing with RSM!
     Happy creating!   sharon  aka  inkybru

A Bird in the Hand

I have become enamored with wall hangings.  I had received some from my art sisters in the past and had tried my hand a few times.  So, I awoke one morning and had this great desire to make a few.
     Anyone who knows me is aware that I love birds and aqua: pale aqua extending to turquoise.  I have quite a collection of chipboard, ribbons and washi tape.  I really wanted to use some of stash and thought this would be a great way to utilize it.
     I also have a die for cutting birds (Sizzix).   This particular die has two birds.   I love to cut these birds on double-sided papers, and that way I can choose whether to have them facing each other, or wings to be different, etc.
     To start, I painted the large piece of chipboard with a thick acrylic paint ( Dina Wakely).   I chose the turquoise for the panel to allow it to be my sentiment background.
 After the paint dried, I used my parallel calligraphy pen (Pilot) to write the sentiment onto the panel.   I also cut out a butterfly to add to the left corner of the panel.  I adorned the butterfly with an aqua rhinestone.  Lastly, I added a faux postage sticker to the panel.
 I have used one my favorite butterfly stamps on this panel.  The rubber stamp is made by: savvy stamps.  The ink I used for this butterfly is Kaliedacolor's
Caribbean.  I also adorned this butterfly with a rhinestone.
 I die-cut this bird from a text paper and sewed him to the decorative paper I had cut for this large tag.   The paper had a hand on it and I sewed the bird to the hand.  First I had given him a washi tape bandanna.   Next he received a rhinestone eye.

At the bottom of the tag I sewed on a strip of ribbon lace and then a ribbon over the top of the lace.   I attached the organza flower to left side of the ribbon.  The  little bird at the bottom was also part of the decorative paper.

I have always said (to ANYONE who would listen....LOL), "Let your paper do half the work for you".   Here is a prime example of how the paper fit into my theme for this tag.   Keep your eyes open to all the possibilities!   Thanks for dropping by.    Happy creating!   Sharon aka inkybru

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Valentine pockets............

 I joined a Valentine pocket trade on Red Lead this year and here are the ones I made to send in to them.  Red Lead is fast becoming one of my favorite places to buy stamps and collage sheets.  I love this bird!  I used my Brushos (water color crystals) to color a piece of water color paper and stamped the birds on it.   I also used them on a piece to get this beautiful pink tint and covered the tag and tiny card with it.  I cut out the hearts from one of Red Lead's collage sheets and glued one each to the tag, tiny card and pocket.  I then cut out the birds and attached them to the tiny card and the tag.  I stapled the ribbon along the bottom of the  tag and the pocked and across the top of the pocket.  I spritzed the pocked with white linen by Dylusions.  I also had these words on another little collage sheet from Red Lead.   The strip in the middle of the tag is part of a candy wrapper that I just could not throw away!  ")  The "air mail" and "parcel post" are pieces I had let over from another project.  I used the same ribbon to tie the top of the tag.
 Here is the tag in its little red pocket.  Red Lead had all these pieces cut and the heart brads in a packet they sent when I joined the swap.  Great little project for $5.
 This is the second set of the Valentine swap that Red Lead sent.  I love that it was a pink pocket to contrast with the red of the first pocket.   For this pocket, I used a tiny stencil and white stencil paste for the tiny hearts on the pocket.  I used a lighter piece from the paper made with the Brushos and cover this tag and tiny card.  I stamped the tiny musical circles and punched them out.   I glued two to the tiny card and three to the tag.  I stamped the bird, cut it out and glued it to the tiny card.   I also cut out the musical heart from the collage sheet and added it to the tiny card and the floral one to the pocket.  I added a piece of torn music to the tag, stamped the image of the boy and girl and cut them out.  I glued the boy and girl to stand on the torn music piece.  I glued dark pink ric-rac onto the tag.  Then I wrote the words on the tiny card and on the tag.  Lastly I tied the ribbon to the tag.
      This was such fun and very relaxing.   I had not felt well most of January and it was refreshing to be sitting at my art table creating something that I hoped would bring pleasure to another.   If you are not familiar with Red Lead, go visit Chris and Sharon at:  

Canadian geese.......

Several years ago I was able to photograph these Canadian geese that landed on the property next to us as they grazed for about two hours.   I think they are one of the most beautiful birds and could not resist the temptation to go out and photograph them.   They actually paid no attention to me.
A more recent photograph back at the beginning of their Autumnal migration, I was able to get close to the river bank (which is very high due the Corp of Engineers dredging out the river several years ago) and photograph these Canadian geese getting ready to settle on the river over night.