Ruby Blooms

Monday, March 21, 2016

How Did This Happen!?!

Hi! I hope you are having a wonderful day so far! I am in the mood to tackle big things today, it is a new week and I have gotten through my to do list as it pertains to the main living parts of my house. Now it is time...time to move on to the room I have been avoiding, the one that I go to when I am holding an item that doesn't yet have a living space and drop it off closing the door behind me with a sigh of relief (a sigh that is tinged with the knowing that I will have to face it eventually) and go on with whatever I am in the middle of. So here I am looking at this room that I have taken a picture of and I am asking myself "How DID this happen?"

I have a small home. It is approximately 1000 sq. feet with three bedrooms, one and a half baths, a galley kitchen, a small dining area just off a small living room with a one car garage that used to be a carport. Our home is the perfect size for me and my husband. I don't know about you but I seem to change things around in our little space quite frequently. As our lives change our needs for what we are using our rooms for have changed with us. While my husband was going through college one of our bedrooms served as his office. Before I was a SAHW I worked for a company as an at home agent so the other bedroom was my office.

Now my office has become our office (he is currently looking for a new job so we don't expect him to need it for long),  and the way I have my work space set up his side I only use now and then. I have been given third bedroom to turn into a guest bedroom and I am super excited (we have lived here right at eight years) but when I look at this room right now I feel overwhelmed. Over the years I have come to realize that in our space less feels better. The end tables you see in this picture were in our living room but were taking up too much room holding a lot of clutter. I was going to donate them but have decided to re-purpose them to our master closet to hold some of my clothing. I have decided to donate the chair because there is just no room for it.

In the closet of this room is where our router and printer lives and for now that is the best place for them. This room has become the dumping ground for mismatched tools and things that probably should have gone straight to the garbage (my husband has a knack for claiming that he doesn't feel comfortable making that decision so he leaves it up to me, I am NOT falling for this!). I am envisioning creating a reading room with a sleeper sofa for company so that we don't have a room that we hardly ever use, that would drive me crazy! So I will do my best to post an update as I work my way through this mess.

Do you have any spaces in your home like this? A room, a closet, a sun room, a porch, a garage (crap! I have one of those too!). Let me know if you've found a way to organize it and keep it organized (herein lies the rub for me) or if you are in the process or just plain gave up (no judgement I promise!)

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading through a bit of my life, I appreciate you listening!

Wishing you sunshine and smiles,
Kim :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Baking and Cooking....Who? Me?

Chef Marci from La-La Land Crafts

Hi Everybody!

I don't know about all of you but I seem to go through phases of things that I am interested in. I have tried quilting, scrapbooking, knitting, crocheting, sewing, cross-stitching, and more! In all that time of going from one interest to another I never dreamed I would end up with an interest that landed me in the kitchen! While I was growing up both of my parents cooked and both had very different approaches as well. My mom was all about getting the food out of the pan and onto the table. She grew up cooking for a family of five and sometimes more if family dropped in and even though I was an only child she still cooked as though a brood of people would be eating with us. With my mom the food tasted great but wasn't much to look at (you really demonstrated your level of trust of her by taking for granted that what she called fried green tomatoes was truly that).  My dad on the other hand made great food that was also pretty, he cared about how things were presented, even his mashed potatoes looked so pretty you almost didn't want to disturb them with a spoon (almost they were free of lumps and full golden butter melting into the creamy mashed potatoes). They both typically cooked out of a box or from a can, mostly likely because they both grew up not many years out from the Great Depression although at least my mom's father did keep a garden.

So all of the above jabber leads me to say that I have a collection albeit small of dishes that are quick, easy and tasty. Unfortunately for me since I am diabetic many of those dishes are now rendered mostly useless because they are heavy on the carbohydrate side. So I am learning what it means to eat low carb, not with bars or canned shakes but with real food. The thing that is surprising me is that I am enjoying it! What is happening! Now my Amazon wish list is full of things such as a standing mixer, a set of nice sharp knives (turns out that if you don't use your knives for anything other than cutting open packages you don't know they aren't sharp enough for cutting up vegetables), a magnetic knife bar for the knives that won't fit in the block that's on my wish list, and other kitchen tools that I find myself daydreaming of or wishing I had while preparing a meal.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would find myself acquiring board after board on Pinterest about baking, cooking, and other dishes that will fit into my dietary needs. My YouTube account is full of playlists on baking with almond, coconut and cashew flours and I have just spent a full day preparing food. There was a time that I would have scoffed at that sort of idea and now I am savoring it. It's funny, I find myself at times taking a mental step back as I see this new interest of mine growing and I shake my head that it's happening and it makes me think of my dad. He used to tell me that he found the kitchen relaxing as he washed dishes by hand, creamed mashed potatoes and prepared other dishes the hard way (my terminology not his).

Now as I learn more and do more and create more I find myself having not just a joy of eating but truly a joy of cooking. What interests have any of you all found yourselves in that you never would have been able to predict and are you still doing them? Thank you all so much for stopping by and thank you so much if you were able to endure this far in. I truly appreciate your time and attention!

Wishing you sunshine and smiles,
Kim :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Birthday Series 2016 #4

Hi ya's!

Today's card was a lot of fun to make! Although I have to admit that using distress inks to create a background really is one of my favorite techniques to use. My card isn't a one layer card but this technique is perfect to make a one layer card. (I just happened to stamp the image on a card front sized piece of paper before I decided what I was going to do.)

I wanted to create a ground for the little elephant to be walking on but had just made a card recently where I used distress inks to create grass colors and didn't want to repeat that. I decided I really wanted to use gray and then the sidewalk idea seemed to be the best choice. I don't seem to be capable of making a card without putting some Wink of Stella on it to bling things up (and honestly why would you want to! Um....hellooo!) and added it to the balloons. I wish it showed up on the pictures better (or at all!). 

Sooo here it is.....

  • Bunch of Balloons stamp by Wild Rose Studio
  • image colored with Copic markers
  • Inkadinkado masking paper used to mask off the stamped image 
  • Ranger distress inks minis and mini blending tool used to create sky and sidewalk
  • Wink of Stella used on balloons to give it a shimmer
  • sentiments are from a discontinued AmyR stamp set HB2U
*all of the ingredients I used were purchased from Scrapping For Less

My collection of birthday cards is coming along quite nicely and I have decided to also begin working on building up my stash of other cards as well because it certainly seems as though the need for wedding, baby, congratulations, get well and (most unfortunately) sympathy cards arise without warning and during a time when things are too hectic to sit down and make a card.

For those of you who make cards and those of you who buy your cards how do you store them? I am currently using a Creative Memories photo box to keep mine in because it is black and will protect them from light, dust, etc. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today!

Wishing you sunshine and smiles,
Kim :) 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Copics Copics Copics!

Hi Ya'll!
A friend of mine has decided to invest in Copic Sketch markers and I am so excited for her because I really enjoy using mine. I have gone from Sharpies to Bics to Promarkers, toyed with the idea of Spectrum Noir, and found I was happiest with Copics. Keep in mind that when I started coloring stamped images I was just trying the hobby out and I didn't want to invest a lot of money into a hobby I may not stick with.

Now let me point out that I have used Letraset Promarkers for about four years and was happy with them, but as my card making became my main focus over time I was more willing to really invest in a superb marker and I have cautioned a few people to not even try Copics if they are currently satisfied with the markers they are using because in my experience once you try Copics the rest just won't match up!

So back to my friend...I really wanted to give her a wide range of suggested colors so that once she received her order she would have a big enough variety to be able to color an image. When I did this for myself I spent a few hours on the internet looking at other blogs and what colors others suggested. When I was looking for myself I can't remember if Pinterest existed then or if it just didn't occur to me to look there. I personally think I found a gold mine on Pinterest when I discovered Jennifer Dove from !

 She posts what she calls "color of the day" where she uses several different Copic markers (typically a light, medium and dark shade) and then names the color she has created. Depending on what type of stamps you typically color (say flowers, animals, or people) will determine which colors you would want to start with. The way I compiled my list was to go over the colors on Pinterest (which I created a board for on Pinterest) and pick out the ones that I would need to color people and clothes.

As I thought about using an image on a card I realized I would need more than just people and clothing colors but would also need shading and a colorless blender as well. So that is where I began the list and also took into consideration the different shades of colors (a sky blue is not the same as blue jeans and the red you want to color a strawberry may not be the same you have envisioned for a Christmas red).

Here is the list I suggested so that she would be able to color an image to completion:

YR31     Light Reddish Yellow                                        RV04    Shock Pink
YR24     Pale Sepia                                                          RV02    Sugared Almond
YR09     Chinese Orange                                                 RV00    Water Lily
YR04     Chrome Orange                                                 R20       Blush
YG25     Celadon Green                                                  G29       Pine Tree Green
Y08        Acid Yellow                                                      G28       Ocean Green
Y06        Yellow                                                               G24       Willow
Y02        Canary Yellow                                                   E59       Walnut
V17        Amethyst                                                           E57        Light Walnut
V15        Mallow                                                              E55        Light Caramel
V12        Pale Lilac                                                          E53        Raw Silk
V09        Violet                                                                E51        Milky White
V06        Lavender                                                           E50        Egg Shell
V05        Azalea                                                               E35        Chamois
RV29     Crimson                                                             E33        Sand
RV25     DogRose Flower                                                E31        Brick Beige
RV23     Pure Pink                                                           E30         Bisque
RV21     Light Pink                                                          E08         Brown
RV11     Pink                                                                    C9          Cool Gray #9
RV09     Fuchsia                                                               C7          Cool Gray #7
RV06     Cerise                                                                 C5          Cool Gray #5
BV17    Deep Reddish Blue                                             C3          Cool Gray #3
BV11    Soft Violet                                                           C1          Cool Gray #1
BV08    Blue Violet                                                          100         Black
BV00    Pale Thistle
B04      Tahitian Blue
B02      Robin's Egg Blue
B00      Frost Blue
B000    Pale Porcelain Blue
B0000  Pale Celestine

 It's a lot I know but for these sketch markers Copic has over 350 colors, you truly can create any shade you may want with all of those! If you are building a collection or just starting out you can find great prices at Scrapping For Less along with any other card making supplies you might need!

When choosing markers from a collection like this it can be VERY overwhelming which is why I wanted to put this post up, so in the future someone who is looking for help in doing this may find some. Hope this helps!

Wishing you sunshine and smiles,
Kim :) 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Birthday Series 2016 #3

Hi everybody!

I hope you are all having a fabulous day! The card I am showing you today was a bit of a challenge to me. I truly love the technique of masking an image and stamping on top of it so that when you remove the mask you have created an entirely new image. I also very much enjoy masking an image and using distress inks to create a background around said image and find peeling off the mask to reveal the unblemished stamped image highly satisfying!

All that being said...I get the steps backwards. Every. Time. I don't understand the disconnect with my brain or why I pretty much have to make a few trial runs before I get it right because I do this technique rather frequently. I tell you all this to give you hope and help you to not give up even if you do waste a little paper along the way.

I discovered Newton's Nook a few years ago but this is the first purchase I have made from Newton's Nook. I am smitten with this kitty cat!!! Newton's Nook had a great sale on Black Friday or Cyber Monday (I can't remember) so I jumped at the chance to grab some of the stamp sets I have been drooling over.

Let's get into it...I stamped the image of the cat clinging to the balloon and then went to add the party hat...that was the first time.

The hat looks like it is floating about the cat's head

I started again and that was the second attempt...
The hat STILL doesn't look the way I want it

At this point in time as I am working on this card I begin to ask myself "should I just let this go? Maybe masking isn't for me..." and then immediately think "No, I am not giving up I really love this technique!" I kept working at it and finally got the masking down in the right order. In the past when watching other card makers doing this technique I remember someone saying "always work back to front" as in reference to what you want to see of the scene you are creating. I hate that even though I knew that helpful hint it still took me FIVE attempts to get it right. It was totally worth it!

FINALLY! SUCCESS! I was so happy and proud and couldn't wait to tell the world that I had figured out how to mask! (Seriously it is super easy, I don't know why I make it so difficult, I think it just means I need to use this technique more frequently.)

Here are the steps:
  1. stamp the image you want to see in it's entirety first
  2. mask off the first image you stamped
  3. stamp the next image, for this scene I was only working with two images so it really simple
  4. now mask off both images 
  5. add your background colors, I used distress inks to create the sky and the grass colors
  6. peel off masking and color your image!
Ingredients for this card:
  • Newton's Birthday Bash stamp set
  • MFT Hybrid Ink Black Licorice stamp pad
  • Distress Ink Minis- grass: Mowed Lawn, Shabby Shutters  sky: Tumbled Glass, Broken China
  • Tim Holtz Distress Markers used to color image
This technique is perfect for a card that you know you need to mail since it's quite easy to make it a single layer card. Thank you so much for dropping by and I sure do hope that you give this technique a try.

Wishing you sunshine and smiles,
Kim :)