Friday, September 19, 2014

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps New Release (Day 6 )

 Today is the last day of the CAS-ual Fridays Stamp new release. The featured set is "Hanukkah Fri-Dies". This set is the matching set with the previously released 8 Happy Nights. Since the Fri-Dies are so easy to use, I made several Dreidels easily.
Happy H.
I first white-embossed the Dreidels, then I colored them with Distress markers, then I used the water brush to cover the entire image. It was so easy and fun to do. Then I used the Fri-Dies to cut them out. Assemble, voila!

Since the Fri-dies come with three dies and I felt so inspired, I made another..
Happy Hanukkah
I made two die cuts with silver and navy blue card stock. The tiniest stars were stamped in Delicata with the 8 Happy Nights set.  I assembled the Star of David like a puzzle. 

Today's random photo share...
Looking down from the top of St. Mark's Basilica
One of the many narrow streets in Venice
 I hope that you check out my design team mates work on these Fri-Dies (see here).
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps New Release (Day 5)

Today is day 5 of the CAS-ual Fridays Stamp New Release. The featured stamp set is called "Sleigh Bells and Bell Tag Fri-Dies"!

Merry Christmas 
For my card, I tried to use as many stamps from this set as possible. So I took out the shorter sentiment and made my own text patterned paper. Then I stamped the bell image over and used the die to cut it out. Easy! In order to give the bell some shine, I chose the silver glitter paper (DCWV) to add some accents to the design. I then used the silver confetti (from Pretty Pink Posh) and also added a bow and fine silver string to decorate the bell!

Today's random photo share....

My daughter Stephanie took these photos...aren't they breath-taking?
We came across this lovely cafe while we wandered around the tiny paths in Venice. The buildings are beautifully coloured. My daughter said it's "like a J.Crew catalog but decaying".

 A cafe in Venice

I hope that you check out my design team mates lovely work on this stamp set (see here). 
 Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge # 281

This is my 2nd post for the day. For CAS-ual Friday's new release stamp post, please scroll down or click here

Welcome to another week on the Simon Says Stamp Challenge !! Thank you for joining us for the  Create Your Own Background Challenge and we hope you will all join us again this week too :-)

This week the challenge is...

Tag It 
 you can make a tag or add a tag to a card/project.

We are using Tim Holtz Products (Ranger) this week. You don't have to use them to join in but if you have some, we love to see them used :-) 

I used Tim Holtz Layering Stencil Cargo for my project.
hi lovely
This tag was easy to create. I laid out the stencil and secured it with Washi Tape. I mixed the Wendy Vecchi Embossing Paste (white) with three favorite Distress Inks ( Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers,
Mustard Seed) . The stamp set I used is a Simon Says Exclusive Friendly Flowers.

As always, Simon Says Stamp will be giving away a $50 voucher to shop at the fabulous Simon Says Stamp Store!
So now it's YOUR turn ! Happy Crafting !!
There are fabulous Give Aways and inspiration from fabulous designers on a daily basis over on the Simon Says Stamp Blog . If you haven't subscribed by email, you may want to do so you don't miss out.

You have until Wed. 8am Eastern Time to join in :-)
I hope you check out the DT's work!  I can't wait to see what you create!!
Thanks for stopping by! 

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps New Release (Day 4)

Today is day 4 of the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps New Release. The featured stamp set is called "Pine-cones"! How fun is that!?
Pinecones are the blessings
This set comes with two sizes of pinecones and boroughs.The images are intricate and detailed. It comes with great sentiments and sayings, you can easily create a text background like I did here. I stamped the pinecones in Delicata Golden Glitz. I used small red gems to complete the design. Add a Martha Stewart ribbon--done!

More random photo sharing...We are going to look at a few GRAND designs.

photo credit: Stephanie Lu (see Flickr here)
Grand Canal (Venice): this "main street" of Venice is more than two miles long, nearly 150 feet wide and nearly 15 feet deep. It is the city's largest, lined with its most impressive palaces.
 St. Mark's Campanile: This is a marvel of 10th century architecture until 1902, when it toppled into the center of the piazza. It was rebuilt 10 years later with its golden archangel Gabriel who always faces the breeze. We later took a lift to the top for the best view in Venice.
And... this was the view from the top of the Campanile
I hope that you check out my design team mate's pine-cone creations (see here). 
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps New Release (Day 3)

Today is day 3 of the CAS-ual Fridays Stamp New Release. The featured stamp set is called "Snowflakes"! 

I  ADORE the snowflakes in this set. They come in many different sizes and designs.

I chose assorted blues (Tumble Glass, Broken China and Faded Jeans) and a bit of silver (Delicata Ink)  to create the snowflake scene!  I also bent the sentiment to make the design if the snowflakes are falling down all over the place....
Ding---> when creating a cascading/flowing design: first, decide where the open space is, then stamp around the space with various intensity. Make sure you stamp the edges to make the design more defined.
I have been sharing our travel photos with you. Here is some random eye candy for ya!
(photo credit: Stephanie K. Lu. See more Flickr photos here)

This photo was taken at the market in Venice...see those fresh produce? They make me want to COOK right now.
 Treats we bought in Venice... I still have the pistachio one in the wrap!
  I hope that you check out my design team mates' beautiful work (see here).
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, September 15, 2014

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps New Release (Day 2)

Today is day 2 of the CAS-ual Fridays Stamp New Release. The featured stamp set is called "Snowflake Splendor"

 I decided to let the snowflake tree speak for itself and chose to stamp the image in Neon Inks.  
 I added three small strips of glitter paper and sequins to complete the design.
Speaking of JOY, my kids really know how to take simple and mundane things and make them JOYFUL . During the cruise, our cabin steward always made us the most immaculate beds with amazing towel folding. These cute animals were always the highlights...before you know it, the kids turn them into part of the studio photo sessions...
Seeing them smile gives me JOY!

I hope that you check out the Snowflake Splendor created by my design team mates (see here)! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps- New Release (Day 1)

Hello! For the next few days, we are going to be sharing the new release from CAS-ual Fridays Stamps! Woohoo! Today is Day 1 and the stamp that is being featured is "Wheat Wreath". It has this intricate design of a wreath. You really don't need to embellish much with an image like this.
I absolutely love it!

love and blessings
 As you can see, there is a bit of shimmer inside the circle diecut. I had previously sprayed Gold Shmimmer Spritz by Tsukineko and after it dried, I stamped the sentiment. For the wreath, I simply embossed it in gold and made the hollow diecut circle. Add sequins and dyed ribbons (thanks to Donna Mikasa). Done!

What do you think? Join the fun and check out the new stamped designs that my talented fellow CAS-ual Fridays Stamps Ink Squad have created for you.

Here's to love and favorite photo of our family trip to Europe.
 (on the lookout in Lykavittos Hill in Athens, Greece. You can see the Acropolis in the background)
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Grand Bazzar in Istanbul

As you may know....I just got back from a big trip, namely to Venice, Istanbul and Athens. Here is my first travel post.  I have lots to catch up....I didn't think that I was going to play any challenges any time soon. BUT when I saw the pattern paper (Grand Bazaar) in my craft table, I thought the fox paper will be perfect for the latest Moxie Fab World  (see Foxy Foxes Challenge) . I just can't help myself... LOL.
just because
 In order to"calm down" the busy and colorful paper, I embossed the fox image in mint on the black card stock. I added a few small strips of paper and vellum to give the design a bit of pizzazz. Lucky that I have the mint sequins! Also, I stitched the white-embossed sentiment in gold thread. And of course, you've got to have GOLD if you are in the Grand Bazaar!  I also throw in a cork heart for good measure!

I know it is a super busy pattern paper....just like THE Grand Bazaar. Istanbul was the 4th city that we visited during the Mediterranean cruise two weeks ago. When I bought the pattern paper Grand Bazaar (Basic Grey) more than a year ago, it didn't occur to me that I would actually go to THE Grand Bazaar! Isn't that funny? 
So, you must wonder what the Grand Bazaar is are a few photos to give you some ideas.
It was a hot day in Istanbul when we walked from our cruise ship to the famous Spice Market and then to the Grand Bazaar. So many displays and foreign signs. Lots and lots of shops were selling everything from T shirts, purses, handmade laces, tea sets, home decor.... In fact, after walking in the Grand Bazaar for half an hour, we decided that we needed to find our way back to the cruise ship. We don't want to miss the big boat, do we?
 David had our trusty Rick Steve's guide book in his hand.  Still, there are so many unmarked paths (from the Spice Market) leading to the Grand Bazaar, it is very easy to get totally lost! The Turkish culture is truly foreign and exotic! Surrounding ourselves in these shops and displays, we were absolutely mesmerized and overwhelmed. Thankfully, we didn't have any trouble wandering around!
 Stephanie was checking out the famous tulip-shaped tea cups...

The choices of spices, nuts, dried fruit, cheese, sweets and food that I do not recognize/know .... are astounding. I ended up buying some nuts, tea and coffee. They are SAFE!
 Alexia at the Spice Market
 And now you can see why I have to make a card with the Grand Bazaar pattern paper with the fox?
 See those small hanging packets? Those were tea and spices in assorted flavors. We did buy some of those and have yet to sample them.
Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Honey, I'm HOME!

 Remember my travel companion-Alexia the cat? I love traveling with Alexia...and my family!

 Yes, it's true ....I was away to Italy, Greece and Turkey! And that was the reason why I was not part of the Simon Says Stamps STAMPtember Blog Hop.

Just the night before my trip, I came across with this article: 9 ways you will fall in love with Italy. We started our trip back on Aug. 23 in Venice and from there, we took a cruise with Holland America to visit Greece and Turkey. 8 cities in 17 days. We just got back on Sept 9, Tuesday! I am still soaking in, processing and digesting all the fun and exciting things we experienced and awe-inspiring sights that we saw.  To say that I am overwhelmed is an understatement.
We got lost wandered a lot, I mean A LOT....this is the only way to get to know the place you visit.
 We love to go through the small and narrow alleys/streets in Venice. The private water taxis are only for our important transportation (such as airport and boarding the cruise ship).

This was me on our first day ---taking the private water taxi from the airport to our hotel. It was a short 25 minute ride for 4 people (with our large luggage). This little joy ride set us back 110 Euros ($ 150 US)--cash only! And that is the standard fee listed right at the pier.

We did use the Vaporetto (public water taxi) a few times. But most of the time, we had to put our LEGS to work whenever possible! We got quite lost wandered aimlessly in the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Each of these outings is an eye-opening experience! I love getting terribly long as I can find my way (with my kids' help) back to the hotel/ship.

Before my trip, I can already relate to a few things in the article: 
~Like Italians, family first. 4 of us always travel, enjoy food and sight-seeing as a family unit. We do know how to do this best
~ We want to experience the way of life in Venice just like thousands of tourist there
~Do I have to mention Gelato, Pizza and pasta?
~We definitely want to see Venice before it sinks....

this is where it all begins...
balcony views from my hotel
(Instagram photo credit: Stephanie)
(Instagram photo credit: David Lu)

My big kids' smiley photo says it all.
 During one of the evening walks, we came across this piazza and this was what we saw...

One of the many highlights of our Venice visit

a romantic gondola ride at night

I will be sorting through a few thousand photos! David has 1573 photos on his camera....and we are not even counting Dr. John's and Stephanie's SLR cameras...). I am confident that I will be able to pick some great photos to share with you! Let's do a little virtual traveling together in the next few weeks...shall we?

If you like to see more Venice photos, you can visit my daughter Stephanie's Flickr photos here

You can almost always find something interesting to look at in Venice....even the candies are calling my name!

(photo credit: Stephanie K. Lu)
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Catherine Pooler's House Warming Party!

Hello! I am back to my regular StampNation I am sharing some news about the SN founder Catherine Pooler's House Warming party! After months of planning and preparation, Catherine's blog redesign is finally up and running.  If you haven't checked it out, stop by to see all of the new features her site has to offer. It's so beautifully done!

 In celebration of the new and improved Catherine Pooler's Blog , we are throwing a housewarming party beginning at 9am on Sept. 10th.  
The housewarming party will run like regular challenges with a link up on Catherine's blog.  To join along, simply make a card based on the theme HOME and link it up. You get three entries for each project you link up!  Leave a comment for yet another entry to win!!

WIN?  Yes, there are prizes.  You can't have a party without prizes! You can have a three day trial for $1! Details are

How about a chance to win a free ONE-YEAR subscription to StampNation? Plus prizes from our sponsors Ellen Hutson, Pretty Pink Posh, CAS-ual Fridays, Winnie & Walter, Penny Black and Some Odd Girl!  

How's that for a party?  Over $300 in prizes!!!  Each Dream Team member along with our company sponsors are also giving away one-month memberships to StampNation on their blogs, so make sure you visit them and leave comments so you are entered to win.

If you don't have a blog you can still link up using the StampNation Gallery.  

Here is one of my favorite cards for the series "Virginia's Stamp Clinic" that I did last month over Stamp Nation.With the same stamps and die, I created 15 different cards in total!
Supplies: Shades Dies and Textures
 by Penny Black (one of the wonderful sponsors) for this card.

I stamped the textures in assorted colors onto white card stock, then I cut them into strips and did the paper-weaving. I then used the house shape die create this CAS card.

You can check out all the information here for the three-day trial! 
So how does this $1 trial work? Subscribe to StampNation for $1 and gain full access to the site for 3 days! So you want to remain a member? WONDERFUL! Do nothing and on day #4, you will be charged the $9 membership! If you don’t want to continue? Be sure to send Catherine an email so your trial will be canceled and you will not be charged for $9.

I hope that you find this information useful and give SN a try!
I will be back for my posts from my travels!
As they say in Venice.....ciao!