Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Catered Crop: Seeing Red

It's time for a new challenge at Catered Crop.  We are "seeing red"!

Linda, at Catered Crop, writes:

Bold, luxurious and sexy Red! The Hollywood red carpet, red light districts, homespun gingham, roses, valentines, kick a** lipstick, cherries, apples, and blushing cheeks . . . royalty, danger and passion . . 

She doesn't mention Christmas, but what better for a red challenge than some crisp and clean, red and white Christmas snowflakes!?

Snow and Ornaments

These are a few items from the Stamptember release at Simon Says Stamp.  I got the Holiday Frame die on the day it was released. I imagine so many uses for it, from cute to elegant.  It took me a couple of weeks to decide on the snowflakes, then I saw this card by Debby Hughes.  I want everything that I see Debby Hughes use!  This is the Presents and Ornaments set and it's full of handy basics like these snowflakes, a number of different sized presents and bows, and a chevron border. Much of it will be handy year-round.

Linda has curated this Pinterest board full of inspiration.  Here's a peek. Notice that the card doesn't have to be all red - just a focus on red.

Then next week, all of the design team cards will be gathered together on the Catered Crop blog along with a few guest designers.

I look forward to seeing the Catered Crop gallery full of red!

  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Presents and Ornaments
  • Paper: Simon Says Stamp Schoolhouse Red
  • Ink: Simon Says Stamp Schoolhouse Red
  • Accessories: Simon Says Holiday Frame die, Falling Snow Stencil, white embossing paste and glitter, red and white twine

Monday, September 29, 2014

MFT Sketch: Birthday for a Friend

My 14-year old son fancies himsel a chef.  I am SO lucky!  He loves to cook and he loves to eat.  So when we decided to have friends over last night, guess who did the meal?  He made his own recipe - Rustic Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage, and on the side he had Roasted Brussel Sprouts.   He even had an antipasti platter with various Italian meats and cheeses, marinated Mozzarella and Castelvetrano olives (which took three stores to find).  I was going to take pictures of everything so you could all drool - but I was too busy eating!

When we scheduled the meal, I had no idea that it was our friend's birthday in a week.  Thank goodness for Facebook sending me a reminder!  So before they came over, while my son was upstairs cooking and my husband was cleaning(!), I was downstairs doing a birthday card.

I recently got My Favorite Thing's Spotlight Sentiments.  I knew that they would make fabulous cards with the simple addition of a diecut flower.  I did my first one early this week - see it here.  I liked the look so much, I did it in a different layout for this card.

Happy Birthday Happy Birthday

My colors came from the patterned paper which is Fancy Pants True Friend.  I have the entire collection of My Favorite Things cardstock and inks and  but it turns out they are missing anything in the coral and/or cantaloupe family which I needed for this paper.  Hey MFT!!  I'm thinking it's time for some new colors!!

The layout is from their current sketch.  I the love diagonal but the vertical lines gave me enough of a headache that I almost didn't do it.  I kept going and I REALLY like the final result.  That's why I use the sketches, and other people create the sketches.

  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Spotlight Sentiments, Woodgrain Background
  • Paper: Fancy Pants True Friend 6x6 dsp, My Favorite Things Natural and Berrylicious, Stampin' Up Crisp Cantaloupe and Calypso Coral
  • Ink: Versamark, My Favorite Things Natural
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Gerbera Daisy die, Layered Leaves die, Lemon Drop button

Thursday, September 25, 2014

CAS(E) this Sketch! Boo to You

I spent a wonderful afternoon playing at a friend's house who has it all when it comes to Stampin' Up products.  Although I still manage to buy more than my fair share of Stampin' Up products, playing with her stash allows me to avoid buying full stamp sets because I love one or two of the stamps in the set.  In this case, I really like Frankenstein from Freaky Friends but I have no use for the other fun characters from the set.  So I got my Frankie-fix with this little scene!

Boo to You

I thought the off-kilter panel on this week's sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch worked well with Frankie.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Freaky Friends, Good Greetings
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Blackberry Bliss CS and dsp, Crushed Curry
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Blackberry Bliss, black, Versamark
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Heat 'n Stick Powder, Martha Stewart Fine Crystal Glitter, Avery Elle sequins

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches: Many Thanks

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches!

I was organizing some stamps that I recently got from My Favorite Things and was looking at the long sentiments in Spotlight Sentiments - a perfect fit for the border in this sketch.  Then I started thinking about the tag and realized that what I really wanted to add was flower (and that's about as creative as you'll ever see me get in a sketch challenge - a flower instead of a tag!)  After I made that decision, I threw caution to the wind, although I'm the only one that can see it.  I used four colors of unopened or almost unused cardstock packages, in other words, colors that aren't normally in my color palette!!  And I think it actually works...

Thank You Flower

I almost never use purples, so the dark and light purples are a stretch.  I love these purples.  They are some of the first paper/ink sets that I purchased from My Favorite Things because I had nothing like it in my collection.  I don't know why I'd never opened them.  The red comes up a little bright in the photo - it's actually a lovely, muted brick red.  I can't explain never opening the green - I love natural looking greens like this.  Given I had so many new-to-me colors, I simply added them to a background of light gray.

I look forward to seeing what you create with this sketch!
  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Spotlight Sentiments
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Grout Gray, Grapesicle, Grape Jelly, Brick Red, Factory Green
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Hero Arts White Embossing Powder, My Favorite Things Sunflower Die, Simon Says Stamp Orchid sequins, Hemptique 10-lb white twine

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration: Dream Explore Discover

Just a reminder that there are still 4 days to play along with the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Wishing Well. Cards are due on Thursday, the 25th, by 8 a.m. CDT.  One random winner will receive a $25 store credit to Whimsy Stamps and the LEAD will be invited to be a guest designer!

Each member of the Curtain Call Design Team received a stamp set and a die set to play with.  I used the Dream, Explore, Discover street sign from Travel 2 to create this card that I think would be appropriate for a teenager headed off to college.  (I didn't use the die that I received on this card - but I did show it off on the card that I made when the challenge opened.)

Dream Explore Discover

  • Stamps: Clearly Whimsy Travel 2
  • Paper: Pebbles Garden Party 6x6 pad, Simon Says Sea Glass
  • Ink: Memento Black
  • Accessories: Misc sequins, Taylored Expressions cloud impression plate

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Mickey Birthday

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday and she is a serious Disney fan.  She grew up in California and could see Disneyland from her home.  She, my brother, and their two sweet daughters are in California as I type this! They also have a three-week vacation planned in Florida later this year with Disney World and a Disney cruise on the list!  So when I saw these Mickey balloons at Frantic Stamper, it was a no-brainer that they belonged in my collection. (The set also comes with a trio of balloons and balloon strings.  If you love Disney there are a number of options at Frantic Stamper including a frame with Mickey peeking out of a corner, and a series of Disney princess dies).

A Mickey Birthday

I have to credit Debby Hughes at Lime Doodle Design for this card layout.  She uses tags in the bottom corner somewhat regularly and I love it every time that I see it!

  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Happy Sentiments
  • Paper: Simon Says Fog and Sunshine, Simple Stories Say Cheese
  • Ink: Simon Says Smoke
  • Accessories: Frantic Stamper Helium Balloon die, Simon Says Happy Die, WPlus9 tag die, Pretty Pink Posh Clear Sequins, Stampin' Up Hello Honey ribbon

Friday, September 19, 2014

Catered Crop: Good Medicine

It's time for a new challenge at Catered Crop: Good Medicine.  A thoughtful "get well" or "thinking of you" is definitely good medicine!!

“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today,” said Pooh.
“There there,” said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”
~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I try to keep a stash of get well cards ready to go because knowing that someone cares really is good medicine.  Get well cards can be difficult - in fact I've never loved the phrase "get well".  It seems so demanding.  These cards could be bright and cheerful or they could be funny, but you always have to be careful to know the recipient's situation. In the case of this card, it is destined for an elderly friend who probably isn't going to feel much better - so I kept it soft and sweet.  Just a note that I really do care.

Feel Better

As usual, Linda at Catered Crop has curate a Pinterest board of inspiration.  Here's a quick peek:

Then next Sunday, all the card from the design team and special guests will be gathered together at Catered Crop for a little more inspiration.  Hope you play along!

I got back two days ago from my mini-vacation and it was mostly wonderful!  Check out the spectacular scenery from some of the hikes that I did.

I also spent quite a bit of time sipping coffee at the local coffee shop and using their free Wi-Fi to keep up on all of your blogs.

We have a tiny, little condo in Frisco Colorado.  About 12 years ago, we had decided to buy a new home in Parker to move out of our tiny little house.  But I kept feeling sick to my stomach at the change in the mortgage payment because we have owned our current home for 25 years and the mortgage payment is wonderfully reasonable.  So instead of a bigger home, we bought this condo in Frisco.  I now have two teeny tiny little places!  One thing about the condo is both good and bad - it's old (at least for a condo). This is good because it was built before the ski industry became a high-end, slick sport and condos became high-end and expensive.  It's also good because with the wooden siding, etc. it feels like a mountain condo. There are beautiful condos up there with much more space than we have, but they feel like being in a city. The picture of the fall colors above was taken about 1/2 a mile from the condo.

The bad side of this is that the appliances are old and wildly out of date.  I'm actually irrationally scared of the oven because it's just a little dark hole - I can't explain it, I just always feel like something creepy is going to pop out, or my food is going to get sucked into the black hole.  The dishwasher hasn't worked in years and it is actually taped shut with a big warning sign for any guests because when it quit working, we just closed it and it really smells bad!

Long story short - on my last day, new appliances were delivered, but my husband's and my fear of home improvements was confirmed.  We are really, really bad at it. First came the refrigerator which we thought we had carefully measured.  Turns out we had measured the width, but not the depth.  It sticks out an extra 4" which made a huge difference. They had to take out the window ledge and the floor boards just to squeeze it in - and now it sticks out clear to the window.  It's quite a hulking presence in the kitchen and makes the window look off-center (which I know all of you cardmakers will understand).  Apparently there are such things as "counter-depth" refrigerators, but even though they are smaller, they are double the price, so I'm going to have to live with this hulking presence.  (We try not to put much money into this place that gets used maybe once a month.)

Then came the stove.  As a very inexperienced home improvement person, I had no idea there were stand-alone and slide-in options.  I bought a stand-alone; I needed a slide-in.  So after battling the refrigerator and then bringing up the new stove, I made them take back the stove.  (Did I mention we are on the second floor?)  Just like with the counter-depth refrigerator, the slide-in range is almost double the price but I don't have a choice on this one.  

Needless to say, my Lowe's delivery guys walked out with six-packs of beer and a good tip!!  They were the most cheerful guys and they kept propping me up by reminding me that there were definitely worse things that could happen than appliances that didn't fit!! 

(The dishwasher is fabulous!)

Well that was a longer story than any of you cared about!!!  Here's the card recipe which is probably all that many of you cared about!
  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Get Well Wishes, Diagonal Stripes background (just on the corners)
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Grout Gray, Bubblegum, Sour Apple, Lemon Drop
  • Ink: Versamark, White
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Gerbera Daisy die, Leaf-Filled Flourish (I did cut this into three pieces and spread it out behind the flower so it fit around the sentiment)