Sunday, June 30, 2013

Merry Monday: Snow Much Joy

It's been a long time since I have done a Christmas card and I had promised myself that this year I would do better.  There are great challenges out there to help - my favorite being Merry Monday.  I have been playing along sporadically - but the year is half over and I need to buckle down!!

This card uses a Hero Arts snowman that came out a year or two ago.  I liked every card that I saw him on and I finally got the set this year.  But then, for months, no one had the snowman die - it was out-of-stock no matter where I looked.  I had just decided that perhaps it was retired and I had missed it, but was available...maybe he's just still a very popular guy!!  (I have a clear set called Snow Much Joy.  There's also a wood-mounted stamp with a sleepy little snowman that also fits the die.)

Snow Much Joy

  • Stamps: Hero Arts Snow Much Joy
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler, Pool Party, Papertrey Ink Summer Sunrise, Fancy Pants Wave Searcher Bucket
  • Ink: Memento Black, Copics
  • Accessories: Hero Arts Snowman die, MFT Fishtail dies, Cuttlebug embossing, Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler twine, Ranger Glossy Accents (on the berries)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Catered Crop: There is Sunshine in My Soul

The current challenge at Catered Crop is So Shapely: using die cuts and punches.

I wouldn't have thought that would be a problem - I use die cuts and punches every day!!  But it's funny that when I needed to make them the focus I had a tough time with an original idea.  Finally, as I was happily indexing and putting away a recent stamp order from My Favorite Things I ran across a "sunshine" sentiment which led me to pull out a variety of dies...

There is Sunshine
I wanted to show you a close-up with a little shadow on it because there is fun texture plate at My Favorite Things called the Grosgrain Texture Board.  It's technically to be used on a long strip of paper with the texture vertical to mimic grosgrain ribbon.  When you don't have matching ribbon, make it out of paper.  I just needed a little extra something on my clouds - so I added the texture at an angle.  (I do find that it works best if you lightly spritz the paper with water first.)

There is Sunshine close

As usual, Linda has curated a fabulous Pinterest board - head over to Catered Crop for some fabulous ideas for dies and punches!
  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Cheerful Blessings
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Summer Sunshine CS and dsp
  • Ink: Memento black
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Sunshine and Flat Bottom Cloud dies, clear sequins, heart punch, MFT Grosgrain Texture Board

Friday, June 28, 2013

Feedly "follow" button

Just a couple of days ago, I did a Goodbye Google Reader post and one of the questions was about a Feedly Follow button.  I had talked about a Feedly button months ago and promised to tell you when they had an official button - but I hadn't looked in awhile.  Guess what?  They have a follow button!!

Here are a variety of Publisher Tools for Feedly.  One of them is "Add a feedly button to your site"!

You do need to use your feed URL (instead of just your blog address).
  • For blogger, it's your blog address plus "/feeds/posts/default".  For example, my blog feed address is
  • For other blog types, I don't know the details, but if you have your own blog in feedly (I LOVE to see my own posts come up in feedly) - you can check it:
    • Bring up just your own blog in feedly by clicking on it in the left column
    • On the main screen, right click on your blog name and select Inspect Element - a bunch of techie stuff will come up at the bottom of the screen
    • The highlighted part of the techie stuff is your blog name.  Scan across it until you find data-feedid="feed/.
    • The address after that starting with "http up until the next " is your feed URL.
The feedly button creator asks you to pick a button, give your feed URL, and then it asks you to click on the button to make sure it works.  I was slightly confused here as it sends you to feedly - you do have to hit the back button in your browser after that to go back to the button creator.  But then the code is there and it tells you how to add it to each type of blog!

For those of you struggling to get around feedly (or bloglovin or anything else new) - just remember - there is a learning curve to each of these.  I did an intro to Feedly in March which will help but know that Feedly has literally gotten millions of new customers since the Google Reader announcement and they have done an admirable job of updating their product to recognize the needs of those millions.  

Some of the things that I said feedly didn't do - it now does!!  For example, you can pin to Pinterest directly from feedly.  It also only worked in certain desktop browsers, there are more options now - details here.

And a few things have moved around, for example, you used to add blogs via a tiny little magnifying glass on the right side of feedly; now they have an obvious "+Add Content" on the left side.

The biggest thing to make you happier in feedly on your desktop is the magic j/k key to move between posts.  (iPad is easy - just swipe).  Feedly has keyboard shortcuts.  One of those is the "j" button.  When you bring up your first post to read and are done reading it, just hit "j" on the keyboard and the desktop will swipe to the next post!!  (Or use "k" to go backwards.)

It is a pain and I have a sinking feeling there is more to come from Google (see the annoying Follow button details on this post).  I really mourn the loss of these simple tools used by so many of us who would much rather be crafting or seeing what others have crafted than dealing with techie stuff.  But there are usually workarounds to everything (e.g. you don't really need the Follow button) and we'll keep figuring it out together!

Don't read below this line unless you are having problems - it will only be confusing!!

ETA: I've gotten a few e-mail questions already this morning and that's fine - if I can help, I would love to - but know that I'm a crafty person, not techie - I just happen to like tracking down problems!!  The bigger problem is that I'm leaving for the weekend and will only have my iPad along so won't be able to research things very well.  If I do have any updates based on problems I'm hearing about - I'm going to try to post them right here with updates to this post instead of doing a whole bunch of new posts.

1. A new Feedly user is getting a blank screen when trying to bring up Feedly.  Feedly posted this about people using the Chrome browser:
If you try to load from a desktop browser and you get a blank page, it is most likely because a proxy is blocking it or one of your extensions is blocking it. Please go to chrome://extensions and temporarily disable and re-enable your extensions.
I actually had this blank screen happen recently when I was paying a college tuition bill - so this is Chrome specific, not Feedly specific. It's like Chrome is a little too aggresive about stopping things!!? Click on the three little lines in the upper right corner of your Chrome browser. Then click on Tools and Extensions.  After that, I don't what you are going to see because it entirely depends on what you have loaded on your PC - hopefully feedly's words above will give you some guidance about disabling and re-enabling!!

2. Using Internet Explorer.  Originally feedly didn't work at all on IE - I actually switched to Google Chrome just because of feedly, but I have to tell you that I have come to love Chrome.  However, feedly recently posted this - if anybody does it this way, let us know what you think -
We added a pure web access to feedly. You can point any browser to and load your feedly. Including IE and Opera.

The Alley Way Stamps: You Are My Everything

Very sadly, this is my last post as part of the design team for The Alley Way Stamps.  I LOVE their stamps and the hardest thing about not being part of the team is that I've seen the new stamps for the next three months and they are fabulous.  (Or maybe that's a good thing because I can manage my budget around buying new stamps.)  Sneak peeks for July started yesterday on their blog.

For today, I am re-inspiring you for the current BE Inspired challenge.  I love the fresh colors and the "sweet" photo for this challenge.

To keep my card sweet and simple, I pulled out Lighter Than Air.  I used coral and turquoise with just a hint of "sugar" on the heart!

You Are My Everything

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Lighter Than Air
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Berry Sorbet
  • Ink: Memento black, Copics
  • Accessories: L'il Inkers stitched squares, Divine Twine Black Licorice, Fruit Punch Stickles

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CAS(E) this Sketch: Miss You Like Crazy

It's time for another great sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch!  This one has lots of wonderful space for you to use your imagination and creativity!

I did switch up the sentiment on my card.  I had a sentiment that I wanted to use in the bigger panel, so I added a little bit of bling where the sentiment was supposed to go!  Remember, these sketches are a starting point - you are welcome to change them up!

Miss You Like Crazy

I look forward to seeing everything that you do with this sketch!

  • Stamps: Verve Hope Blooms
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Night of Navy
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Marina Mist
  • Accessories: MME Washi, Maya Road Kraft Layerable Flowers (I used a circle die to make various sizes), L'il Inkers stitched rectangles, May Arts twine, Martha Stewart Bright Large Gemstone Stickers, misc smaller gems

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's Time to Say Goodbye to Google Reader

This is my second post today. It's just a short scroll down for OWH.

If you are still reading blogs in Google Reader, you are going to want to sat goodbye to it in the next few days and get your blog reading list moved over to a new reader.  Google Reader shuts down Sunday.

Remember, where you read is your choice - it doesn't matter what your favorite blogs use - you can read from the place that you prefer!  You can read in:

1. Blogger Dashboard - but I have some bad news for you*
2. Feedly
3. bloglovin'
4. And many, many more - Feedly and bloglovin are just the most mentioned in the card community.

Feedly and bloglovin' have handy-dandy tools to move your reading lists over to them - just one click and it's done!  I have chosen Feedly because (1) the entire post shows so I don't have to click in and out of Feedly to read and (2) they have an iPad app.  (If you want more info, find the label on my sidebar for  Feedly/blogloving/Google Reader for lots more details including a Feedly tutorial.)

FYI: Feedly has recently integrated with Pinterest. Yay! They have not yet added a "search all your blogs" function as Google Reader had but it is on their top 10 list!

*I don't know what is going to happen with Blogger Dashboard.  It's been very easy to get your favorite blogs there by clicking on their Follow button.  Guess what? New blogs can't add the Follow button...the gadget is no longer available in blogger.  The Follow button still works on existing blogs...I just tried it to be sure.  But Google, in their infinite wisdom, hasn't made an official announcement yet.

If you do read in Dashboard, I'm sure you know that you can add blogs manually...just copy their address over to your dashboard and add it.  For that matter, you can manually add to bloglovin and Feedly too because not every blog has added their follow buttons.  Truth be told, I've never used a button.  I find a new blog, copy the address and add it to my reader!!

If you just don't know what to do yet - be sure to at least use the "Takeout" option with Google Reader.  I have not used it so have absolutely no advice - but it's meant to make a copy of your reading lists, your categories, your saved items etc so you can eventually import it to another reader.

Operation Write Home: A Challenge, A Sketch & Freedom

I have the ultimate thrill of having a card up at Operation Write Home for the Midweek Throwdown Challenge.  They selected this card as part of their clean and simple with a little texture challenge.    I hope you check out this challenge!

Besides being an amazing cause (that you should be sure to check out if you have lots of cards stashed away) they also go out of their way to keep it fun and challenging for all of us cardmakers.  Today's challenge is a CAS challenge.  On Sundays they have sketch challenges.  I used this week's sketch on these cards for a soldier to send home to a little boy and to a little girl.

Miss You Lots boy

Isn't this sweet little raccoon face just perfect for a Miss You card?

Miss You Lots girl

OWH challenges are nice in that they provide measurements.  It's not required to use exactly the same size, but it certainly makes for a quick and easy card.  Other than the diamond border on the boy's card, I cut everything else based on the dimension of the sketch.

I don't usually tuck multiple cards into one post, but there is another challenge this week that is just perfect for AnyHero cards.  Operation Write Home wants blank cards that they send in bulk to soldiers who then use them to write home to their loved ones (like the cards above) and they want AnyHero cards which are notes directed to the soldiers with personal notes of thanks and gratitude.  This week's challenge at CASology is "free" - a perfect chance for an AnyHero card.  I've made a number of these and will add personal notes before I send them to OWH to distribute.

Because of the Brave

Miss You Raccoon for a Boy:
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Deep in the Woods, Delicate Doilies (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Midnight Muse, More Mustard, Marina Mist, Crushed Curry, My Mind's Eye Lost & Found 3 dsp
  • Ink: Memento black, Copics
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up woodgrain embossing folder, My Favorite Things Harlequin die
Miss You Raccoon for a Girl:
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Deep in the Woods, Delicate Doilies (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Perfect Plum, Lawn Fawn Bright Side 6x6 paper pad
  • Ink: Memento black, Copics
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink buttons: Summer Sunrise, Berry Sorbet
Land of the Free, Because of the Brave:
  • Stamps: Impression Obsession star and circle star, My Paper Moon Because of the Brave
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, Real Red
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, Real Red
  • Accessories: Basic Grey star stickers, Divine Twine Airmail, star punch, L'il Inkers stitched rectangles

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Papertrey Blog Hop: A Touch of Gold

This month's blog hop at Papertrey Ink is to use a touch of gold.  Sometimes I pull gold out at Christmas, but other than that, I don't use it much.  So I also relied on their inspiration photos with the aquas and teals.

Hello from the Heart

I do wish that I would have popped the hello as it gets a little lost.  I didn't have any adhesive that was small enough so I started cutting little pieces off of foam squares, but quickly decided I didn't have the patience for that!  The brad was heated, then I used a tweezer to dip it in embossing powder, then heated it again so that it is the same gold as the rest of the embossing.

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Wonderful Words mini: Hello
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist, Best Creations glitter paper
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist, Hawaiian Shores, Versamark
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Hello die, Zing Gold Embossing Powder, misc heart brad

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Alley Way Stamps: Enjoy the Ride!!

I was crafting yesterday on a sweltering summer day and decided that I was going to do a beach scene so that I could imagine myself in the cool water!!

Enjoy the Ride

As much as I would love to claim credit for that beach - I totally CASed it from Karen.  I simplified it somewhat - look closely at hers and how the layers all fit together - it's amazing!  I added a little sunburst embossing - and I'm feeling cooler already!!

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Tropical Hideaway, all about YOU (sentiment)
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Classic Kraft, Neenah Desert Storm, Stampin Up Daffodil and Baja, American Crafts Soho Garden 6x6
  • Ink: Memento Black
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Snow Drifts and Wavy Edge dies, Papertrey Ink impression plate (I think it's been discontinued?), Ellen Hutson Daffodil and Water Sequins

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Less is More: Happy Birthday Jen!!

This week's challenge at Less is More is to do a birthday card for Jen, one of the wonderful hostesses!  I have read and admired Jen's blog, The Tiny Blue Butterfly, for years - so I definitely had to jump on this challenge!  Jen has a wonderful clean style.  One of the things that she does very, very well is to use colored card bases while still keeping it CAS.  I decided to use a kraft base and then to use one of her self-proclaimed faves: cats, fish or butterflies!

For You
Happy Birthday Jen!!
One of the dangers of reading lots of blogs in a blog reader is that you don't see the sidebar info on each blog.  In linking to Jen's blog - it was the first time that I saw she was an accountant and that making cards is her "savior"!!  I can SO relate.  I was an actuary, I'm now studying to be an accountant and there is nothing better than moving from tangled masses of black and white numbers, into a world of color and sweetness and maybe a little bling!!  Isn't it a wonderful hobby/passion that we have all stumbled into?!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Papillon Potpourri, Itty Bitty Banners
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake
  • Ink: Stampin Up Crushed Curry, black
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up butterfly punch and banner dies, L'il Inkers stitched rectangles, My Mind's Eye twine, Ellen Hutson Iris Blue sequins

Saturday, June 22, 2013

WPlus9 Mood Board and OWH 4 Kids: Hey, Sweetie

This is my third post today!  I am having a very good day!!!

I thought the current throwdown at Operation Write Home: Cards 4 Kids would pair nicely with the current Monday Mood Board at WPlus9 if I did a cupcake!  My card isn't cutesy like a lot of kid's cards but it is sweet and I think it's just perfect for a little girl or maybe a tween who has outgrown cutesy.

Hey There Sweetie

  • Stamps: WPlus9 Sweets & Treats
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Lucky Limeade, Crisp Cantaloupe
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Lucky Limeade, Memento black, Copics
  • Accessories: WPlus9 Sweets & Treats dies, Ellen Hutson Daffodil sequins, Papertrey Ink Melon Berry button, pearlescent crochet thread

Absolutely Thinking of You

This is my second post today.

I am having a very good day.  I turned in the final projects for my classes yesterday and now I have a two week summer break!  (The next break is a week-long fall break and they don't even have a Christmas break - so I am going to take full advantage of this break with a lot of time in my craft corner!)  I had a plan today to catch up on some Operation Write Home sketches, tutorials and throw-downs.  I got sidetracked by the great sketch and bold colors at the Fusion Card Challenge and then I realized that it would really well with windows which is the OWH tutorial this week!  Check out the cute little owls peeking out of their holes!!

Absolutely Thinking of You

I fused the two challenges.  Obviously, I used the sketch.  Then from the inspiration, I got the owls, the flowers, and the rich browns and teals with pops of bright colors.

The window are quite easy to do.  Punch or die-cut your window shapes out of post-its.  Line them up on the cardstock.  Then use your punch (upside-down) or your die to cut each shape.

Absolutely Thinking of You Close Up for Window Card

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Love Bandit, Simon Says Stamp On Edge
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, Island Indigo, American Crafts Soho Garden 6x6
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso
  • Accessories: Simon Says Stamps Absolutely die, Stampin' Up Island Indigo twine, Papertrey Ink wood impression plate, misc heart gems colored with copics

Operation Write Home Sketch: HB2U

I love the sketches at Operation Write Home because they give measurements!  No thinking at all!!  I did follow the measurements in my card except that I had to use my new Speech Bubble Frame die and it's just a little bigger.

Happy Birthday 2 You

I don't normally use a ton of patterned paper, but in this case with the very bold sentiment, a lot of patterns works well!!

  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Birthday Sentiments
  • Paper: My Mind's Eye True Blue 6x6, Stampin' Up Bermuda Bay
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Bermuda Bay
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Speech Bubble Frame die, The Twinery Caribbean Twine, misc brads

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fab Friday and Nacho Average Sketch: Can't Thank You Enough

I have another card that I made at my friend's house - the friend that I talked about yesterday who has an incredible Stampin' Up collection.  I wanted to try out the new colors and I remember that the current Fab Friday challenge was to use all five of them on one card and that the sketch at Nacho Average Challenge had five banners.  I think it was meant to be!

Can't Thank You Enough

This is one of the new sets from Stampin' Up called Chalk Talk. The scribbling on the hearts is a chalk effect.  I tell you that because as I am sitting here looking at this picture, I think it looks like I did a really bad job with markers!!  It's supposed to look like that!!

A FIRE UPDATE: Did you hear that the fire that I showed you last week that was just south of here ending up burning over 500 homes?  They expect to have that fire totally out today.  It has been a real eye-opener the last few years to realize that wildfires can threaten entire communities.    There were other fires burning at that time too that did serious damage to other areas of Colorado - lots of land and many structures (an entire tourist area is gone with very sad pictures of a blackened carousel) - but not homes, so they didn't get as much attention. There are still a dozen other fires burning today.  There's even an entire small town of 3,000 people on pre-evac notice.  In an entirely different situation, yesterday a dear blogging friend commented that her town was declared a state of emergency due to heavy rains and flooding.  Even my local news was showing the massive amounts of water and the damage in Western Canada with 100,000 people affected.  (I do hope all is well.) Wouldn't you think this could all be evened out somehow??

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Chalk Talk
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Baked Brown Sugar, Pistachio Pudding, Strawberry Slush, Coastal Cabana, Crisp Cantaloupe

Thursday, June 20, 2013

CAS(E) this Sketch! Happy Mail

This week's sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch! is a fun layout - wide open for fun interpretations.

I'm thinking fun buttons, butterflies, hearts - so many options.  I went for envelopes!  I just about have a full box to send off to Operation Write Home so cards for this cause is uppermost in my mind!  I'm thinking soldier would love to send a "happy mail" card to their loved ones!

Happy Mail

  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Very Special
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Island Indigo, Poppy Parade, Crushed Curry, Pebbles Seen & Noted 6x6
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Island Indigo
  • Accessories: WPlus9 Love Notes die, Stampin' Up Island Indigo twine

The Paper Players: A Mosaic Birthday

I had a great afternoon yesterday, crafting with friends and being able to use Stampin' Up supplies that I don't own!! I have a friend with a massive Stampin' Up collection who opens her home to all of us three or four times a month. I don't typically get a lot of cards made - too much conversation and laughter! I had a few minutes left and decided to stamp and punch using the new set Mosaic Madness. When I got home, I put them together in a CAS card with bling to play along with The Paper Players.

Mosaic Birthday

I did blow it at the end.  I had already glued down the mosaic pieces and when I went to add a sentiment from my collection, I thought I remembered that the blue I had used yesterday was Pacific - so the sentiment is in Pacific - but it looks like the mosaic was Marina.  Ooops!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Mosaic Madness, Happy Birthday single
  • Paper: white
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Marina Mist(?) and Pacific Point!!
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Mosaic Punch, gems and embossing folder; pearlized crochet thread

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Peace, Love and Flip Flops!

It's a busy day today - lots of fun stuff!  An afternoon stamping with friends, an evening at dinner and then my friend's choir concert and it's finals week in my current class.  So I had a half an hour this morning to play - and it's a very rare card that I can finish in half an hour.  But I had a plan to use flip flops for a niece's birthday.  (Sadly, this plan changed when I realized the stamp set didn't have a birthday sentiment - but it was still a plan.)  First, I saw the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches - perfect space for some flip-flops.  Then I saw the colors at color throwdown - perfect colors for my favorite sentiment in the set!

Peace Love Flip Flops

So I'm all done - and then I noticed my mistake - anybody see it?  This die set comes with a number of toppers for the flip flops.  I didn't use the actual flip flop topper because it would have been hidden by the bow that I wanted to use.  So I don't think these are technically flip-flops, are they??  Flip-flops have the little strappy thing for the big toe - can they also be little slip-ons like these?  It's just like me to obsess over stupid things like this!!

  • Stamps: L'il Inkers Flip Flop Sentiments
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, Little Yellow Bicycle Just Because 6x6
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Night of Navy
  • Accessories: L'il Inkers Flip Flop Dies, Divine Twine Maraschino, misc sequins

Monday, June 17, 2013

Addicted to CAS: Teenagers

The current challenge at Addicted to CAS is "teenagers".  I have two teenage boys so it's a perfect challenge.  Of course, my boys require minimal color, basic stamps and absolutely no bling - so not typically cards that I display on this blog.  I did sneak some sequins in on this one anyway!

I have to explain this card.  My husband and 13-year old son were in Utah from last Wednesday through Sunday (we're from Colorado) at a lacrosse tournament.  Actually, it wasn't technically a tournament, but since they played teams from Arizona, Texas, Idaho, Nevada and even Colorado - and won every game - I think they can claim to be "best in the west".  I had just gotten this stamp set and was thrilled when I saw this stamp (although I am disappointed that the sentiment doesn't fit in the banner - you'd think they would design it a little better).

Best in the West

This design came from their uniforms...

114 ed

He only came home with minor damage.

001 ed

But it wasn't even lacrosse-related!  He and his teammates were horsing around in a swimming pool.  A dozen 13-year olds, horsing around in a pool...hmmmm....what could go wrong?  In Erik's case, it was a knee to the eyeball!!

  • Stamps: Hero Arts/Studio Calico Miss You So Much
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Poppy and Smokey Shadow
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow
  • Accessories: Darice embossing folder, sequins

Sunday, June 16, 2013

CASology: Yellow and a Floral Hi

I've been wanting to play along with CASology all week with the cue card of "yellow".  I had actually planned on a bright sunshine card, but I got a different idea in my head when I got some new dies.

A Floral Hi

I love the Happy Hellos die from My Favorite Things - six different die cut hellos - from plain and simple fonts to fun scripts.  The flowers are the Flower and Leaf Trio which was the perfect size for tucking behind the sentiment.  Just one problem - the three flowers come as one big piece of metal so you can't easily create a negative die cut like this.  I scrounged in my husband's tool box and came up with a tool that worked beautifully - a Wiss MetalMaster (I had to find a link for you just in case you ever need to cut dies apart!)  On the other hand, if I had thought for just a minute - I have a dozen other flower dies that came separately - I really didn't need to cut this one apart!

  • Stamps: none
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Lemon Tart
  • Ink: none
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things dies: Happy Hellos and Flower/Leaf Trio, Stampin' Up striped embossing folder, Queen & Co. Twinkle Goosebumps

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Catered Crop: For the Boys

The current challenge at Catered Crop is "For the Boys" - we are supposed to show our masculine side.

In my world, I am surrounded by men and boys.  When I started stamping, I had young sons who actually enjoyed getting cards, and my husband has saved everything that I have given him.  So my stash of masculine images is quite extensive. I went a couple of different directions today.

My first card relies on a masculine image and a bold sentiment...


Isn't this guy a charmer?  Check out his blue eyes!!

Congrats Robot Close-Up

If you aren't comfortable with masculine cards, Linda at Catered Crop has not only curated a Pinterest board full of inspiration, but has also provided eight tips and hints!!  A couple of them caught my eye and I thought I would give it a try.  She mentions the current trend of geometric shapes - arrows, stars, chevrons - that they can be masculine or feminine.  She also talks about a simple color palette change.  I put those two ideas together to show you how right she is!!

Feminine...with trendy arrows.

My Whole World feminine

Masculine...exactly the same in every way except color.

My Whole World masculine

It works!!!

Head over to Catered Crop and check out all of the inspiration, tips and hints - then join in!!  I'd love to see what you create.

Robot Congrats
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Bot Time
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Taken with Teal
  • Ink: Memento Black, Copics
  • Accessories: Sizzix Sizzlit Congrats Die, Ranger Glossy Accents, Lifestyle Crafts embossing folder, various glitter pens
You're My Whole World
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Good Point, Words to Live By
  • Paper: Papertrey Summer Sunrise, Stampin' Up Island Indigo
  • Ink: Papertrey Summer Sunrise, Melon Berry, Harvest Gold, Limeade Ice; Stampin' Up Island Indigo, Rich Razzleberry, Pumpkin Pie, Lucky Limeade
  • Accessories: misc buttons and twine

Friday, June 14, 2013

TAWS BE Inspired: Welcome Baby

The current TAWS BE Inspired challenge is three ice cream parfaits and a bottle of coke.  I took my inspiration from those yummy colors.

I used a set of cupcakes and bonbons to make a baby card in the same soft colors!!

Welcome Baby 3
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Bite Size, Priceless (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Strawberry Slush
  • Ink: Memento black, Copics
  • Accessories: L'il Inkers Stitched Square die, Ellen Hutson sequins

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cloud9 WPlus9: Hope

This is my second post today.  CAS(E) this Sketch is just a post away.

It's time for this month's Cloud9 blog hop (using WPlus9 stamps) blog hop and the sad news is that this is the last hop.  For the last challenge, they are leaving us with an Anything Goes challenge.

Since it is wide-open challenge, I thought this would be a good time to CASE someone who always leaves me gasping aloud in awe.  Debbie Hughes at Lime Doodle Design makes wonderfully creative, clean and absolutely gorgeous cards.  She has one particular layout that I have fallen in love with.  It's using a tag at the edge of card - see it herehere and here.

So I took my Wplus9 Timeless Tags 2 and the stamp set Heartfelt Mix and tried my own version of the tag on the edge!

You Give Me Hope

On a very different subject, do you ever feel that nature is tired of us humans?  Tornadoes and floods and earthquakes and wildfires.  Here was the view from my place on Tuesday.


Those aren't clouds.  That is what it looks like when 100 homes are burning in a massive wildfire. (ETA: A news conference just said 360 homes by now.)  My home is an hour away and it still looks that overwhelming.  That photo was taken on Tuesday.  Since then, winds have shifted my direction, the smoke is blowing in and I don't even a clear view of my neighbor's house.  (There is absolutely no danger to me - it's 60 miles away - so I really don't have any right to complain about haze and smoke smell.)  There are mind boggling photos on news websites of this Black Forest fire consuming houses with walls of flames.  And it is still 0% contained with more evacuations ordered this morning.  On a positive note, as of this morning there are no fatalities, although officials say that could change as they know there are people who chose not to evacuate.  There are lots of homes still standing as the fire is very erratic, so we'll pray that's where the people are who stayed behind.

Sadly, this area also had a huge fire last year that burned 346 homes.  I have photos here and here of last year's fire on the west side of Colorado Springs (a city of almost a half million people).  This year's fire is northeast of Colorado Springs - it's not as close as last year's but it is a neighborhood whose residents most likely go to Colorado Springs for work or shopping.

Forest fires do happen and they are actually good.  They clear out old vegetation and allow for new growth.  Pine trees don't even drop their seeds unless there is a fire.  It's all part of the plan.  And, with humans living virtually everywhere (personally, I'd love a secluded home in a forested area) - there are always sad stories.  But it has become very scary over the last year to realize that these huge, out-of-control fires happen near major urban areas, not just out in the wilderness.

Sorry for the sidetrack - back to what you came for - here are the details on today's card:
  • Stamps: WPlus9 Heartfelt Mix, Sweet Nothings (sentiment)
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist, Fine Linen, Smokey Shadow, Stampin' Up Calypso Coral
  • Paper: white
  • Accessories: WPlus9 dies: Timeless Tags 2 and Hearts/Clouds die, Ellen Hutson Daffodil Sequins, May Arts twine

CAS(E) This Sketch: An Amazing Birthday!

It's time for a new sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch!!  If you started with me, you have to pop over to the CTS blog and see the wide variety of cards that the design team created out of this basic sketch....

I started my card with the sentiment - the sketch is such a great opportunity to showcase those big, bold sentiments that don't always fit on a card.  After I picked the sentiment, I didn't really have room for twine or ribbon or anything for the vertical strip - so just did some random scoring - I like how this worked.  And I have a big, bold birthday sentiment - I needed some balloons, right??

Amazing Birthday

I hope to see you playing along - I am really excited to see what everybody does with this particular sketch!

  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Happy Every Day
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Island Indigo, Pure Poppy, Kiwi Kiss, Cool Caribbean
  • Ink: Memento black
  • Accessories: L'il Inkers Balloon dies, crochet thread