Thursday, July 19, 2018

AAA Cards: A Wonderful Time

Earlier this week, I posted this card playing along with the AAA Cards Christmas in July challenge. Although I really liked that card, it's been bugging me that I was actually most inspired by their graphic which was a row of very colorful trees which I did not do on my first card - so I decided to try again!

AAA Christmas

And here's their row of trees.

I have to admit to a love/hate relationship with my card.  It's been made for days, but I just couldn't quite decide whether to post it or not.  Some days I look at it and think "ugh" and other days, I like it.  It's definitely not in my comfort zone.  I tend to like either soft snowy Christmas cards, or Christian cards, or warm and homey cards.  This is none of those so perhaps that's why I have days I don't like it.  (Or maybe it's just not a good card!!)  But this morning, I liked it - so decided to go ahead and post it.  (Let me be clear - it has nothing to do with the stamps which I dearly love.  In fact, I used the same stamps on my softer card linked above.)  But if nothing else, I have another Christmas card in my stash and I'm quite certain there will be the right recipient for it!


Stamps: Neat & Tangled Scandinavian Prints Christmas with coordinating die set
Inks: Just a mish-mash of rainbow colors!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Peace & Joy

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches!  This week's sketch  we have a sketch by Linda.

I have been in a bit of a panic over Christmas cards.   I've never waited until July before.  It's not so much that I send that many.  My issue is that my favorite cardmaking seasons are autumn and Christmas.  So I generally have a big jump on Christmas cards in the spring and summer so I can focus on autumn when it arrives.  Somehow it's wrong to get a jump on autumn in the spring and summer, but it's OK to do Christmas.   Yeah - I know - it's all a bit obsessive.

Anyway, I saw snowflakes in those circles.

FMS Peace & Joy

I struggle with photographing foil or glitter.  The card is actually quite a bit lighter and brighter than the above photo shows.

FMS Peace & Joy Close

Also a shout-out to Color Throwdown.  A few weeks ago they had their 500th challenge (a big congrats!) but I have to admit, I first wrinkled my nose at the colors.  But then I saw the design team inspiration - and then I saw what so many of you made - and I decided it was a fabulous color combo.  This particular challenge is over, but I did want to give them the credit for my colors!

I hope to see you playing along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches.


Monday, July 16, 2018

CtS and CTD: Birthday Rose

I put a couple of challenges together to create a floral birthday card for someone at work.  I don't know her well - I only know she gardens so I stuck with flowers.

I was intrigued by the current sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch and started browsing my stash for a border type die.  I stumbled on this retired die by Stampin' Up that I think is stunning and I just haven't used enough.  So I cut it edge to edge across the card. I did experiment with a little distress ink and inlaying the colored pieces, but that got too fussy really quickly.  So I found a cheerful yellow polka dot and backed the rose with it.

CtS Birthday Rose

I thought it would be fun to pair with another classic pattern and found the gingham hiding in the paper stash.  Initially I was feeling like I should find a brighter color (or perhaps a green for the leaves!) but then I remembered another current challenge that I had bookmarked as wanting to try - the current challenge at the Color Throwdown.  So I stuck with the gray gingham and added a simple kraft banner.

CtS Birthday Rose Flat

It's a gorgeous color combo and definitely not one that I would have come up with on my own.

(Everything I used is retired - sorry!)
Stamps: Stampin' Up And Many More
Dies: Stampin' Up Rose Garden
Patterned Paper: Stampin' Up Polka Dot Parade and the gingham no longer had a label
Embellishments: Stampin' Up Glitter & Clear Epoxy Shapes

Sunday, July 15, 2018

AAA Cards: A Softer Christmas

I got worried in June that I hadn't done a single Christmas card, so I decided to do a big Christmas in July.  So here it is July 14th and I've only done two others.  So here's #3 - but I actually did four of them so I'm at a grand total of six Christmas cards done!

AAA Softer Christmas

I lined up the sentiment and the blue tree then stamped directly to the card front. The stamp set is a great builder set - so I added the tree trunk and the horizontal lines.  I masked off the sentiment with some removable tape, then used the big Clarity Stencil brush to add the blue glow. Then I mixed a few drops of white acrylic paint with a few drops of water, picked some up with a paintbrush and used my finger to tap the paintbrush and splatter the paint/snow on the scene.

Separately I created the pink tree with the vertical lines and the green tree with the ornaments.  I tapped the white paint over them too.  I wanted each tree to be distinctly different so I die cut a tree trunk from the coordinating die set for the pink tree and added a sparkly star to the green tree.

AAA Softer Christmas Flat

This card was inspired by this AAA Challenge.

Obviously I liked their grouping of trees. I had originally intended to go with the bright colors - but then I fell in love with the sentiment and had to go softer.  Hmmm...I think I'll have to try a bright one too!

Stamps: Neat & Tangled Scandinavian Prints Christmas
Dies: Neat & Tangled Scandinavian Prints Christmas die and Lucky Stars die

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Celebrate Me & You

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Jen Mitchell.

I'm feeling lucky...I had been playing around with these dies/stamps on another card and never quite got it together.  Then before I cleaned off my desk, I took a peek at the sketch - and knew right away those same dies/stamps would work!

FMS Celebrate Me & You

I love the fun of the angled panel.  I decided the main panel was perfect for the "celebrate" with the angled panel making it fun for an anniversary.  The soft bokeh seemed like a good fit too!  (The card was simple, but the photography gave me fits.  I hate glittery stuff.  I see others photo it and it looks great, but for me, it does weird things to the focus and the color.)

I hope to see you playing along with us!

Stamps: Neat & Tangled Celebrate
Dies: Neat & Tangled Celebrate
Paper: Stampin' Up Lost Lagoon Cardstock, Lawn Fawn Let's Bokeh in the Snow, Silver Glimmer from Michaels, Vellum
Embellishment: Pretty Pink Posh stars

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Taylored Expressions: Retirement Sale

As much as I hate it, stamp companies simply have to retire products once in awhile, otherwise they'd have to have Amazon-sized warehouses.  I get it - but I do hate that some of my favorites are going away.  The good news for you is that there's a sale!! 

Taylored Expressions is bidding a fond farewell to over 200 products as we retire some of our favorite items with an amazing SALE. Choose from a variety of stamps and dies at prices up to 70% off -- but hurry, once they're gone, they're gone forever! Visit the SALE HERE to start shopping!
Plus, for a limited time, you can receive additional savings on these soon-to-be collector’s items. Additional discounts expire 11:59 pm CST on July 20, 2018.
To get you started with some ideas, here are a few cards that I've made in the past that include retiring items.

The BBQ border has so much wonderful detail. I love it sitting on top of the Block Party - Party die. Original post here.

Taylored Expressions A BBQ Party

Another fabulous border scene is Eventual - Fright Night.  For this card, I trimmed it to the narrow part of the card and overlapped two sides.  Original post here.

TE Don't Be Caught Dead

These are some of the cutest little guys you'll ever see! Original post here.

TE Calendar with Critters

You really can't go wrong with a tic-tac-toe set that includes I {heart} U!  And the sentiments are charming.  Original post here.

TE Love Always Wins

You can put just about anything on a stage! Original post here.

TE Mr. & Mrs. Congrats Banner

A wonderful set of basic Christmas images and fun sentiments.  Original post here.

TE Peek-a-Boo Christmas

The Picture Perfect series of dies is great for scrapbooking but are also excellent for framing scenes on cards.  Original post here.

TE Picture Perfect Smiles & Flowers

It's lovely on its own - but check it out as the ocean!  Original post here.

Taylored Expressions Under the Sea
TE Under the Sea Inside

It just doesn't get much cuter than this!!  A lot of the Sack It dies are going - they all coordinate with Sack It To You.  Original post here.

Merry Chrismoose Sack

Absolutely perfect for hot sunny summer days. Original post here.

TE Sip, Sip Hooray

I hesitate putting this on one the list because there aren't many left in inventory and you'll have to run fast to shop (with your fingers crossed).  But not knowing it was going to retire, I just used a stamp from this set to coordinate with the Thanks Script die and the new Thanks Script Backer - Mixed Media die.  It's a very handy set of "thanks" in different fonts plus add on lines to go with dies.  (FYI - In & Out Wedding is also retiring).  Original post here.

Taylored Expressions Thanks Script with Backer

There are many, many other items but I didn't think you'd want to be scrolling through my post when you could be shopping!  Here's a link to all of them and here are the ones that I picked to show you.


Monday, July 9, 2018

The Paper Players: Celebration

There's a can't-miss challenge going on right now - the 400th challenge from The Paper Players!!  Four hundred challenges is an amazing milestone.  They have a very talented design team so, whether I play or not, I always check out the challenge for their inspiration.  I'm hoping as my life has settled down recently, I'll have more time to be inspired and to play long.

The theme for this challenge is Celebration.

KIM Bold Balloon Celebration

I stuck very close to their inspiration photo with a bouquet of balloons in the outdoors - only mine are floating to the sky with some subtle clouds stenciled in the background using Clarity Stencil Brushes to be able to stay as soft as possible.  I used the lightest blue on the outer edges of each row of clouds with the medium blue in the middle.  I did a long row along the bottom, making the row smaller as I moved up so that the upper right is still all white.  (The darkest blue in the supply list is actually a darker tone on the bottom left of the blue balloon which you can't even see after I put it all together.  You can see the two oranges on the orange balloon, also the yellow if you look closely!)

KIM Bold Balloon Celebration CLOSE

I wanted to add something slightly unique so I added a stitched frame twining it above and behind the sentiment, balloon strings and the balloon.

Congrats to the Paper Players!  I'm looking forward to the next 400!