Monday, January 31, 2011

A Rock and Roll CAS

Today's SplitCoast CAS Challenge was the phrase "rock and roll".  I have a set from H&M Stamps (no longer in business) that I got when my youngest son and his best friend were in their "rock-on" stage.  They would go down to our barn (no animals in it - just a giant playhouse!) and do insane things like swing on a rope off of our hayloft to make their grand entrance for their rock "concerts".  I love this particular stamp because it is exactly how my son and friends ended every concert!

Now I need to rant a little on an entirely different subject.  I love winter - I really do.  But here is the scene outside my house right this minute -

That pickup truck slid right into the back of the school bus.  It is a total sheet of ice.  When I took my oldest son in to school at 7:30 this morning, I was coming UP the hill to my house and I started to fishtail and ended up briefly sideways.  It is UGLY out there. is in session today.

A few weeks ago, they cancelled school for the day.  Check out this picture of THAT day.  A picture-perfect sunny Colorado day!  And, it is important to note that I took that picture in the morning as I was watching the school cancellation notice scroll across the TV screen - NOT later in the day when the sun came out.

(FYI - that's the barn that is the site of the epic rock concerts!)

It will be interesting to see if I am still ranting tomorrow.  One of our news stations is projecting a HIGH tomorrow of -4F (after a nighttime low of -18F).  That would set an all-time record low for a record high??!?  So, all that ice out there isn't going to melt - it's just going to get bitterly cold.

OK, I'm done.  I'm happily at my computer with the fireplace going and a new pot of coffee brewing.  Life really isn't so bad.

And, here's the info that you really care about...
  • Stamps: H&M Stamps
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Summer Sun, Lovely Lilac, black
  • Paper: Stampin' Up YoYo Yellow, Eggplant Envy (retired), Black
  • Accessories: Brayer, Stampin' Up punch

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Delightful Discovery

Each weekly Card Patterns Sketch Challenge has a sponsor - this week's is Designed2Delight digital stamps.  I had never seen them or heard of them before - but they are fantastic!!

First of all, they have wonderful images.  Check out these darling birds  - they so make me smile!

They have quite a variety of images, from an angel for "Sisters in Christ" to two darling puppies with their noses together forming a heart.  It was a "delight" to browse their stamps!

Then, they have this exciting program - each week they highlight an image.  If you make a card with that image and link it to their blog, you get the image for the next week - for free!!  How exciting!! An endless supply of fun digis and all I have to do is make cards.  Here is their link so you can browse: Designed2Delight digital stamps

And here is my card with this week's image.  (You do have to buy the image for the first week. When I went shopping for it, I ended up buying this image and 11 others!)

Just for fun, I went with a totally different color scheme.  I also added lots of glitter - the bottom snowflake border is all glittered, the white snowflake is glittered and his cuffs and muff are glittered!

Birday Party:
  • Stamps: Designed2Delight digital stamps, Stampin' Up Tiny Tags
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Markers: Kiwi Kiss, Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight and a very lt blue Tombow marker
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Marina Mist, Old Olive, Early Espresso, Basic Grey Marjolaine
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Daffodil grosgrain, Kiwi Kiss Button, Crystal Effects on balloon, Tiny Tag punch, Cuttlebug dot folder, Nestabilities ovals and scalloped ovals
  • Challenges: Card Patterns Sketch and the Color Throwdown

For the Birds Snowman:
  • Stamps: Designed2Delight digital stamps
  • Ink: copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, Baja Breeze, Peach Parfait, Crumb Cake
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Baja seam binding and snowflake punch, other misc snowflake punches, Cuttlebug European embossing folder (at, Creative Impressions brads, Martha Stewart Crystal Fine Glitter
  • Challenges: Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge and Stamping 411 Color Inspiration

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Coffee with colourQ & Inkspirations

I really love the colourQ colors this week and I was amused to read on the post that their design team thought it was "scary"!  Why??  I LOVE these colors. 

I knew instantly I was doing something with coffee.  The colors are so warm and rich.  Here is the color challenge:

And...this is my morning coffee cup:

It isn't exactly the same colors, but I think you can definitely see why I HAD to do this color challenge.  That mug is full of rich, black coffee.  With Scandinavian and German heritage, being South Dakota-born and a life-long Lutheran - black coffee is an essential part of my mornings!

Then, I had a sketch bookmarked from Inkspirations 4U.  So all of this came together - a love of coffee, a favorite mug, great colors and a great sketch  - - - and I have a card that I am very happy with!

As an extra touch, each of these little mugs has a little glaze on it!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Every Little Bit and Great Greetings
  • Ink: Stampin' Up markers in Peach, Cajun, Razzleberry and Crumb Cake
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Peach, Cajun, Razzleberry, Crumb Cake, black and white
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Razzleberry ribbon, Kraft corduroy button, Cuttlebug heart embossing

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Papertrey January Blog Hop Challenge

For today's PaperTrey blog hop, we were to use a PaperTrey set that hadn't seen ink yet.  I have all of the Take Three sets and I even have the die, but with the exception of one sentiment, I hadn't used any of the fun square images. 

I really like the Clean and Simple look for Sympathy cards and PaperTrey makes it so simple.  Each of their stamps has such style, it can stand alone.  And...their sets often coordinate with each other, so you have a variety of options from which to select.

As I was looking at our greeting card sales racks at church, I realized that I loved the clean and simple look so much, that the sympathy section had no color??!!  So I had decided that no matter what the colors were for the SplitCoast Color Challenge this morning - I was GOING to make a sympathy card with color!

So - two totally different looks for sympathy.  I like them both and, although my heart will always tend toward lots of white space, I will have to bring out the colors more often!

Take Three Thinking of You:
  • Stamps: PaperTrey Take Three Summer and Spring, Through the Trees sentiment
  • Ink: PaperTrey Dark Chocolate, Simply Chartreuse, New Leaf, and a substitute color to match Blueberry Sky
  • Paper: PaperTrey Simply Chartreuse, Blueberry Sky
  • Accessories: PaperTrey rounded corner square dies, Simply Chartreuse ribbon
  • Challenges: the sweetest thing Sunday Sketch Challenge

Wishing You Comfort:

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's a Girlie Day!

I am surrounded by men, so it isn't often that I get to pull out the pinks and pastels and the butterflies.  But my niece has her 6th birthday in a few days so I had to go girlie!

The idea for these came from Inkspirations 4U.  One of the tutorials was the frame but using robots as a boy frame.  Then Andrea at EnchantINK did it with butterflies in Concord, Celery and Crumb Cake.  So, the idea came together!!  I found a Christmas picture of my sweet niece (with bows in her hair!), I printed it in black/white, and then filled the frame with bright butterflies!

I stumbled on the image for the birthday card when I stumbled on the image for this card (another girlie card!)

Both of these are digi images by Elisabeth Bell.  Finding the girl on skates was perfect timing as my youngest son was heading to a birthday party for a friend who is a girl (as opposed to girl-friend!) and it was a skating party!

I had such fun with my girlie day!  Now back to the real world. Both boys walked in from school in the last 1/2 hour so now I am heading back to the world of loud voices and inappropriate bodily noises and video games!

Gift for my Niece:
  • Stamps: Elisabeth Bell Designs, PaperTrey Ink sentiment
  • Inks: copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Just Delightful dsp, Bashful Blue dsp, Regal Rose, So Saffron
  • Accessories: SU Rose and Celery Grosgrain, Butterfly embosslit
Skater Girl:
  • Stamps: Elisabeth Bell Designs, Verve sentiment
  • Inks: copics
  • Paper: DCWV Citrus Stack, PaperTrey Summer Sunrise, Stampin' Up Marina Mist
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Marina Mist Taffeta, circle punches, various spicas and stickles, Mark Richards snowballs
  • Challenges: Pals Paper Arts Sketch Challenge and SplitCoast Inspiration Challenge: Barbie

CAS Flourishes

The SplitCoast CAS Challenge today was to use flourishes.  I had purchased the PaperTrey Fancy Flourishes set some time ago to use with butterflies and I had never done it.  Plus, I had all of my butterfly dies and punches on my desk as I am working on a really girlie project (check back later today!!)

  • Stamps: PaperTrey Ink Fancy Flourishes, Stampin' Up Oval All
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Bliss Blue (retired long ago!), Bashful Blue dsp
  • Accessories: PaperTrey Ink butterfly die (large), Stampin' Up Butterfly Embosslit (small), Stampin' Up Oval and Scalloped Oval punches, Bashful Blue taffeta, bling

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Featured Stamper: Artsy Em

Today's Featured Stamper at SplitCoast Stampers is Artsy-Em.  She has a very unique gallery - different layouts, fun placements - lots of my favorite Crumb Cake CS!!  I really liked the cut-out and placement on this card.  I tried to change the shape and I don't think my card is as successful as Emily's - but I do like the idea of this card.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Eight Great Greettings
  • Inks: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz and Soft Suede markers
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz and Soft Suede, Confetti White CS
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Soft Suede ribbon, Nestabilities leaf, Quickutz Vine Embossing Folder

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Larkspur and iPods!

I had a very difficult time with this morning's SplitCoast Sketch Challenge.  No matter what I did it seemed to be tipping to the left.  Here's the sketch.  Panel "2-a" gave me a headache!!

After tossing a number of attempts into the scrap pile - I made two decisions.  I went with very subtle colors so the panels didn't stick out too much and I went with a border/corner punch for that panel.  Then it looked like an embellishment, not a panel - and I like the final results!

The sentiment comes from Clear & Simple Stamps and was a pleasant surprise.  In the midst of the hectic holidays, I got a card from them and it contained a "thank you" card and two little stamps.  This "thinking of you" and a separate stamp to use with this one that said "on the holidays".  I think that I only have one set of stamps from them and I do have their iPod App (read past the recipe to see more on iPod apps!).  But that simple touch of customer service puts them on my shopping list (right after I pay for my son's braces and my new crown!).
  • Stamps: PaperTrey Larkspur, Clear&Simple sentiment
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Pear Pizzazz dsp, Blushing Bride
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart corner and border punch, Stampin' Up Word Window and Modern Label punch and rhinestones, white embossing powder
  • Challenges: SplitCoast Sketch Challenge and Color Throwdown

Now if you want to descend into the geeky - I have posted before that I love my iPod Touch and I recently did an entire post on my favorite iPod apps for cardmaking.  Since then, I have a few new ones!

Jo-Ann: the official app from the craft store.  Overall, a very weak app - BUT it has a "coupon wallet".  You can access the coupons when you have internet access, then they are available offline at the store.   I have a 50%er and a 40%er in my "wallet" to spend today!

Readdle Docs: this app exemplifies my total geekiness - but I LOVE it.  It allows you to easily save PDF files to your iPod and to easily transfer any document between your PC and iPod.  So..why is this a good thing?

You probably know that I need a starting point for my cards - a color combo, a sketch, etc.  There are so many good challenge sites out there and a number of them have gathered their challenges into PDF or Word documents.  With Readdle Docs, you use their browser, go the site, touch the document and save it to your iPod.  So, in my hands, I have a huge supply of "starting points!"

Here are the documents that I have so far:
Now that I have them on my iPod even when I am crafting at home where I have wi-fi, I still pull up my iPod because they are all right there, in one spot, and I don't have to dig through the above websites looking for them.

Being overly organized (re: anal), I also have a Word document that includes all the challenges for the month.  It includes the start and end dates, the website, the code, and the thumbnail that each of these sites provide with the colors or sketches.  I use Readdle Docs to pull this over to my iPod.  I'm not giving instructions here because 99.9% of you are not as anal as I am.  But basically, the app gives you one of those strange numeric web addresses which I have saved to my favorites.  When you click on it, there is a "browse" box.  You just find the document you want from your PC, click Upload and it's on the iPod!!

Important Note:
I paid 99 cents for Readdle Docs, right now it's $4.99, and its history shows it has been free.  You might want to wait until it reduces in prices (although knowing what it does, I would have paid full price for it!

PhotoMgrPro: This is a simple app used to transfer photos between your PC and your iPod.  It has three HUGE advantages over the iPods photo system:
1. You can do it without syncing your iPod - just over wifi - using one of those strange numeric addresses I discussed above
2. It lets you organize the photos on your iPod!  Create folders, re-order them, etc.
3. It brings over the "name" of the photo that you had on your PC (iPod software doesn't).  This is super important to me as I save pix of cards on my PC and when I save them, the name becomes my info, e.g. stamp set used, colors, etc.  One of the places I save photos is to my "wishlist".  So I pull all my wishlist photos over to my iPod for shopping purposes!!

Always feel free to ask further questions in comments or e-mail me - it's a subject I LOVE to chat about!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NOT Bravo Burgundy...yuck!!

When I saw the title of today's SplitCoast Color Challenge, I had an instant "eeeew...yuck!"  It includes Bravo Burgundy which I NEVER use.  And then Betty paired it with the gorgeous Baja and Pear.  I was amused when I opened up the post and saw that she had done this very deliberately - pairing the "unloved" Bravo Burgundy to make it "bravo" with the other "much loved" colors!  I really didn't know that others shared my disdain of Bravo Burgundy.  I loved when Stampin' Up retired their colors and there was much chatter about "Yo Yo Yuck" and "Fairy Vomit" (Orchid Opulence) - but I hadn't heard the dislike of Bravo Burgundy.

So, I cringed and then tried to find a beautiful dsp that would distract from the Burgundy.

I LOVE this!  It's way out of my normal style - I don't tend toward dsps unless they are a subtle monochromatic print or come from Stampin' Up so they perfectly coordinate.  I definitely don't use big bold prints and I never put a color in that is not in the dsp.  There's no burgundy in that dp.  But now that I have it done, I can't imagine any other color for the butterfly or bottom layer. 

So...flushed with success...I tried another card using another dsp that I had run across on my search for the above card.

This may start a trend for me!!  Actually, probably not.  We all have our style - and while it is very enjoyable to branch out sometimes, I always go back to a clean, simple, solid-cardstock-based cards.

With Sympathy
  • Stamps: PaperTrey Ink Out On A Limb (sentiment)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, Creamy Caramel (on the edges)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Baja Breeze, Pear Pizzazz, Bravo Burgundy, DCWV Mariposa Stack
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch, Stampin' Up Leaf Sizzlit, Oval and Scalloped Oval Punches, Baja Breeze Seam Binding
  • Challenges: SplitCoast Stampers Color Challenge

Blessed To Have You
  • Stamps: Verve sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, So Saffron (on the edges)
  • Paper: PaperTrey Hawaiian Shores, Stampin' Up So Saffron, K&Co Susan Winget Nature
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Gold Cord and Saffron Ribbon, Prima Bright Mix Flowers, Bazzill Brads (Glow), Marvy Punches, Mark Richards Gold Nailheads
  • Challenges: CardPatterns Sketch Challenge

Monday, January 17, 2011

Simple Sympathy

I very much like the clean & simple look for sympathy cards.  Our church is in need of a stash of sympathy cards so I was determined to make today's CAS Challenge at SplitCoast stampers a sympathy card.  The card that we were to CASE is quite cheerful even with all the white space - so I found this fairly difficult to do, although I am happy with the results!

I am not affiliated with any company in any way, so when I mention a product it really isn't to push it on you.  But I realized this morning how often I pull out the set of stamps that includes the "So Very Sorry" sentiment so wanted to share it with you.  It's from Clear Dollar Stamps and is called Heartfelt Sentiments.  The sentiments are teeny tiny so fit in those small spaces and they include a nice script - here's the set:

I am excited by something Clear Dollar Stamps has just announced and that is that they are releasing SCAL files to match their stamp sets (they just announced this so there are only a few files).  I hate cutting things out.  I love that so many companies are going to dies that coordinate with their stamps - but these get expensive.  SCAL is a nice alternative.  (If you are going "huh?", SCAL is Sure Cuts a Lot and is a piece of software that you use with your Cricut machine that allows you to cut virtually anything WITHOUT a Cricut cartridge!)

My children are off school today which is a love/hate thing with me.  On the love side: I don't end up in the car for hours driving them back and forth (Our school charges for the bus and since I am free to drive - I might as well, but I sure resent the 2-3 hours of my time that it takes to drive, but mostly to get to the school early enough to get a spot in the pick-up line!  Yes...I am ranting!).  On the hate side: I have made a mistake in raising them and they are completely unable to entertain themselves unless it is with video games.  Being outside is usually a great alternative - skateboarding, basketball, lacrosse, cross-country running - but right now the ground is covered with snow and ice chunks from melting and refreezing snows so they can't run easily without twisted ankles and they can't dribble a basketball, etc.  I actually think I am going to take my 11-yr old son to Costco - he LOVES the samples and it will literally kill a few hours!
  • Stamps: CDStamps Heartfelt Sentiments
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Basic Gray
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Basic Gray, white
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up embossing folder, Basic Gray Taffeta, and oval punch, Nestabilities cross, button from Joann (it's actually a pretty shell button with lots of texture and sheen)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Help for Katie

A few weeks ago, I ran into the story of Katie Renz who is a wonderful cardmaker, but...just before Christmas was diagnosed with Stage 4 Stomach Cancer.  She is now documenting her journey.  My prayers go out to Katie, her husband and her three boys.

A number of stamp designers and companies have banded together and are offering a package of their digital stamp designs.  There are dozens and dozens of digital images by the best in the business.  This package is available here.  All proceeds go for Katie's treatment and for a treat for her three boys.

There are a wide variety of images in this package.  My first card uses an image called Katie's Love Swing.

My second card uses a dramatically different set of images - a darling whale set by Studio 313.

Thinkin' of You
  • Stamps: Help for Katie digi, sentiment is PaperTrey Ink On the Couch Additions
  • Ink: copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Kiwi Kiss, Taken with Teal, Melon Mambo, Bella Rose dsp
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart seam binding, Stampin' Up Embossing folder and button
  • Challenges: colourQ challenge 67 and Inkspirations Sketch 53

A Whale of a Birthday
  • Stamps: Help for Katie digi
  • Inks: copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Bashful Blue, Marina Mist
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up white grosgrain, border punch and dot embossing folder, Nesties label
  • Challenges: SplitCoast Featured Stamper challenge and Just Add Ink Just Add Monochrome

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday Focus: Texture Folders

I LOVE texture!  It is very, very rare that there is a card that can't be made slightly more interesting with the addition of texture.  So Cuttlebug folders and folder from the myriad of other companies that now make folders are my very favorite things to add to my stash!

There is so much you can do with your folders - here are just a few!

Emboss on die cuts
Folders: Stampin' Up corner flowers and
polka dots, Cuttlebug border folder
Stamps: Verve,  Ink: SU Always Artichoke, Paper: SU Artichoke, Mustard, Riding Hood Red, Accessories: SU Birds and Blooms Sizzlits, Challenges: clean&simple sketch challenge and Stamping 411 Color Challenge.

Emboss on vellum
Folders: Cuttlebug
Stamps: SU Well-Scripted, Ink: SU Razzleberry, Paper: SU Razzleberry, vellum, Accessories: SU Razzleberry ribbon, butterfly sizzlit

Make it the star!!
This dove stands alone!
Folder: Cuttlebug 3x3 Dove

Make it all about the embossing!
Folders: Cuttlebug European Exclusive snowflakes,
Cuttlebug cut and emboss snowflake, and
Crafts Too Christmas Greetings

All about the embossing!
I posted this card yesterday so you can
find all the details there!

Use part of the folder
Folder: Cuttlebug
Stamps: Verve, Ink: black, Paper: Paper Trey Smokey Shadow, SU Going Gray and Real Red, Accessories: Martha Stewart Stamp Sticklers, SU White Taffeta, Brayer, Challenges: Pals Paper Arts Inspiration Challenge and i{heart}2stamp sketch challenge.

Use it in an unexpected way
Folder: Cuttlebug
Do you recognize the folder in the above card? 
I simply put the sentiment on the owl!

Stamps: CDStamps Cross, AMuse sentiment, Ink: SU Bordering Blue, Paper: Paper Trey Soft Stone, SU Bordering Blue, black, Accessories: Creative Impressions brads

Emboss on DP
Folder: Tim Holtz
Stamps: SU Elegant Greetings, Ink: SU Old Olive, Paper: SU Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Daffodil, Paper Trey Blueberry, Challenges: Our Creative Corner

Cut up your folders!
This was actually a folder with words
on the right side - I cut the words
off so that I just have a heart border.
Folder: Sizzix

Create quick, simple and elegant cards
Folder: Cuttlebug European Exclusive Wen's Window
Stamps: Paper Inspirations, Ink: SU Bordering Blue

Emboss with TWO folders
First emboss the diamond folder,
then emboss the flower folder.
Folders: Cuttlebug

  I really enjoy the look of "double-embossing" - so here are a few more examples!

Folder: SU Lattice, Cuttlebug
Folders: Cuttlebug
Folders: Cuttlebug dots and European
Exclusive: Jules Jewels

Try other brands!
Folder: Quickutz

Folder: Sizzix

Folder: Indentz UK Funky Tree,
Cuttlebug "Thanks"

Accessories: Stampin' Up Butterfly Sizzlit, SU Celery ribbon, Challenges: One Layer Wednesday Bare Branches


Now...after you have made it through all my card attempts, I have the best gifts of all for you - two fantastic links:

1) The best shopping source for the European Exclusives and the other unique brands is:  Besides looking under Cuttlebug and Sizzix, be sure to look under Craft Concepts, Crafts Too, Cuttlebug Exclusives, Indentz and Quickutz.

2) If you want to be completely stunned by all the spectacular cards that can be made with embossing folders, check out:  Sue has her cards grouped by brand of folder so be sure to look under each of the brands mentioned above!