Thursday, July 31, 2014

Paper Smooches Designer Draft: Thanks

I've had a great week where stamps, challenges and my need for a specific card have all come together perfectly and today is no exception!  Last weekend, our good friends invited us over for a wonderful birthday meal for my husband.  She is a baker and made the cake.  He loves to use his smoker and made beef brisket and ribs. Our kids are friends and they entertained themselves.  It doesn't get much better than that.

I had purchased Paper Smooches' Flatware dies with the main purpose of "thank you for your hospitality" cards.  Then...the Paper Smooches sketch challenge for July included a panel that reminded me of a place mat.  I so love challenges when they give me the perfect starting point!


My friend, Michelle, has a fun business and, if you are local to the Parker Colorado area, I want to make sure you know about it.  She has over 130 themed cake pans and she rents them, along with other cake supplies!  Here's the Facebook page for Lil' Miss Cake Shoppe.   Soccer ball pans and castles and Lego people and these muffin pans which makes me chuckle every time!  (No, she didn't do these for my 

I'm also adding this card to the Simon Says Anything Goes challenge.

  • Stamps: none
  • Paper: MME Presh 6x6 pad, Stampin' Up Cajun Craze and Not Quite Navy, Simon Says Fog and Smoke
  • Ink: none
  • Accessories: Paper Smooches Flatware and Thanks die, Tim Holtz Scallops die, Hemptique 10-lb natural twine

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sweet Sunday Sketch: You're Boo-Tastic

Supposedly Colorado has 300 days of sunshine a year.  I actually would have thought it was more, because waking up this morning to a cold day-long drizzle is completely unheard of.  It's only 56 degrees outside and it's been gray and drizzling since yesterday afternoon.  So I'm feeling autumn!  It's a good thing because I have really wanted to use the Mama Elephant dies that were recently released to coordinate with their Bootastic set. I love cooler weather - I love autumn - so it's a beautiful day!  And then the day got even better when I was browsing challenges and saw the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge that included a half circle that could be used as a big harvest moon!


Here's the Sweet Sunday Sketch.

And I'm going to add this to the Simon Says Anything Goes Challenge.

A quick update on my youngest - Erik's MRI came back clear!!  He's still doing serious PT and still only has about 90 degrees of motion.  Lots of pain - but at least it can be solved without surgery.  He should have full motion back within the month.  The "solution" might take a little longer.  The thought is that he has a pigeon-toed walk and his feet pronate so years of athletics took its toll on his knee.  He'll have to work on ways to walk better, we'll have to deal with high-end inserts and he'll have to strengthen muscles that simply haven't been used appropriately in years.  Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

  • Stamps: Mama Elephant Bootastic and Soiree
  • Paper: Simon Says Blue Violet, Lavender, My Favorite Things Orange Zest
  • Ink: Memento Black, Copics, Versamark, Simon Says Blue Violet, Lavender, My Favorite Things Orange Zest
  • Accessories: Mama Elephant Bootastic and Soiree dies, Spellbinders circle die, Lil' Inkers Stitched Square die, Dark Purple sequins (at Simon Says Stamp), Hero Arts White Embossing powder

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Merry Monday Christmas Challenge: Birthday Hop

The folks at Merry Monday Christmas Challenge are doing a birthday hop this week!  This may not make much sense until I tell you that the hop is for the wonderful LeAnne Pugliese.  I love LeAnne's blog.  Besides her amazing talent and fabulous cards, if you have followed her for any length of time, you have gotten to see Cassidy grow up!  Little Cassidy has a fabulous smile and never fails to make me smile back when I see her on my screen.  Happy Birthday LeAnne!

Birthday Banner

Also for my card, I am using the colors at Fab Friday (mainly because I wanted to use my brand new sequins(!) from Stampin' Up and the challenge has two of the sequin colors!)

And I used the sketch from clean & simple (mainly because I have to use some new Mama Elephant dies - the banner - per my discussion just a couple of posts ago about the cost of stamps and coordinating dies!)

  • Stamps: Mama Elephant Soiree (the banner), My Favorite Things Birthday Greetings (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight, Strawberry Slush
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight, Strawberry Slush, Coastal Cabana
  • Accessories: Mama Elephant Soiree dies, My Favorite Things Blueprints 13 (the stitching), Stampin' Up Sequins (and one yellow sequin from Pretty Pink Posh)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Husband!!

Happy Birthday to my husband!!

You Were Born

  • Stamps: Neat and Tangled A Long Time Ago Time Warp
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Midnight Muse
  • Ink: Versamark, white
  • Accessories: Wow Brilliant White Embossing, Pretty Pink Posh sequins, Lifestyle Crafts embossing folder.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Oh Happy Day with Mama Elephant

I have a love/hate relationship with dies that coordinate with stamp sets.  On the one hand, don't they make our lives easier?  Our cards look so crisp and professional, and die-cut images give so much dimension.  On the other hand, every stamp purchase has to be considered carefully because of the cost of the coordinating dies.  Of course, I couldn't possibly get a new stamp set without those coordinating dies.  And when a company goes back and adds to dies to previously released stamps sets - I'm in real trouble.

Mama Elephant did that to me recently with a soft release.  They released three die sets to go with older stamp sets and I had TWO of those stamps sets.  Plus, I had never purchased dies from a few months ago that go with their Panda set.  Their dies aren't cheap - because they have a die for virtually everything in the set.  So I placed a big order, but it was all coordinating die sets! Long story short - you'll be seeing some Mama Elephant on my blog for awhile because it's hard enough to justify the cost of a stamp set, let alone the cost of the dies too!!  Here's the first...

Oh Happy Day

Just one of their charming pandas and a little sparkle on his balloon!!  It definitely makes me happy!

Oh Happy Day close

  • Stamps: Mama Elephant Pandamonium, Bountiful Blessings
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana
  • Ink: Memento Black and Copics
  • Accessories: Mama Elephant Pandamonium dies, Femme Frames die, Landscape Trio dies, Pretty Pink Posh sequins

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Catered Crop: Vellum Two Ways

It's time for a new challenge at Catered Crop.  We are challenged to use vellum.  I have to admit to having to dig for my vellum stash even though it seems to be on trend right now.  Every once in awhile, I'll pull it out for a sentiment strip or banner.  It's not usually planned, rather I get a card almost done and realize that regular cardstock would hide too much, so I pull out the vellum.  For today's cards, I wanted to feature it a bit more.  I did do two cards.  The first was a bit of an accident - the second idea came to me while I was struggling with the first!

I was working on an idea for the current Sweet Sunday Sketch with no thought of vellum in my mind.  But I realized how soft and feminine the card was and thought that sheer vellum would be a great touch and it would also allow more of the patterned paper to show.  I love the way vellum looks when it is embossed - the embossed area turns whiter and really shows the pattern.  (I did have to add a piece of cardstock with the vellum in the folder to keep the vellum from cracking.)

You Are Loved

I also used vellum for the butterfly.

You Are Loved close

While I was working on this card, I was thinking about how interesting it would be to die cut a shape from a large piece of vellum.  I remembered the Heart Die set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps that I had never cut apart simply so I could do this...

Sending Love

Vellum really is a useful tool and a different look.  It can be useful to add a sentiment when you don't want to totally hide the image or the paper.  It has a very different look when embossed. It can be very soft and feminine but you can see that I also did a masculine card with it.  You can color on the backside of your image for a great look.  There's a lot out there about coloring - Jennifer McGuire just did a video on it.  Linda curated a Pinterest board with lots of sample cards using vellum.

You have until 8 p.m. EST on Saturday, August 2 to create with vellum and link up at Catered Crop.  Hope to see you playing along!

You Are Loved
  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp You, Stampin' Up Papillon Potpourri
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Bubblegum, Papertrey Ink Berry Sorbet and Aqua Mist, We R Memory Keepers 6x6 Chalkboard pad, scraps of vellum
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart Die-Cut Lace Tags, Simon Says You Die, Stampin' Up Butterfly Punch and Bitty Banners die, Wow! Super Fine Bright White Embossing Powder, Webster's Pages Party Time mixed sequins
Sending Love
  • Stamps: Clearly Besotted Sweet Little Sentiments
  • Paper: Kraft, misc vellum, MME Blink of an Eye 6x6 pad
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps Heart Die set, Wow! Super Fine Bright White Embossing Powder, Papertrey Ink Summer Sunshine button, MFT Blueprints 13 (the stitching around the edge of the vellum), Hemptique 10-lb white twine

Monday, July 21, 2014

Curtain Call: A Reminder of Great Prizes

I wanted to get another card in to remind you of the great prizes available for the first anniversary challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge.  There are fifteen prizes available!!  The challenge is open until the 25th at 8 a.m. CDT and winners will be announced on July 31st.

My second card looks quite a bit like my first card for this challenge - you can tell that I was inspired by the "squares" and the colors.


I love the look of fading colors with stencils.  I was thrilled when I saw this checkerboard stencil in my collection.  Then I was noticing the swirly word dies from Clearly Besotted Stamps and thought the curves and swirls would be a nice counterpoint to the squares on the checkerboard. I actually ordered this word die (and four other words) a few weeks ago just for this challenge!  This didn't start out as a baby card; rather I wanted to congratulate Curtain Call on their first year.  When I realized that it just had to be a baby card, I added three tiny buttons and the border stitching.

Be sure to check out this challenge.  It's not often that a challenge offers fifteen prizes!  Then be sure to continue to play along.  As part of the design team, I've seen the upcoming sponsors and you definitely want to be playing along!
  • Stamps: none
  • Paper: white, My Favorite Things Bubblegum
  • Ink: Distress Inks: Tumbled Glass, Spun Sugar, Shaded Lilac
  • Accessories: Clearly Besotted Congrats die, Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangles, My Favorite Things buttons in Grapesicle, Bubblegum and Sno Cone

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Merry Monday: Sequins

I couldn't let Merry Monday's challenge go by without playing along.  The challenge is to use sequins. Scroll through my blog - I dare you to find many cards at all without a few sequins.  I often just use three sequins to highlight a sentiment or image, but for a sequin challenge, I thought I ought to use a few more.

From Our House

It's not particularly creative to plop sequins on a wreath - but I love the look of that open wreath.  It's also a really nice mix of sequins.  It's not just the photo that makes them look different - there are three shades of green and two of red, plus the golden sequins. The picture doesn't do the embossing powder justice.  In a different light, you can see that the speckles are actually golden.

From Our House close

  • Stamps: Hero Arts wreath, Simon Says Holiday Hellos (sentiment)
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Scarlet Jewel, Kraft, My Favorite Things Primitive White
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Scarlet Jewel, Kraft, Versamark
  • Accessories: Stampendous Shabby White Embossing Enamel, Neat and Tangled Classic Christmas Mix sequins, My Favorite Things Fishtail dies

Friday, July 18, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches: Flower of Thanks

In my NBUS stash (Never-Before-Used-Schtuff) are the Tag Talk dies from My Favorite Things which are the current free-with-$60-purchase item.  (This should also tell you that I have even more MFT NBUS stuff!)  When I saw the current sketch at Freshly Made Sketches, it seemed like a perfect use of these tags.


If you look closely, you can see the diagonal stripe on the light blue panel.  I love diagonal stripes because they give the affect of a spotlight on your image or sentiment.  I buy paper pads for the single sheet of diagonal stripe paper in them. I am hoping to remedy these purchases with this background stamps. It's another new release at MFT and I would imagine that I will give it a lot of use - - - but time will tell because, for completely unknown reasons, background stamps always end up alone and unused in the back of my craft storage!

I did have to do the mirror-image of the sketch because of the direction of the words on the tag.

  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Diagonal Stripes Background
  • Paper: MFT Kraft, Gumdrop Green, Sour Apple, Lemon Apple, Blue Raspberry, Berrylicious
  • Ink: white
  • Accessories: MFT Tag Talk dies, Layered Leaves die, Gerbera Daisy die, Doodlebug enamel dots, Hemptique 10-lb white twine


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fabulous Flamingo and Double Scallops

I fell in love the Fabulous Flamingo set that Reverse Confetti released last week.    I think they are absolutely charming.  They have wonderful, graceful curves, yet still manage to keep that bold look that Reverse Confetti is so good at.  (Laurie actually turned them into swans. Such a simple change, but so creative!)

Happy Bird-Day

I also picked up the Double Edge Scallop Border because I remembered something that Sarah did by simply using double-sided paper and folding the border over.  I would have assumed that the die was just a convenient way to have two different scallop sizes and I would only have used half of the die-cut as a scallop border.  I so admire other people's creativity, but it always costs me money  Laurie put me over the top with her flamingo/swans and Sarah put the scallop border on my list even though I already have a full collection of other scallop border dies!)

  • Stamps: Reverse Confetti Fabulous Flamingo
  • Ink: Hero Arts Fresh Peach, Charcoal
  • Paper: Carta Bella Hello Again
  • Accessories: Reverse Confetti Fabulous Flamingo dies, Double Edge Scallop border die and Perfectly Paisley dies, Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangle die, Pretty Pink Posh 4 mm sparkling clear sequins

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wherever You Go...

I was eyeing the tag die from Pretty Pink Posh in my NBUS stash.  It has a second die that cuts the six rectangles which, I think, makes it look like a window.  (The little rectangles which are cut out each have stitched edges so are also very useful - see my card here.) I also have this new-to-me set from Reverse Confetti with an airplane.  I liked the idea of the plane flying away outside the window with the sweet sentiment.  I kept it all very feminine thinking of a number of friends with daughters in college or soon to be out on their own.  I love the heart is always with you.

Wherever You Go

And I have nothing else to say. often does that happen that I do such a short post??!
  • Stamps: Reverse Confetti Here We Go
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Tropic Teal, Carta Bella Hello Again
  • Ink: Hero Arts Pale Tomato, Stampin' Up Summer Sun, Versamark
  • Accessories: Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Duo 1 Dies, Stitched Borders 1 die, 4 mm sequins in lemon meringue and sparkling clear, flat sequins in lemon meringue and marshmallow, Yellow Chevron Twill Ribbon (also Pretty Pink Posh), Stampin' Up embossing folder, old clear button from my stash

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Anniversary Curtain Call! Anything Goes

Today marks the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge 1st Anniversary and we are celebrating with an Anything Goes challenge!  Be sure you read all of the way through this post because the list of sponsors celebrating this anniversary with us is absolutely amazing!

photo source:

I was inspired by all of those square storage spaces and I used the pinks and the blues.  I made an anniversary card as a shout-out to Curtain Call!  Happy anniversary...and here's to many, many more!

Happy Anniversary Squares

We have loads of sponsors for the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Anything Goes!  Check out all of the amazing prizes that our sponsors are giving away to YOU, our randomly selected challenge participants!  A LEAD and several SHOW STOPPERS will also be named from the Anything Goes challenge gallery!

$15 Gift Certificate

$20 Store Credit

choice stamp set

$25 Gift Voucher

Say Cheese Lawn Cut Die

Paper Sweeties
$20 Gift Cerfificate

Pretty Pink Posh
$20 Gift Certificate

£15 Gift Certificate

$25 Voucher

12 x 12 Scrapbook Kit

Swag Bag

 £15 Gift Card

$25 Gift Certificate

$15 Gift Certificate

Verve Stamps
$30 Gift Certificate

It's amazing, isn't it??!!!  And it's "anything goes" so there's really no excuse not to play along.  Here's a list of the team - or check out the Curtain Call blog for all the inspiration in one place.

Curtain Call Crew

  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Happy Sentiments
  • Paper: Simon Says Blu Raspberry, Papertrey Ink Hibiscus Burst, Smokey Shadow
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Simon Says Happy die and Grid Border, Hero Arts white embossing powder, Pretty Pink Posh 4 mm white sequins, Papertrey Ink Hibiscus Burst button, Hemptique 10-lb white twine

Monday, July 14, 2014

Friends Like You

I had a bag of sequins out for yesterday's card when I realized that I hadn't touched my latest sequin purchase - the Summer Mix from Pretty Pink Posh (which I got in the Summer Embellishment Kit because it came with another bag of the flower sequins.)  About the same time this was happening, I picked up my binder of dies and all of the full cover plate dies fell out.  I had recently said that I have a difficult time figuring out what to do with cover plate dies - but a light bulb went on this time!

Friends Like You

Continuing with yesterday's "randomness" - I challenged myself to be more random on this card.  Instead of carefully laying out all of the sequins, and then re-arranging, and re-arranging a few more times, I adhered them as I went without any plan (GASP!)  I know some of you are laughing at me right now, but I think this "random" stuff is hard!

Don't forget that the current challenge at Catered Crop is BFFs.  This is the third card that I have been inspired to create for my wonderful group of friends!

  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Grand Greetings
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Kraft
  • Ink: My Favorite Things Kraft
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Polka Dot Cover Up die, Pretty Pink Posh Summer Mix sequins and Wooden Stars from the Nature Embellishment kit

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Merry Monday: Shades of Green

I knew the current challenge at Merry Monday was to use shades of green and as I was browsing my NBUS Christmas stash from last year (before this year's Christmas stamps started being released!), I realized that I had not used the lovely wreaths from WPlus9's Woodland Wreaths.  Building a wreath seemed like a great way to use various greens.

Wreath of Joy

The hardest part for me were the sequin ornaments.  I don't do random well.  It's embarrassing to admit how long I work at sequin placement so it looks like a random sprinkle.  So for this card, I challenged myself to sprinkle them on and then to adhere them exactly where they fell.  I almost succeeded - I did flip over sequins that were upside down and I didn't use one sequin that ended up on top of the cluster at the top.  But it's as close to "random" as you will ever see from me!

  • Stamps: WPlus9 Woodland Wreaths
  • Paper: Stampin' Up True Thyme, River Rock
  • Ink: Stampin' Up True Thyme, River Rock
  • Accessories: WPlus9 Woodland Wreaths dies, Seasonal Sentiments die, Stampin' Up embossing folder, Pretty Pink Posh 4 mm Metallic Gold sequins

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy Birthday to my Real Life Blog Friend

I met the wonderful and talented Stacey Schafer online through a mutual design team, then I got on board early when she brought the curtain back up on the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge.  You should have heard the dire warnings I got from my children when I got a chance to meet Stacey in person - "She might be an online predator...even though she makes cards, she might be a creative predator!"  Stacey has visited Colorado and we did a short vacation together to Chicago. In Chicago, she remembered my birthday and brought a fun package of new products.  She's sweet like that!

Guess what?  It's Stacey's birthday today!

I've been struggling with a card all week.  I'm embarrassed to tell you how much time I spent making a card for her.  Our cardmaking styles are very different and I had in my head that I would lean toward her style on the card that I was making.  After hours of layering papers and die cuts, and trying to stamp images on patterned paper (which she does with amazing results), I had something that I thought was OK.  But I took a close look at it and realized that after I had ripped things up numerous times, it wasn't fit for close inspection even if it survived mailing (the sequins were already dripping out of the shaker!). So, I decided that she didn't need another card in her style, because she already has cards in her style!!  I started another card focused on my style, but hours later, it looked a lot like the first card with a little more white space.  Argh!!  (I do so much better at making general cards!)  Finally, I ripped the floral "bouquet" off the first card and my final card came together in about 10 minutes...and I'm happy with it!  (I hope you are too, Stacey, but I didn't finish it until yesterday so you get to see a photo of it before it arrives in your mailbox.)

Birthday Tag

Throughout the whole process, what stayed important to me was using products that she had introduced to me.  She has served on numerous design teams and many of them are for companies that I already use and love.  But two that she single-handedly got me excited about are Reverse Confetti and Pretty Pink Posh. The stamps, flower dies, and tag dies are from Reverse Confetti.  The sprinkle of sparkly sequins are from Pretty Pink Posh (I had started with a shaker card to better show off Pretty Pink Posh, but I've already bored you with the story of how that didn't work!)

 Happy birthday Stacey!!  I agree with you that we need to get a Vegas trip on our schedule - I need a break after making your birthday card!

  • Stamps: Reverse Confetti Petals 'n Posies, Beautiful Banners (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up River Rock, MFT Berrylicious, MME Nob Hill 6x6 dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up River Rock, Crisp Cantaloupe, Strawberry Slush, Soft Suede, MFT Berrylicious, SSS Sunshine
  • Accessories: Reverse Confetti Petals 'n Posies Confetti Cuts and Tag Me Confetti Cuts, Pretty Pink Posh 4 mm metallic gold sequins, Hemptique 10-lb brown twine, Lil' Inkers Stitched Squares

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Catered Crop II: Wonderful Friend

I posted a friend card yesterday for the current challenge at Catered Crop: BFF.  I commented that everybody needs friendship to send just because your friends are wonderful.  As I was filing the card away in my box, I had the sad realization that I didn't have any friendship cards ready to go.  So, as I was playing with a new purchase from Papertrey Ink - I made sure that the sentiment was for a "wonderful friend"!

Wonderful Friend

The Papertrey Ombre Builder set was fun to use.  It was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but it has such a wide variety of patterns I am certain it will be a regular on my cards!

I have to give credit to Lisa Arana's current Wanna Sketch.  I had created the ombre background without her sketch in mind (and it actually has a few more stripes than the sketch), but then I got stuck as to how to make the card special.  Lisa's sketch gave me the idea to place some flowers on the left and add a simple sentiment strip.

I also used the colors from Papertrey's July Inspiration Archive.  I thought it would give the feel of a green lawn with colorful flowers and sky in the distance, or perhaps a sunset.  

OK, friends - now I need something from you.  My youngest - my very active and athletic youngest - has injured his knee.  We've been to a pediatric orthopedist and simply got a referral to physical therapy - which, by the way, we can't get into under our insurance for a month.  But Erik's pain level is very high - I know my son, he can usually tolerate pain.  We bribed him to get up off of the lounge chair in the basement by taking him to get a deep fat fryer. (I know, it's odd, but he's quite a chef and has wanted a fryer.)  He hobbled through the store, then when he was home and figuring out the fryer, he fainted from the pain. He's stuck on the basement lounge chair watching TV and is really spiraling into a funk.  He had big plans for when he starts high school next month and he is realizing that the year isn't going to be what he had hoped.  We finally convinced the orthopedist to see him again Friday and he has already scheduled an MRI (in two weeks). We also are going out of insurance for physical therapy to a highly respected guy (who can't see him this week because he is busy climbing Mt. Rainier!)  I know that so many of you deal with so much more, but my guy could use your thoughts and prayers.  The knee will get better, with a lot of painful work, but I am equally worried about his mental state, particularly on the verge of starting high school.  (And I could use a little patience too!)  Thanks!
  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Ombre Builders, Mini Blooms, Think Big Favorites #4
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Summer Sunrise, Smokey Shadow
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist, Summer Sunrise, Terracotta Tile, Limeade Ice, New Leaf, Smokey Shadow
  • Accessories: Hemptique 10-lb gold twine, Doodlebug yellow enamel dots