Sunday, August 31, 2014

Merry Monday and Pals Paper Arts: Christmas Wreath

I'm right in the middle of the long Labor Day weekend and what better way to spend it than to make Christmas cards!!  After I post this we are heading out to the local Smokin' Brew BBQ competition.  What an odd mix of a day!  Fall festivities and frosty Christmas cards!

Merry Christmas Wreath

I love the mix of colors in this paper pack - Mistletoe Magic by MME. It's not a new pack but I still like it. The greens are "limier" than the traditional Christmas papers and the reds tend towards a brick color.  It's different and fresh.  So I pulled out one of my favorite Christmas sets that lends itself so well to simple cards - Signature Christmas by Clearly Besotted Stamps. I played around for quite awhile with adding some beads/pearls/bling on the wreath but I ended up leaving it plain because I like the simple pattern.

I used the wreath from the set for the current Merry Monday Christmas Challenge.

And since I love to hang wreaths - the sketch at Pals Paper Arts was the perfect inspiration (although I just noticed that they clearly want three layers so you'll have to imagine a green layer as the base!)

  • Stamps:Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Brick Red, MME Mistletoe Magic 6x6 paper pad
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Limeade Ice, My Favorite Things Brick Red
  • Accessories: Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas dies, Pretty Pink Posh 4mm sequins, Hemptique 10-lb natural twine, Glitter Dust Iridescent spray (on the bow)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

So Sorry for Your Loss

I haven't had much time to craft this week but I did sit down first thing today to create a sympathy card for the family of a truly wonderful woman who lost her battle with cancer last week.  This family has been the foundation of our church for so long.  They are very quiet people and I don't think any of us realized just how active they were until we were reminiscing about Ellen this week and each of us had different stories about our connection to the family.

Sadly, it's been almost five years since they lost their eldest son.  He was a Marine who was killed when a Marine helicopter and a Coast Guard plane collided near Camp Pendleton.   They would be the family to whom people say "God doesn't give you more than you can handle", but I have to say that I so disagree with that saying.  I feel like it requires the person to be stronger than they might otherwise be feeling...that they would feel they had to live up to God's trust in them.  But we are all human and life can be too much for us. Of course, God is always there to give love, support, strength and the promise of our future life in Him, but He certainly does not promise that life is easy or even happy.  

I hope today's service will let the family know how much we loved Ellen and love each of them.  If you have followed my blog for long, you know that my long-time church has been rocked in the past few years with two very difficult situations which cut the membership almost in half.  But today's service will overflow with people wanting to show love and support including so many members who left in pain and anger, and former staff who just could not live in the situation anymore.  Also coming back is the pastor who was in the middle of the storm (since we don't yet have a full-time pastor).  I know today is about Ellen and her family, but I also feel like it's going to be a time to let go and remember Ellen in her humble service to the church and realize what truly is important and that is our life in Him.

I struggled with a card.  I hate that when it's really important, I struggle the hardest. I did use a light gray cardstock (it's not just a gray picture).  I was thinking of a misty day, a few enamel "tears" and the one bright leaf.

So Sorry

  • Stamps: Hero Arts Remember clear set
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive and watercolor paper, Papertrey Ink Soft Stone, Smokey Shadow
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Shabby Shutters, Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade
  • Accessories: Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangles, Papertrey Ink Phrase Play #7 die (just the leaf from the center), MME Lost & Found Record It Antique Enamel Dots, Hemptique 10-lb natural twine

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches: It's My Sketch!!

I have had the thrill of being the August guest at Freshly Made Sketches.  It got even more amazing when they asked if I would do a sketch for this week.  Me!!  A sketch!!! That you all are going to use!!!!  Can you believe that I've never done that before?? is my first ever sketch...

I'm not going to say that it is wildly creative - but I think it gives you some room to play.  I was dragging my feet coming up with something (nerves!), then I made a card for my personal use and realized there was a sketch in it!

Thank You Close

I used a tag for the top panel.  I scalloped the next layer.  Then the bottom layer isn't even a paper square - I used a mini heart stencil.  Clearly my sentiment went in a different place than on the sketch, but I figured many players might want to use that top panel for an image.

FMS Thank You

This month with the group at  Freshly Made Sketches has been truly wonderful.  They are such a friendly and welcoming group.  There is a private Facebook group and the chatter ranges from blogging horror stories to advice on product purchases to funny life moments.  Thank you all for letting me join you this month.  It was an  honor!

I do hope you all play along with this sketch - I am very excited to see what everybody comes up with!
  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Tag Sayings (the border around the tag), Lots of Thanks
  • Paper: Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue, Green Apple
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Simon Says Stamp Medium Tags and Balloons & Patterns Stencils, Stampin' Up border punch, Webster's Pages Party Time Sequin Mix, Dreamweaver White Embossing Paste, Hemptique 10-lb Natural Twine

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cutting Edge Blog Hop: Fill My Thoughts

I had the thrill yesterday of being a guest designer for the Cutting Edge Blog Hop hosted by Pretty Pink Posh but I couldn't stop with just yesterday's card.

Today's card is a little simpler and relies on some cute feathers for interest.  This card uses stamps and dies by Simon Says Stamp who is one of the sponsors on the hop.  I cut the feathers and then used stencils and white ink to sponge a pattern on just one side.

Fill My Thoughts

This is a hop in which everybody needs to participate.  There are prizes for playing and prizes for commenting.  The hop is to celebrate die cuts so you need at least one on your card - other rules are at the blog hop link: Cutting Edge Blog Hop.  Check out these sponsors!

I used the colors from the color throwdown.  I had bookmarked this challenge as a must-do mostly because I could not even imagine how to use these three colors together.  But my hat's off to color throwdown - it's a fun combo!

  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp You
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, Pale Plum, Pear Pizzazz
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, WPlus9 White
  • Accessories: Simon Says Stamp You, Pointed Feathers and Tilted Banners dies, Simon Says Balloons and Patterns stencils, Studio 490 Checkmate Stencil, Pretty Pink Posh Mossy Green sequins

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cutting Edge Blog Hop: Happy for You

It's here!  It's time for the Cutting Edge Blog Hop sponsored by Pretty Pink Posh!  It's going to be a fabulous weekend.  Today, I have the thrill of being a guest designer.  There's much more fun and inspiration at Pretty Pink Posh.  Then tomorrow, all of you get to link up your projects featuring die cuts. Check out this amazing list of sponsors.  There are many, many prizes available if you play along.

On to my card!  I am showcasing three of my favorite die-cut products, and also featuring a few of our wonderful sponsors. Specific details on products used are found at the bottom of this post.

  • I love dies with stitched edges.  It makes the die-cut look so finished.  It gives it a "frame" without adding lots of layers and bulk.  Pretty Pink Posh is new into die-cuts but the four that they have released all feature the stitched edges.  This card uses the Stitched Film Strip and also the rectangle from Stitched Duo 2 but slightly altered (see below).
  • I love word dies.  It makes the sentiment pop from whatever you have in the background.  On my card, I have a lot going on (at least for one of my cards!!).  There are layered dies and bright flowers and 16 sequins.  But even so, you cannot miss the sentiment.  I have my sentiment on a white strip but a die-cut works well even directly on top of other dies or patterns.  The "happy" die is from WPlus9's Happy Trio and works with their Whole Lotta' Happy stamp set.
  • I love dies that match stamps.  I am scissor-impaired so trying to cut around edges of stamps has always been an exercise in frustration.  Coordinating dies keep things neat and tidy, and keeps my frustration level down.  These stamps and dies are the Spring Blooms and coordinating dies from WPlus9.

Happy Film Strip

So I have mentioned two of our sponsor companies, the third company on this card is Simon Says Stamp. They also have a wonderful line of their own dies and I own more than my fair share.  I already had enough die cuts on this card, so I am featuring their inks and cardstock on this card.  I cannot get enough of their Fog cardstock - the light gray - anything I put on top of it looks extra bright.

Also on this card are a variety of sequins from Pretty Pink Posh: 6mm Marigold, 6mm Mossy Green, 4mm Pumpkin and 6mm flat tangerine.  I love the variety of sizes and also flat vs. cupped - it really helps layer them.

The long white stripe behind the sentiment is done by using Pretty Pink Posh even though they don't have this exact shape.  I used the rectangle from Stitched Duo 2 dies and then slide it over for a second cut.  The stitching along the edge is helpful because you can feel it "lock" into place on the stitching for the second cut.

Check out the Cutting Edge Blog Hop starting at the Pretty Pink Posh blog.  Then be sure to link up your own card!  I'm looking forward to seeing what everybody creates and, most likely, adding greatly to my shopping list with dies that I absolutely have to have!
  • Stamps: WPlus9 Spring Blooms and Whole Lotta' Happy ("for you")
  • Paper: Simon Says Stamp Fog, Smoke and Slate
  • Ink: Simon Says Stamp Slate, Sunshine, Orange Peel, Schoolhouse Red, Green Leaf
  • Accessories: Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Film Strip and Stitched Duo 2 dies, WPlus9 Happy Trio and Spring Blooms die, Pretty Pink Posh Sequins: 6mm Marigold, 6mm Mossy Green, 4mm Pumpkin and 6mm flat tangerine

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches: Get Better Quick

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches and it is my third week as their August guest designer!!

I have been working really hard at not being tied exactly to a sketch. For instance, in today's sketch, those flowers could be stars, they could be popsicles, they could be trees or many other creative ideas!  But my card for today is pretty much exact.  I just got a new Stampin' Up set called Fabulous Four with four big sentiments that I knew would work perfectly in all of that open space.  I'm also in the middle of a major stamp reorganization.  My stamps are now being sorted by company, instead of theme.  The only part of this that is giving me a little headache are my Stampin' Up singles.  Flowers used to be in the flower section, sentiments with sentiments, etc.  So I am having to dig through my stuff and find all of my Stampin' Up singles.  This big Five-Way Flower was literally sitting on my desk waiting to be reorganized.  I took this as a sign and, of course, I had to follow the sketch exactly.

Sorry You're Sick

Be sure to head over to Freshly Made Sketches and check out the rest of the design team's work.  Then I am looking forward to seeing what you do with this sketch!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Five-Way Flower, Fabulous Four
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Hello Honey CS, Lullaby dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Hello Honey, Crushed Curry, Baked Brown Sugar
  • Accessories: multiple Stampin' Up Scalloped Circle Punches, Stampin' Up Pool Party Twine, misc gem

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Catered Crop: Musical Expressions

It's time for a new challenge at Catered Crop.  The theme is "musical expressions".

Music expresses that which cannot be said
and on which it is impossible to be silent.
~Victor Hugo

I do a lot of musical cards throughout the year.  I have two obsessive high school marching band members, so I am always doing "make some noise" cards, or "woot woot", "high 5" or "amazing" type cards with music notes or instruments.  But I decided to go in a very different direction for this challenge.

I have been weeding out my rubber stamps and making some tough stay-or-go decisions.  Susan, over on her Simplicity blog, says that if something hasn't been used in six months, it's time to get rid of it.  I haven't used rubber in at least a year.  I have nothing against rubber except that I have gotten very used to being able to see through clear stamps so I can line things up without pulling out a stamp positioner.  I can't simply get rid of all of it because some of it just wouldn't get used often by virtue of what it is (such as retirement or new home sentiments) so I'm looking through it a section at a time.  Some stays, some goes.  This past weekend, I stumbled on a set by Unity called "Faith".  I don't think I've ever used it and the sentiments are quite nice and very current looking.  It's staying! I paired one of the sentiments with a music note die from CAS-ual Fridays.

Sing to the Lord

I don't sing, but I do play.  I played piano for church services and choirs for years.  Right now, my only "gig" is playing with a group of my friends (three sing, one plays guitar) in a praise group.  We rehearse every Monday night, followed by wine and great conversation, then we lead a worship service one Saturday a month. It is a wonderful way to praise Him and I am so very blessed to have music and this group of musical friends in my life.

As usual, Linda has curated a Pinterest board for your inspiration.  This coming Sunday on Catered Crop, she will gather up what each of us on the design team have for even more inspiration.  You have until Saturday, August 30th, 8 pm EST to play along and link up your musical card.  I hope you join us!

  • Stamps: Unity Stamps Faith
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crisp Cantaloupe, Pool Party, Amy Tangerine Plus One dsp (on the music note)
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow
  • Accessories: CASual Fridays Heart Note die, Mama Elephant Femme Frames, misc sequins

Friday, August 15, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Tropical Trip

It's time for a new challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Tropical Trip!!

I really don't have tropical flowers in my collection, but I had the fun Petals 'n Posies set by Reverse Confetti out on my desk and decided to give it a try in the colors in the photo.  The sentiment comes from the Here We Go set.  The sentiment also needed a heart and since it was turning into a Reverse Confetti day, I used the woodgrain heart from Forever Fall.

My Heart Is With You

I'm feeling the tropics, what about you?  Check out the rest of the inspiration from the design team.  You can find them all at Curtain Call or they are listed below.  Then be sure to play along!  We love to see your work, so the it's technically an "anything goes" challenge, but there is the Tropic Trip inspiration graphic to challenge you!

Tropical Trip Designers

Follow us!

  • Stamps: Reverse Confetti Petals' n Posies, Here We Go (sentiment), Forever Fall (heart)
  • Paper: Simon Says Island Blue
  • Ink: Simon Says Island Blue, Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana and Poppy Parade, Versamark
  • Accessories: Reverse Confetti Petals 'n Posies and Tag Me dies, Lil' Inkers Square Stitched dies, Doodlebug sequins and enamel dots
Stop by the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Tropical Trip for the challenge details and to play along with us!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Reverse Confetti and Paper Players: An Adventure

Today's card was a bit of an accident.  It started out as a card for a challenge that opens tomorrow - I can't tell you any more except the card was blue, aqua and red.  Today's card didn't end up being blue, aqua and red!

Life Is An Adventure

I am playing along with the Sketch for You to Try at Reverse Confetti.

I had the Petals 'n Posies set out on my desk from a baptism card from this past weekend.  I knew they would work well for the challenge coming tomorrow (that you can't see until tomorrow) so I busily started cutting blue, aqua and red flowers; I stamped a blue airplane; I had it all laid out (which is saying a lot given how many times I had rearranged that strip of flowers) - and at that point, I realized the sketch ends today and the actual card was for a challenge that starts tomorrow.  That didn't work.  So I swept the blue, aqua and red flowers aside (you'll see them tomorrow) and I went looking for colors.  The colors at The Paper Players called out to me and I like it even better than my original plan!!

(I love happy accidents!)
  • Stamps: Reverse Confetti Petals 'n Posies, Here We go
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Blushing Bride, Basic Gray CS and dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Calypso Coral, Blushing Bride, Hello Honey and Basic Gray
  • Accessories: Reverse Confetti dies: Petals 'n Posies, Here We Go, Love Note (the scalloped frame), Diagonal Stripe Pretty Panels, Class Act (I used the rounded rectangle in this set to put under the diagonal pretty panel so that it was easy to tuck flowers underneath and not be seen)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches: Chase Your Dreams

It's my second week guesting at Freshly Made Sketches and I can hardly tell you how much I am enjoying it. Obviously, their sketches are fabulous to work with.  What I am in awe of is the design team's camaraderie behind the scenes.  It's a great group!!  If there are any of them you don't follow on your own blog lists - definitely add them - there is so much talent in this group and I am honored to be part of it for August.

Here's this week's sketch:

I am absolutely thrilled with my card - not because it's particularly great or unique - but because I think it's just perfect for the recipient.  Last Friday, I mentioned a friend's request for two cards for young ladies heading off to college.  She had described one young lady as a "princess", and she got the pink and sequined card that I showed you last week.  This card is for the "English major".  I love the quote, and the alphabet background seemed like a great touch.  I made this last week and I hadn't really been thinking about this Freshly Made Sketch - but the lightbulb went on when I thought about arrows to match the idea of the quote.

Chase Your Dreams

Isn't this what makes cardmaking the perfect hobby?  I had a wonderful time crafting - and I was able to make cards tailored for a "princess" and for an "English major"!

This card is all My Favorite Things - except for the ink.  I love MFT - enough said.  But I do want to give a shout-out to the ink.  It is Papertrey Ink's Smokey Shadow and it is a staple in my collection.  It's very dark and, seen on its own, might even appear to be black, so perfect for sentiments.  But if you see it next to black, you can see just a hint of brownish smoke.  So on cards like this with a natural kraft background, it's less in-your-face than a black sentiment.  It's also great for pastel or softer cards.  The sentiment still stands out but it appears less harsh. If you don't have it, it's one thing that I would highly recommend.

Be sure to check out the rest of the cards at Freshly Made Sketches - then I hope you play along!

  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Vertical Greetings, Typewriter Text background
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Lemon Drop, Orange Zest, Blu Raspberry, Kraft
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, ColorBox White
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Peek-a-Boo Chevron die, Tag Builder Blueprints 1 (the tab), Lemon Drop button, Hemptique 10-lb. natural twine

Monday, August 11, 2014

Deconstructed Sketch: On Your Baptism

Yesterday we attended my niece's baptism.  I was born and raised Lutheran and Lutherans do infant baptism (which is more so that the parents, godparents and congregation can promise to raise the child in God's word) and then, as a middle schooler, the child attends confirmation so that the child can "affirm their baptism".  My niece is in a church at which they decide when they are ready to accept God into their hearts and be baptized.  I have to admit that after a lifetime of infant baptisms, I was very impressed at the number of people - of all ages - who made that decision yesterday.  I was especially proud of my nine-year-old niece who told her parents she was ready to be baptized and was able and proud to make such a public statement of faith.

I wanted to model the card off of the gift bag that I was using.  But I did decide to add a little more whimsy using my favorite funky, polka-dotted flowers from Reverse Confetti.  Here's the gift bag.

Gift Bag

And here's the card.

On Your Baptism

I used the current sketch at deconstructed sketches but I was working off the tiny image that I had on my personal challenge "spreadsheet" that I use to collect all upcoming challenges and I didn't notice the two little flags.  I guess I could say that the flowers cascading down were my deliberate replacement of the flags - but I actually wish I would have noticed the flags because it would have been a nice balance.

  • Stamps: Reverse Confetti Petals 'n Posies, My Sentiments Exactly sentiment
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Grape Jelly and Grapesicle CS, Stampin' Up Lucky Limeade dsp
  • Ink: My Favorite Things Lemon Drop and Blue Raspberry, Simon Says Doll Pink, Stampin' Up Lucky Limeade
  • Accessories: Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangles, Spellbinders cross die, Reverse Confetti Petals 'n Posies dies, My Favorite Things Lemon Drop button, Hemptique 10-lb white twine

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Congrats to my New Driver!!!

I have a new driver in the family - a teenage boy.  And I'm not even nervous!!  My oldest is a sweet and charming guy, but somewhat timid about life.  He's a ways past the normal age that kids get driver's licenses and I am truly tired of driving him around - so this is a day of rejoicing for me!   As I was getting more and more frustrated with the situation, I was calmed by many parents with the same stories - their kids just weren't interested in getting their license.  None of us had the answer, but we wonder if it's just a matter of these poor kids knowing too much.  They see drivers with cell phones glued to their ears; they hear our frustration, and even fear, when other cars do stupid things; and they all know kids who have had serious accidents.

FYI - If you are still reading my blog in a few years when my other teenage boys gets his license - you will definitely be hearing another story.  He'll be there on his birthday, and I will be scared to death.  He's an entirely different personality and I am NOT looking forward to it!!

The only thing that worried me slightly - nothing to do with my son personally - but the driver's test started and ended in 6 minutes.  And 2 minutes of that was sitting in the parking lot stepping on the brakes and using turn signals.  Only four minutes of driving and my guy has a license.  Seriously?  I am now officially scared of every other licensed driver out there!

I had a "congratulations" card all ready to go. This Bravo set from the new Stampin' Up catalog was in my first order.  It's full of congrats and way-to-go's and I saw myself getting a lot of use out of it as I have a high school senior and high school freshman this year.


This card is based on the current sketch at Freshly Made Sketches just stretched a bit to be taller!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Bravo
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Basic Gray, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Confetti Celebrations dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Basic Gray, Copics
  • Accessories: Spellbinder narrow rectangle die, Hemptique 10-lb Natural twine, Stampin' Up star bard (retired), Pretty Pink Posh silver star sequins

Friday, August 8, 2014

Catered Crop: A College-Bound Princess

This is my second shaker card for Catered Crop's shaker box challenge. My first card is here along with links to further inspiration, an instructional video, and a highly-recommended adhesive!!

A friend asked if I could create a card for a college-bound young lady, whom my friend described as a "princess".  It certainly seemed that pink and sequins would be fitting!!  This is my favorite part about making my own cards - creating just the right card for the recipient.  I used to spend hours at my local Hallmark store reading every card that they had - and I usually just settled.  Now I spend those hours making my own!  (Yes, most of my cards take an hour or more - can you say "overly obsessive"?)  Do Hallmark stores even exist any more?  Our local store closed a number of years ago and I miss browsing the cards and cute little gifts.

With All Your Heart

  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Happy Graduation
  • Paper: Pebbles Garden Party, Simon Says Cotton Candy, Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Limitless Layers Heart Stitches dies, My Favorite Things Fishtail Layers dies, Pretty Pink Posh sequins, Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangles die

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Be Fancy

I just wanted to remind you that there are still a few days left in the current Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge.  And I wanted to remind you that the rules have recently changed and "anything goes" but you can also be inspired and challenged by our graphic!

The sponsor for this week is Waffle Flower.  One random participant will get a Waffle Flower stamp set and the each of us on the design team got to work with their products.  They have a fun bow tie set that was clearly perfect for this challenge!

Be Fancy 2

I used the coordinating dies to cut a "fancy" bow tie from felt.  I haven't had my felt collection out in a very long time, but after I played with a variety of patterned papers and just didn't feel any of them gave it enough "oomph" - I thought the dimension of felt would do it!

The Curtain Call challenge ends on August 10th at 8 a.m. CDT.  Since it's anything goes - you really have no excuse not to play along, right??!!!  After all, there is a prize to be had!
  • Stamps: Waffle Flower Bowtiful
  • Paper: Simon Says Fog, Surf Blue, Sunshine
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Waffle Flower Bowtiful dies, PTI Aqua Mist button, Hero Arts white embossing powder, Lil' Inkers Rectangle Stitched die, Pretty Pink Posh clear sparkling sequins

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches: Celebrate!

As my post title says...I am celebrating today!!  I get to be a guest at Freshly Made Sketches for the month of August!!  I love this challenge and I love all of the designers.  They are so friendly and have been so welcoming.  I am really looking forward to this month.

Here is the sketch that I got work with - and now you have until next Monday to play with it too.  Lots of room to play on this one!

I just got an order including some stamps from Altenew.  I have loved what I've seen done with the Hennah Elements, but after I got it, I realized I was a little intimidated by it.  It's a builder type set and if you search on the set, you will see the gorgeous patterns that people have created.  I'm not a great "builder" - particularly with random patterns.  So I decided the small panel on this sketch was a great way to practice. Even though my card doesn't have all of the incredible frills that others have incorporated - I love how it came together.


Be sure to check out what the design team at Freshly Made Sketches has created - so much inspiration for all of us to enjoy!  Then play along - I look forward to seeing what each of you create.
  • Stamps: Altenew Hennah Elements, Label Love
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Moonlight dsp, Blackberry Bliss and Sahara Sand cardstock
  • Ink: Memento black and Copics
  • Accessories: October Afternoon Sasparilla button, Hemptique 10-lb white twine, Doodlebug Lilac Sequins

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Catered Crop: Shake It Up Baby!!

Well, shake it up, baby, now (Shake it up, baby)
Twist and shout (Twist and shout)
C’mon c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, baby, now (Come on baby)
Come on and work it on out (Work it on out)
~ Twist and Shout lyrics, 1961

The current challenge at Catered Crop is to do a shaker box.  I have done lots of shaker boxes this summer since my first shaker on April 27 - here they all are gathered together. They are a little fussy to do, but really not difficult.  Here's a video that helped me.

My card today is a throwback to my very first shaker card.  I like the mini shaker with the balloon die cut. The first card was cute, but I wanted a more elegant look for this one.  (FYI - it's not unusual for me to see a problem with a card after I photo it.  In this case, I wish I would have added some color behind that balloon so it stood out better.  On many cards, it's not all that difficult to do some minor surgery and take another photo.  Not so much with shaker cards - once they are adhered, you are stuck with it - so you'll just have to imagine a colorful balloon!)

Birthday Balloon Shaker

I have fallen in love with a particular adhesive for shakers.  It's fairly pricey and you don't get much, but (1) it's clear, (2) it's narrow and (3) you can bend it around things like this balloon.  It's Kool Tak Double-Sided Clear Foam Ahesive.  You'll probably only get five or six cards out of it (if you use it just for the shaker and not to raise an entire panel), but it's worth it to avoid headaches!

As always, Linda has curated a Pinterest board to give you lots of inspiration.  Throughout the week, the Catered Crop design team will give their takes on shaker cards, and on Sunday, they will all be gathered together on a Catered Crop post.

I hope to see you shake it up!!
  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Birthday Style, Simon Says Happy ("happy")
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Melon Berry, Limeade Ice, Vintage Cream
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Melon Berry, Limeade Ice, Aqua Mist
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Birthday Style and Birthday Trio dies, Webster's Pages Party Time sequin mix. Hemptique 10-lb natural twine

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Favorite Things: Hugs 4U

If you asked me my least favorite color - it would be yellow.  I truly dislike yellow.  I can't explain it - I have no recollection of a bad yellow-related memory! If I do use it, it's generally more of a golden color and only if I need it for a sun or a fall leaf.  With that as background, I have to say that the least favorite color in my entire cardstock collection is My Favorite Things Banana Split.  (No offense intended - I love everything else by MFT!)  And wouldn't you know it, the color challenge at MFT includes Banana Split!

I knew that I had to play...after all, it's a "challenge"...but I did put it off until the last few days of the monthly challenge.  I wanted to use the new Tag Builder Blueprints 1. I probably wasn't supposed to add the kraft, but as I was working on the tag, I was getting a retro vibe and wanted to add some wood paneling. (Think old-time station wagons and family rooms...although my family room still has wood paneling and I LOVE it!!)

Hugs 4U

I was inspired by the current MFT sketch although I was dead set on using the Tag Blueprint instead of the big banner!

  • Stamps: My Favorite Things backgrounds: Woodgrain, Diagonal Stripe, Typewriter Text
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Sno Cone, Banana Split, Blu Raspberry Tangy Orange, Kraft
  • Ink: My Favorite Things Sno Cone, Banana Split, Kraft
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Dies: Tag Builder Blueprints 1, Squiggle Border, Lots of Love ("hugs"), Blueprints 10 (the curved panel)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Celebrate with Style

There's a new challenge starting today at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge.

With this first challenge after our big anniversary challenge, there are a couple of changes to the "rules".  First, all challenges are going to be "anything goes"; however, we will still provide a challenge graphic for your inspiration.  Using the graphic is optional, but we love to see you play along no matter what you create! Second, when there are sponsors, prizes will be given based on a random drawing.  Finally, the LEAD chosen for the challenge will be invited to be the guest designer for an upcoming challenge.

We have a new sponsor, Waffle Flower Crafts, and a randomly selected participant in the Bow Tie challenge will have their choice of a Waffle Flower Crafts stamp set!

I love the bow tie sets at Waffle Flower!  In my vast stamp stash, I did not have a bow tie until I got this set. This was quite an oversight for me as I married a man originally from Virginia and those Southerners wore bow ties long after we Coloradans did (at least according to him). He never had a blinged bow tie but he definitely had a yellow one that I saw regularly early in our relationship.

With Style

The Bowtiful set is full of fun mix-and-match sentiments, two-sizes of bow ties, and a fun sprinkle of stars that I used to fancy up the bow tie. Waffle Flower also has a Bowtiful Additions set with even more mix-and-match sentiments.  Each has coordinating bow tie dies.  

I am using Lisa's current Wanna Sketch.  When she came out with her monthly sketch, I immediately bookmarked it for this challenge as I knew it would perfectly show off a bow tie!

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

Be sure to check out all of the design team cards at Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Bow Tie - here's a list if you want to check them out individually.

Bow Tie Designers

Waffle Flower Crafts Designer, May Park

  • Stamps: Waffle Flower Crafts Bowtiful
  • Paper: Simon Says Smoke, Slate, Sunshine, Audrey Blue
  • Ink: Simon Says Slate, Versamark
  • Accessories: Waffle Flower Crafts Bowtfiul die, MFT Pierced Fishtail Flags, Sparkle White Embossing Powder, mini sequins from Michaels