Monday, February 29, 2016

TE Sneak Peek Day 1: Banners & Rings

It's day 1 of sneak peeks for the March release from Taylored Expressions!! This release includes weddings and babies and a whole bunch of fun things in the middle.  Some of the new products are elegant, some are hysterically funny. (Hint...hint...There might be some additions to the Grumplings! Check out the other designers today and throughout the week.). It's going to be a fun week.  Today I am focused on weddings.

Be sure to check out all of the other designers starting on the Taylored Expressions blog because there is just too much for one designer to show off in just a few days.

All the products that I have used are linked at the bottom, but remember that new products aren't available until Thursday, March 3, 7 a.m. PST.

Taylored Expressions is celebrating Release Week with some fabulous giveaways! Visit the TE blog to answer Taylor's Question of the Day for a chance to win a prize from the latest release!

Mr & Mrs. Congrats Banner

I love the series of banners that's been released over the last few months. This month is the Mr. & Mrs. Congrats Banner. They come in pairs. You could use them singly. You could place them over stamped images or dies.  SO many choices!  Today I wanted them to be the focus, plus I had kept a die from last month's release on my desk because I hadn't had a chance to use it yet - so here are the banners with the Center Stage Cutting Plate.

TE Mr. & Mrs. Congrats Banner

In fairness, I do have to tell you that the banner didn't quite fit across the stage. If you look to the left of the card (as you are looking at it), you'll see that I had to glue another piece of the line to the "congrats" banner in order to tuck it behind the curtain.

I wanted to do something different so I googled "trendy wedding colors" and got this fun link from "The Knot". Some of the color combos seem kind of odd until you look at the wedding pictures and realize they are fabulous. I grabbed the first color combo for this card, which wasn't nearly as unique as the rest of the combos - but I like it.

TE Mr. & Mrs. Congrats Banner CloseUp

I've added the supply list for this card next (although links to new products won't work until Thursday) - but keep paging down because I have another wedding card after this list!

Mr. & Mrs. Congrats Banner Supplies

Mr. & Mrs. with a Ring!

My next card is using the new Little Bits - Wedding Rings.  After the bright pink of the first card, I went very formal for this card. There are so many fun possibilities if you did this in colors and patterns.  I used the stamp set Happily Ever After for the Mr. and Mrs., but another good alternative is the scripty "always & forever" from In & Out Wedding. 

TE Wedding Ring

I did the ring using the gold paper from the Metallic Neutrals Cardstock Pack. The gem is cut with white glitter paper from my stash. I like the look but the flaw is that it's very difficult to show you the embossing that the die does to add facets to the diamond  You can see it if you look closely.

TE Wedding Ring CloseUp

Be sure to head over to the TE blog for a chance to win today's prizes. Check out the other designers for other new products that will find their way to your wishlist!  And I'll be back tomorrow with some very different cards.

Mr. & Mrs. with a Ring Supply List

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Merry Monday: Jingle Jingle

This week's challenge at Merry Monday is to use bells.

This is the first card that I have made since I started working full-time last Monday. Not just full-time but mandatory 55 hour weeks as I started in public accounting during tax season!  I don't need to be in until 8:30 this morning (Saturday, ugh!) - I'm an early morning person - so I had an hour before I caught the train to make and blog a card.  Sadly, it has always taken me more than an hour.  Here's what came out and then I will tell you how utterly and totally obsessive I am.

Jingle Jingle Jingle

If the picture isn't totally clear to you - click on it. When it's clear you will see that the dots on the "j" and the "i" have glue smudges because I was moving too fast. I also noticed a glue smudge in the upper left which, in my old life, I would have erasered off and retaken the picture. The biggest thing that annoys me is that the "jingles" are too close to the top and that they aren't lined up straight. I really would have redone this card!!  Maybe working full-time will have the unexpected advantage of teaching me to "let it go" when it comes to cardmaking!!!

No time for a supply list this morning.  The "jingle" comes from Tim Holtz Holiday Words Script and the bell is from Lil' Inkers.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches: A Big Smile

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

These "Happy Birds" were calling my name. I think the sentiment is just perfect because I had a big smile when I stamped and colored this guy.

FMS A Big Smile

I did switch the sketch to a circle. In retrospect I didn't need to. My original plan was to use a woodgrain print and I was going to use the negative of the circle like a hole in a tree.  When I stumbled on this bird printed paper and decided it was perfect - it didn't occur to me that I didn't need the circle anymore. And now that I'm typing this, it's occurring to me that I should have used a sunburst or zig zag die cut behind the circle like a sunburst - an even "sunnier" look!  I hate when I think of things after the glue is dry!

FMS A Big Smile CloseUp

Admit it - you're smiling too!!

I hope to see you playing along!


The blue is the long retired Brocade Blue from Stampin' Up.  The banner is a regular fishtail die. I cut it going both ways.

Monday, February 22, 2016

He Has Risen...Just as He Said!

There is no better combination for Easter cards than the Taylored Expressions At the Cross series and the He is Risen stamp set!!  I used it last year on this card.  The linked card is mainly white with a hint of light blue. I wanted to use the same stamps and dies with a different look.  I added a cheerful spring green along with all the colors of a sunrise!

He has Risen!

I do play around regularly with watercoloring - but it's still not natural for me. I find it so much easier to use the watercolor swoosh stamps like the Taylored Expressions set Stroke of Genius. I simply pulled a variety of coordinating greens, blues and then a few splashed of sunrise colors, then started working my way up the panel. I'm not sure it screams "sunrise" but I like the soft look.

He has Risen! CloseUp

I cut the cross out of Oreo - then wanted to give it a little more elegance so I colored over it with Wink of Stella Clear Glitter.


I used a variety of inks in greens, blues and sunrise colors. The sequins are the small clear sequins in the Sweetheart pack.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Walk by Faith...the Best is Yet to Come

There is nothing certain about life except change. I think this quote actually refers to the certainty of death and taxes, but I've found that "change" rates right up there. Particularly as I get a little older, I keep thinking that at some point my life will be settled - but it never is.

Many of my friends are in the same position. We are of an age that we are becoming empty nesters. I also have friends who have discovered their adult children still give them plenty of anguish. This card is for a long-time friend who has uprooted her entire life to move from Colorado to South Carolina. Today is her going away party. I know she'll be fine - she is an extrovert and a joiner. My guess is that within a week, she'll have volunteered for many church activities and will probably be chairman of some of them!

Walk by Faith

I found a Verve stamp for the inside so that the entire sentiment is "I will walk by faith...the best is yet to come."

My life is changing too. Starting tomorrow, I am a career woman again. I alternate between extreme excitement and abject fear.  As much as I have volunteered during my time as a mom and as busy as I have stayed, I am sure that I will be exhausted until I acclimate to my new life. I couldn't have picked a more difficult way to dive in - I am working for a public accounting firm in downtown Denver. First problem, downtown Denver is a long hard commute - it will add two hours to every day - but I am going to use our light rail system, so I will be able to plan, read and nap while I avoid traffic. The second problem is that public accounting's busy season is January through April and work weeks are 55 hours. Ugh. Double ugh. But there are amazing trade-offs if I survive it - very flexible hours the rest of the year and four weeks of vacation even as a brand new employee.

I may be naive but I am planning on continuing with my cardmaking. Right now, I am almost a month ahead in my design team posts. I'm not always going to be a month ahead; I just wanted to get through the initial period of total exhaustion. Plus I want to make sure that when I have time to sit and make cards, it's fun - not total stress and panic because I have a card due.

The only small impact is that I know that I won't be able to comment on all of your wonderful cards. For my sanity, I've made the decision to not even think about commenting until the busy season is over. It's not like I comment on every card now, so you may not even notice. I'll definitely be reading your posts - it will keep me grounded in my real life!

I look back at what has led up to this change and it's clear to me that this is all meant to be and I know God's plan is for my good.  He doesn't promise us an easy life or even happiness here on earth - but he cares about every detail of our lives. He even knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7) - so he's got this.  I am nervous, but I will walk by faith!!


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Merry Monday Berries

The challenge this week at Merry Monday is to use berries.

Even though I have quite a few holly dies (with berries), I recently got the holly die from Reverse Confetti because I love the backing behind the berries and the detail on the berries. So this was a perfect challenge to make sure the die got used before it disappeared into my not-yet-used stash!

Sending Joy with Berries

When I pick a product, I try to use other products from the same company.  The first reason is simply that companies tend to have a certain style and it's nice when things to go together. The sad reason is that my stash is just too darn big to allow for quick decisions. At least if I stick with a company, I have greatly narrowed down my decision-making process. So I pulled out a "pretty panel" from Reverse Confetti (the diagonal stripe) which I have always liked because it gives a feeling of rays of sun. To make it festive, I added some glitter paper. Then the piece looked too small so I added the scalloped piece. I also like their "words" series - they have basic words and love words so far - because the word can just be plopped on top of the diagonal panel. It makes it really easy to stick to a company on a card!!  (I did stray with the brick embossing.)