Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches: Birthday Fishes

This is my second post today. 
Scroll down for the Color Throwdown.

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by our fabulous guest designer Shannon Jaramillo.

Today is my husband's birthday!!  The poor guy has tried so hard this last month to get some fishing in it but it never quite works out - something always gets in the way.  So I decided to give him a birthday "fish"!!

FMS Birthday Fishes

I started out with the intent of using the Roly Poly - Fish die exactly as it was but adding a few trees to give it an outdoor look.  No matter what I did, it looked like a fishbowl.  So I cut the water but moved it down and re-cut a circle. Then I had space to add mountains, trees and a rising/setting sun. With everything getting in my husband's way, this may be the only mountain stream and fish he sees this year!

Be sure to check out the inspiration from the other designers including two amazing guests.  Then I hope to see you playing along this week!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Color Throwdown: A Trio of Flowers

I'm back for another week as a guest designer at the Color Throwdown. This week we have the soft and sweet colors - peach, pink, yellow and white.

True confession time. I am not overly comfortable with pastels.  It's a little bit like patterned paper. Some of my favorite cardmakers layer lots and lots of patterns on each card - and I LOVE it.  If I used exactly the same papers and exactly the same stamps and made exactly the same card - I guarantee it would look cluttered and I'd hate it.  Ditto for pastels.  I see such lovely cards, but everything that I make seems dull and flat.  I don't wear pastels either, nor do I have pastel home decor.  Isn't it funny how we each have hard-coded likes/dislikes and they impact us so greatly?  (Or am I the only crazy one here?!)

I had a lot of false starts on this one.  I tried a baby card with a shaker, I tried a row of elephants (don't ask!), I tried layering butterflies.  I ended up with an embarrassingly simply card (except for adhering the flowers) and I actually really like it.  I think it sends a sweet and thoughtful message - I'd actually pull out these colors again!

CTD Flower Trio

Don't let my sob story impact you - you definitely should play along.  Either you love pastels - or this is a true challenge. Either way, it's fun to play!  Thank you to the fine design team at the Color Throwdown for letting me play along these last few weeks!


The yellow is the long-retired Stampin' Up Barely Banana (still one of my favorite yellows).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

CASE this Sketch: Happy Happy

Today is the birthday of a long-time church friend and then family friend.  I got to know him in his role as the accountant at church.  He was great at it - he made darn certain he shepherded the church's funds and made thoughtful and appropriate decisions - even if he made people or even pastors mad (and good for him!).  He's retired now and the church misses him, but our families get together although not nearly as much as we would like.  The husbands are both strong-willed and a bit grumpy, Carol and I talk crafts - it's perfect!

A week ago, I had earmarked the sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch as perfect for his card. I didn't know what I'd do with it, but I loved the idea of images/patterns across the middle with lots of clean, open space.

I went through my not-yet-used stamps and came across these big balloons by Stampin' Up. At first glance, a small horizontal strip on the sketch and big balloons that would seem to be vertical images didn't quite seem to fit.  But I made it work!!

CtS Happy Happy

Ken doesn't read my blog, but I know Carol does.  Give him a big Happy Birthday from us!!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches: You're the Coolest

This is my second post today. Be sure to scroll
down for The Color Throwdown.

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

I went right to my not-yet-used dies and found a great tag - then when I realized there was also a word die, everything came together quickly!  I did start with the idea of a big sun, but then got it in my head that I needed a tag line to the "thanks" like "you brightened my day".  I couldn't find anything in my stash that would work, but the idea of a tag line stuck with me.  So a card with an ice cream cone and "you're the coolest" came together!

FMS The Coolest

I hope to see you playing along this week!


The paper is from a discontinued MME pad - it's their Cut & Paste series and it's called Flair.  The embossing folder is an early folder from Lifestyle Crafts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Color Throwdown: Hugs

I am thrilled to announce that I was asked to be a guest designer at the color throwdown and just look at this fabulous color combination!

I spent some time wishing I had that living room.  Wouldn't it just make you smile to sit in that room every day?!  My house is a little on the bland side - I'm just not brave enough to put together all of those colors and patterns and have any confidence that it would look right in the end.  Besides, I can play with colors at my craft table and if I hate it, the most that I waste is a bit of cardstock!

I went to my not-yet-used stash of stamps thinking I'd go bright and graphic - just like the photo. But right away I saw some stamps that I just had to have a few months ago and I haven't used them.  It's two different sets from the same company - I love how the flowers and sentiments can be intertwined. I put the aqua in the background, colored an orange flower and added an orchid-colored hug!

CTD Hugs

I did realize as I was writing this post and saw the card and the graphic together that I'm off on the green.  Sorry!! I wish I would have noticed because I really like the green in the graphic.

If for any reason, you are not familiar with the color throwdown and the amazing design team, run right over and check them out.  There's not a week that I don't carefully study their cards and get all kinds of ideas and inspiration!

The Color Throwdown


Friday, July 15, 2016

Curtain Call InspirationChallenge: Unicorn

It's time for a new challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Unicorn.
I haven't done this in a long time - but I went out a bought a unicorn stamp set for this challenge!! A year or so ago, I realized that I was buying stuff for every challenge. First of all, there's no "challenge" if I'm buying products to fit!  Second, half the time, I didn't even love the stuff.  I used it and tucked way back in the storage drawers.  There's too much good stuff out there for me to be buying stuff I don't like.

However, in this case, I didn't have a unicorn in my collection and I have unicorn lovers in my life.  I searched some of the big stamp stores for unicorns and decided I particularly liked this set by Pink & Main mostly because of this particular unicorn and the big eyes.  (Not to mention it gave me an excuse to buy the rounded stitched rectangles and the "sweet" set from the same company.)

CC Sweet Birthday Wishes

I wanted to keep this very white and very fresh - so I kept most of my color confined to the "sweet" die.  I used my new very favorite stamping tool - my Clarity Stencil Brushes - and added some soft color to a rectangle of paper before cutting out the "sweet".  I love how soft you can keep the colors with the brushes and how smooth the colors go on.  It's not magic - but it's a whole lot easier than any other method I've tried.

Be sure to head over to the Curtain Call blog to see what the rest of the design team has done with the "unicorn" challenge.  We do have a new member of the design team - the amazing Tammy Hershberger.  AND we have a fabulous guest designer - Anni Lerche, from Annikarten. LOTS of great inspiration over on the Curtain call blog!