Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches: Jesus is the Reason

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

My original idea for this sketch was to use a large mitten shape instead of the oval - bright colors, snowflakes, etc.  I was flipping through my notebook of dies and had a dramatic change in direction when I saw this die.

FMS The Reason

I have many of the Inspired series by Papertrey Ink.  They are stamp sets including sentiments that coordinate with one big word die and including "God", "love", "mercy", "hope", "blessed", "prayer" and more.  Funny thing though - the only one that I have used is "Jesus" and here I am using it a second time before making sure the others see ink.  So much for my December goal of using my unused Christmas stash!

I hope to see you playing along with us!


Stamps: Papertrey Ink (PTI) Inspired: Jesus
Dies: PTI Inspired: Jesus die, PTI Holly Jolly die, Taylored Expressions Stitched Rectangle die, Lil' Inker Cover Up Die: Stitched Woodgrain, miscellaneous stars
Cardstock: PTI Pinefeather, Scarlet Jewel, Classic Kraft, Stampin' Up Champagne Glimmer Paper
Ink: PTI Pinefeather

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Warm Wishes

There's a stamp and die set from My Favorite Things that I purchased as soon as it came out.  I don't do that often.  Although you couldn't tell it by looking at my craft corner, I am actually fairly frugal.  I tend to put things on wishlists and if I still want them in a few weeks, or even years, I get them then.  Here's the sad ending - the stamps and dies went into my unused Christmas stash and disappeared until last week - I pulled them out to make this card and it turns out they have already retired!!

Warm Wishes

I wanted to add "warm" colors and went with orange with kraft in the background..  I love the contrast of oranges and blues - especially aquas - so I went with this unusual combination for Christmas.

Now I've used the mug and mittens twice.  I really should use the other stamps!!  I'm feeling a poinsettia card coming!!


Stamps: My Favorite Things (MFT) Winter Warmth, Hand-Lettered Holiday, Diagonal Stripes Background
Dies: MFT Cross Stitch Rectangle, Winter Warmth dies
Ink: MFT Orange Fizz, Orange Zest, Blue Raspberry, Chocolate Brown, Versamark
Sequins: Pretty Pink Posh Holiday Snowflake Mix and Sparkling Clear Snowflakes

Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday at Taylored Expressions!

Here's a fabulous sale from my favorite company: Taylored Expressions.

The sale will go through 11:59 CST on Sunday, November 26th.  Shop early!!  (Gifts cards and class registrations excluded.)

If you need any ideas, check out the Taylored Expressions blog and here's a few things that I've done.

Have fun!!

The Paper Players: Warm & Cozy

I have a die set that's been in my stash forever that's just perfect for the current challenge at The Paper Players.  It's from My Favorite Things - the gloves and the mug.  (It's actually two sets, the smaller one was a stand-alone set and the larger sized dies - used to cut the white around the patterned paper  - actually coordinate with a stamp set - which is still sitting in my unused stash.)    Sadly, you might have noticed the word "was".  The stamps and the dies have been in my unused stash for so long, they actually are retired. 

TPP Warm Wishes

You can see that I was totally inspired, right down to the colors and the snowflakes!

The fact that I have unused stash that is so old it's retired seems like it might help my budget this Black Friday morning.  I think every stamp company out there is having a big sale.  I have my cart loaded in multiple places - but I just haven't hit the checkout button.  I love it all - it's all stuff that's been on my wishlist - but I'm feeling this need to just give my unused stuff some love instead of buying more to stack on top of it!!  (And that's not a thought that I've ever had before!!)


Stamps: My Favorite Things (MFT) Hand-Lettered Holiday
Dies: MFT Warm & Cozy dies (frames), Warm & Fuzzy dies (smaller), Rectangle Peek-a-Boo Window
Paper: MFT Trail Mix Paper Pack (the gloves), Dots & Stripes Fresh Paper Pack (the mug)
Sequins: Pretty Pink Posh Holiday Snowflake Mix, Sparkling Clear Snowflakes
Other: MFT Rectangle Shaker Pouches

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches: Blessed

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

I used the sketch for one last fall-themed card. (It's my favorite card-making season because I love the warm colors and the traditional themes.)  I put together a Thanksgiving meal and used it to say "blessed".

FMS Blessed

And here's the sketch so you can play along!!

Although it got a little obscured by all of the dies, the idea on this card was place setting with a wooden table, a plaid cloth and doily.  Then a nice turkey on top which I did in kraft-colored paper with the main body and the edges of the other pieces rubbed with Versamark for some dimension.  The pumpkin is to add color.  I was amused with myself after the fact when I realized that I put sequin accents around the wine/champagne glasses so they are highlighted.  I guess that tells you where my mind goes after a long day of cooking!

FMS Blessed

I hope all of my U.S. friends have a Happy Thanksgiving.

And I hope you all play long with our sketch!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Happy Acorns

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

I was thrilled when I saw this challenge because I had a not-yet-used acorn stamp set.  It's a layered set with two different size acorns and two different looks.  I used the more graphic look on the top layer - there's another  top layer with a more realistic look.

CC Acorns

The stamp set comes with multiple stamps for Thanksgiving or giving thanks.  At the point that I was thinking about this challenge, I already had my Thanksgiving cards made - in fact, they are at the post office today.  However, my brother's birthday is the day before Thanksgiving so I figured I could use an autumn theme.  I threw in some autumn-colored patterned leaves and a big "happy" in navy blue.  To add a unique touch, I embossed lines above and below the "happy" leaving room for the bitty "happy birthday".

I hope to see you playing along with our Acorns challenge!  But first check out our guest designers:
Laurel Seabrook at Seabrook Designs
 Elizabeth Stewart at Paper Sweetness


Freshly Made Sketches vs. Clean Carpets

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

Sadly, I don't have a card to go with this fun sketch.  I took Monday off work.  My plan was to spend the morning crafting and then I had carpet cleaners in the afternoon.  But the carpet people came early so I had to quickly get my craft stuff out of the way.  Then they swore it would be dry that day.  It's now Wednesday morning and it's still slightly damp.  (Although it does look fabulous!)  My newly cleaned, dust-free, pollen-free, dander-free carpet took precedence over making a card this week!

I hope to see you playing along.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hello Friend: Thinking of You

Last week was sneak peek week and the new November release from Taylored Expressions. One of the new sets is Bubble Greetings for which I did a sneak peek with these two cards.  Then I saw the cards my creative teammate Noriko did (here) and all new possibilities opened up for me!!  LOVE what she did.  She took the big Bubble Greetings sentiment and added a smaller sentiment across the front.  (She also turned it into a gorgeous shaker card with a colorful background - be sure to check it out and be in awe.)  Here's my take on her use of a smaller sentiment strip.

TE Hello Friend

I had a need for this card so I used "Hello Friend" and the smaller sentiment "Thinking of You" from the new set Friendly Phrases.  Noriko made a set of four cards with the four sentiments in Bubble Greetings.  Three of her cards used smaller stamps from Friendly Phrases.  For her "Thank You" she used a small phrase from In & Out Thanks.

I've been trying to branch out from my beloved Copics (mostly because I've had them for years; many of them are starting to dry out; and I've never invested in refills!)  I do have a small collection of Zig Clean Color Real Brush Watercolor markers.  I've not used them enough to be proficient - but they really are almost foolproof.  I drew a line of color across the top of each letter then used a waterbrush to pull the color down.  I struggled a little bit to begin with but while I was playing, I had various tutorial videos playing.  Jennifer McGuire has a variety.  Here's a link to her third post - under the video in the post are links to the first two videos. They are good to watch in order. Kristina Werner has at least one video in which she mentions that these pens are quite juicy and they quickly seep into some watercolor paper before you get a chance to watercolor them.  I found the same thing.  They didn't work for me on Tim Holtz' Distress Watercolor paper - but they were beautiful on Canson Cold Press Watercolor paper.  Kristina mentions Arches Cold Press Watercolor paper.

TE Hello Friend Close

I have a passionate dislike of black embossing powder.  No matter how hard I try with powder brushes or dryer sheets or any of the other miracle cures - I always have stray black marks.  But embossing is very handy with watercolor because it keeps each section confined - it's like a little dam.  So I used my MISTI and I stamped the big sentiment in regular black ink (a couple of times).  Then I did it again right over the top with Versamark and used clear embossing powder!

Thanks to Noriko for the inspiration and Jennifer and Kristina for the lessons!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches: Joy

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

Cécile is a fabulously talented and creative cardmaker.  She uses our basic sketches to create utterly unique cards with special touches that I would never, ever think of - and they are always wonderful!  My card today is not remotely in the category of Cécile's creativity, but I did challenge myself to jump out of my box.  For me, that was simply using a mix of colors and patterns.


I like the crisp and clean white space on this card along with the mass of bright colors and patterns.  I'm glad I jumped a bit out of my box!!!  The tree comes from my stash of unused Christmas stuff and, sadly, this set is SO old that it's already retired (although the dies are still available).

I hope to see you playing along with our sketch.  I love seeing all of the fun and creative uses of our sketches - I'm inspired every week!


Stamps: Papertrey Ink (PTI) Merry & Bright Additions
Dies: PTI Merry & Bright dies
Cardstock: PTI Berry Sorbet, Bright Buttercup, Black
Ink: PTI Hawaiian Shores, Berry Sorbet, Summer Sunrise, Versamark
Other: White embossing powder, miscellaneous washi tape and sequins

Monday, November 6, 2017

Taylored Expressions: Hip Hip ....meh

I am a cheerful person.  I really am.  It takes me a lot to annoy me and I rebound very quickly.  But somehow, I can totally relate to each and every Grumpling in the Taylored Expressions collection!  The instant I saw this guy from Grouchy Grumplings 2 - I imagined him with escaping balloons!

KimOCT2017Grumplings WM

I brushed on a soft background of blue.  Although Taylored Expressions has an entire die set of Balloon Strings - they were a bit too long.  (Had the grouchy hippo had any motivation at all - he could have grabbed those balloon strings!)  So I used the confetti from Little Bits - Confetti & Candle.

These guys may be "grouchy" but they sure make me smile!!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

TE Release Day: Inside Scallops

It's the big day!  It's release day at Taylored Expressions!  Everything you've seen in sneak peeks is now available - and I have a few more to show you.  Be sure to pop over to the Taylored Expressions blog for a few more peeks - and to see if you've won a prize!

Along with all of the fun new gift-giving products and tools - we have a couple of basic must-have tools.  That may sound boring - but I have to explain that I say that as the ultimate compliment.  I love trendy and unique products, but I get absolutely giddy over basics that I know I can use over and over. Products that make my cardmaking life easier - but still add style.  That's what I want to show you today.

First up are the Inside Scallop Circle Stacklets.

Taylored Expressions Inside Scallops

Isn't that a fun way to frame the bouquet of flowers??

I used the scallop die to cut directly into my card front.  Then I used a smaller sized circle from the Stitched Circle Stacklet (previously released) to cut the inside circle into an Earl Grey panel so that the scallops were highlighted.

Taylored Expressions Inside Scallops

The bouquet of flowers is from the previously released Fall Florals and Fall Florals dies.  I added a teeny tiny butterfly from In Flight Overlays with metallic cardstock and gave it some texture with the Brick Embossing Folder.


We also have a new set of rectangles - the Inside Scallop Rectangle Stacklets!!

Here's the true power of these Inside Scallop die sets.  The scallops aren't frames - they are stand alones.  I used it as a stand alone to cut into the my card front on the first card.  BUT they can be frames because they are sized perfectly to pair with the Stitched Stacklets - in this case the Stitched Rectangle Stacklet.  If you wanted to do it with the circles is the Stitched Circle Stacklets.

Here's the Inside Scallop Rectangle used as a frame with the Stitched Rectangles.  

Taylored Expressions Inside Scallops

These two cards are exactly why I call these must-have basics.  The first card is a bit more elegant with a bouquet of flowers.  This card is bright and whimsical.  The Inside Scallops add style to each one!!

Taylored Expressions Inside Scallops

The image is from the previously released B is for Birthday.  Then I added some strips from the brand new Playful Patterns - Bold paper pack!

Hasn't this been a fun and unique release?  Be sure to check out the rest of the creative team - and check whether you won a prize.  Then have fun shopping!


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

TE Sneak Peek Day 3: Notes and Envelopes

It's the third day of sneak peeks for the November release from Taylored Expressions.  This release has been all about gift-giving and fun, unique products.  Today is no exception.  Everything you see today will be available tomorrow!  Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

We have a fun new, oversized sentiment set that makes it so easy to create a special card.  There is also a new pre-printed product of borders that frame these sentiments perfectly!!!

Taylored Expressions Bubble Greetings

Such an easy card to make - but with the sentiment, it's big and bold and makes a statement.  The check border comes from the Boxed In Basics pre-printed doodle borders and I simply colored it in.  (There are a variety of borders the set so you can pick and choose your style.)  The Bubble Greetings stamp set includes this sentiment plus three more.  I added a few music notes and a few enamel dots  And it's done!!

I also took the same stamp in a different direction.  Just as simple - but the sentiment keeps it fun and bold.  This is the new Playful Patterns - Savory paper set - my all-time favorite color scheme!

Taylored Expressions Bubble Greetings

I love products that can take on so many different looks!  Here's the supply lists for these cards but be sure to keep scrolling for a chance at prizes and another sneak peek.

SUPPLY LIST (first card)

SUPPLY LIST (second card)

Before I go on to the next new product, don't forget that Taylored Expressions is celebrating Release Week with a giveaway during each day of sneak peeks! Visit the TE Blog to answer Taylor’s Question of the Day for a chance to win one of the latest products before you can buy it!

Whenever I receive a card and the envelope is decorated, I'm smiling before I even open the envelope.  Taylored Expressions knows this and has come out with a variety of products that allows us to add that special touch.

The Scalloped Envelope Liner die cuts patterned paper into the perfect shape to fit inside their A2 Envelopes (which come in various colored sets even though you'll only see white in my samples).  Last month, two stamp sets specifically for envelopes were released - Merry Mail 1 and Merry Mail 2. This month the line has expanded with a non-holiday set called Snail Mail.  Each set has a variety of stamps to decorate or to add address boxes, etc.  I went back to Merry Mail 1 to create these Christmas envelopes.

(Just to be totally clear - there are two envelopes in each photo.  One is flipped to the front so you can see the stamped images and one to the back so you can see the liner.)

Taylored Expressions Merry Mail 1

I added a splash of color with the new patterned paper from the Bold pack, then the sweetest little dog - even if he is chewing the mail!!

For the second envelope, I used paper from the Savory pack.  Then that fabulous long sentiment and two trees.  (BTW - the new non-holiday set mentioned earlier has a long sentiment like this that says "snail mail" - LOVE these!)

Taylored Expressions Merry Mail 1

The third envelope goes back to Bold paper.  I just had to use that charming bird image. My original thought is that one of those birds would be really cute sitting on the address, but I quickly realized that with my terrible handwriting, showing you one that I had actually addressed would be a negative distraction from the fun stamp!!  So I ended up doing a variety of colors across the bottom.

Taylored Expressions Merry Mail 1

Tomorrow's the big day!  I have another sneak peek and then you'll have to head first to the TE blog to see if you've won a prize and then to the TE store!!


Curtain Call Inspiration: Cider

It's time for a new challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Cider.

I adore the warmth and tart-sweetiness of a good apple cider!  I can't think of many better moments in life than to sit on the deck, wrapped in a blanket, a warm cider in hand, watching the leaves fall and the geese heading south.  I know that sounds a bit overboard - but I like it better than spring rain and summer flowers.  (Although sunshine on fresh snow comes very close!)  So I was thrilled to combine fall colors and apple cider.

CC Cider

There's a lot of companies represented on this card.  The Coffee Cup is Simon Says Stamp.  It's one of my favorite coffee cups because of its shape and the little heart.  The apples are from Taylored Expressions.  It's the Apple Stacklets set.  I've never actually used this smallest one before.  There are six progressively bigger apples in the set and as they get bigger, there are stems and even seeds (in the separate die set Apple Stems and Seeds).  The stitching on the edge is Avery Elle's Wonky Stitches.  Then I found just the right sentiment in Papertrey's Pumpkin Patch.  I don't often use this many companies at a time because as my collection has grown I have to narrow down the choices on each card or I get overwhelmed!  (I's sad.)  I found sticking with a company helps narrow it down.  But this came together quickly and easily because they all were favorites!

I hope to see you playing along with our Cider challenge.


Stamps: PTI Pumpkin Patch
Dies: Simon Says Coffee Cup, Taylored Expression Apple Stacklets, Avery Elle Wonky Stitches
Patterned Paper: Echo Park Fall is in the Air 6x6 Pad
Other: Echo Park Fall is in the Air Enamel Dots

Freshly Made Sketches: Happy Happy Happy

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

This week, I needed a masculine birthday card. I started with balloons - didn't seem masculine.  I went to a fall leaf which had potential but needed a good woodgrain for the background.  I was browsing my paper stash and saw this fun piece.  Then the leaf seemed too detailed.  Here's what I ended up with.  Isn't the creative process a crazy ride at times?!  (And now I have lots of balloons and leaves to use with future cards!)

FMS Happy Happy

The "happy" comes from an older die set from Papertrey Ink called Tipped Tops.  I have to laugh at myself every time that I use it.  The main point of the die set is three large dies to cut angled panels.  There's a couple of "happy" dies tucked in - probably because there was room for them in the set.  But have I ever used any of the angled panels - nope!  I love the font and look of this "happy" die so I have an entire set because I liked one die.  

I'm excited to see what everybody does with this sketch!  It's wide open for creativity - enjoy it!


Stamps: My Favorite Things Label Maker Sentiments
Dies: My Favorite Things Label Tape, Papertrey Ink Tipped Tops
Paper: Kaisercraft Base Coat 6 1/2" Paper Pad and various cardstocks to match
Other: Studio Calico Wood Stars