Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Celebrate on Christmas Morn

TE Celebrate Christmas Morn

I'm writing this with soft Christmas music playing as I'm sipping a good cup of coffee and I'm smiling at different houses in the neighborhood as the lights are coming on and it's only 5 a.m. - the excitement of children on Christmas morning is truly wonderful.  My boys are older now - I'll be lucky if anybody is up by 10 a.m. and that's only because there will be banana pecan french toast! Relatives are coming this evening.  It will be loud and full of laughter and hugs and teasing and fun.  We'll celebrate.  But for now - I'm quietly celebrating the peace, hope and love that this day brings.

TE Celebrate Christmas Morn Close

Merry Christmas!

- The Rolling Hills die was used to create a mask to brush on the background
- The Poppy Seed nativity was spritzed with glimmer mist

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Glory to God in the Highest

I have a secret - I DO NOT like December, at least December 1st through December 23rd.  Don't get me wrong - I adore Christmas. And I survive the first part of the month by listening to Christmas music constantly!   Then December 24th rolls around and everything changes. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the best days of the year.  I love the overflowing church and the peace of singing Silent Night with lit candles and then ending with the organ thundering out Joy to the World.  I love the family gathered for a meal with the Christmas tree lights twinkling (although this year my guys are going to ruin Christmas Eve by watching the Denver Broncos play football).  I love being the first one up Christmas morning and relaxing with the tree lights, soft music, and a great cup of coffee. I love playing family games all day and laughing until my sides hurt.  And I love the true meaning....

TE Glory to God

I fell in love with this cutting plate by Taylored Expressions the moment that I saw it.  It's a fabulous mix of traditional poinsettias but done in a unique and somewhat contemporary way.  (My design teammate Gayatri even took it tropical!!)  I kept the colors traditional and paired it with the Glory to God sentiment from the stamp set Rejoice.  There's a quick poinsettia bouquet at the bottom (FYI - I used the cutting plate to create the dots in the center of the poinsettia and the bitty gold flowers. The poinsettia die comes with a center but I liked the little dots to mirror the poinsettias in the cutting plate.)  

I made this card a few weeks ago and delivered it to a very special friend who was being overwhelmed by December and I wanted to remind her of Christmas.  

Glory to God!


Saturday, December 22, 2018

It's Reinbeer Time

Merry Christmas and a Hoppy New Beer!! (That's the inside sentiment!)


I think it worries me that I've posted two alcoholic Christmas cards this week!!  It might have something to do with the wine I've been guzzling over the last few weeks simply because a friend gave me some of those twinkling wine bottle lights and I need empty bottles to decorate with.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

The only cards I have left to make are for my kids although you should know that the kid who will get this card turns 23 right after Christmas.  He's a great guy, but he's always been an old soul and a rule-follower.  For example - McDonald's play areas with those signs that say you must only be this tall to play.  He's tall and he got tall young.  We'd go to friend's birthday parties at McDonald's and he'd be taller than the sign - so he'd actually sit and watch while his friends played. 

I tell you this story so you believe the fact that this guy did not drink until he turned 21.  So the last couple of years have been a learning curve for him and his taste for alcohol is years behind his friends.  We started with Moscow Mules - yum!!  Then he tried beer and ended up analyzing his likes/dislikes by figuring what IBU he liked. Now he wants to learn about whiskey because his friends drink it (and apparently savor it vs. doing shots).  My husband and I are not whiskey drinkers and wandered over to the local liquor store last night to get a gift of whiskey for my son (now you are really worried about my corrupt family, aren't you??!)  We had SO much fun.  Multiple customers got involved in the discussion - What type to start with? What's the smoothest? Go local for the connection?  Other customers would wander down the aisle and tell us about their favorite.  Whiskey-drinkers must be some kind of cult - but I'm thinking I want to join because it was fun!  Any whiskey advice from you??

My other son does not yet drink - so no more alcoholic cards on this blog!

I had one beer bottle colored - and I saw the AAA Cards Challenge to put three of something on a card thus the varieties of beer.

Stamps: Your Next Stamp Reinbeer
Dies: Your Next Stamp Reinbeer
Cardstock and Ink: Taylored Expressions Confetti Cake
Sequins: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Snowflakes

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Wreath of Peace

It's the Friday morning before Christmas. Presents are wrapped, cards are mailed, house is decorated, and now it's all about family and fun, worship and celebration... and peace!!

Peace Wreath

I was browsing a sale at Spellbinders right after Thanksgiving.  It was a fun sale in that a number of things already on my wishlist were discounted - yay!  But I hadn't seen this set before and it just jumped right into my cart.  The wreath and bow are one set.  The snowflakes come from a coordinating set that has dies for each of the seasons.

The sentiment is from Memory Box.  They have a series of Jotted Script dies and I love the font!  I used birthday here and here.  I also have the "thanks" die which I clearly need to use.  And now I'm looking at their website and it seems there about 10 more than I need to order!  (Am I the only one that probably gets more giddy by the look and font of the sentiment as anything else on the card?!)

Peace to you in these last few days!!

Dies: Spellbinders Wreath Four Seasons and Wreath Elements Four Seasons, Memory Box Peace Jotted Script
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Toffee, Salt Water Taffy, Confetti Cake, Cookie Monster (just backing the "peace")
Sequins: 28 Lilac Lane Aqua Dreams

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Cocktails!!

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

I've done it.  I've survived!!  All presents are purchased and wrapped.  All but two cards are made and those are for Christmas day (and for my sons).  The house is decorated (it was wonderfully fun being in a new house with space for different decorations.)  I've done no baking which was happy and sad all at the same time.  Sad because I always bake.  Really sad because we haven't had a working oven since we moved in (it's a long annoying story involving warranty companies trying to wait us out and repair people who don't return phone calls).  But it's also kind of happy in an odd sort of way because it took a bit of pressure off of Christmas!!  AND I had finally gotten around to deciding on a dining room table in early November so I could have it for Thanksgiving - it didn't make it - but it is scheduled to be delivered this Friday!!!  (Fingers crossed that I love it because I truly am not a decorator.)

SO...is it any wonder I used cocktails on this card??!!

FMS Cocktails

I love those drinks.  I want those drinks.  I had this set out on my desk to make a card for a friend - and when I saw the angled panels on this sketch, it seemed just right.  Although I seriously doubt Narelle envisioned the oval being a cocktail tray when she designed the sketch.

FMS Cocktails Close

I added a lot of sparkle using a Versamark pad for the background and pen to do parts of the cocktails, along with Taylored Expressions Diamond Embossing Powder.

I hope to see you play along with us.  Remember - we are taking a break next week so this sketch will end on the 31st.


Monday, December 17, 2018

CASology: North

I wanted to make a Christmas card for a group - partially for Christmas, partially to thank them for their hard work.  I was a bit stuck and then I had a series of ah-ha moments.  First, I saw the CASology Challenge: North.  More than the challenge itself it was the inspiration from the design team and the people who've already played along.  There were so many cute and charming little animals and snowmen, I realized a group of them would be perfect for my card.

Then, I was flipping through my box of Taylored Expressions Christmas stamps/dies looking for something that I'll post later this week - and I flipped by a set called Quick Critters - Winter.  I didn't put two and two together at that point, I just had the thought that I loved all the Quick Critters sets because they are...well...quick!!  (And absolutely charming!)

Sadly, it took about a day before I fit all those very obvious pieces together.  Those quick critters have little hearts which is perfect for the "thank you" part of this card and there's a group of them. So here's my card!

TE Quick Critters Winter

This all came together at the last minute - so I didn't have great lighting to take this photo.  Here's a different view because there's some fabulous sparkle on it!

TE Quick Critters Close

I first stamped the sentiment, then I adhered a strip of post-it tape above it.  I very lightly sponged some Sea Salt above the tape to give it ground.  Then using scratch paper, I cut a mask out of the Build a Scene - Rolling Hills die and used it to sponge the blue.  The whole upper half got a spritz of glimmer spray.

I am posting this to CASology because I want to give a shout out to them for the inspiration; however, one of their main rules is "one main image" and I don't really have that.  But there is open space and with the dies, it really is quick and easy to I'm hoping they'll forgive me!


Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Color Throwdown: Merry & Bright

I have another card using the colors at the the Color Throwdown.  I already used their colors last week on this card but I found the inspiration working for me again today.  Here are their colors.

I can tell you why I like this so much.  My deep dark secret is that I don't love red, green and white together.  Seriously!  I don't love classic Christmas colors.  They feel kind of stark to me.  But you add in a kraft or a golden yellow or a gold - and they become rich and wonderful!!  Or teal and they become trendy.  Or pink and they become soft and sweet.

Anyway, I started this card with the kraft colored deer, then I was avoiding red and green because of my phobia - but it needed red and green - and then I remembered how much I enjoyed this color challenge!

CTD Merry & Bright

Funny thing - I had actually put a red nose on this deer, then when it was all together and ready to photograph, I realized I hadn't added the antlers.  Rudolph just doesn't look right without antlers!!  So I pulled off the red nose and made it a her!  I also added an eye.  You can see that the die cuts a border, then the insides.  I wanted a simple look so just took the insides and pressed them on a Versamark pad to slightly darken them.  After I had it all adhered, I realized it would have been much better if I had Versamarked the border because it needed to be darker so you could see the eye details that was already part of the die cut.  Luckily, there's a die in this set that adds little spots to his back to make him a fawn so I just cut one of the little spots and gave it an eye!

CTD Merry & Bright close

Thanks again to the inspiration from the Color Throwdown!

Dies: Spellbinders Holiday Greetings (November Small Die of the Month club)
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Toffee, Watermelon, Granny Smith, Peapod
Ink: Versamark
Embellishments: Little Things from Lucy's Cards Glossy Berry Mix

City Crafters: Blessings, Peace, & Love

I have a snowflake die set in my not-yet-used stash.  It's an older set but new-to-me.  It's one of those sets that I didn't buy right away but I kept thinking about it (typically I see, I love, I forget - no offense to any stamp company but I have a massive stash already).  I like the way the dies layer up, but don't get heavy - they are still delicate snowflakes.

City Crafter Snowflakes

I've seen samples of this set done in pastels, in brights, in whites - and others.  This card is intended for friends with a brand new baby boy so I used a soft blue and a bit of gingham.  Not that the card is for the baby, but I think it fits their life right now. (Although the "peace" may be pushing things with a brand new baby in the house for the holidays!)

I still have a number of Christmas stamps and dies in my not-yet-used stash.  The inspiration to pull out these dies came from the City Crafters Snowflakes challenge..

I also pulled out another new-to-me set - Simon Says Stamp Tiny Words Christmas.  Although since there are almost 50 sentiments in this set - and since I only used one of them - it's going right back in my to-be-used box!


Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Tiny Words Christmas
Dies: CAS-ual Fridays Funky Flakes, MFT Fishtail dies
Cardstock: My Favorite Things Blue Breeze, Taylored Expressions Silver Foil
Paper: My Favorite Things Farm Fresh Gingham

Friday, December 14, 2018

Hope All Your Lights Stay Lit!

This sentiment gives me a chuckle.  I'm not sure why.  It's actually kind of nice.  But it seems oh-so-true for the very busy people whose lights just have to stay lit because there really isn't one more thing that can be squeezed into a typical December day - including replacing lights!

Lights Stay Lit

I used some wood embossing in the background so these became lights on a house.  Then I wanted the sentiment to pop so I put it on black but it popped almost too much.  So I trimmed the card down just a bit and added some black diagonal stripes across the top so there was a bit more balance with the black.

Lights Stay Lit Close

There are some definitely some other sentiments in this set that I need to use.  I particularly like "have a tangle-free holiday"!

Stamps: Technique Tuesday String of Lights
Dies: Technique Tuesday Christmas Lights Border
Embossing: Stampin' Up

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Color Throwdown and CAS(E) this Sketch: Noel

Although I truly cannot explain my thinking, I decided to rearrange my craft room this week - when I still have about 2 dozen Christmas cards to get out?!!  I moved in at the end of April.  It takes some time to settle in and different things have started to bug me.  Why do I have to get up out of my chair each time I need to use the Big Shot which is typically every single card (and often disturb the cat in my lap)?  Why do I have my Copic collection taking up room on my desk when I use them maybe once a week?  How stupid is it to climb up on a step stool for every photo, at least for a women of my age??  So I tore everything apart and it has unexpectedly taken me about a week to put it all back together.

Anyway, by the time I rearranged a place to take photos, I missed the deadline at CAS(E) this Sketch but I still wanted to credit their sketch.   I'm still in time for the Color Throwdown.

CtS and CTD Noel

I'm working my way through products in my not-yet-used stash.  Today I'm using Hello Bluebird's Frosty Friends - although just a tree and the reindeer.  There are 3 snowmen, a bear and 2 penguins that most definitely still have to see ink!  They all have about the cutest expressions that I've seen.

There's a bit more sparkle on this card than the first photo shows.  Even this one isn't great, but if you click on it for full-size, you'll see all of the frost.

CtS and CTD Noel Close

Here's my inspiration:

Stamps: Hello Bluebird Frosty Friends
Dies: Hello Bluebird Frosty Friends, Christmas Words Die #2, Frosty Flakes
Embossing Folder: Taylored Expressions Bead Board
Other: Imagine Sheer Frost Shimmer Spray

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Joy

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

There's only 13 days until Christmas and sadly, I still need to make 23 cards - all for local friends and co-workers - I got my mailing out last week. Even sadder, I probably have that many new stamp sets and dies to use (at least once).  I wish I were exaggerating.  (In fairness to myself, I buy almost no stamping supplies for spring and summer - but do go a little bit crazy in fall and winter.)  This is a set that I just got.  It's actually a Happy New Year set but as soon as I saw it, I envisioned them looking in the sky at joyful Christmas sentiments.


I think those little guys worked perfectly on the sketch!  The sentiment not so much - this is actually "joyful" trimmed down to fit.  (The die set also includes the word "rejoice" which was what I had planned when I ordered these sets, but it just did not fit on the sketch.)  With the same order, I got the snowflakes, so made sure to use those also.  I spritzed them with a shimmer spray to make them stand out.   The gems are for the recipient.  This is going to be for one of my young nieces.  When they spent a weekend playing in my craft room recently, they got a little carried away adhering gems to absolutely everything (30 gems on the very masculine birthday card they made for their father!) - so I couldn't make a card for them without gems.

I hope to see you playing along with us this week - and don't forget - there's a DT call!!!  Check out the details on the FMS blog.

Stamps: Hello Bluebird North Star
Dies: Hello Bluebird North Star, Christmas Words Die #2 and Frosty Flakes, Taylored Expressions Frame in Frame 2 Cutting Plate
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Champagne Glitter, Taylored Expressions Blue Corn

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Taylored Expressions Release Day: Love is In the Air

It's the big day!  All of the Taylored Expressions products that you've seen through sneak peek week are now available - and I have a few more to show you. Be sure to head over to the Taylored Expressions blog for a few more peeks - and to see if you've won a prize!

If you are lucky enough to have guys in your life who appreciate fancy-schmancy cards, count your blessings.  My guys stand over my desk, watch me put three little sequins on, and proclaim "too much bling".  If you know my cards, I am not heavy on the bling!!  (Thank goodness for my new house with a craft room with a door that closes!)  So I do struggle creating cards for my guys that are very simple yet still unique and interesting.  I love the Caps Lock series of products for this - with Caps Lock - Love being the newest.

Taylored Expressions- Caps Lock - Love

You'll notice that I still stuck three little sequins on this card!!  Although I'm sure my guys will notice, the sky really just needed some sparkle.  The Caps Lock dies are a nice simple font and are perfect for eclipse cards - but also for other clean-lined looks.  When I saw the Caps Lock Companion - Love sentiment stamp set included "is in the air" - I envisioned the letters floating on the clouds.  Luckily, Taylored Expressions has Build a Scene - Rolling Clouds and Build a Scene paper pack to help me accomplish that!

Taylored Expressions- Caps Lock - Love

And now I have one of those difficult masculine Valentine's cards done!!

Here's the supply list for this card and keep reading because there's one more sneak peek.


Continuing on the masculine theme - there's a new addition to the Cutting Edge series.  It's Cutting Edge - Hearts.  At first glance, I didn't think it could be masculine because of all of the frills and details.  But then I realized two things.  (1) I had not yet shown you two of the new colors - Gumball and Mushroom (which is lovely with Sea Salt - be still my heart!) and (2) my goal for my guys is unique and interesting and the idea of dozens of hearts "bursting with love" doesn't get much better.

Taylored Expressions - Cutting Edge - Hearts

I heat embossed and cut three of the border dies in the masculine colors, then layered them up.  I wanted a bit more blue, so there's a single heart too that I added at the top.

Taylored Expressions - Cutting Edge - Hearts

No more chatter from me - the TE store is open!


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Taylored Expressions Sneak Peek Day 3: Smiles and Sweetness

It's day 3 of sneak peeks for the December release from Taylored Expressions and today it's smiles and sweet love (and some very bright colors!)! Everything you see this week will be available on Thursday, December 6th. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

There are two new stencils in this release.  I showed you the Subway Tile Stencil but I always wanted a peek at the Lots of Love Stencil.  I went very, VERY bright on this one!!

Taylored Expressions - Lots of Love Stencil

I love this technique!  It took me a number of tries to decide on colors.  I knew I wanted to use the brand new Fruit Punch and I wanted a rainbow of color.  I tried to incorporate a new blue but decided it just didn't give it the brightness I was looking for (so I have a card with the new blue and a new gray tomorrow.)

I taped the stencil down and brushed on the hearts in the various colors fairly darkly.  Then I took the stencil off and applied the same colors, but lighter over the top.

Taylored Expressions - Lots of Love Stencil

I knew it needed a dramatic sentiment, so I pulled out the previously released Loved Script and How Sweet It Is stamp set and a little bow from Little Bits - Bows.

Here's the supply list for this card.  Keep reading because I have another sneak peek and a chance to win prizes!


Taylored Expressions is celebrating Release Week with a 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!

This card isn't quite as bright as the first one, but it's bright for me!  I think it would looked even brighter if I hadn't stuck with an all-white background.  As it is, it's actually clean and simple - but bright!!

Taylored Expressions - Bubble Greetings - Smile

This is the new Bubble Greetings - Smile and I used it exactly as shown on the packaging.  The flowers are actually a separate stamp so you could do it with or without - or line it up a different way.

The Bubble Greetings series of stamp is fun in that they fit perfectly in the pre-printed {boxed in} cards, but also new this release is the Petite Scalloped Square Stacklets so I decided that it was a great look for the sentiment.

Taylored Expressions - Bubble Greetings - Smile

A simple patterned strip from the Hello Sunshine Paper Pack and a little bow (the same bow that I used in the first card, even though it's from a previous release - funny, I didn't remember that I had used it on both the cards - I must like it!!)

This big sentiment makes this such a quick card - and it will definitely bring a smile to the recipient.

Thanks for dropping by - tomorrow is release day!  And I have a couple of masculine Valentine's to show you!  Be sure to check out the rest of the inspiration on the TE blog.


Freshly Made Sketches: Good News

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

Be sure to pop over and check out the challenge because there's something extra going on this week.  It's a design team call!!  And everybody can play along!

I finally sat down this past week and figured out where I stood with Christmas cards.  I'm not as in as great a shape as I had hoped.  I did have enough to mail out already to extended friends and families because it occurred to me that there are a whole lot of people who have no idea we have a new address!  Now I have to focus on those nearby - many of whom are church friends - so I need to have a Christian focus (which is really the point anyway, isn't it??!)  Today's is actually going to be for one of my little nieces.  They are definitely being raised to recognize the true meaning of the season!

FMS Good News

This is a new Neat & Tangled set in the last few months and I purchased it knowing it would be perfect for my two nieces.  This little angel is charming.

FMS Good News Close

I pulled out some of my most brilliant yellows to do the background.  I used a stencil for the rays.  First I created a mask with just the center rectangle open.  Then I sponged the rays with a brighter yellow in the center fading out to a lighter yellow.  I removed the stencil, but left the rectangle mask in place - and lightly sponged the same yellows around the darker rays. 

Stamps: Neat & Tangled Angel Wings
Dies: Neat & Tangled Angel Wings
Stencil: Taylored Expressions Here Comes the Sun
Ink: My Favorite Things Pineapple (a wonderful brilliant yellow) and Lemon Drop
Gems: Pretty Pink Posh Buttercream

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Taylored Expressions Sneak Peek Day 2: Shenanigans and Punniness

It's day 2 of sneak peeks for the December release from Taylored Expressions and today it's fun and shenanigans! Everything you see this week will be available on Thursday, December 6th. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

Taylored Expressions products are an amazing mix of styles including gorgeous, sweet, Christian and...extreme sarcasm!!  The new set Shenanigans falls squarely in the sarcasm category.  Check out this sentiment.

Taylored Expressions - Shenanigans and Sarcasti-Chicks

That sentiment started out so sweet - and ended so surprisingly funny!  There are eight sentiments in the set and each of them will make you chuckle, laugh out loud, or snort in surprise!!  Your friends and loved ones won't know what hit them if you give them these cards.  (Can you tell I love them all?!)

I decided to use the previously released Sarcasti-chick Stamp and Die Combo mostly because she's cute but also because the release added her Winter Closet and I couldn't resist that hat!  I also gave her a bottle of wine from the original set.

Taylored Expressions - Shenanigans and Sarcasti-Chicks

Given it's the release of "love", I decided to put her on On the Right Track - Heart so she could actually do a flip! I do have to tell you that she's fairly heavy for the track series of dies.  It works - I promise - I'm still flipping her and giggling as I write this.  But you need to make very certain that the track discs are exactly in the middle of her to balance her. I did not realize that when I put this actual card together and the discs are near her bottom so she's nicely lined up with the sentiment. But left to her own devices, she'd hang upside down because she's top heavy!!

Here's the supply list for this card.  (Check out the TE blog for a bigger picture of Shenanigans so you can see what I'm talking about!)   Keep reading because I have another sneak peek and a chance to win prizes!


Taylored Expressions is celebrating Release Week with a 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!

The fun set for today is Punny Notes.  It isn't sarcastic but it is sweet and fun.  There are 8 images with a punny sentiment for each.  I used them on little bracket notecards.  I'm going to show them to my little nieces because I'm sure they will hang out one weekend in my craft room to make all of their Valentines and these are a fabulous option.

Taylored Expressions - Punny Notes

Did you notice the envelopes?  They are little 3x3's and then to go with the mail series of stamps, we now have mini-mail!!  I used four different stamps to show you the variety.  Here are each of the cards and envelopes.

Taylored Expressions - Punny Notes

Taylored Expressions - Punny Notes 

Taylored Expressions - Punny Notes 

Taylored Expressions - Punny Notes

Taylored Expressions has a variety of options if you want to make mini cards.  I used the Bracket Notecard with the coordinating Stitched Bracket Stacklet.  Also available is a Scalloped Notecard and the Tuck & Close Notecard.  (Of course, it would also work as a little scene on a full-size card!) I also used a few products from the new die set Notecard Accessories in my backgrounds.  This set includes a frame, and options for the ground, along with branches, leaves and clouds.  Of course, given my passion for little scenes created from dies - I also used a wide variety of previously-released dies from the Little Bits series - they are all linked below.

Taylored Expressions - Punny Notes

Tomorrow is seriously bright and colorful, and it's still all about love.  And definitely head over to the TE blog to see all of the rest of the inspiration and to answer the question for a chance at prizes.