Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Floral Frenzy

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

I had a relaxed and happy weekend alone in my house. I love my boys/men but sometimes I crave peace and quiet and, in all honesty, good wine and Hallmark movies without relentless teasing from the men!  I had some serious crafting time, but I realized that I didn't want to be "serious" about it!!  By that I mean I simply wanted to create - no new techniques, no frustration - just making cards. I pulled out a floral set that I have fallen in love with and added them to the open space in this sketch.

FMS Floral on Herringbone

This is a fabulous sketch - it leaves so much to our creativity!  I had thought I would fill the entire space with a scene.  Then I thought I'd do something dramatic with distress inks.  Then I had about a dozen more thoughts before I decided that flowers fit my mood!

I love this set because it's not supposed to match up - it gives that loose look that's popular.  Having a stamp set to accomplish it is about the only way I'll let go of the control!  I've seen it done wonderfully with watercolors or even with Copics but every time that I try it, I fuss with it until pretty soon the entire image is colored and no white space is left. 

FMS Floral Close

I hope to see you playing along with us this week!


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Big Birthday Daisy

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

I tend to avoid big images.  I don't really know why - my comfort level is in groupings of small images and die cuts.  But I have some big images that I have really wanted to use so when I saw that big star, I decided it was time to give it a try.

FMS Big Birthday Daisy

I clearly strayed from the sketch - sorry Amy!!  At least I went with the big image and the sentiment across the middle.  And the sketch pulled me out of my comfort zone to even use that big image - so I stuck with it!!

I ended up really liking this!  In fact, my grandmother is celebrating her 101st birthday next month - and I'm thinking this sweet flower is just right for her.  It has quite an impact just like she's had over her 101 years!

I started with white cardstock and sponged on yellow, light pink and a slightly darker ink around the edges (which shows up quite a bit better in real life.)  I love sponging on colors - it gives effects like the yellow and combining for a more orange look around the center.

I hope to see you playing along with our sketch at Freshly Made Sketches.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: A Butterfly Hello

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

I was feeling like spring colors and butterflies today.  I don't know why - I actually love winter and unlike so many other areas this year, we've had an easy one (and I live in Colorado - go figure!)  Although now that I'm writing this post and realizing the date - I should have gone with hearts!  Happy Valentine's Day!

FMS Butterfly Hello

I started with a big butterfly and then as I continued looking through my index of dies, I saw this round one.  The round die actually has a butterfly on it, but I wanted dimension so I trimmed out that butterfly and added a layered butterfly.  The dies and stamps are from Taylored Expressions.

I liked this idea enough that I actually broke out some of the papers that I've hoarded for just the right time.  It's a 6x6 pad called Park Bench by Fancy Pants and I don't see that it exists anywhere anymore.  The brownish gray tones in it pair well with Stampin' Up's Sahara Sand paper and ink.

Be sure to check out the rest of the design team at the Freshly Made Sketches.  There are definitely hearts for today but also snowflakes to tropical scenes!!  Then I hope to see you play along!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Taylored Expressions If Balloons Could Talk

Taylored Expressions has a fun new feature for which they ask one of their staff members to select products for each of the design team members to use.  The full post is here on the TE blog.

Meredith is our first featured staffer.  She is the TE shipping manager and also the busy mom of four - three of whom are 7-year old triplets!! She owns the Block Party - Party die and wanted ideas for an upcoming birthday.  The idea needs to be gender neutral and easy for Meredith to replicate.  Here's my idea for Meredith.


There is a lot of detail on these cards but still very easy to replicate.

Die cut images can help make multiple cards in two ways.  First, Meredith can stamp all the images and then carry around a bag of images and Copics (or any other coloring method) so she can color whenever she has a free second.  I also kept each balloon monochromatic so she doesn't need many markers - although she could also choose to use a rainbow of colors for each balloon. And second, if she doesn't like one of her balloons, she can just color another balloon instead of having to create an entire new card front.  (Personally, I make lots of mistakes so I like not having to start from scratch.)

I also thought that it would be fun for the kids (and easier on Meredith) if she had them color their own balloons.  Then perhaps instead of a sentiment on the card front, she could write "art by ____" or "balloons by _____" and then credit the kids.

The card front is also quite easy.  Using colored cardstock, I cut the square using Stitched Square Stacklets, then I cut the "party".  Then simply adhere to a Sugar Cube card base to provide a frame for the balloons.

I then thought coordinating thank you cards might be nice.  I added a polka-dot "thanks" and one little balloon for these quick and easy cards.


FYI - if you look closely, the balloon head is die cut on the thanks card.  I wanted to stamp the image directly on the card so that the string could intertwine with the sentiment but since I used Copics, they tend to bleed through.  I stamped the balloon heads on separate cardstock to avoid seeing it on the inside.  I'd recommend to Meredith to not use Copics on this card!

Here's the link to this card on the TE blog, but more importantly, if you click back through the three previous posts - you'll see what the rest of the design team came up with for Meredith.

Hope it's a great party Meredith!!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

TE Release Day: Faith and Hugs

It's the big day! All the Taylored Expressions products 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.

Squishy Hugs is a fabulous new Easter set because it can go cute, it can go joyful, or it can go slightly sarcastic.

Here's cute.

Taylored Expressions Squishy Hugs in Pink

The bunnies themselves are from the new die Block Party - Bunnies. I added the bunny tails from Squishy Hugs. (If you want them to be front-facing, there are also faces and bows in the stamp set.)  I "sugared" my bunnies with glitter to make them Peeps!  And what you don't see on this picture is the inside which uses another sentiment from the set - "You're one of my favorite Peeps.".

Taylored Expressions Squishy Hugs in Pink

Here's the slightly sarcastic version.

Taylored Expressions Squishy Hugs in Kraft

I used one more new product on this card, Little Bits - Marshmallow Bunny.  He's a cute little stand alone bunny with a dies for the base, another die if you want to top it with eyes and a bitty bunny nose and dies for a bow and for the bunny tail.  Since I was focusing on bunny butts(!) I used the tail and added some texture with Marshmallow felt.  (The envelope is

Taylored Expressions Squishy Hugs in Kraft

I used a Toffee envelope with a simple sentiment from the new Happy Mail to dress it up.

I didn't do a joyful version - but check out the sentiments in Squishy Hugs to see the possibilities.

Here's the supply list but keep scrolling down because there's another peek.



As a final peek before you go shopping, I just had to use Words of Faith!!

Taylored Expressions Words of Faith

I wanted a very soft look, so I used another new product, Floral Frame Cutting Plate, cut it out of scrap paper, then used it to sponge on the background with some various intensities of pink. Then I wanted a small accent and realized the previously released Scribble Flowers had the same look!  That with a sprinkling of Pretty Pastels sequins, and just a hint of color on the stamp with some light pink and green - and I have an easy but lovely card!

Taylored Expressions Words of Faith

I dressed up the pink envelope with a floral stamp from the new Happy Mail stamped in Sugar Cube.

I hope you enjoyed this week of sneak peeks.  The store is now open!!


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

TE Sneak Peek Day 3: Our Savior

It's the third day of sneak peeks for the February release from Taylored Expressions!  Today I am focusing on the true meaning of Easter - our Savior, the King of Kings!  Everything you see today will be available tomorrow - Thursday, February 8th.  Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

Over the last few months, you have seen the release of the Iconic Wishes Stamp & Die combos with a fall set and a Christmas set.  The newest addition is a cross that can be used for Easter or anytime - Iconic Wishes - Savior Stamp & Die Combo. Even more fun, there are two crosses, one is filled and one is unfilled.  Here's what I did with the filled cross.

Taylored Expressions Iconic Savior

The other sneak peek on this card is the Floral Frenzy stamps and the dies.  It's a fun set that's just a bit off-kilter - it deliberately does not line up to give you that loose look.

The filled cross is bold so I paired it with a graphic cutting plate for the background and bright reds and greens.  There's also an unfilled cross that has a more delicate look.  I used the same general layout as the first card, but I used softer colors, added a background color so the lighter cross didn't get lost, and used a more delicate cutting plate for the background.  Here's the unfilled version.

Taylored Expressions Iconic Savior

This cross set is a fabulous addition to the Christian products at Taylored Expressions!

Here are the supply lists for these two cards. Be sure to keep scrolling down for a chance at a prize and for another sneak peek.




The flowers that I used above are the bonus for this release!! For a limited time, earn DOUBLE CRAFTY POINTS on our Floral Frenzy Bundle! If you're not a Crafty Points member, it's free and easy to join. Just create an account at the TE webstore and you're automatically enrolled to begin earning crafty points with every purchase. You'll earn 100 Crafty Points on the purchase of our Floral Frenzy stamp and coordinating die set bundle! Offer valid on qualifying purchases made between 9am CST on Thursday, February 8, 2018 and 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, February 11, 2018 and only while supplies last. Crafty Points are only available on purchases made via our retail site:

Next I am using a brand new background - Petite Petals Background.  Staying with the Easter theme, I paired it with the previously released He is Risen and a little cross from Little Bits - Crosses.  (As you are checking out the other designers, notice that there is also a new Christian sentiment set called Words of Faith that is shaped perfectly to fit into this background!)

Taylored Expressions Petite Petals

The background is so detailed, I kept the rest of this card very simple.  I sponged a bit of soft pink on the edges, then stamped the background in gray.  I used Stitched Oval Stacklets and Inside Scallop Oval Stacklets to create a frame.  A simple pink cross with a gem is the only accent.  Here's a closer look at the detail in the background stamp.

Taylored Expressions Petite Petals

Be sure to head over to the TE Blog for a chance at prizes and for more sneak peeks! Then come back tomorrow when I have some squishy hugs and the Words of Faith set that I mentioned fits perfectly in the Petite Petals Background.

Keep scrolling down for the Supply List.

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!


Freshly Made Sketches: Totally Grateful

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

I had a fabulous cardmaking weekend.  But I have absolutely nothing to show for it except for memories!!  I have a brand new 13-year old niece and a soon-to-be 10-year old niece who spent the weekend so we could celebrate their birthdays.  We had plans to go places and do things - but we ended up making cards for an entire day. Actually - they made cards and I fetched supplies!  They were thrilled with everything that I showed them.  I knew stamping and coloring would be a hit - but then I showed them embossing folders and then I showed them die-cutting!!  They were hooked.  But I am exhausted and my crafting area will take weeks to organize again.

My card today reflects that.  The paper is from a pad that they used.  The flowers were in the stash of dies that was on top of the piles.  The simplicity of it all is a reflection of my exhaustion!!!  And the sentiment - - - I am definitely totally grateful - - - grateful for my charming nieces, for the joy and laughter of the weekend and the for the hobby that we shared!

FMS Totally Grateful

I hope to see you playing along with our sketch this week!


Stamps: My Favorite Things More Essential Stamps
Dies: Lil' Inker Designs Perky Posies dies
Patterned Paper: Doodlebug Designs Gingham-Linen Rainbow Petite Prints
Embellishments: YNS Gumdrops Magical Pastel

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

TE Sneak Peek Day 2: Shamrocks and Joy

It's the second day of sneak peeks for the February release from Taylored Expressions! Today I'm planning on being lucky and I'm being joyful as I'm thinking ahead to spring.  Everything you see in the next two days of sneak peeks will be available on Thursday, February 8th. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

March 17th is St. Patrick's Day. I'm not Irish - but I do hope for good luck; I love the color green; and corned beef, cabbage and beer is one of my favorite meals!  I'm also lucky in friendships so I love the new set Shake Your Shamrock.

Taylored Expressions Shake Your Shamrock

Taylored Expressions has a series of stamps laid out in grids like this - along with dies that cut them all at once. Shake your Shamrock Stamp & Die Combo is a handy way to have a big stack of patterned shamrocks (or jelly beans from yesterday's sneak peek), or from previous releases, stars and hearts.  (FYI - they are also quick and easy ways to fill mason jar shakers.)  I left mine in a grid then popped three of them in a winning row of tic-tac-toe!

Taylored Expressions Shake Your Shamrock

I mentioned being lucky in friendships.  There is a fabulous sentiment in this set.  I didn't have room for it on my layout for the front of the card - so I decorated the inside.

Taylored Expressions Shake Your Shamrock

Here's a supply list for this card. Be sure to keep scrolling down for a chance at a prize and for another sneak peek.

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!

Did you all realize that Easter Sunday is on April Fools Day this year?  Isn't that odd?  It's not a big problem in my family - we've never pulled off big April Fools stunts so we will be at worship, then a big family meal.  

I love soft Easter colors and I love the utter joy that is part of this holiday.  With this release we have a new Bubble Greetings set, Bubble Greetings - Spring, to go along with the previously released Bubble Greetings plus a new {Boxed In} Basics, {Boxed In} Basics 2(!), to go along with the first set.   The Boxed In sets are pre-printed background cards that are sized to fit the big greetings in the Bubble Greetings set.  (Here's the original gallery so you can see what I mean about the sizing.) A few of the greetings are smaller and allow for embellishment which is what I did on this card to accent the "Be joyful".

Taylored Expressions Be Joyful

My bunny scene is mainly from the new Sitting Pretty - Spring Accessories except for the bunny itself.  There is a bunny in Sitting Pretty but he was a bit small to use for the focal point, so I added a bunny from the previously released Hippity Hop die set.

Taylored Expressions Be Joyful

FYI - I'm sure you can see the potential in these sentiment.  I chose to cut the letters out of Playful Patterns - Sweet but there can be amazing things done with a coloring medium!

Be sure to head over to the TE blog to see more inspiration and for a chance at prizes - then come back tomorrow for a gorgeous iconic cross and some petite flowers.


Monday, February 5, 2018

TE Sneak Peek Day 1: Bunnies and Ewes

It's a big day!!  It's the first day of sneak peeks for the February release from Taylored Expressions!  And even's full of fresh spring colors and themes!!  Today I have critters - a cute (and slightly sarcastic) lamb and a bunny in an egg. Everything you see in the next three days of sneak peeks will be available on Thursday, February 8th. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

My first card made me giggle the entire time I was working on it.  I used the new Quick Critters Spring which has a a sentiment that I can relate to!!

Taylored Expressions Quick Critters Spring

I adore kids' candy!  No fancy chocolates for me.  I want the jelly beans and the marshmallow Peeps!! And my kids grew up knowing that while it was OK for me to raid their stash of candy, they had better not touch mine. 

With that slightly-threatening sentiment, I started out with the idea of bold colors and patterns, but the more that I worked on that critter, the more I wanted it to be cute. I love that cute little lamb getting really intense about the jelly beans!  For the die that cuts the face and ears, I used Sugar Cube cardstock and then used some light pink and gray copic colors to add depth.  When I got that all done, I decided she needed a girly bow and found just the right thing in the previously released die set, Door to Door Summer Decor (although there are many sets with bows that would work.)

Taylored Expressions Quick Critters Spring

The jelly beans were cut with a die from another new set, Full of Beans. It's a grid set of 9 jelly beans so that you can stamp and cut nine beans at once.  The stamps add highlights on each bean; I didn't use the stamp because I wanted simple die cuts behind the critter.

The paper and sequins are also new.  The paper is the Sweet addition to the line of Playful Patterns. and the sequins are Pretty Pastels.   FYI - the die for the banner wasn't quite long enough for my layout, so I cut the banner halfway, then slide the die to make it longer before cutting the other half.

Here's the supply list for this card. Be sure to keep scrolling down for a chance at a prize and for another sneak peek.


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!

Now I have a blast from the past.

I loved Bunny Tails & Happy Trails from a previous release.  Since it was released, we got a series of dies called On the Right Track that helps to easily make slider cards.  I put the two together and here's my bunny in an Easter egg!!

Taylored Expressions Bunny Trails

I love this sentiment on the outside since the bunny is clearly on the move.  To set it off I put it one of the clouds from the Cloud Stacklets. On the inside of the card is another sentiment from the same stamp set that makes it an Easter card - it says "An Easter treat just for you".

There's also a mini surprise on this card. When the bunny slides to the right - there are hidden Easter eggs!

Taylored Expressions Bunny Trails

With all the fabulous new products that TE puts out, sometimes it feels like we are always looking forward when there are many incredible products from the past that still deserve love and attention!!  I'm glad Bunny Trails came out to play!

TE Bunny Trails on a Track

That's it for today. Be sure to head over to the TE blog for more inspiration and for a chance at a prize. Then head back here tomorrow for some "luck" and "joy".

Taylored Expressions Bunny Trails Copics