Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Birthday Leaf

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

I absolutely love the angles.  You could just use two fabulous pieces of patterned paper and a sentiment and you'd have a perfect card!  Sadly, I still struggled with the sketch.  But it's really more the new craft room and just not quite being comfortable yet.  I can't reach immediately to the right and grab an ink pad.  I couldn't find the tape I use for shakers (on a card for next week!) - it's a foot wide circle of foam tape so it should be hard to lose but I've managed.  I totally haven't figured out photos.  I was thrilled to have natural light in my new room but then what happens? A gloomy weekend.  The light is too flat in the morning and too bright in the afternoon so now I have to come home for lunch to take pictures (darn!)  And none of you feel sorry for me, do you??  (Me neither - because when I get it all figured out, it will be fabulous!)

FMS Birthday Leaf

This started out with the idea of using a border die but just couldn't find one that worked. So I thought I'd use a long leaf as the border, but then saw this die and decided to make it work just because I liked it!! I have no idea what I'll use this for.  To be honest, I can't even decide whether it's more feminine or masculine.  But I like it and for today, that's all that counts!

I hope to see you playing along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches!


Stamps: Taylored Expressions Simply Said-Birthday
Dies: Papertrey Ink Leaf Silhouettes, Lil' Inker Designs Stitched Rectangles
Cardstock: My Favorite Things Steel Blue
Ink: My Favorite Things Steel Blue, Distress Oxide Inks in Iced Spruce, Peeled Paint, Bundled Sage
Embossing Folder: Stampin' Up Pinewood Planks
Sequins: Pretty Pink Posh Wisteria Blooms (just the greens)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

CAS(E) this Sketch: Take Over the World

My youngest son graduated from high school last night!!  This was the son that I wasn't sure would ever get there - but he did - and he did it with honors!!

I had a graduation card made for him quite some time ago, but a new set from Newton's Nook caught my eye - Newton's Graduation.  We have two beloved family cats and both of them fully embody this sentiment!

Newton Takes Over

I clearly didn't color the cat.  We have one cat who is a calico who definitely wants to take over the world but I do not have the skill set to color this as a calico.  The other cat is the sweeter cat and he's the one who would have made sure that Erik got a graduation card(!) but he's white with a patch of black on his tail and rear-end, the top of his head and right around the nose (he looks like Hitler!) so is not particularly attractive.  So I left this cat white and Erik can use his imagination!

By the time I noticed this set and ordered it, we already had graduation parties and house guests in full swing.  I needed a starting point to get this done so looked through my favorite challenges and came up with CAS(E) this Sketch!  I haven't played along with them in forever - although I look at and admire each and every sketch and design team card.  This sketch, upside down, was clearly graduation hats flying through the air!!  Thanks CtS!

Stamps: Newton's Nook Graduation
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Jelly Donut
Ink: Memento Black, Copics
Other: Nuvo Silver Moondust Glitter Drops (on top of each hat)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Time to Celebrate

This week's sketch for Freshly Made Sketches was created by me!!  It's always a little nerve-wracking to put a sketch out there and see who "happily" plays along.

Sadly, I struggled with my own sketch even though it's only three vertical strips and a horizontal sentiment.  When I came up with the sketch, I thought that worst case scenario, I could use some wonderful patterned paper for the strips and call it good. But I always feel a bit more pressure when it's my sketch.  Luckily I received something I ordered that included these fun candles!

FMS Time to Celebrate

The timing was perfect on this as I have workmate with a birthday tomorrow!  She's not frilly or feminine - and I don't know her well enough to use anything sarcastic - so I figured some candles, confetti and a few sequins would work.

FYI - the candles are by Reverse Confetti and actually come in a grouping of five.  Since I needed to separate into three panels, I cut my strips and lined up the die so the other four candles hung off the edge of the Big Shot and didn't cut.

I am looking forward to seeing what you do with this sketch - have fun!!


Stamps: Reverse Confetti Birthday Wishes
Dies: Reverse Confetti Candles, Taylored Expressions Double-Ended Banners (stretched out a bit by cutting one edge and then sliding the die to cut the other edge)
Embossing Folder: Taylored Expressions Sprinkles
Miscellaneous sequins and cardstock to match the sequins!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Taylored Expressions Zinnias and Sympathy

After all of these years of watching me create cards, I think my husband still thinks it is instant.  He has a tendency to tell me as I am heading to bed that he needs a card the next day.  I'm never quite sure when he thinks I'll do it given weekday mornings are spent getting ready for work!  In fairness, I do tend to obsess over each card and sometimes I really should just let go and let it happen!

So when he mentioned that a family friend from his youth had passed and he needed a sympathy card, I had to rely on products that came together quickly.  His family is from Virginia so I figured flowers on the card would be the right answer.  I pulled out the Taylored Exprssions Big Blooms - Zinnia then realized I didn't have time to color it all. So I added a sweet frame and just colored a small portion.

TE Zinnia and Comfort

I backed the frame with black to give it a bit of dimension.  Then I added a few sequins as teardrops.  I'm happy with it.  I guess with all of the time in the world, I would have colored the entire flower - but I'm glad I didn't have that time.  I think the detail in the image can stand alone in black and white!

TE Zinnia Close-Up

At this point, I'm kind of laughing at myself.  I like this card.  Maybe I need to stop obsessing and "let go and let it happen" more often!  But I probably won't.  In truth, I like the process of creating cards even more than the final product, so I'm sure I'll continue to obsess and I'll enjoy every minute of it.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Birthday Quatrefoil

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

There's a sweet lady in my department with a birthday next week.  I don't know her well.  I do know she likes to garden so flowers seemed mandatory.  I also know she always dresses in very subdued colors.  Based on those two clues, I found a subtle pattern with a gray backdrop and added a "trellis" type look on top.

FMS Birthday Quatrefoil

I've been so excited to have natural light for photography in my new craft room but go figure, it's been gray and rainy the last two days!  I haven't figured out how to set up a "studio" for days like today (this is only the second card I've made since my move). Luckily gray days are very rare in Colorado!  I'm still not fully moved in - but I felt better after many of your comments over the last few weeks saying it could take a year.  So I slowed down a bit and decided to enjoy getting it all together instead of killing myself to finish it.  The old house is still not on the market, although there's a photographer scheduled today so there's a light at the end of that tunnel!!

I hope to see you playing along with us this week.  I so enjoy browsing and being inspired by the gallery!


Stamps: Taylored Expressions (TE) Simply Said - Birthday
Dies: Quatrefoil Cutting Plate
Paper: Miscellaneous floral print with scrap of gray to match, TE Blue Corn
Ink: TE Sugar Cube with Fine White Detail Embossing Powder
Other: TE sequins

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Taylored Expressions: Eventful Birthday

Taylored Expressions teamed up with PageMaps for the May 2018 Quarterly CardMaps edition. Their sketches are a wonderful source of inspiration!  Even after all these years of making cards, I still get a little stuck when I have a completely blank slate in front of me - when I have to pick the theme and stamps and colors and layout.  Having one of those items taken care of always helps me begin.  The CardMaps at PageMaps are fabulous inspiration.  Here's my card:

Taylored Expressions Eventful Birthday Party

And here's the sketch:

I first zoomed in on the bottom border.  Taylored Expressions has wonderful, detailed borders - so I knew that could be a focal point.  After picking the birthday presents, I added a frame and the sentiment in the center just like the sketch (although I didn't replicate their speech bubble and the cute way the sketch had the bubble coming from a character in the background!)

Taylored Expressions Eventful - Birthday Party

It's a simple card but so easy to do with the border adding all of the detail.  FYI, the border die set comes with a solid piece with which to back the presents.  I cut it in all three colors, then just trimmed the presents that I needed.

I plopped a little enamel heart on it to fill in some space and embossed the background - easy!!  BTW, the colors of the presents are the newly released colors just last month - Guava, Confetti Cake and Lime Zest.  As soon as I opened the creative team package, I knew they were meant to be together!


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Thank Goodness

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

I'm finally in my new craft room!!  I'm not quite going to say I'm full moved into the house - for those of you that have moved regularly, I have a great respect for you.  Here's my first card.  Funny story.  I didn't formally pack my drawers of stamps.  I only moved 5 miles and I had the luxury of buying the new house before selling the old house.  I have Elfa drawers that hold my stamps so instead of entrusting them to the moving company, I figured I'd lay the drawers out in the back of all of our cars and drive them over safe and sound.  Not so much.  Two drawers fell or were dropped (I wasn't actually a witness to the calamity).  Stamps scattered and cases shattered across the driveway.  My husband had the audacity to say that since one of the drawers contained Christmas stamps, I had months to put it all back together!!  The other drawer was full of not-yet-used-stamps.  Just look at this set that has been in there for who knows how long - it was literally dusty.  It seemed fitting to pull a set out of the piles in the driveway to make my first card.

FMS Thank Goodness 2

With this little rag doll, the quilted background was a clear choice.  And now that I have lots of space to display all of my cardstock, I was able to glance through it and find a color that I particularly liked. I also love that I have a longer space to take photos so I can some wonderful dimension and a fuzzy background in my picture, and it's natural light!  I've never had that before!!!  (Although we'll have to talk again come winter when I leave for work before daylight and get home after dark.)

I hope to see you playing along!

Stamps: Clear and Simple Stamps Rag Doll Willa
Dies: Lil' Inker Designs Quilted Stitched Pattern Die, Taylored Expessions Stitched Rectangle
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Flirty Flamingo

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: The Big Move

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

Sadly, I don't have a sample for you.  As you know, I moved last weekend.  It went well!  We have a functioning kitchen, bedrooms and a place to relax in the living area.  I also have my craft room about 80% together.  So I had big plans to spend Monday evening making a card for this week while my guys were out at a game and I had my beautiful new home all to myself.

Funny story, we lived in a little house on the prairie for 27 years. It was only five minutes from town, but it felt like another world. We never even locked the doors; in fact, we had to replace all the door knobs as we were moving because we had no idea where the keys were. Flash forward to the new house. It's in a neighborhood so we are having to learn new habits. I've been doing well. Since I was home alone I locked all the doors. Then I took some garbage out to the garage. Turns out the door was set to lock behind me. There I am, barefoot and in my pajamas, locked out of the house - no phone and no back-up key hidden anywhere. Luckily there are still boxes out there - including boxes of books! So instead of making a card for FMS, I sat on the garage steps and read half a book before my guys got home to rescue me! No card for me this week!

But I hope you have fun with it!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Taylored Expressions: Glitter Floral Hair Clips

Taylored Expressions has just released glittered felt!!  They also recently released the Roll With It Flower 1 and 2 Mixed Media dies that are slightly thicker to cut through media like glittered felt.  What amazing possibilities there are!

When the flower dies were released I created this framed piece and one of my blog friends commented that she wanted to use the flowers for headbands for her grandchildren. (Thanks Bev!)  I think the glitter felt makes this an even better idea - so here they are!!

Taylored Expressions Glitter Felt

Lots and lots to talk about.

1. Two pieces of felt come in each package - one lighter and one darker - so the pink flower and center are in one package, the purple flower and center are in another and the two different greens for the leaves are in another.  The silver and gold comes with one piece that is heavily glittered (like the glitter on the flowers) and one that is more smooth (like the one I used on the swirl - more on that later.)

2. I rolled these a little more loosely than in the framed piece linked above so they were a bit flatter. I then cut a circle the same size as the base, covered it with craft glue and adhered the flower.

3. The mixed media die flowers cut the glittered felt like butter even with a manual machine.  IMPORTANT: Taylored Expression is very clear that with a manual machine, regular dies do NOT cut this well. However, electronic cutting machines like the Vagabond or Gemini cut with any of them.  But let's talk about this.  I have a manual machine - a classic Big Shot.  I used three different regular dies on my hair clips.  Just as expected they did not cut all the way through BUT they left enough of an impression when I ran them through that I could trim them with scissors and still get the shape that I wanted!!  Having said that, the Curly Swirlies are very detailed so I didn't try them on the heavily glittered pieces - I used the smoother pieces that come with the Caramel Drizzle and Rock Candy and it worked quite well with some trimming.

Here's how my flowers work with hair clips.

Taylored Expressions Glitter Felt

Rather than clips like I did, I might suggest that you add these to a headband.  My clips did work, but only after quite a bit of experimentation.  I finally ended up doing a few small stitches to hold them in place - and I kept the stitches slightly loose.  When these clips close, that center piece pushes through and it needs room to do that or they won't clip.  By keeping the stitches slightly loose, my center piece will close.

There are a rainbow of colors in this felt!  And the design team put together an array of stunning projects to show it off!  Check it all out on the Taylored Expressions blog.