Thursday, August 30, 2018

CAS(E) this Sketch! Celebrate

I really like the current sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch.  It's a sentiment across the card with a little image off to the side.

One celebration that I always plan ahead for is my brother and sister-in-laws anniversary.  They had a fall wedding and it was stunning.  It was at an old stone church in our Colorado mountains, decorated in pine branches and fall leaves.  So every year I try to create an autumn-themed card that captures that golden glow of that day  I started following the sketch with a little leaf off to the side - but quickly decided the leaf needed to be a more dramatic so I could add color and sparkle.  At that point I strayed a bit from the literal sketch with my bigger leaf, but still want to give them full credit for my card.

CtS Celebrate Leaf

I finished this at the wrong time of day to get a great photo (and I can't try again because the challenge closes soon).  So I took this side shot under artificial light just to show the golden glow.

CtS Celebrate Leaf Close

After sponging on a variety of distress inks, I splattered the leaves with slightly watered down acrylic paints in gold, shimmer white and black.  I also wanted a hint of texture. Luckily I had recently purchased the Stampin' Up Subtle embossing folder which I'm thinking is going to be one of those supplies that never leaves my desk!

Thanks to CAS(E) this Sketch - I have this very special anniversary card ready to go!!

Dies: Neat & Tangled Maple Thanks, Celebrate
Ink: Distress Oxides in Peeled Paint, Carved Pumpkin, Fossilized Amber, Mustard Seed
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Gold Foil
Embossing Folder: Stampin' Up Subtle

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Christmas Snowflake

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

I have a snowflake in my stash that comes out multiple times every year just for the sheer pleasure of adding layers and colors.  It's the Layered Snowflake Confetti Cut by Reverse Confetti and I knew it would be just right for this sketch!

FMS Snowflake

Here's a closer look.  There are so many fun pieces that come together for a million different looks.  I've only used a few of them.  And just for fun, I also used little hearts from Queen & Co.'s Fimo Fun Toppings.  

FMS Snowflake Close

I tried to honor the sketch with the sentiment placement - I do have a banner just like in the sketch but I just added a word above it! 

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


Stamps: Reverse Confetti (RC) Winter Word Coordinates
Dies: RC Layered Snowflake Confetti Cuts, Winter Words Confetti Cuts
Cardstock and Paper: Sunny Studio Classic Gingham, Taylored Expressions Lime Zest, Sour Apple, Watermelon
Miscellaneous: Queen & Co. Fimo Fun Toppings, Taylored Expressions Dotted Lattice Embossing Folder

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Special Blessing

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

I don't often order things the day they come out.  I generally wait to see if I'm still interested a week or more later.  It's amazing how many times something new comes along that catches my attention more than the first item (I must have "squirrel" syndrome!)  But a set of dies came out recently that I ordered within minutes of their release - My Favorite Things Birds of a Feather.

FMS Blessing

The birds are cute and quirky.  There's a few short, squat ones and then other taller birds.  There are multiple leaves and flowers and hearts.  My favorite things to do is groupings of dies so I can see these coming out regularly.  (Not the branch - that's a different company.)   I did add just a bit of pattern on this little guy's wing - but you may have to click on the photo to see it.  I have a stamp set by Concord & 9th called Background Blocks that is just nine little patterns but works perfectly for accenting little dies.  (I'd love to have a set of small patterns like this but on slightly large stamps - if you have any ideas let me know!)

I do have someone special to thank for their years of friendship and a listening ear so I was thrilled when I realized this sentiment fit the card perfectly.  

I hope to see you play along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches.

Stamps: My Favorite Things (MFT) Cheerful Blessings, Concord & 9th Background Blocks
Dies: MFT Birds of a Feather, Taylored Expressions Out on a Limb

Monday, August 20, 2018

Color Throwdown: Don't Give Up

The colors at the Color Throwdown caught my eye this week but I went in a very different direction than the inspiration photo or the inspiration from the design team.

Here's my card:

Color Throwdown Cattails

Here's the challenge:

I used the colors to create a sunrise/sunset card behind a die that I unexpectedly purchased the last time that I was shopping at Simon Says Stamp.  I was ready to check out and started getting those "other people purchased these products" messages and there was the Cattail Triptych.  And even better, it was $20 marked down to $8 (and it's still there).  I'd never noticed it before but thought it would be perfect for masculine cards so it popped into my cart. 

I'd imagined brilliant sunsets behind it - but these colors gave it a more soft and gentle look.  I splattered a little watered down white acrylic paint on it - maybe stars or maybe fireflies. 

I like it.  I'm glad it jumped into my cart!

Stamps: Simon Says Stamp (SSS) You Got This
Dies: SSS Cattail Triptych
Ink: SSS Melon, Lake Shores, Fog and Smoke (in the background), Slate (sentiment)

Friday, August 17, 2018

On the Bright Side Butterflies

In one of my recent orders, I tucked in the Memory Box Devyn Butterfly Trio.  I don't know if it's a new or old die but its loopy open butterflies caught my eye.  So of course, I have to play along with the CAS on Friday Butterfly Challenge.  Then to make it even better, The Paper Players came out with a color challenge using a trio of oranges and yellows.  It was all meant to be!!

Bright Side

The sentiment is from Neat & Tangled and I thought it was perfect for these bright butterflies.  I also threw on another new-to-me product - the gems.  These are Buttercream from Pretty Pink Posh.  I think I'm going to like this new trend with gems.  I like clean cards and I think a clean card really benefits from just a bit of sparkle!

It's Friday - so I'm definitely looking on the bright side!


Stamps: Neat & Tangled So Many Sentiments
Dies: Memory Box Devyn Butterfly Trio, My Favorite Things Blueprints 13 (the stitched rectangle)
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Pumpkin Pie, Mango Melody, So Saffron
Patterned Paper: Taylored Expression Playful Patterns - Black and White
Embellishments: Pretty Pink Posh Buttercream Jewels

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: A Shaker Balloon

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

I've been somewhat uninterested in making cards for a few months now - probably due to life getting insane with moving (after 27 years in the same house), my youngest graduating high school, my husband in a new job, and more.  (Hopefully my disinterest hasn't shown too much!)  Life is finally settling into a groove and I've done multiple cards and posts in the last few weeks just because I wanted to!  I've also had to place multiple orders for new products (maybe I should stay less interested!)  Here's a few items from one recent order.

FMS Birthday Wishes

I ordered from Impress Cards & Crafts on their recent big birthday sale.  A couple items from this order are the balloon shaker die which is their own product and the jotted birthday by Memory Box.  I already had the little pearlies in my stash but they'd never been used.  (I got four different full sets of shaker fillers by Queen & Co and none have been opened - I'm thinking there will be some shaking on my blog over the next few weeks!)

FMS Birthday Wishes Close

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


Stamps: Clearly Besotted Happy Birthday (retired)
Dies: Memory Box Birthday Jotted Script, Impress Balloon die, Taylored Expressions Double-Ended Flag Stacklets
Paper: Taylored Expressions Confetti Cake (my new favorite blue!) and Playful Patterns Black & White, Doodlebug Swiss Dot Rainbow Petite Prints (the yellow)
Miscellaneous: Queen & Co Pearlies Bright, Pretty Pink Posh sequins

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Taylored Expressions: Watercolor Hydrangea

I'm still having a wonderful time playing with watercolors.  I know that I'm late to the party - but quite frankly, I've been intimidated. I am so not an artist - I can't draw a stick figure that can be recognized.  Don't get me wrong - all of us who make cards are creating little works of art.  But a big reason I'm drawn to this hobby is that someone else drew the image and designed the papers and created the dies.  All I have to do is put them together!!  Until watercoloring came along.

But I've been practicing and my comfort level is growing.  One of the things that has helped me is coloring heat embossed images.  Then I can apply little pools of color and it spreads out all by itself up to the embossed lines  I love it!  It's fairly easy to do and it gives a wonderful natural look.

TE Hydrangea

I watered down some Plum Punch Liquid Watercolor and added it to the petals first.  Then I did a slightly stronger version on some of the petals.  Finally I decided I wanted some slight color variations, so I added a small amount of Cookie Monster to my Plum Punch to give a few petals just a bit of a blue cast. 

TE Hydrangea

I'm happy with it.  I'm not there yet, but I get more and more comfortable each time I pull out my watercolors.  In fact, sometimes I even look at an image and think how nice it would be if it were watercolored and that's a new thought for me!


Monday, August 13, 2018

Fusion: Rustic Flowers

The sketch and inspiration at the Fusion Card Challenge was just perfect for a new-to-me stamp set that's been sitting on the corner of my desk for way too long.  It's a dainty floral bouquet with multiple layered color options. Thanks to Fusion, I opened it up, paired it with some woodgrain and I have a sweet card!

Fusion Sending Hugs

Here's the challenge. I think you can see why I credit them for the inspiration!

There are actually three layers for the flowers but I didn't want my flowers to get any darker so I skipped the top layer. The colored layers of the leaves are split into multiple stamps so I did the leaves closer to the flower in a slightly darker color. 

I found the sentiment from a different set by the same company.  I do tend to stick with one company on a card.  It has nothing to do with the company - and everything to do with narrowing down my search for sentiments.  I can really obsess over my sentiment.  It has to say the right thing, be the right size, and match the style.  If I mentally limit myself to the same company as the image - it limits my time to obsess!  I'm only telling you this today because this is one of the times that I'm extra thrilled with the outcome - I love everything about that sentiment paired with the flowers!


Stamps: Altenew Ditsy Print, Painted Encouragement
Dies: Altenew Ditsy Print
Cardstock: MFT Coral Crush
Patterned Paper: MME 6x6 Wood Necessities
Ink: MFT Peach Bellini, Coral Crush, Simon Says Stamp Sparrow, Cobblestone and Stone, Versamark
Misc: Gold Embossing Powder, sequins and vellum

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Paper Players: Unsupervised Child

I had a couple of sets on the corner of my desk that I just had to use - and they were absolutely perfect for the current challenge at The Paper Players: Humorous.

Here are Fluffy Friends and Binge Worthy.

Fluffy Friends

I love these - that is so me.  I am not an adult when it comes to my treats.  I'd take a Hostess Ho-Ho over a gourmet brownie.  My favorite treats right now are SweeTarts Whipped & Tangy Chewy Bites (They are not easy to find so I'm guessing other adults aren't as enamored of them as I am and they will soon be a thing of the past.)  Don't even get me started on need for potato chips!!  So I feel like that "unsupervised child" - and unfortunately, my cheeks look a bit like the bunny's cheeks!!

Fluffy Friends Flat


FYI: I used a frame from Frame in Frame 2 but I cut it down a bit.  I cut about half of it, then slid the die down to shorten it and cut the other half.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Joy

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

I love the possibilities with this sketch.  I had a tough time deciding whether I want to do a pattern across that strip - or a big word.  As you can see, the big word won (but only because I picked up my mail as I was deciding this and had an order with "joy". It's an older die but new to me.)


I broke into some of my favorite Christmas paper that was retired years and years ago.  I use it sparingly but felt strongly about backing "joy" with something that made a statement. Fabulous soft colors mixed with some gray and silver.

FMS Joy Close

And since I had cut into my stash of paper, I did two others - so my Christmas card stash is up to twelve.  Woo-hoo!!

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


Dies: Simon Says Stamp Big Joy and MaryAnne Snowflake
Patterned Paper: Martha Stewart Snowflace (this is not a typo!)
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Mint Macaron, My Favorite Things Gravel Gray
Embossing: Stampin' Up Softly Falling Embossing Folder
Other: Your Next Stamp Magical Pastel Gumdrops

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Taylored Expressions: Leafy Backgrounds

I've been doing quite a bit of playing with watercolors lately. It's been a difficult medium for me to embrace because I have to let go of some control which is not my best thing! You have to be able to embrace random puddles, splatters and swooshes of color but generally I want to know where everything ends up.  Having said that, there really are fabulous uses that work even for me (and as I play more, I find that I am becoming more and more comfortable)!  I like a simple wash of color in the background.  I like painting in a heat embossed image (where the embossing holds the color in one place).  And it turns out I love creating nature scenes - because random works for that!

As I was playing around with Taylored Expressions new Liquid Watercolors, I found a way to create leafy backgrounds for those nature scenes.

KIM Birch Watercolor Technique

I did it with a plastic sandwich bag.  If you lightly paint some color on a plastic bag, it beads up - then use the bag to smoosh the color in the area you want on a dry piece of watercolor cardstock. You get leaves!!  I did some leaves in Peapod, then I added some Lemon Meringue to another drop of Peapod to get yellower leaves and smooshed that on. Finally I loosely painted a light wash of that yellower green over the tree tops and a light wash of Chocolate Truffle mixed with some Candy Corn to get the ground. (I love that  you can mix to get the color you want!).  And of course, a watered down wash of Cookie Monster for the sky.

KIM Birch Watercolor Full Background

I pulled out some of my all-time favorite nature products from Taylored Expressions to finish up the scene.

KIM Birch Flat

I am really looking forward to playing around with an autumn scene using this technique!  I love that I can embrace the random look of watercolors in a controlled way!!


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Taylored Expressions Release Day: Wraps and Thanks

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.

I'm loving the two dies called Under Wraps.  One is a vampire and one is a ghost and they hold candy!  FYI - because of the way that that I did these cards with the new Spiderweb Stencil on a white background with white embossing paste, I didn't want a white "ghost".  So I cut him out in black because I think he could be a bat also!  A two-fer!

TE Under Wraps

I stuck these on cards, although in fairness it gets very thick with the candy bar so it really won't fit in an envelope.  I'm thinking of them more as big tags.  I'll put them on top of a big bag of candy because, after all, that's definitely what my men and boys are really wanting.

TE Under Wraps

The other fun thing that isn't clear on my cards - these little guys can hug the candy!  Check out how my teammate Jean Manis used them.

Finally, the type of candy is important and it's really fun to experiment because you get to eat the unused candy bars.  I had a bag of Nuggets and they fit just fine.  What they do though is fold up the wings a bit more because it's thicker in the slot.  So I went back to the store and got the size in my photos (and then we ate them too!)

TE Under Wraps

The dies come with three little faces each so you can change their expressions.  The sentiments come from previously released sets (see supply list)

Here's my supply list for this card but keep scrolling down for another peek!


Now we'll move on to a final Thanksgiving card - or really this could be anytime!  The stamp set I'm using is So Many Thanks.  It has four big scripty words - and a variety of add-ons to make phrases.  Here are three of the big words with one of the add-ons.

TE So Many Thanks

Here's a bit of a different angle so you can see the gold on it.  I also used the new Mosaic Leaves Stencil just along the edge using Granny Smith, Toffee and Sweet Potato Pie. 

TE So Many Thanks

Since I already had all the words lined up on my Misti tool, I decided to do a slightly different version.  I spread out the words a bit to leave room for these leaves and then changed to brighter colors.  

TE So Many Thanks

I used the leaves earlier this week too.  They come with the new Falling Leaves Cutting Plate and I like their cut out centers. I sponged a scrap of Sugar Cube with the ink colors before I cut them so it wasn't the solid look of cardstock.

I've made these focused on Thanksgiving - but it's important to note this set is year-round set.  With all of the other words, you can easily stamp "Thanks so much" or "So very blessed" and many, many more.

I should stop typing - because the store is open!!  Have fun and be sure to check to see if you've won a prize.



Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Taylored Expressions Sneak Peek Day 3: Chicks and Prayers

It's the third day of sneak peeks for the August release from Taylored Expressions. Today I'm stepping away from fall for a bit (although I still made one of my non-autumn themed products into a very autumn-themed cards, can you tell I love the season?!)  Everything you see today will be available tomorrow - Thursday, August 2nd. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

I often give Taylored Expressions a big shout-out for their focus on Christian-theme products (see yesterday or the second card today) but I don't always give them enough credit for their sarcasm!!  After all, it's a worthy goal to make a card recipient smile or even laugh out loud.  The Grumplings line of products is one of my all-time favorites for sarcasm.  Now we have the Sarcasti-chicks!!

TE Sarcasti-chick and her closet

Not only is this little chick wildly sarcastic, but she also has mix and match facial expressions and a closet-full of clothes and hairstyles.  I've dressed her in the basic Sarcasti-chick's Closet but if you browse the rest of the design team you'll see she also has a Halloween closet!!

TE Sarcasti-chick and her closet

Behind her I used the new Shattered Stencil because it had that slightly crazy look that matches her attitude!  (There are five new stencils this release!)

I like this little chick.  Maybe because I can relate to the humidity problem or maybe it's because she also comes with a wine bottle and appropriate sentiments!!  Here's the supply list for this card, but keep scrolling down for a totally different style card.

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!

On a totally different note, this release brings us the Prayers Script Backer - Mixed Media die to go with the previously released Prayers Script (which also goes with the stamp set You're in my Prayers).  The mixed media dies are thicker and can cut other materials such as the Cut & Color Me - White Chipboard.  I love this ability because I can pop sentiments without cutting tons of layers and gluing them all together.

TE Prayers and Leaves

There's no reason for the fall theme on this card because clearly prayers are part of every day of the year - but I was loving the rich colors and leaves.  The leaves are an extra included with the Falling Leaves Cutting Plate. It's a lovely cutting plate but I didn't use the whole thing here - just those extra leaves.  I really like the look of them with the open centers.

TE Prayers and Leaves

As I mentioned the backer was cut with chipboard.  I didn't want it to stay bright white, so I brushed the edges with Dijon ink. Then I used Gold Foil Cardstock for the "prayers" and Gold Fine Detail Embossing Powder for the stamped sentiment.  Definitely an autumn-themed card, but as I move back toward summer crafting, I want to do exactly this card, but maybe in pinks with flowers instead of leaves and the scalloped frame from Frame in Frame 2 - a totally different look!

Tomorrow is release day and I have a few more Halloween and Thanksgiving themed products.  Be sure to check out the TE blog and the rest of the creative team members' blogs for more inspiration.


Freshly Made Sketches: Bloomin' Birthday

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

My mother-in-law's birthday is coming up and I saw a chance in this sketch to prepare ahead.  She loves flowers and I decided this sketch lent itself to four bright cheerful flowers!

FMS Bloomin Birthday

I didn't actually plan on vases or pots.  My plan was just a big bright stamped flower in each of the squares.  As I was paging through my floral stamps, I realized these tiny little images could fit into those small squares.  I started out planning to color them, but when I decided to do something more detailed in the background with that cutting plate, I kept the images a bit simpler with white embossing.  I'm not sure the sentiment is quite right for my mother-in-law but it does fit the card!

There are so many fabulous options with those four squares.  I thought about animals peeking out.  I thought about a little girl stamp I have in one of the bottom squares with a kite in one of the uppers.  I thought about four mini frames - all different!  It's fun to have a sketch with options - and it's going to be even more fun to see what you each do with it.