Sunday, September 30, 2018

CTD & CtS: Fluttering Friends

Two challenges came up this week that worked just perfectly for a new addition to my stash!  It's a fun set of dragonflies from My Favorite Things.  I fell in love with it based on some of the wonderful designs from the design team - in particular those that kept some of the images uncolored so I used the same concept.  (Clearly, there isn't much original in this card as I used colors, sketch and concept from others!!!)

CTD and CtS Fluttering

Thanks to both Color Throwdown and to CAS(E) this Sketch for the inspiration!

Here's a close-up of the dragonflies.  My main picture doesn't show the sparkle from my Wink of Stella pen (although you might have to click on this one to make it bigger to be able to see it.)

CTD and CtS Fluttering CLOSE

I love how it came together with just one dragonfly colored, but I am not burying this set in my stamp drawers until I've done something bright and cheerful with it!  Those dragonflies are really cute!

Stamps: My Favorite Things (MFT) Fluttering Friends
Dies: MFT Fluttering Friends dies, Fishtail dies
Ink: MFT Grout Gray, Cement Gray
Other: Wink of Stella Clear, Pretty Pink Posh Peacock Feathers and Peridot Mist sequins

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Thankful for You

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

I am so ready for fall.  I truly hate being hot so summer is by far my least favorite season.  Fall weather has taken its time getting here this year with multiple days recently of record-breaking heat.  Ugh.  Finally it started cooling down in the evenings - then yesterday it's suddenly fall weather.  I made this card in celebration.  (Although ask me again in a few weeks when the huge trees in my yard start dropping their leaves.  I recently moved off 5 acres with just a few trees and enough wind that the leaves all blew away!!  I haven't raked in decades.)

FMS Thankful 

I created my little scene on a basically square piece of paper then trimmed it into thirds.  I played around with a strip of patterned paper across the back, but I was already feeling queasy with four patterns on one card.  I know they are just itty bitty trees but I often don't even use a single pattern on a card, let along four!!  So I scrounged my stash and found four stitching dies that I hadn't cut apart yet so seemed like a fabulous border.

I hope to see you playing along with our sketch this week!  I love browsing the gallery!

Stamps: Lil' Inker Designs Reap a Harvest (the sentiment)
Dies: Lawn Fawn Stitched Borders, Taylored Expressions Build a Scene Trees, Rolling Hills and Double-Ended Flat Stacklets
Paper: Scraps of fall colored patterns

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Inspired by Fall Foliage: Celebrate

I just recently purchased a couple of the Concord & 9th Turnabout sets.  I hadn't sat down and figured out how to use them, but when I saw the challenge at Inspired by... I knew it was time to try the wreath.

Inspired by Celebrate

I am IN LOVE with the Turnabouts.  They are amazingly easy to use and create that riot of color.   (I have the snowflakes too and clearly am going to have to bring the others into my stash.  They are so fun and give results that might make people think you slaved over their card!)

Here's my inspiration:

I didn't get a good shot of my card.  I moved early in the summer and my new craft area has wonderful natural light for photos.  Or should I say "had" wonderful natural light.  The days are shorter now plus I work days so I'm going to have to deal with the lack of natural light (or plan my crafting life so all cards are ready to photo on the weekends and fingers-crossed that the weather's good!)  Here's a close-up that's a bit better and shows the sparkle on the sentiment.  (The gray in the image was supposed to be the same gray as the sentiment, but I didn't wipe the stamp well enough so it picked up some of the other colors - lesson learned.)

Inspired by Celebrate Flat

This was put together for a friend whose birthday is in a couple of weeks.  I shouldn't post it yet, but I really wanted to be part of the Inspired by... challenge since they were entirely responsible for me trying out these stamps!!  

Stamps: Concord & 9th Wreath Turnabout
Dies: Concord & 9th All About You dies
Patterned Paper: Sunny Studio Gingham Jewel Tones

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Butterfly Thoughts

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

When I did this sketch, I had envisioned a big beautiful water-colored flower.  Clearly I didn't go in that direction!!

FMS Butterfly Thoughts

This is what I love about sketch challenges.  I virtually guarantee that a someone playing along or a design team member will do my big water-colored flower.  Someone else will do a Christmas tree.  Someone will do a big sentiment.  We are all constrained to a layout, but from there our creativity takes flight!

I love this die - it's a full-size cutting plate but I just trimmed part of it.  It gives lots of interest and dimension yet can still remain so clean and fresh.  There are matching butterflies so you could always top them with die-cut butterflies in a riot of colors.  (Did you know a group of butterflies is called a "kaleidoscope" - isn't that wonderful?!)

FMS Butterfly Thoughts Flat

I hope to see you playing along!


Thursday, September 13, 2018

AAA Cards: Big Purple Balloon

I've had a workmate's birthday on my calendar, but had not realized that she was leaving on vacation before her birthday.  It's a fairly small office so I knew that she knew that I always made cards -  and I couldn't just miss her birthday.  AAA Cards Challenge to the rescue!!

I had seen their sketch and instantly envisioned a big beautiful balloon.  My friend at work is totally into purple.  So clearly a big purple sparkly balloon was just the ticket!!

AAA Purple Balloon

It's simple - or as simple as a shaker can be.  Although having said that - I love doing flat shakers like this where the entire top panel is lifted.  I still tape around the inside of the balloon to hold the sequins in - but it doesn't have to be small and precise like if I were just lifting the balloon frame.  

I found a couple of different purple sequins in my stash then added some silver stars.  I wanted interest in the shaker so embossed the background with a confetti folder.

AAA Purple Balloon flat

Here's the sketch that helped me through my panic.

Stamps: Papertrey Ink Sketched Shapes (the sentiment)
Dies: Impress Balloon die, Taylored Expressions Balloon Strings
Embossing Folder: Taylored Expression Confetti
Sequins: Simon Says Stamp Orchid, Cartwright (the dark purple - I didn't write down any other details), Pretty Pink Posh Silver Stars

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Floral Wishes

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

I had lots of ideas for this sketch.  First I thought birthday candles - but I didn't have any stamps or dies that easily made three sizes - so wouldn't have been true to the sketch.  Then I thought I'd cut little windows and have flowers peeking out but I would have had to be the master of creative die-cutting to get it to work - so it would have been more difficult than I wanted it to be.  So what do I do?  I totally stray from the sketch - not true to it at all.  And I cut an intricate die cut, did some blended distress oxide and glued down an intricate sentiment - way too difficult!!  Go figure!!

FMS Floral Wishes

I know I strayed a little too far from the sketch when I feel compelled to explain what I did.  The sketch has a vaguely triangular look in those three strips so when I saw this corner flower die in my stash, I thought it could be that triangle.  Then I gave a nod to the trio of strips by sponging three different strips of color.  Can you see it now??  (I'm not even sure I can see it, but I definitely wouldn't have created this card without the inspiration of the sketch!)

I definitely had a friend in mind as I was making this card - and it's in the mail now.  So fingers crossed she's behind on reading blogs!!

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

Stamps: Clearly Besotted Happy Birthday ("wishes"0
Dies: Memory Box Wildflower Corner, Birthday Jotted Script
Ink: Distress Oxides in Ripe Persimmon, Old Paper, Seedless Preserves
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Plum Punch, Stampin' Up River Rock (perfect with Old Paper!0
Embellishments: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Jewels

Friday, September 7, 2018

Taylored Expressions 10th Birthday: Cupcake!!

It's the final day of our mini release and mega party!  I hope you've joined in the fun with our new products, the party favors and the big reunion!  All the products you've seen this week are already available!!  Check out all the inspiration at the Taylored Expressions blog then shop the new products here.

 The Iconic Wishes line of stamps already includes a variety of holidays and themes.  They are an image with the words as part of the image.  For the big birthday party, Taylored Expressions is bringing back Iconic Wishes - Birthday!!  Isn't this a fabulous cupcake?!

Taylored Expressions Iconic Wishes - Birthday

You can also just see a glimpse of the other new product on this card - the Sweet Sprinkle background.  It's a full size background of confetti!!  I inked up just a portion of it in a rainbow of colors and used it for interest behind my sentiment.  (FYI - it's easy to ink up a variety of colors with the mini ink pads.)

Taylored Expressions Iconic Wishes - Birthday

To complete the celebratory look, I added a bit of gold using Gold Fine Detail Embossing powder on the sentiment and a trio of golden sequins.

I love products like this cupcake - it makes it so easy to create a fun card because all of the detail is right in the stamp!  Here's what I used on this card.  Be sure to check out the TE blog for even more inspiration.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Taylored Expressions 10th Birthday: Yippee!!

We've been having a big celebration of Taylored Expressions' 10th birthday!!  Prizes and party favors and reunions...and a mini release of birthday products!  I want to show you another new product today - then be sure to pop over to the Taylored Expressions blog for more inspiration and then to the Taylored Expressions store to shop and get some party favors!!  All the new products are already available!!  Check them out here!

Taylored Expressions does cute little critters so very well and Yippee Critters Stamp & Die Combo is no exception.

Taylored Expressions Yippee Critters

I created a happy little scene for my kitty using a variety of previously released products.  First I swooshed on a background using very watered down Cookie Monster Liquid Watercolors.  I started at the bottom of my scene so the color got lighter as I moved upward.  Then I die-cut the ground, added a fence and a little butterfly which are all from Build a Scene - Calendar and Build a Scene Calendar 2. (BTW - these die sets have "calendar" in their names but they are useful for so many other things, particularly little scenes like these.)

Taylored Expressions Yippee Critters

Yippee Critters comes with stamped balloon strings so I embossed one in white and then added a balloon from Little Bits - Balloons.  The sentiment is also from Yippee Critters.

Remember - the entire mini release is available now and there are party favors!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A Big Reunion for Taylored Expressions 10th Birthday!

It's such an exciting day!  It's a reunion!!  There are over 40 designers that have come together for the big 10th birthday celebration for Taylored Expressions.  Don't miss anybody - there's a complete list on the Taylored Expressions blog.

I created this card using the new Celebrate Script die, the Celebrate Script Backer - Mixed Media die and the Big Bold Balloons Stencil.

Taylored Expressions Celebrate Script and Balloon Stencil

For the balloons, I used my Clarity Stencil brushes and deliberately kept the stencil loose on the paper so that some of the bristles added color under the stencil giving it a soft look (check the left edges of the balloons).  

I also did a slightly different layout of the balloons and used blue instead of pink.

Taylored Expressions Celebrate Script and Balloon Stencil

I used basic craft fun foam to add the dimension - which I could easily do because the Celebrate Script Backer is a Mixed Media die so it easily cuts through thick foam!!  On the pink card, I cut a piece of foam slightly smaller than the card front then used the backer die to cut a recessed area from the foam.  The second card came about because I had that foam backer piece and decided to do a card with a raised celebrate!

Taylored Expressions Celebrate Script and Balloon Stencil

I have Taylored Expressions products dating way back in my stash.  I stamp all my stamps into binders sorted by occasion or holiday.  I've been stamping well over 10 years and Taylored Expressions stamps start very early in these binders. I know I don't have the very first sets - check out the very first release post here on the Taylored Expressions blog - but I have to have sets soon after that.

I was thrilled to be a guest designer for Taylored Expressions in November of 2014. (This set of cards still rate at the top of my favorite cards ever.) Then I was honored to become part of the creative team in January of 2015.  I'm passionate about their products - I couldn't have been with them this long unless each and every product thrilled me!  They have cute; they have Christian; they have elegant and they have snarky - anything I could want.  Their products work with any style.  They have since added cardstock and matching ink and even liquid watercolors.  They have paper and sequins and embossing folders and stencils.

I am also proud that I work for a company that shares joy...

At the heart of Taylored Expressions is a mission to share joy through the gift of handmade cards. As part of their 10th birthday TE is continuing that mission with the launch of a special Share Joy campaign focused on providing birthday cards to those in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities across the U.S. To make as deep an impact as possible TE is inviting card makers everywhere to join the campaign. Will you join us? Find out how to participate by viewing their Share Joy page.

I was having so much fun stenciling balloons that I added a balloon inside the card (this is for the pink card) and then used a beautiful sentiment from the new The Inside Scoop - Birthday.

Taylored Expressions The Inside Scoop - Birthday

All new products were released last night during the big kick-off party and are available here. Hope you have fun hopping and shopping!!!


Freshly Made Sketches: Dandelion Wishes

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

I have had the Stampin' Up set Dandelion Wishes in my stash since the catalog came out and, sadly, it's never quite made it to a card.  I love the airiness of these images - they are wonderfully soft and gentle.  So I stamped and embossed it on the new Balmy Blue, added some very light sponging in white to soften it even more, splattered on some white and black acrylic paint and added a few sparkles.

FMS Dandelion

I go back and forth on whether I should have added the hint of stripes.  I do like the card better with them than without.  Before I added them, the black banner was just too heavy so I felt I needed some splashes of black to balance it.  I think it works for that - but I feel the straight stripes might be too rigid for the image.  And yes...I overthink everything!! 

I like this image with the blowing seeds (although now that I live in a house with a lawn vs. the wide open prairie, I'm sure I'll come to resent them!)  There's another stamp in the set that is a trio of dandelions - it's a lovely, graceful image.  Then there are three sentiments in a gorgeous mix of fonts - they were just too big to use on this layout.  Clearly this set needs to hang out on the corner of my desk, begging to be used before it goes to hide in my stash!

I hope to see you playing along this week!


Stamps: Stampin' Up Dandelion Wishes, And Many More (sentiment)
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Balmy Blue
Embellishments: Stampin' Up Glitter & Clear Epoxy Shapes

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Mini Release - Mega Party! Celebrating 10 Years of TE!

It is a huge week for Taylored Expressions - 10 years!!  We are celebrating 10 years of fabulous products, inspiration and sharing joy!   So we are having a week-long birthday party with lots of new products and guess what?   All the new products are already available for purchase here!!

What's a party without balloons?  And to make it extra special - what about shaker balloons with a new shaker filling?

Taylored Expressions Celebrate Big

The balloons are from Celebrate Big.  Besides the two you see, there's a third balloon that says "wish big".  The frame is the Celebrate Big Balloon Shaker.  I filled it with the new Hello Sunshine Shaker Filling which includes the same colors as last month's new Hello Sunshine Paper Pack so I added a fun strip of that down the side!  Of course, we have to have a string so I used the Balloons Strings die.

Taylored Expressions Celebrate Big

There's very little more celebratory than big balloons plus check out the sparkle in that filling!

Here's the supply list for this card but keep reading for some Party Favors and another card with new products!


No party would be complete without party favors - check these out!!

We also have an addition to the Caps Lock line - we now have Caps Lock - Happy!  And there are two stamp sets to go with it.  I've used Caps Lock Companion - Happy Occasions which includes birthday, new home, retirement and more.  There's also Caps Lock Companion - Happy Holidays which includes Halloween, New Year, 4th of July, Easter and more.  You can use these sets year-round!

It's a birthday party - so I used birthday.

Taylored Expressions Caps Lock-Happy

I stamped a strip of "birthdays" making sure they extended slightly above and below the size of the "happy" die.  Then I cut out "happy".  The Caps Lock series are easy to work with because they don't have individual letters - it's one big word - so you don't have to worry about lining them up and spacing them evenly!

Taylored Expressions Caps Lock - Happy

I then sponged each letter using a lighter color at the top and darker at the bottom.  I cut "happy" twice more out of plain cardstock and layered them up for some dimension, then adhered them back into the spaces.

Also new this release is The Inside Scoop - Birthday and The Inside Scoop - Belated Birthday.  I always need sentiments for the inside.  (I can try my hardest and my handwriting still isn't legible - I have to stamp the insides!)  I fell in love with this sentiment from Belated Birthday.

Taylored Expression The Inside Scoop - Belated Birthday

I wanted to mirror the outside of the card - so I stamped everything above the "me", then I stamped everything below making the space between them big enough for my letters from Mini Caps Alpha & #s dies. (The actual stamp has "me" there, I just used it differently).  I cut and sponged those letters to mirror the front and then added the dot-dot-dot with enamel shapes. 

Hopefully I'm not late for a birthday - I'm fairly obsessive about my calendar and planner!  But as cute as this, I may just have to do it on purpose!!  (Tomorrow's card has an inside using the regular birthday sentiment set - so be sure to check back!)