Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Freshly Made Sketches: Bees

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

Just last week, I took advantage of a Christmas in July sale at Honey Bee Stamps.  I definitely added to my Christmas stash but somehow these bees and great sayings just jumped into my cart.

FMS Bee Strong

It was actually that one little bee flying straight out of the card that sold me.  It's definitely fun to have a variety of cute bees (there are 7 different bees in the set) but that one little guy made me smile!  The sentiment set is very versatile - dozens and dozens of sentiments - it is amazing how many sentiments work with "bee"!  FYI - there are dies that say "bee" too in a couple of different fonts and including backers but I used just the stamps to layer them up.

I look forward to seeing what everybody comes up with for this sketch!

Sentiment: Honey Bee Stamps Bee-you-tiful Sentiments
Dies: Honey Bees Paper Piecing Honey Cuts, Simon Says Stamp Small Hexagon Cluster, Lil' Inker Designs Stitched Mats: Squares
Cardstock: My Favorite Things Pineapple
Ink: My Favorite Things Pineapple

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Freshly Made Sketches: Celebrate

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

My favorite stamp set out of the new catalog is To a Wild Rose.  I fell in love when I saw it - and have been surprised that it hasn't been given more love out there. When a new catalog comes out, it's fairly clear what the favorites are because you seem them all over blogs, etc. - not so much on the rose. Maybe I just don't follow the people who are using it - but I follow a lot of people!  I LOVE the texture from the layering.

FMS: Celebrate

On my favorites list, this stamp set is followed closely by a die set that I guarantee is going to come out over and over - Stitched Labels.  I didn't get the stamp set, just the dies, and they are fabulous.  On this card I used the background die to give a hint of pattern. I cut it twice; it overlaps under the flower but that part is hidden.

FMS: Celebrate

I needed to find a tiny sentiment and I found one that fit in an old hostess set.  This card is being used this very day for someone at work who is an avid gardener.  I think it's just right.

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

Stamps: Stampin' Up To a Wild Rose, Good Greetings (an older hostess set)
Dies: Stampin' Up Stitched Labels, Wild Rose
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Grapefruit Grove, Granny Apple Green, Lemon-Lime Twist
Ink: Stampin' Up Grapefruit Grove, Petal Pink
Other: Stampin' Up Iridescent Sequin Assortment

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Taylored Expressions: A Birthday Bear

It's my husband's birthday this weekend.  He is by far the hardest person I have to make cards for.  There can't be a hint of bling or pattern or bright colors.  I'm even a bit worried about the splatter on this card - but here's what I came up with.

Taylored Expressions

The bear comes from a Taylored Expressions die set that was released for the holidays but is absolutely perfect for a big brown bear.  I used my amazing Taylored Expressions Blender Brushes and a bit of post-it tape to mask a line to brush on the ground, then moved it to brush on the sky. There are so many wonderful techniques for these brushes - but I adore them most when I need to create a hint of sky!!  I gave the bear a few trees and a few splatters - and it's just right.

Taylored Expressions

We live in a southeast suburb of Denver, Colorado, which if you didn't know - isn't in the mountains.  It's pretty darn flat where I am - but I do have a fabulous view of the mountains.  I also have wildlife that wanders down.  We moved about a year ago and this happened about a month after we moved - not our yard, but just a few blocks away! Thus the reason that the bear is perfect on my husband's card - or maybe it's because he can be a big grumpy bear!!!

The new???


Monday, July 22, 2019

The Male Room: Christmas in July

I seem to have to make a lot of masculine Christmas cards, so I definitely did the current challenge at The Male Room: Christmas in July.

My youngest son is heading off to college in a month.  We've been teasing him about the climate at his chosen college.  We've lived outside of Denver, Colorado his entire life.  It may surprise you but the average daytime winter temperature is 50°F.  And that's misleading because when you live a mile high, the sun is intense - and the sun shines over 300 days a year.  50°F does not even require a coat when the sun is shining.  Snow storms happen but melt within a day or two.  He's moving to Rock Island, Illinois.  The average day time temperature in the winter is in the 30s and nighttime is in the teens.  There's less intense sun - and there's humidity to really make the cold biting.  The snow sticks around all winter.

He doesn't understand. He thinks he'll be wearing shorts and tennis shoes all year like he does here.  We've told him repeatedly that he doesn't know cold (in our best sarcastic voice).  I guess he'll be miserable but maybe he'll finally allow us to get him the right gear when he's back over Christmas.

So...this is the Christmas card that I'll be sending him in December while he's still at school...

TE The Male Room

I think he'll understand what cold is by December!  And he might even be wearing that expression!!

TE The Male Room flat

One of the things that I love most about cardmaking is being able to personalize cards.  His scarf and hat includes the light blue to coordinate with the background, but the dark blue and gold are his school colors!!

Thanks to The Male Room for inspiring me to sit down and get this card made for him.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Freshly Made Sketches: You're On My Mind

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

I had something entirely different in mind when I came up with this sketch, but when I sat down to make this card, I had a different need.  A friend, who is now far away so I can't show up at her door with a coffee and a hug, is struggling and she's on my mind.

FMS 397

This card went through some evolutions.  My original plan was to use a big leaf for the side panels, but when I decided to use these very detailed butterflies, my clean-and-simple brain needed to have something subtle behind them. I tried a number of options, but I ended up simply embossing some little flowers and leaves - problem solved!

FMS 397 Flat

As is usual with me, I struggled more with the sentiment than anything else.  Too small, too big, underneath, to the side - and most importantly the meaning.  I ended up paging through my stash of Verve stamps which will never EVER leave my stash because there is always something just right in there.  (Sadly, they have closed their shop.)  The sentiment I picked is simple - but I think it's just the right size, style and meaning.

It looks like not only did I use a stamp that's unavailable, but the butterflies might be too.  Cheery Lynn appears to have become Maker's Movement - but I don't see these butterflies.  (I can find the Cheery Lynn brand on some websites like Frantic Stamper but not these exact dies.  Note that they are the MINI set so there are some on Frantic Stamper of a bigger size.)

I hope to see you playing along this week.  It's always exciting to see the incredible variety of cards that come out of a single sketch!!

Stamps: Verve With Love, Taylored Expressions Notable Blooms Background
Dies: Cheery Lynn MINI Exotic and Angel Wings
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Candy Corn, Pineapple, Confetti Cake
Ink: Stampin Up Smoky Slate, Versamark
Other: Wow Bright White Embossing Powder

Friday, July 12, 2019

FMS and AAA: Peace, Love and Joy

A couple of days ago there was a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches and I mentioned that I really struggled with the card that I posted.  During the struggle, I took a break from that card and spent some relaxing time looking at blogs and saw the challenge at AAA Cards - Maxi White Space with optional Christmas in July.  I knew I could use the FMS sketch with a Christmas scene!! Thank goodness for challenges to get the mojo going!!  So here's a second card for Freshly Made Sketches which came together due to AAA Cards.

FMS and AAA Xmas in July

I am definitely pushing the bounds for the AAA challenge.  The true meaning of "white space" is actually "empty space".  I definitely love clean cards with empty space, but this particular card is not "empty" even though it's "white. They were still the challenge that got my mojo going so definitely want to give them a shout-out!

Stamps: Reverse Confetti Winter Words
Dies: Reverse Confetti Winter Words Coordinates, Avery Elle Falling Snow, My Favorite Things Tree Lines
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Sprinkles
Ink: Taylored Expressions Poppy Seed
Embellishments: Pretty Pink Posh Sea Glass Gems

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Freshly Made Sketches: Thinking of You

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

I am still struggling with a total lack of mojo.  It's been a month that crafting has seemed like a chore.  Ugh.  Today was no exception.  I knew exactly what I was doing with this sketch and I confidently pulled out a stencil and my stash of Distress Oxides.  I also knew I needed a Thinking of You card for a friend so that narrowed down the sentiment.  How hard could it be?  Two full hours later - I managed to put together a color combo that I liked, brush on four stripes and stamp a sentiment without leaving fingerprints.  We won't talk about all of the false starts during that process!  This should have been a 10-minute card!!

FMS 396

The final struggle was finding purple cardstock for the strip.  I'm very matchy-matchy.  How is that I have complete sets of cardstock from five companies and there wasn't a single one in the same purple-tone as the Shaded Lilac Distress Oxide ink? This one at least coordinates but I really wanted something a bit softer.

OK, I'm done complaining.  The reality is that I've been passionate about this hobby for 15+ years.  A little lack of mojo here and there is to be expected.  Luckily there are fabulous stamps and beautiful inks and wonderful die cuts and other tools - so even when the process isn't feeling quite right for me, I can get something together.

I hope to see you playing along - and I hope you thoroughly enjoy the process of creating your card!!

Stamps: Pinkfresh Studios Scripted Bold Sentiments 1, Simon Says Stamp Tiny Words Faith
Ink: Distress Oxides in Old Paper, Bundled Sage and Shaded Lilac
Stencil: Altenew Watercolor Stripes

Monday, July 8, 2019

Taylored Expressions: Bright Blended Balloons

Taylored Expressions' wildly popular Blender Brushes and Storage Caddy (currently sold out, but sign up here to be notified when they are back in stock) are fabulous for creating beautiful blended backgrounds, but I like them equally well for brushing onto die cuts to add dimension!

Taylored Expressions

Brushing from off the edge onto the die cut automatically makes the edges darker.  Then I focused a little more ink on the lower left on each balloon.  It's subtle but so easy to add a little extra to a card and absolutely perfect for balloons that are naturally lighter in the middle where they expand.

Taylored Expressions

I made this card for a guy in my office.  I was amused with myself while creating it as to what inspires me.  I don't know him very well - but I do know his regular attire includes polo shirts in rich colors.  In fact, I teased him recently when he had a black shirt on - but it turned out he was going to a funeral - oops.  He has one polo that is exactly this Plum Punch color.  Inspiration is everywhere!!


Friday, July 5, 2019

Taylored Expressions: Ink Blending Ideas

With the amazing new product from Taylored Expressions - the Blender Brushes and their Storage Caddy (the brushes are waitlisted here due to the overwhelming responses) - it seemed like the perfect time to share a variety of ink blends!

I used a variety of inks and the Double Diamond Stencil and created a variety of seasonal color combinations.

Taylored Expressions Ink Blends

I couldn't let a good blended background go to waste - so here are the cards that I created, along with more detail on the inks.

KIM Blended Bloomers Close

These spring-themed colors just called out for a grouping of flowers and greenery.  Then when I had that all together, it seemed like exactly the right mood for a get well card.

Taylored Expressions Blended Bloomers

Then I moved on to summer. What says "summer" better than watermelon colors!

Taylored Expressions Blended Watermelon

I splattered on some black for the watermelon seeds.  I adore that sentiment and that little die-cut.  

Taylored Expressions Blended Watermelon

To be perfectly honest, I didn't start out with the idea of seasonal.  I started with the first blend as soft and feminine and this next blend as masculine.  But as soon as I was done with this blend, it said "winter".

Taylored Expressions Blended Joy

 To mirror the look of the stencil, I used simple triangles for the trees to create this simple, graphic card.

Taylored Expressions Blended Joy

These were fun!!  I really don't do it enough.  I tend toward clean and simple card, but if you look at these, they are very simple - and really quite clean even with the interest of colors fading into each other.  And they are so easy with a great tool for blending it all together!


Sending Get Well Wishes

One in a Melon

Winter Joy

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Freshly Made Sketches: Exhale Worry

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

I seem to have purchased quite a number of wreaths lately.  All seasons.  Die cut. Stamped.  So there was absolutely no doubt as to how I was going to use this sketch!!

FMS 395

This is a series of dies by Pink & Main.  The wreath itself is the Wreath Base die and then there are seasonal sets on top.  I've used it before with the Fall Wreath Decor dies - Thanksgiving here and Halloween here.  I was shocked to see that I hadn't used the Winter Wreath Decor dies - I'll have to remedy that soon.  This card uses the Spring Wreath Decor dies. I used flowers and leaves but made it summery with the bright colors.  The Spring set also has a bunny and an umbrella.  The Summer set just came out.

FMS 395 up

I adore the sentiment.  It's from the Exhale Worry set from Picket Fence that includes five unique and amazing sentiments with the same theme.

Last week, I commented that I wanted to get back to keep-it-simple mode with my cards.  I'm not sure how to rate today's card.  It was actually very simple, but talk about time-consuming especially adding centers to all of those flowers.  I wish I were better at using Nuvo Drops because those would have been perfect flowers centers and would have saved a lot of time!

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

Stamps: Picket Fence Studios Exhale Worry
Dies: Pink & Main Wreath Base, Spring Wreath Decor dies, MFT Fishtail, Lil' Inker Designs Stitched Mats Squares
Cardstock: A large variety from many different companies!!!