Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Fall Greetings

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Jen Mitchell and here’s what I did with it! 

 Fall Greetings

It's a beautiful cool day outside my window.  I think I might actually see fall colors on the big red maple and the aspen outside my windows. This is our third fall in this house.  The first fall was stunning - they are huge trees and turned brilliant fall colors.  The second fall had a hard freeze just at the wrong time so all the leaves turned brown before they turned fall colors. We did have a freeze already this year - we set all kinds of heat and cold and weather change records (a 70 degree drop) in early September - but I'm seeing some fall colors so fingers crossed.

All the stamps and dies on this card are from Honey Bee Stamps. I used the Fall stamp and die for the sentiment on this set.  This year's release included an Autumn stamp and die set.  I've ordered it, but it's not here yet, so I'm happy to have gotten the older "Fall" and it fits perfectly on this sketch.  The flowers are from their Fall Bouquets set.  You should check out the samples on this set. This stunning card on their blog is what sold me on it.  There's a big pumpkin and a mason jar die in which you can arrange entire bouquets and the samples are gorgeous.  (Just want you to see a true bouquet with this set since I just used a couple of the dies.)

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


Stamps: Honey Bee Stamps Fall

Dies: Honey Bee Stamps Fall Honey Cuts and Fall Bouquets Honey Cuts

Monday, September 28, 2020

Christmas Kickstart: White on White

 I'm within an hour of missing the challenge at Christmas Kickstart. I had intended to play since it was first posted - time got away from me!!  It's White on White. I read the post carefully and a hint of  silver or gold is acceptable.  With an hour to go, I had to rely entirely on a fabulous die and some sparkly paper!

Xmas Kickstart White on White

I'm not thrilled with my three little gold enamel dots.  I was trying to bring in the gold from the sentiment.  I like when people use a white pen on colored flowers to give it them little sunspot - and that's what I was trying to do.  Now that I see the photo - they kind of seem awkward.  Maybe three on each flower would have been better? Or maybe they should have gone between the flowers?  Too late - there is very strong adhesive beneath them!!

The paper is from Michaels.  They have glitter papers that I really like. They aren't chunky glitter; it's more of a sparkle.  This one even says it works in an ink-jet printer although I'm not sure I'd want to try it.

Thanks to Christmas Kickstart for the inspiration!

Stamps: Hello Bluebird Quiet Christmas (sentiment)
Dies: Paper Rose Poinsettia Border

Friday, September 25, 2020

Poppystamps: Whittle Notes

 I'm on the Poppystamps blog today with four "Whittle" 3x3 notes for our kids' lunchboxes or backpacks and one regular card for the older kids.  Full details are over there, but here's a peek.

9.25 PS Main

Sometimes with small dies, it can be hard to figure out how to fill a full-size card.  I like to group and layer the dies - my Poppystamps card from last week is an example - but another way is creating these smaller format cards.  I have two sons but my "kids" are 24 and 20 and are away at college so I don't have lunchboxes or backpacks to tuck notes into. My kids still need encouragement so I used the same idea of small square, but put it onto the front of a full-size card with a strip of patterned paper.

9.25 PS Fox

The Whittle Fox has to be my favorite Whittle just for the expression on his face - he goes perfectly with the sentiment.  This is exactly how my kids are feeling right now.  There's a lot of unexpected adulting - "how many people in this room - do we meet COVID restrictions" and "darn - I'm quarantined for two weeks - how do I keep up with classes" or "I'm president of a club that can't meet - how do I keep the club going".  I love sending them cards and they love whatever gift card I put inside!!

The monthly challenge at Poppystamps also happens to be Cards for Kids.  It's already the end of the month - there's only 3 days left for the challenge but check it out.  There are prizes!  (You do have to use at least one Poppystamps image or die.)

SUPPLY LIST - all Poppystamps unless noted
Whittle Sayings (the four little notecards)
Whittle Everyday (the adult stamps)

Whittle Birds
Whittle Wood Frames
Whittle Clouds
Whittle Mouse
Whittle Hearts
Whittle Squirrel
Whittle Oak Leaf
Whittle Deer
Whittle Trees
Whittle Sleepy Fox
Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Trimmings (these are thin rectangle frames with stitched accents - I trimmed a straight piece of it for the ground)

Memory Box Garden Folly 6x6 pad

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Hello Lovely Anniversary

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Jacquie and here’s what I did with it!

  FMS 9.23


I send one anniversary card each year and it's this weekend, so the theme of my card was a given.  The Hello Lovely flower image from Concord & 9th was just right for my sister-in-law. She's way into black and white so I loved the idea of not coloring the flowers and having them cross the stripe in the sketch which I turned into three colors to give it some extra pop.  

The stripes are not on top of the white background because that always causes problems with some of the stamped image not showing right at the drop-off between the stripes and the white.  So I took the time to cut the top white panel, the three stripes and the bottom. My stamp positioner was critical because I could line them up and use some temporary adhesive down the left side.  Plus it allowed me to stamp it a couple of times to get the vivid black. 

Thanks to Jacquie for the inspiration! I hope to see all of you playing along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches.


Stamps: Concord & 9th Hello Lovely

Dies: Poppystamps Simple Happy Anniversary (ret)

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Mango Melody, Flirty Flamingo, Granny Apple Green

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

CAS(E) this Sketch: Thankful

I love the current sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch. There's a big bouquet and the sketch has a transparent overlay so you can see all of the details.  I don't do a lot of big stamps but I have a set I've wanted to use with a big bouquet.  Then I flipped through my sentiment dies, saw two other dies I hadn't used it and went in an entirely different direction.  I always have to embrace inspiration when it hits because sometimes that mojo takes a long vacation!!   (Never fear - the big bouquet is on my FMS card for tomorrow!)

9.22 CtS

I think these two dies from Poppystamps and Memory Box are stunning.  The Poppystamps Gentle Leaf Collage is retired; however, my go-to for older dies (and brand new!) is starlitstudio and it is there as I type this. It's such a graceful set of leaves.  I first fell in love with it on this card. It's an entirely different look and it made me think it would be perfect for sympathy cards. 

The sentiment is from Memory Box and is part of the Jotted Script series of dies.  I love the bold look and have a number of them.

9.22 CtS Close

I added a little sparkle to the sentiment to make it pop.  And if can't see it well, the little brown pieces are brushed metallic so give it even more shine.

Thanks to CAS(E) this Sketch for the inspiration!


Dies: Poppystamps Gentle Leaf Collage, Memory Box Thankful Jotted Script

Other: Simon Says Stamp Autumn Leaves sequins, Tsukineko Sparkle Shimmer Stix

Monday, September 21, 2020

CAS Colours & Sketches: Give Thanks

I love the fall color palette CAS Colours & Sketches and they've included Mango Melody which might be at the very top of my favorite colors right now. Recently I did a card using Stampin' Up's Stitched Leaves and I mentioned that I love their versatility - that they also create stitched window openings. So I decided that's what I'd do with these colors!

CAS Colours_ Give Thanks

I'm not sure the branches were a great choice.  I like the idea of them and I needed to add some Cinnamon Cider, but I wanted to stick with Stampin' Up products and this is all I could find. I colored a few gems because as much as I love the colors of autumn, I also love the "sparkle" at the end of the day at the golden hour - or in the morning when there's a bit of frost.


All products by Stampin' Up

Stamps: Jar of Love (the branches), Arrange a Wreath (sentiment)

Dies: Everyday Jars Framelits (the branches), Stitched Leaves, Layering Squares

Paper: Plaid Tidings dsp, Cherry Cobbler and Mango Melody cardstock

Ink: Cinnamon Cider

Friday, September 18, 2020

Poppystamps: An Autumn Hello

 I am thrilled to announce that I am now part of the Poppystamps design team.  I definitely love dies and I love all of their products.  Here are other recent cards that I've made using Poppystamps' stamps and dies.

I posted a "hello" card on the Poppystamps blog today.  It is all about my favorite things - clean and fresh, little groupings of dies, and autumn colors.  Here it is, but check out all of the details on the blog.

An Autumn Hello with Poppystamps

I love all the detail on these dies.  I didn't do any coloring or highlighting and they still stand out.  I did add lots of dimension by not adhering the ends of the leaves and by using two different thicknesses of pop dots.

Poppystamps: Autumn Hello

I'm looking forward to many future posts using these fabulous dies!!


Dies: Poppystamps Brush Hello, Colwell Label Set, Orchard Leaves, Whittle Squirrel, Pile of Pumpkins

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: In Sympathy & Friendship

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Judy and here’s what I did with it!
FMS Sympathy


This card was not my original plan but I had an unexpected need for a sympathy card.  A friend's father-in-law passed and now there are so many complications.  Dealing with his death and an elderly mother and travelling the 700 miles there during this time of COVID with high-risk factors themselves - they need prayers for strength.  The sentiment is a very old sentiment from My Sentiments Exactly. It was just what I needed for my friends, plus the coordinating inside says "Our hearts, our prayers and our love are with you."  I wish I knew how to send it where they are right now - but I am sending prayers. 

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


Stamps: My Sentiments Exactly

Dies: Memory Box Jovial Wreath, Birch Press Genevieve Butterfly Layers A, B and C

Other: Studio Katia Magnolia Flowers, Stampin' Up Subtle Embossing Folder

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A Bright and Cheerful Birthday

 I have a friend's birthday coming up. This card needed to be particularly bright and cheerful.  I had this charming die in my stash for just such an occasion. 

Colorful Bday

I like this die, even more than I thought I would when it just popped into my shopping cart one day. It's so delicate and the details are very nice. It's from Paper Rose. It's an Australian company and the die is called "Native Birds" so I'm quite certain these aren't birds I'd see here in Colorado!  But it does make them fun with the bright rainbow of color behind them!


Stamps: My Favorite Things Bitty Birthday Wishes

Dies: Paper Rose Native Birds Border, Neat and Tangled Celebrate, The Greetery Sentiment Suite Basics

Ink: Distress Oxide Worn Lipstick, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, Cracked Pistachio

Monday, September 14, 2020

Color Hues: The First Challenge!

There's a new challenge out there. It's called Color Hues. The idea is they give colors and you can use any hues of those colors.  The design team is amazing - and it's going to be popular because the gallery has a huge response.  It's the last day of the first challenge and I had to play along (because someday I'll be reminiscing about being part of the first!)

Color Hues 1

I adore unique sentiments and fonts. The "happy birthday" is brand new from Taylored Expressions. I love the way the "happy" has a dimensional look.  It also stacks well simply by moving the paper 1" for each new "happy".  The birthday is from one of their Building Block sets that has a variety of add-on words and one giant die that cuts them all at once. 

This is a funny post.  I don't love yellow yet I went pretty much straight yellow for this challenge (vs. a golden yellow which I do like).  I've often wondered about people's preferences since I know other people who pick yellow as their favorite.  I also don't love purple, but while I had the new "happy" stamp out, I decided it would be fun for a workmate whose birthday is today and she does love purple.

Purple Happy

I had a busy day yesterday so I had to take these photos earlier than usual when the natural light was flat.  You have to look closely but there's confetti embossing sprinkling down under the banners.  Also that top banner isn't really black, it's eggplant!

Congrats to Color Hues on their first challenge - I'm looking forward to many more!



Stamps: Taylored Expressions On the Block - Happy, Building Blocks - Happy Additions, Fall Florals

Dies: Taylored Expressions Building Blocks and Fall Florals

Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Peapod and Pineapple

Ink: Taylored Expressions Peapod, Granny Apple Green, Pineapple, Lemon Meringue

Other: Pretty Pink Posh Buttercream Gems


Stamps: Taylored Expressions On the Block - Happy, Building Blocks - Happy Additions

Dies: Taylored Expressions Building Blocks, Skinny Mini Party Borders

Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Jelly Donut, Lavender Glaze, Eggplant

Ink: Taylored Expressions Jelly Donut, Lavender Glaze, Eggplant

Other: Taylored Expressions Sprinkles Embossing Folder, Simon Says Stamp Orchid sequins

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Inspired by...Sweet Sentiments

 I saw the challenge at Inspired By and knew it was meant to be.  I had spent quite a bit of time over the long weekend organizing my craft room.  Some of my stamp drawers were overflowing (surprised?!)  So I made a number of hard decisions regarding stamp sets that were going on a higher shelf. One of the sets out of my Stampin' Up drawer was an older set called Apple of My Eye.  I love the simple bold images so, although I knew I would never use it enough to keep it in the easy-to-get-to drawer, I also wanted to use it one more time.  And then what do I see? The perfect challenge!

Inspired by Tasty

I know the theme is "autumn" and there is no autumn in my card.  But I did get to play with yellow and black - and pears and apples - right from the graphic.  Wouldn't it be fun to have seasonal decor?  I used to do a lot of seasonal decorating - although not so far as my main wall art.  My boys just rolled their eyes so it started to seem like a lot of work (mostly to pack it all away after each holiday/season). Now I stick to the mantle, a few things on the built-ins in my living room, placemats and the garden flag out front (with a whole lot more for Christmas).

A Colorado fire update. If you read yesterday's post, you'll see that we got snow. (We broke 7+ weather records in the last few days - including heat, snow and a 70 degree temperature drop).  The snow definitely helped our firefighters because the fires slowed down for a few days and they were able to get ahead.  The most worrisome fire right now isn't out by a long shot. And the weather is going right back to the mid-80s by this coming weekend. It's above Fort Collins (where my son goes to Colorado State).  On Monday, he reported he could make footprints in the ash and pine needles raining from the sky. They say the fire would run out of fuel so Fort Collins isn't in danger; however, here is the lake on the outskirts of town at 1:30 in the afternoon on Monday.

I am in awe of the firefighters.  If this is what it is like miles away, can you even imagine being on the front line?  And this particular fire is described as extremely unpredictable and dangerous.   The firefighters had been using the Colorado State Mountain Campus and my family's beloved Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp to rest, shower and eat - supposedly to take a break.  But during their "breaks" they were cutting back trees and filling water bladders to try to save some of the historic buildings.  Over the weekend, this fire jumped the only road into those locations. I haven't heard differently so I presume the firefighters are all out but that leaves these locations surrounded and defenseless even after all of the firefighters' hard work.  It's obvious these firefighters are brave, but the emotional toll on them is unimaginable.  I'm thanking God for their strength and sending prayers for their well-being.


Stamps: Stampin' Up Apple of My Eye, Reverse Confetti Lovely Word Coordinates

Dies: Reverse Confetti Lovely Words

Ink: Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight, My Favorite Things Pineapple and Banana Split

Other: Pretty Pink Posh Marigold gems

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Blessed and Grateful

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Amy and here’s what I did with it!
FMS Blessed

I made this card on Saturday. It's September so I was feeling like making a fall card.  But here's the weather that was outside my window - so I went with a fall card but with some brighter colors because clearly summer hasn't quite let go!

However, I live in a wild and crazy state - because here's what this morning looks like!! It's the first snow in September in 20 years - and it's only September 9th!!  That's a 70 degree temperature difference from the weekend.

Regardless of the season - even when we experience all of them in one week - I adore leaf stamps and dies.  No matter how many I already have in my stash, I couldn't pass up these Stampin' Up leaves.  It truly is an ingenious set - you can stamp and cut, the stitched centers are optional so you can without or without - of course you could just cut out of cardstock and the best part is that the leaf die has an outer stitched edge so you can cut a window and fill the center. I've seen a number of cards with the stitched outer edge and the inside is filled with plaid paper! I love multi-purpose sets.  And don't get me started on that stitched border!

FMS Blessed Close

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


Stamps: Stampin' Up Love of Leaves, To a Wild Rose (the sentiment)

Dies: Stampin' Up Stitched Leaves dies (or as part of the Love of Leaves bundle), Tasteful Labels Dies

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Cinnamon Cider, Mango Melody

Ink: Stampin' Up Granny Apple Green, Crushed Curry and Mango Melody

Other: Stampin' Up 2020-2022 In Color Enamel Dots

Monday, September 7, 2020

Color Throwdown: Hello Wreath

 I love this delicate wreath from WPlus9.  Since I got it, I've collected a variety of flowers sequins to add dimension to it but I haven't done a thing with it all...until inspiration this week from the Color Throwdown.  I love the lush colors and it just so happens that some of my sequin flowers are purple!!

TCD Hello

The flower sequins have quite a bit of dimension.  They are lovely but I'm a bit worried about mailing it. It's destined for my mother-in-law so I think I'll tuck in a note telling her that if there are loose sequins in the envelope they are supposed to be on the wreath!!

TCD Hello Close

Thank you to the Color Throwdown for the inspiration!


Stamps: WPlus9 Welcome Wreath

Dies: Paper Smooches Bows (I don't have the dies for Welcome Wreath which include a bow)

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Old Olive, Misty Moonlight

Ink: Stampin' Up Old Olive, Misty Moonlight, Crumb Cake

Other: Stampin' Up Brick & Mortar Embossing Folder, Studio Katia Lavender Petals

Friday, September 4, 2020

Stampin' Up Wreath Builder Three Ways

I have a favorite out of every Stampin' Up catalog and this year it is definitely Arrange a Wreath Bundle, especially the Wreath Builder dies.  I've only posted one card with it so far (see it here) - it was summery with all of the new in-colors.  Now I've done a trio of Christmas cards using the same set, and the same layout but with entirely different looks.

 SU Wreath Trio

The truth behind this - when the new holiday catalog came out, I totally fell for the Love of Leaves bundle but I need leaves like I need a hole in the head.  The only way I could justify getting those leaves is if I didn't buy Christmas stamps (I play these games with myself but who am I kidding - I'm sure my demonstrator will order again for me!)  But it actually wasn't hard because I knew I had these fabulous wreath dies.  So instead of Christmas stamps or dies I added a variety of products to change up the look of the wreath. There's Champagne Foil and Blue Gems, Snowflakes, and Red Velvet paper along with the Plaid Tidings dsp. 

Here's the elegant card. I love the subtle shine of the Champagne Foil and it embosses beautifully.  I layered it with Balmy Blue to coordinate with the gems, then I added some older snowflake sequins.

SU Wreath1

Then the subtle card.  I had not envisioned those adhesive snowflakes being so small.  The dimensions are clearly stated, I just didn't pay attention. I couldn't make them work on the wreath; they just got lost. So I grouped the flowers and greenery in one spot to leave a lot of open space for the itty-bitty snowflakes. Also - it says they are Just Jade but I liked them better when I used the more subtle Mint Macaron.

SU Wreath3

Then there's traditional and this is my favorite. The Red Velvet on the poinsettias is amazingly rich. I wanted to hang the sign so I used the other bow die, snipped the die cut in half and turned it sideways. The label is a different die set - Stitched Labels - that's just a great all-purpose set.

SU Wreath2 (1)

I love this set - now I need to move back on the timeline and get some fall cards done with it!  And...I can even move into the holidays next year as it has hearts and Easter eggs!  

SUPPLY LISTS - all Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted


Stamps: Arrange a Wreath, Woodgrain Background

Dies: Wreath Builder die set

Paper: Champagne Foil, Balmy Blue

Ink: Balmy Blue, Versamark

Other: Falling Snow embossing folder, Frosted Sequins (older), Blue Adhesive-Backed Gems

Ink: Balmy Blue, Versamark


Stamps: Arrange a Wreath

Dies: Wreath Builder die set, Stitched Labels

Paper: Red Velvet, Plaid Tidings dsp, Crumb Cake, Shaded Spruce, Just Jude and Crushed Curry CS

Ink: Shaded Spruce

Other: Tasteful Textiles embossing folder, golden gems by Studio Katia (I don't have the gold ones from Stampin' Up yet)


Stamps: Arrange a Wreath

Dies: Wreath Builder die set

Paper: 2019-2021 In Color dsp (last years version), Purple Posy and Mint Macaron CS

Ink: Mint Macaron

Other: 2019-2021 In Color Faceted Dots, Adhesive-Backed Snowflakes

Thursday, September 3, 2020

CAS(E) this Sketch: Hello There

 I was intrigued by the current sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch not only by the trio of elements but also by the sentiment placed in the lower portion of the panel.  I paged through my stash for a "trio" but came up with two different die sets that I had not used and I love the way they work together!

CtS Bird

I waited forever for that bird die.  It came out before the pandemic and quarantine and then it was out-of-stock everywhere for a very long time. I'm glad I kept looking because he's very sweet. I didn't do a great job putting him together. You can see that the top layer is a bit off-kilter but I don't notice until the photograph.  On the other hand, I deliberately did the flower off-kilter.  The layers actually line up but I liked a hint of the darker along the edges.  

Thanks to CtS for the inspiration!


Stamps: WPlus9 Strictly Sentiments 2, Taylored Expressions Shiplap Background

Dies: WPlus9 Blue Bird and Spring Florals

Other: Studio Katia Bluebell Pearls

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: A Wonderful Day

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Narelle.  This is the first sketch from Freshly Made Sketches in September - September being my definition of autumn. I understand the official start of fall is in about three weeks but I grew up in a town with a tourist-based summer economy and when September arrived, the tourists stopped coming and it was fall!!  Plus I'm feeling fall because after record-breaking heat this summer, this past weekend was cooler and a bit rainy. I went to bed Saturday evening with windows open and the attic fan on.  Imagine my surprise when we woke up to 42 degrees outside.  I didn't go full-on autumn with colorful leaves on my card - but it definitely is a fall color scheme.

FMS Wonderful Day

I blame my teammate Linda Callahan for the sentiment on this card.  When I saw it on her card, I purchased it immediately!!  Actually I thank her because it's a very unique look.  Plus The Ton has sets like this for birthdays, thank yous and Christmas.  I got the general one, but now that I have worked with it and see it on my own card - I'm going back for more!!

FMS Wonderful Day CLOSE

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


Stamps: The Ton Easy Expressions

Dies: Concord & 9th Floral & Flutter, The Ton Easy Expressions

Paper: Honey Bee Stamps Harvest Festival, Taylored Expressions Sweet Potato Pie cardstock

Ink: Taylored Expressions Sweet Potato Pie