Thursday, October 29, 2020

Tic Tac Toe Challenge: Thankful

 I am honored to be a guest designer this week at the Tic Tac Toe Challenge!!  I was even more thrilled when I got the board and saw that it was a board full of autumn!  I used the right vertical column (Fall Colors, Thankful Sentiment, and Free).

Thankful Leaves

I've always loved the little stitched heart in this woodgrain die but I always seem to cover it up.  (Sadly, this company is gone.)  I made a conscious effort this time to have the leaves swirl around the heart - see it right below the orange leaf.

Thankful Leaves

I picked a layered leaf die so I could use a variety of fall colors with the two tones. I left the edges of the top layer unadhered for a dimensional look.  I like sparkle and I like white on my fall cards.  Fall is my favorite seasons - the beautiful colors just glow and almost seem to sparkle when the sun comes through them.  I also like the frost that adds to that sparkle.  So this card represents everything I love about fall!

Tic Tac Toe is a fun challenge.  It gives us inspiration, but it's open enough for us to be creative or go in a direction for cards that we need to be making.  I still need Thanksgiving cards so I wanted to start with either the "Thanksgiving" square or the "Thankful Sentiment" square - but I can see multiple directions that do not need to be fall or Thanksgiving!

Thank you to the entire group for letting me be a guest this week!


Dies: Concord & 9th Leafy Layers die, Simon Says Stamp Thankful 1, L'il Inkers Cover Up Die Stitched Woodgrain

Paper: Concord & 9th Neutrals Foil Paper Pack, Stampin' Up Mango Melody, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, Terracotta Tile, Cajun Craze and Crumb Cake

Other: Studio Katia Pearls - Gold Foil and Arctic Breeze

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Just a Note

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

I struggled with this challenge and I don't know why.  I got my mind set around a particular direction (snowdrifts and snowmen) and I tried and tried but it just was never right.  I do most of my crafting on the weekend but by Monday morning with a week of work looming in front of me, I had nothing for FMS. That's how long I struggled. Then I saw the sentiment in my not-yet-used stash - it's by The Stamp Market - as I explored what I had from them, the die popped out as a fun way to fill a corner (although it's actually a cover die).  I found paper with lots of colors in a more muted, autumn tone - and it all came together in no time!  I need to listen to that little crafting voice more often - the voice that says "this isn't right" or "go for it"!

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


Stamps: The Stamp Market

Dies: The Stamp Market Ready to Bloom Card Cover

Paper: Honey Bee stamps Harvest Festival, Stampin' Up Shaded Spruce and Just Jade, My Favorite Things Pineapple

Ink: Stampin' Up Just Jade

Other: Pretty Pink Posh Marigold Gems

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Season's Greeting with Holiday Borders

 Two days ago I posted a Christmas sweater card using the Holiday Borders from The Ton.  It was a regular sized card, but these borders fit slimlines so I couldn't put them away until I'd given it a try.

Slimline Holiday Borders

I am sure it's a terrible thing to say but I am not a huge of classic Christmas colors - red, green and white.  I find it kind of "cold" . A little kraft does help but it's still not my go-to Christmas combo. However, it is traditional so I always try a few cards.  And I do think it works with these borders. 

I discovered The Ton due to their sentiments.  With this Modern Christmas Greetings set, I love the way the sentiments are designed to layer on top of each other.  I also love their Easy Expressions set - I used one of the sets here.  I guess I'm a bit odd - I don't love red and green for Christmas, and I find sentiments the most exciting type of stamps or dies!!

I've only used a couple of the borders on this card.  They have amazing detail!

Slimline Holiday Border close

Another sad note, the charming town of Grand Lake CO evacuated urgently last night - as in a knock on the door, pile in the car and go.  It's a different fire than the big one I've been talking about with the most recent updates here. My family and I spent a lovely weekend here just a few months ago. 

The winds are a huge problem.  This is wind and smoke.

And if you ever doubt the dedication of the firefighters, look at the conditions they are in.  Thank God for these heroes - they are in my prayers at all times.

BTW - personally my home is not in any danger. We sit about 30 miles from the mountains and the fire would have to rip through Denver and the suburbs.  But I love my mountains.  I have relaxed in the mountain air and played in our mountains in all seasons for decades.  Here's my view.  That big "cloud" on the horizon is smoke. Today it was blowing away from us.


Stamps: The Ton Modern Christmas Greetings

Dies: The Ton Holiday Borders

Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Real Red, Shaded Spruce

Ink: Stampin' Up Real Red, Shaded Spruce

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Merry Merry Christmas

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches and I got to create it!!  I used the sketch to make a very MERRY Christmas card.

10.21 FMS


I already had the "MERRY" letters created.  The letters are a full size stamp from The Stamp Market and then there's a full grid die to cut them all out at once.  I've used them before here and here, then I kept all the extra letters in little baggies. It's very handy to pull them out. The Stamp Market just came out with those trees and I knew exactly what I wanted to do!!  The ground is a die also but it would be very easy to free hand cut a snowy base.

It is so much fun to see what the design team and all of our players do with a sketch especially when I created it.  The advantage to creating a sketch is that I have some idea of what I'm going to do - five squares were definitely put there for the word "MERRY"!!  Then I look at what the design team has done - and I'll browse every card in the gallery - and I am amazed what everybody else sees in the sketch. There is such variety and I love being part of that!

I hope to see you playing along!


Stamps: The Stamp Market Alpha Cuts (big letters), Winnie & Walter Happy Christmas (small sentiment)

Dies: The Stamp Market Alpha Cuts and Tall Tree die, Taylored Expressions Build a Scene Calendar 5x7 (the ground)

Paper: Doodlebug Designs polka dot, Stampin' Up Flirty Flamingo, Mango Melody, Coastal Cabana and Granny Apple Green, Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist

Ink: Stampin' Up Granny Apple Green

Other: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Snowflakes

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

52 Christmas Card Throwdown: Christmas Sweater

I got a new die set that screamed out to be a "Christmas sweater" for the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge.  I love sweaters with classic nordic prints, but I am very much not a red/green person.  I know - that's almost blasphemy in the Christmas season.  I just prefer the softer, gentler side of the season including the colors. So my Christmas sweater card is pink!

52CCT Sweater

These dies are actually separate borders. I used five of them in this card.  It's not my idea to use them that way - The Ton talked about it on their blog post introducing the dies. Also, the dies are the length of a slimline card so multiple uses.  The bold Merry Christmas is also from The Ton. I am a huge fan of unique fonts and styles so I adore this die!

Thank you to 52 Christmas Card Throwdown for the inspiration!


Dies: The Ton Merry Christmas Sentiment and Holiday Borders

Paper: Taylored Expressions Cupcake and Sea Salt

Other: Studio Katia Pink Carnation, Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Snowflakes

Monday, October 19, 2020

Color Throwdown: Together in Spirit

 I don't do many Halloween cards.  I just don't have people who appreciate them.  Therefore, I haven't bought Halloween products in years.  But I made an exception this year.  I got the Trinity Stamps Slimline Boos stamp set.  Can you guess why?

10.19 Together in Spirit

The set comes with a mask!!!  I LOVE IT!!!  Then when I saw the way that end ghost was looking at the smiling ghost - he needed the mask.  One of my sons will definitely appreciate this!

10.19 Together Close

The stamp is a full slimline.  I could not find my big Misti to stamp with.  I have everything in my craft room - and it's fairly well-organized.  Where would a Misti in a pink box disappear to?  So I really had no way to to get a good stamped image.  To hide the worst of my problem areas, I put the image behind this trio of squares. I ended up liking the way they are peeking out even though there are dozens of funny little ghosts you can't see.

I had not planned on working on this card this weekend, but the colors at Color Throwdown were just right.  It really hadn't occurred to me to use kraft but how perfect for my sons!

On a sad side note - I've talked about the fires in Colorado.  They don't get much coverage because they are dwarfed by the fires on the west coast but they are still burning.  A month or so ago, one of the fires became the largest in Colorado history - that fire is now out.  But another fire that is just above Fort Collins (where my son is at Colorado State University) has now beaten that record.  It's dwarfed the earlier fire by almost 50% again and it's not out.  Plus there are high winds and no moisture in the forecast.

Here's the town of Estes Park.

And in the foreground of this shot is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. (Those are the lights from the hotel, not fire.) It's a beautiful hotel, but have you seen The Shining - this is where it was filmed and is still considered haunted! It couldn't look any more haunted than it looks right now.

Fort Collins is very close to the fire. The maps of the burn areas and the evacuation zones are horrifyingly close.  But there's a very big reservoir and no trees between the fire and the town so other than being engulfed in smoke for the last two months and perhaps the next few, it should be OK.  But there are other towns that aren't so protected - so sending up prayers.

Even crazier, new fires started today.  Towns are being evacuated.  We haven't had any storms - so they aren't caused by lightning.  There is supposedly no old, unsafe electrical equipment in the area (as with some of the California fires).  So these must be human-caused. Don't even get me started on the idiot in my own neighborhood shooting off fireworks last night.

2020 needs to be over.

Stamps: Trinity Stamps Slimline Boos
Dies: Trinity Stamps Slimline Series: Modern Embossed Panels die, Little B Halloween (bat) - very old
Paper: Stampin' Up Pumpkin Pie and an old patterned paper
Other: Little Things by Lucy Tangerine Mix

Friday, October 16, 2020

Poppystamps: Peek-a-Boo

I'm on the Poppystamps blog today with this fun peek-a-boo card!

Poppystamps Peek-a-Boo

I love the expressions on this trio of Squeaker Ghosts from Poppystamps!  I used the Haunting Pumpkins to give them something to play peek-a-boo with.  I don't have a "peek-a-boo" sentiment but Poppystamps has this small alphabet so I could create my own. Then I added some detail on the black panel with a frilly cobweb from Halloween Ingredients. 

There are lots of other details and pictures on the Poppystamps blog - be sure to check it out!

Poppystamps Peek-a-Boo


Stamps: Poppystamps Halloween Ingredients

Dies: Poppystamps Squeaker Ghosts, Haunting Pumpkins, Poetic Uppercase Alphabet

Paper: Memory Box Frosted Glitter Paper Pad

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Give Thanks

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

10.14 FMS

This card relied entirely on the die.  I've been doing that more and more often lately.  It's surprising when I look back how often there's no stamping (other than a sentiment) on my cards!  But there are such GORGEOUS dies available - I cannot resist!

Colors can be hard for me.  I often rely on color challenges or on pulling colors out of a piece of patterned paper.  Then if I stumble on a color combo I love, I use it A LOT.  My last post said that I was making an effort to get out of my color rut.   This card is another giant leap.  I love the rich look of the Cajun but I had to figure out what to put behind it.  I had all the classic fall colors out to try but it just seemed so heavy.  I put the card aside but this little voice kept saying "seaside spray" (that's the light misty blue).  I think it works.  Not a normal combination for me!! 

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


Stamps: Taylored Expressions Mini Strips - Harvest (without the mini strip die)

Dies: Altenew Hanging Garden Die

Paper: Stampin' Up Cajun Craze, Seaside Spray, Bumblee, scrap of gingham

Other: Stampin' Up Tasteful Textiles Embossing Folder, Studio Katia Bluebell Pearls

Friday, October 9, 2020

Pinkfresh WCMD Challenge #12: Flowers

 I'm playing along with Pinkfresh's last challenge for World Cardmaking Day: Flowers.  I love this fun set from Pinkfresh. They are such cute flowers and they have the stamps to fill in the colors.

10.9 Pinkfresh Flowers

I made a deliberate decision to change up my go-to colors.  If you read my posts, I think I'm in a bit of a rut with colors although some fall colors have appeared recently.  But even this post from two days ago I used my favorite pink, yellows, blues and greens. And I used the same general colors, the last time I used these flowers.

So I started by pulling a blue that wasn't in the aqua family, then I pulled out a toned down yellow-gold and a toned down pinkish color.  I even totally bucked my norm by not doing green leaves. AND - although most wouldn't even notice this, I'm not huge on gold.  I like silver, not gold.  I went totally crazy on this card - but I might be the only one who notices!!

I think I like it. Of course, maybe that's just because I adore the stamp and the sentiment!

10.9 Pinkfresh Flowers SIDE

Thanks to Pinkfresh for the week of challenges and inspiration.


Stamps: Pinkfresh Believe in Yourself

Dies: Pinkfresh Sending dies

Paper: Stampin' Up Pretty Peacock, Doodlebug Bar-B-Cute Petite Prints (the gray gingham)

Ink: Stampin' Up Crushed Curry, Petal Pink, Pretty Peacock, Pool Party, Simon Says Stamp Fog

Other: Studio Katia Gold Foil Pearls

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Tic Tac Toe Challenge: Blessed

 I'm playing along with the current challenge at Tic Tac Toe Challenge. They have a wonderful fall grid to pick from.  I'm using the center vertical column but I might be playing a little fast and loose with the rules!!

10.8 TTT Blessed

The linen/burlap from the grid is the Burlap Texture die from Altenew. This die has been very hard to find in-stock so since I finally just got it, it was my starting point on the Tic Tac Toe grid. Going up the grid to use a leaf was an obvious choice given my overly-large collection of leaf dies.  So then I got to "pumpkin".  I have pumpkin dies - I could have gone there.  But instead I used Stampin' Up Pumpkin Pie cardstock AND Taylored Expressions Pumpkin cardstock.  You can't say I didn't pull inspiration from the grid!

The sentiment is new from Honey Bee Stamps. I absolutely LOVE the font. There's a coordinating sentiment set but I didn't want to cover any more of the card.  I did not adhere the edges of the leaf so I popped the sentiment to make sure it was "floating" above it all.

10.8 TTT Blessed SIDE

Thank you to the Tic Tac Toe Challenge for the inspiration!


Dies: Altenew Burlap Texture, Honey Bee Stamps Lovely Layers Maple Leaf

Paper: Stampin' Up Pumpkin Pie, Taylored Expressions Pumpkin, Concord & 9th Neutrals Foil, Doodlebug Designs Buffalo Check-Wood Grain Rainbow Petite Prints

Other: Studio Katia Gold Foil Pearls

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Paper Hugs

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

Paper Hug

I was quite excited when I realized this "Paper Hug" die fit the sketch!  It's by The Stamp Market.  They are the best at making cards with bright rainbows of colors so I decided to do the same on mine.  I was going to do a row of squares then saw an old banner punch.  I accented it with some funky little flowers also by The Stamp Market. 

Paper Hug

I still have a number of people to whom I send cards every week.  My mother-in-law is a total extrovert but has all of the COVID risk factors so has self-quarantined since the beginning.  She is beyond stir-crazy.  She won't even let us come visit in case we bring something.  Of course, we'd have to fly halfway across the country to see her so she's not wrong about the possibility.  But selfishly, it's nice to have a true reason for my cardmaking (besides getting further and further behind on Christmas cards!)

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


Dies: The Stamp Market Paper Hug, Small Blooms, the banners are from an old Stampin' Up punch

Paper: Stampin' Up Poppy Parade, Flirty Flamingo, Mango Melody, Daffodil Delight, Granny Apple Green, Coastal Cabana; Taylored Expressions Cupcake; Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Pinkfresh World Cardmaking Day Challenge #7: Rainbow

 I'm playing along with the Pinkfresh World Cardmaking Day challenge #7 which is rainbows.  I couldn't miss this one - I have their Color Block Rainbow die in my not-yet-used stash.

Pinkfresh Rainbow

I added a variety of textures, patterns and a bit of glitter to make this extra fun, although it's such a great die, it really just needs a beautiful rainbow of colors.  I conserved cardstock by cutting strips of cardstock so I could just cut single stripes so I didn't get ten rainbow stripes out of every color.  I would highly recommend not doing that - it would have been so much easier to just cut full panels.


Stamps: Pinkfresh Scripted Bold Sentiments 1 ("sending")

Dies: Color Block Rainbow, Sending dies 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Pinkfresh World Cardmaking Day Challenge #5: Slimlines

I skipped challenge number #4 because it's already the end of the day and I'm losing light for photos - and I definitely wanted to get to Challenge #5 by Pinkfresh since it's a slimline card challenge.

Pinkfresh WCMD#5 (1)

I used the Slim Edgers by Pink Fresh to give this card some interesting detail. Then I cut three of the beautiful Floral Circles.  I started with a floral patterned paper - that's where I got the colors - but I just felt like it was competing with the diecuts so I switched to some tone on tone paper.  The "Hello" is a Pinkfresh die but it is an exclusive at I love the style of it.

Pinkfresh WCMD5 Close

Pinkfresh just keeps coming out with challenges - as I type this, they have posted ten challenges.  I haven't finished with the Pinkfresh products I pulled out onto my desk, so fingers crossed I can go one more day without cleaning, cooking, showering, etc. and get a few more cards made tomorrow!!


Dies: Pinkfresh Slim Edgers, Floral Circles, Mini Hello Word Die (exclusive at

Pinkfresh WCMD Challenge #3: Stripes

 The third challenge at Pinkfresh on World Cardmaking Day is to use stripes.  Since I'm now wildly far behind on their challenges (although I do know there's a week to play along - I just have a busy week) - I went for a quick and easy card.  But I think it's my favorite card today.

Pinkfresh WCMD3

Once again, this card is all about a cute die.  This is from a set of six dies and I love them all.  I picked this one just so I could leave a few petals in and pop up the ends.  I threaded some cheerful cardstock colors through and found a Pinkfresh sentiment that fit and would work for my card needs right - mailing to friends and family stuck at home.


Stamps: Pinkfresh My Favorite Things to Say

Dies; Pinkfresh Floral Squares

Pinkfresh WCMD Challenge #2: Thank You

 Challenge #2 from Pinkfresh is Thank You.  When I pulled out their Scripted Bold Sentiments 1 stamp set, the sentiment reminded me of another challenge that I wanted to play along with Inspired fall. I love the neutrals with the hint of soft colors in the pumpkins.

Pinkfresh WCMD2 (1)<

Thanks to both for the inspiration!!

Supply list

Stamps: Pinkfresh Scripted Bold Sentiments 1

Dies: Pinkfresh Dainty Blooms

Paper: Stampin' Up Gray Granite, Taylored Expressions Peaches 'n Cream, MFT Blue Breeze and Blue Yonder

Pinkfresh WCMD Challenge #1: Dies

I woke up this morning to see that it was World Cardmaking Day and Pinkfresh was having a day of challenges!!  I had other tasks and errands today, but I think I'll ignore all of them and make cards!  The challenges are open until the 11th so I could (should) take my time - but it seems like a very good excuse to ignore the world today.

Challenge #1 from Pinkfresh is using "dies".  That's an easy one! I have a gorgeous Pinkfresh die that I haven't used yet so I had no doubt what I was using.

Pinkfresh WCMD1

Funny story though.  I recently got this die thinking it could work for all seasons (at least that's how I justified it). I thought it could even be a poinsettia for Christmas.  So what did Pinkfresh do?  In their last release, they came out with an actual poinsettia version of this die.  Bless their hearts.  Don't they know that some of us have to at least pretend to be on a budget!

This card is quick and easy - the gorgeous die, some pretty paper and some texture.  I did pop the "hugs" for interest but really it's all about the die.

Pinkfresh WCMD1 Close

On to challenge #2!


Dies: Pinkfresh Ornate Floral, Phrase Builder Sending

Paper: Taylored Expressions Toffee, Stampin' Up Terracotta Tile, MFT Fuse GreenDCWV Fall Forest

Other: Stampin' Up Tasteful Textile Embossing Folder

Friday, October 2, 2020

Poppystamps: A Whittle Boo

I am on the Poppystamps blog today with a Whittle Halloween card.  Full details are there; here's a peek.

Poppystamps Whittle Halloween

I have used the cute Whittle animals (and sentiments) from Poppystamps so many times now I think my love of the Whittles is clear.  I don't typically do many Halloween cards. My sons just roll their eyes and my nieces have never really focused on the holiday and most definitely don't like the scary aspects of it. But when the Whittle Monsters came out, I thought I could use them on a cute and cheerful card that would work for one of my nieces.

The odd things about this card is the background, but it's only odd if you know that it is part of the Poppystamps Christmas release - not Halloween.  It's the Lamplight Pathway die. I do envision a Christmas card with some trees in the background, some deer in the light and some soft snow - but it actually works quite well for Halloween.  The sun is setting, the street lights have just come on, and a cute little parade of monsters is coming down the street to say "boo"!

SUPPLY LIST - all Poppystamps unless noted

Dies: Whittle Monsters, Boo Outline, Lamplight Pathway

Foil Cardstock on Lampost: Memory Box Polished Foil Pad

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Tic Tac Toe, Color Throwdown: Blessings

 I'm playing along with two challenges today.  I'm under the wire at the Tic Tac Toe Challenge.  The first column requires a slimline card, alphabet dies and dry embossing.  Since I purchased tall alphabet dies just for slimline cards, I couldn't miss it.  Then when I figured out my layout, I knew I needed fairly bold colors and I have been loving all the cards being created using the colors at the Color Throwdown. Here's how I used these challenges.

TTT and CTD Blessings

The alphabet are Concord & 9th's Tall Type Alphabet.  I had originally planned on leaves in the background but given I had my Concord & 9th stash in front of me, I saw these beautiful flowers from Hello Lovely and thought they would be a nice detailed backdrop to the side of the front.  I wanted to highlight the colors beyond the letters so I added the smallest of the Intricate Cut Butterflies from Poppystamps.  I sprinkled on some sparkly sequins - my favorite part of fall is the cooler weather and the frost that covers the brilliant colors each morning - so I love some sparkle on my cards.

For the dry embossing, I made sure I used an embossing folder with a regular pattern.  I embossed one side of the panel (cut with Pinkfresh Slim Stitched Rectangles), then flipped the folder to the other side and lined it up with the first pattern.  It's easy with this regular pattern because the embossing folder literally clicked into place with the plaid that I had already embossed.

Thanks to these two challenges for the inspiration!

Stamps: Concord & 9th Hello Lovely
Dies: Concord & 9th Tall Type Alphabet, Pinkfresh Slim Stitched Rectangles, Poppystamps Intricate Cut Butterflies
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Poppy Parade, Pumpkin Pie, Marvelous Magenta (retired)
Other: Fun Stampers Journey Pretty Plaid Embossing Folder