Monday, November 30, 2020

Color Throwdown: Happy Holidays

I love the fresh Christmas colors at the Color Throwdown. I created a slimline background of snowflakes using the colors and added the sentiment with the silver.

11.30 Color Throwdown

The snowflakes are a set from Simon Says.  I got it a while back just to have a wide variety of stamped snowflakes - I have plenty of snowflake dies but not big sets of stamps.  But then I noticed that there were dies in the same shape - not to cut out these snowflakes but to coordinate.  Being an obsessive full-set kind of person, I bought all of the snowflakes on the recent Simon Says sale. Sad, but true - and I bet you can all relate!

For this card, the stamped snowflakes were what I needed because I wanted to use this slimline sentiment stamp from Impression Obsession.  It's a set of five Christmas sentiments.  I purchased it to go with the slimline trees that I used on this card, but that particular card needed a bigger sentiment. I wouldn't let myself tuck the sentiment stamps into my stash without using them - so here it is!  I did have to do some card surgery to make it work.  I originally silver-embossed directly onto the snowflakes but the part on the red snowflake didn't show up unless it was in exactly the right light so it had a shine on it.  First I tried cutting out the sentiment strip and popping it - obviously it didn't change the red snowflake, I just thought it would make the sentiment more prominent.  Then I decided to emboss on vellum and cover the original sentiment.  That works, except I really prefer the crisp white, vs. the muted vellum. Oh well.  I was not going to start over with the snowflakes - not because I didn't want to stamp them, but I had already deep-cleaned the red ink off of them!

Thank you to the Color Throwdown for the inspiration.

Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Lots of Snowflakes, Impression Obsession Winter Greetings
Dies: Mama Elephant Slim Card Basics

The Card Concept: Sketched Trees

 I love the current graphic at The Card Concept. It's such a classic Christmas look!  I thought about pulling out a chair die and using the inspiration quite literally by creating that charming scene, but I have so many unused Christmas stamps and dies so I went in a different direction.

11.30 Card Concept

I was inspired by the plaid in the photo and the fresh white and green.  I also saw my layout in their photo with the plaid at the bottom and the white/green at the top. 

The stamp is a new stamp in Impression Obsession's slimline series.  The stamp covers an entire slimlime and has a wonderful curved and graceful look which you can't see well on mine with the big sentiment. The die is from Trinity Stamps; I love the font and how it pops with the backer die. 

After I stamped the trees, I stamped again with the tops of the trees colored with a Versamark pen. Then I embossed some heat and stick powder and added glitter.  I had some snowflakes that matched perfectly then added red tree topper gems to a few of the trees. 

11.30 Card Concept side<

I've always liked The Card Concept's style definition of Clean and Layered. I never felt I was a Clean and Simple creator mostly because I don't find any card "simple"!  But I definitely like clean so since I first saw their definition I have called my style "clean and layered".

Thanks so much to The Card Concept for the inspiration.


Stamps: Impression Obsession Sketched Trees

Dies: Trinity Stamps Scripty Christmas

Paper: Moda Scrap Sudtirol Origins 12x12

Ink: Stampin' Up Just Jade

Other: Pretty Pink Posh Holiday Mix gems, Stampin' Up Adhesive-Backed Snowflakes

Friday, November 27, 2020

CAS on Friday: Snow

 I am thrilled to be a guest at the CAS on Friday challenge which starts today!  The challenge is "snow". When I sat down to make this card, I had just gotten the sentiment die so I had a starting point!

11.27 CAS on Friday

This card took a hard left turn halfway through making it.  I actually got the die to use for my young nieces and that was the intent when I started this card. But after I pulled out bright colors and glitter paper and bling - I realized I couldn't do a CAS card for my nieces. Their cards need to be full of color.  But as I was staring at the die, I started to realize that this was the message that I wanted to send to both of my 21+ year old sons.  I usually go funny for them, but this year is different. 

I switched directions and found a wintery plaid.  I cut the die in white and in gray - then layered with the gray slightly showing as a shadow.  I trimmed out the "O" in "SNOW" and added a snowflake and a dapper little snowman.  As much as I love dies, I'm going to have to start re-thinking which dies I buy.  I recently picked the snowman set up on sale at Hobby Lobby and I do love it.  But those itty-bitty pieces are becoming more and more difficult to see and to handle as the years go by!! 

11.27 CAS on Friday side

"Snow Much Love" to each of you!  I hope my American friends are having a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday - even while social distancing!!


Dies: Mama Elephant Big Snow Much Love, Sizzix Tiny Snowglobes (the snowman), Sizzix Mini Paper Snowflakes

Paper: Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Winter, Stampin' Up Balmy Blue, Gray Granite, Poppy Parade, Mango Melody

Other: Studio Katia Red Hearts

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Sales at Poppystamps and Birch Press!

 To all my U.S. friends - Happy Thanksgiving!!

I don't know about you, but it looks very different this year.  Instead of starting all of the cooking, cleaning and other preparations - I'm sitting here in my PJs, with a warm cup of coffee, doing some shopping!

Here's two good sales.  I LOVE when the entire site is on sale


Birch Press

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Holiday Blessings

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!

11.25 FMS

I was flipping through dies that I had never used and saw the Paper Smooches snowflake that I got as they were closing.  Then I saw the 'holiday blessings' by Paper Rose which was a recent purchase - and I like how the two of them had a chunky rounded look.  I knew it was all meant to be when I saw this older paper by Lawn Fawn that also included hearts and the "blessings" of peace, love and joy!!  I love it when a card comes together like that!!

11.25 FMS Side

I applied a heavy coat of sparkle to the snowflake. My original intent was to use black behind the sentiment to balance the black patterned paper but it just seemed so heavy - so the three little glitter dots gave me the black that I needed!!

One last post about the Colorado wildfires.  It might surprise you to know the big ones are still burning although mostly contained.  The biggest fire ripped through the high mountain church camp that our family has gone to for 30 years. For weeks at a time, no one knew whether it stood or not. The fire would blow towards it, then it would shift, then it would head back, then an early snow slowed it and on and on.  At the beginning, the firefighters had used it as a base (to eat, shower, and sleep) and when they were taking a "break" from fighting the fire, they spent a lot of time trying to mitigate the danger. See that big orange thing by the cars, that's a big water-filled bladder - they placed them all around the camp.  

They saved the main lodge although you can see it was close.  (Pictures by Sky Ranch staff.) 

The high ropes course and much of the land, including most of the sites for youth campers, were damaged.

But I think this is the most amazing view. This is the outdoor worship space and the font.  Changed forever, but still standing. 

Praise God!!

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


Dies: Paper Smooches Lovely Snowflake, Paper Rose Holiday Blessings

Paper: Lawn Fawn Peace Joy Love, Taylored Expressions Watermelon, Stampin' Up Lost Lagoon

Other Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Stix, Doodlebug Beetle Black Glitter Sprinkles

Friday, November 20, 2020

Poppystamps: A Snowy Christmas

 I love the sparkle of Christmas!  Lights and candles inside. Snow outside. I'm on the Poppystamps blog today and I just had to use the Snowy Merry Christmas dies with a forest of snowy, sparkly trees.

11.20 Snowy Christmas (1)

I went with very traditional colors but this could work in frosty blues or purples and lavenders. Or you could go elegant with white trees and a golden Merry Christmas. Or what about cutting the trees in plaids. There are so many options with just a few basic dies.

11.20 Snowy Side

There are more details and pictures on the Poppystamps blog!

Dies: Poppystamps Snowy Merry Christmas, Evergreen Trio, Snowflake Tall Curve Border

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Sending Love

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

  11.18 FMS


I was flipping through my dies looking for something square that would give me an idea.  I didn't find "square" but this mini envelope caught my eye.  I'm still sending so many cards of encouragement, I thought that a card with hearts popping out of envelopes would be just right.  I spent much more time looking for papers - they had to be two-sided and I had to like both sides since they both showed.  That was amazingly hard.  As I was looking through my paper pads, it seems that many companies put dramatically different patterns on the two sides - probably so you might like one and not the other and when you use one side you aren't sad about the other side.  That's my theory!

I just going to do a sentiment strip but I saw that all the busy-ness at the top overwhelmed a small strip so I put together the sentiment that I wanted using a Building Blocks set from Taylored Expressions. 

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


Stamps: Taylored Expressions Building Blocks - Be Bright

Dies: Taylored Expressions Building Blocks, Fun Stampers Journey Baby Envelope, Simon Says A1 Thin Frames, misc hearts and leaves

Paper: Honey Bee Stamps Autumn Afternoon

Other: Stampin Up Tasteful Textile Embossing Folder, Studio Katia Apricot Glace Pearls

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Poppystamps Challenge: Colors of Autumn

This is a reminder that the current challenge at Poppystamps is Colors of Autumn!  I will always play along with any challenge named the "Colors of Autumn". I love everything about the fall; it is absolutely my favorite season.  For my card I used the Bird House Pop Up Easel set that was part of the Poppystamps Christmas release - but I did not use the dies that cut snow for the roof.  Instead I used a variety of autumn colors and leaf dies, and I changed the Christmas cardinal to a blue jay.

11.11 Colors of Autumn

Poppystamps has a number of easel dies, but I had not used any yet.  It turns out it's very straight-forward to create this dimensional project using their dies. I posted my progress pictures on the Poppystamps blog today. 

This bird house folds up flat so that it perfectly fits in a regular card envelope and can be easily mailed.  

11.11 Colors of Autumn Flat

I hope to see your "Colors of Autumn"!


Stamps: Poppystamps Birthday Blowout

Dies: Poppystamps Bird House Pop Up Easel Set, Whittle Oak Leaf, Garden Leaves and Berries, and Orchard Leaves

Freshly Made Sketches: Happy Holidays

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

  11.11 Happy Holidays 

I've used that border die a number of times now - here and here - so many different looks with one die set!!  The sentiment is one of the Easy Expressions sets from The Ton.  I fell in love with the basic Easy Expressions set - used here - when one of my teammates used it (looking at you Linda). And now I've added the Holiday set to my collection. They also have a "Thanks" set which I think I'll manage to avoid but the Birthday set is calling my name!  I adore sentiments - if I could only buy one thing going forward - definitely sentiments!!

On a side note, the Easy Expressions stamps come in two large stamps so for this card I stamped all of the black words at once, then the second stamp lines up perfectly and stamps the blue (then the die cuts them all at once). I've also purchased a few slimline stamps recently.  Unfortunately I cannot find my large Misti anywhere.  I would not have thrown it away but I've searched my craft room from top to bottom and it's missing.  So I needed an alternative to be able to use all of these stamps.  I did find a slimline acrylic block at but then I browsed Amazon and came up with an alternative - the Bira Craft Easy Stamp Platform. It's less than half the price of the Misti and gets good reviews that look legit.  I'm not here to formally promote it - I've only used it a couple of times - but I am excited by it. For those that just can't find room in the crafting budget for the Misti, it could be a good alternative. It's a spring loaded platform that's held by magnets. You line up the stamp on the paper, add the cover, push down to pick it up - ink it and push down to stamp.  The little pink things in the picture are magnets - they have a lifted edge so it's easy to pick them up!!!  (You can buy them separately at the link above - and I'm getting a few more for my other tools!)

As you read this, I'm actually off to visit my home state of South Dakota - I should be in Wyoming when this posts! Just a mini vacation in the Black Hills.  My husband wants to try some fishing spots and I'll drive around and probably get lost in the memories.  It's a beautiful area - somehow most of it has managed to stay simple and just a bit old-fashioned. It will be a very relaxing trip.

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


Stamps: The Ton Easy Expressions Holiday

Dies: The Ton Holiday Border dies

Paper and Ink: Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana, Michaels silver glitter paper

Other: Stampin' Up Enamel Dots, Pretty Pink Posh Sparkline Clear Snowflakes, Trinity Stamps Silver Stones

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

CAS on Friday: Jolly Enough?

 I had most of this snowman done a few weeks ago and then really struggled with what to do with him.  I was kind of focused on a darker background so he popped - but no matter what I tried, it just didn't work.  Then I saw the CAS on Friday challenge was Christmas.  I know it seems obvious now, but it was like a lightbulb came on.  I gave him a little fun grounding and it stays totally CAS.

11.09 Jolly Enough

I have three adult men in my household.  At least, they think they are adults - I have my doubts on all three of them.  One tries very hard to be cool so no childlike glee at Christmas.  One still wants to be a child but turns 21 four days after Christmas.  And the other one is anti-commercial-Christmas including things like lights on the house - so a bit of a Scrooge right up until worship service on Christmas Eve.  I need goofy, sarcastic cards for all of them - this one is for the Scrooge!

The snowman is from the Tim Holtz Colorize line.  It's fun to put together but if my eyes change much more, I won't be able to see those fiddly little pieces!  I added a little Charlie Brown tree using a twig from Funky Festive.

Thank you to CAS on Friday for pointing me in the right direction for this snowman!


Stamps: Stamping Bella Oddball Festive

Dies: Sizzix Thinlits Tim Holtz Papercut Christmas #2 Colorize, Funky Festive

Monday, November 9, 2020

Fusion Card Challenge: Give Thanks

 I love the graphic at the Fusion Card Challenge - so warm and such a wonderful glow. I was inspired by the wood and the sweater, the glow of the candles and the pops of black. I also used the sketch. 

11.09 Fusion Give Thanks

I used So Saffron paper that I spritzed with sparkle for the candles.  I also liked the pops of black in the inspiration but didn't want a solid black so I pulled out a glitter paper that gave it a slightly mottled and sparkly look. Stampin' Up's In Good Taste dsp has beautiful woodgrains.  Then I was going to go with a sweater in the background, but I wanted to keep it delicate so used the Tasteful Textile embossing folder. 

11.09 Fusion Close

This was going to be an all Stampin' Up card but I got all the dies laid out and had a vision for the size and shape of the sentiment.  Wouldn't you know? I had nothing like it in my SU collection.  So I used an old Papertrey Ink sentiment.

Thank you to the Fusion Challenge.  I have a number of these sunflowers cut out already and I just hadn't put a card together that I liked.  There weren't sunflowers in your inspiration photo - but it worked!!


Stamps: Papertrey Ink Autumn Acorns

Dies: Stampin' Up Sunflower dies

Paper: Stampin' Up In Good Taste dsp, So Saffron CS

Other: Stampin' Up Tasteful Textile Embossing Folder

Friday, November 6, 2020

Poppystamps Stained Glass Poinsettia Three Ways

It's my turn on the Poppystamps blog today.  We get to select the products we want to use when we post. I knew I wanted to do Christmas because they have so many gorgeous new Christmas stamps and dies, but I couldn't decide which to use.  Then I saw the challenge at Christmas Kickstart: Festive Florals and knew immediately I wanted to play with Stained Glass Poinsettia.  

11.6 Bright

I adore this die!!  I don't often make multiple cards, but I had to keep going...

11.6 Trio

There is a lot more details on the Poppystamps blog but here are the close-ups of the other two cards.

11.6 Elegant

11.6 Fresh

It's such a versatile die.  Starting with the first card that I did as stained glass requiring me to die cut each section - to the last two that just filled in the flowers - there are many ways to use it. For a totally different look check out this card by Marybeth Lopez.  I saw it and fell in love with it before I was even part of the Poppystamps design team! I love the way she added petals.

Thanks to Christmas Kickstart for pointing me in the Festive Floral direction!!


Stamps: Poppystamps Christmas Quotes (stamps and dies)

Dies: Poppystamps Stained Glass Poinsettia

Patterened Paper: Memory Box Garden Folly and Dashing Holiday

The Paper Players: Turkey Time

I was happily browsing blogs with a cup of coffee before getting ready for work and a turkey card popped out at me. It made me realize that I had ignored this week's challenge at The Paper Players: Turkey Time because I was thinking I was done with Thanksgiving. But I'm not. I have two sons, 20- and a 24-years old, who aren't leaving campus to come home for Thanksgiving so I need them to know we are thinking of them. I really do have to get to work (translate: convert my desk from a craft desk to a work area!) so this is a 10-minute card and a 5-minute picture (both unheard of for me).  And it's perfect for one of them!!!

Turkey Time

I'll probably tuck in a gift card for the Waffle House!  (No joke - in 2018 we ended up at the Waffle House for Thanksgiving but it's a very long story!)  The gift card will actually be the highlight for them because it will bring back fun memories!

Thanks to the Paper Players for reminding me that Turkey Time is coming!

Stamps: Technique Tuesday Think Beef (it's dated 2012 so probably long gone)
Dies: Pretty Pink Posh Storybook 1
Paper: Sunny Studio Colorful Autumn, Stampin' Up Pumpkin Pie
Other: Doodlebug Heart-Fetti

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Freshly Made Sketches: Wise Men in Three Styles

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!
11.4 FMS Frosty

You might notice that I didn't get the sketch quite right.  When I see our sketches in advance, they bounce in my mind for awhile until I get a chance to make a card.  I remembered that there was a big banner.  I did not remember the sentiment strip across the top.  By the time I was making the card, I had decided to use the sentiment die - it just made sense on the big banner. To honor the sketch, I added a patterned strip and I hope Judy forgives me.  Of course, I loved her sketch so much with this sentiment, I just kept going!

11.4 FMS Trio

The wintery card at the beginning of this was post uses a patterned paper which is unusual for me.  It's also unusual that I use an outdoor type pattern with a Christian sentiment.  But I thought they were both just lovely so I wanted them to be together.

I started with the idea of the elegant card.  Deep, rich colors and gold seemed very fitting for the sentiment.

11.4 FMS Elegant 2

I do love how this turned out, but I wasn't convinced it was my card for the challenge.   So then I decided to go with stars and a classic pattern.

11.4 FMS Classic 2

I like this one too.  The words are actually in a pearlescent ivory and I like the rustic stars around the edge.  But I'm not a fan of ivories - even in this classic card.  I LOVE fresh white and that's how I came up with the card I showed you at the beginning!!

I hope to see you playing along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches (and you do not have to make three cards!)


Dies: Simon Says Stamp Wise Men Still Seek Him

Paper: Plaid is Memory Box Christmas Plaid, stars are an old Simple Stories pad - Claus & Co, the winter pattern is also an old Simple Stories - Winter Wonderland

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Just Add Ink: Holiday Wishes

I've had my eye on the colors at Just Add Ink challenge this week. It includes the Stampin' Up Color Magenta Madness which I am not a huge fan of; however, that's why they call them challenges!

11.3 JAI Holiday Wishes

My original plan was to use regular stamped snowflakes - probably fairly dainty snowflakes to keep the magenta a bit more subtle, but these new stamps and dies by Catherine Pooler showed up in my mailbox.  The stamps are called Nordic Stars and I got them with the intent of classic Nordic red and white. I'm not quite sure how I made the leap to the dreaded magenta but I think it works with just a pop of it.  (FYI - I know that color is personal.  For instance, I really don't like plain yellow and others will pick as their favorite color.  I'm sure there is nothing wrong with the magenta but for me, it's kind of an in-your-face colors - it overwhelms other colors.)

I love that "wishes" die.  I don't think the picture they use on websites does it justice.  You just can't tell that it gives that look of ribbon. I had Nordic Stars in my shopping cart but before I hit the purchase button, I was browsing Pinterest or Instagram just to see if there was anything else I had to have. I saw it!  I loved it! And it jumped into my cart just in time for me to hit the purchase button!  Better yet, the coordinating stamps have add-ons for a wide variety of occasions.


A quick update on our Colorado wildfires - hopefully the last. The situation is much improved thanks to a heavy mountain snow which is melting slowly - apparently the best case scenario for keeping the fires tamped down. Thank you God!!  The two big ones are not out but they have slowed enough that firefighters have increased the containment on one to 85% and the other to 37%.  

Colorado actually had three record-breaking fires this summer.  One of the fires topped the previous record in a single day - not the weeks and months it usually takes to burn that much acreage. The fire grew so fast that people were getting evacuated with 10 minutes notice. In fact, since the worst case scenarios didn't show the fire reaching them for weeks (if at all), many couldn't get their horses out so they spray painted their information on the horses and were letting them out of their corrals to find their own shelter. That fire took two lives and more than 300 homes.  

In an bizarre side note, the day this fire set all records, there was a giant smoke plume. It was visible from my home 125 miles away - I posted a picture here. The firefighters now think this smoke column suddenly collapsed sending air downwards and shooting flames in every direction. I guess like a giant microburst but with fire.  Nature is unimaginably powerful.

From The Colorado Sun 11/2/20

Evacuations in most areas are now lifted. Colorado being what it is - we are back up in the 70s again but as long as the wind doesn't kick up, things are looking good.  And there's more snow in the near forecast.  


Stamps: Catherine Pooler Nordic Stars, All Around Wishes

Dies: Catherine Pooler Wishes Word, Nordic Stars

Paper: Stampin' Up Magenta Madness, Misty Moonlight; silver is unknown

Other: Trinity Stamps Rainbow Reflection Rhinestone Mix