Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Card Concept: How Does Your Garden Grow

There’s a new inspiration challenge at The Card Concept: How Does Your Garden Grow! I picked the flowers in the beautiful garden in the photo and created a Clean and Layered bouquet! I was inspired by the delicate flowers and the beautiful colors.

Bouquet of Prayers

I love these sweet little bouquet - it's a fabulous set of dies.  There's such wonderful detail in the wrap and in the little flowers. I'm generally quite "literal" in my interpretation of inspiration photos, but as I was pondering the inspiration photo, instead of a full garden I was inspired by the delicate flowers. Then my mind connected to this little bouquet (and I guess that's why these are "inspiration" challenges!!)  

I changed the sentiment I was going to use at the last minute. This is dedicated to one of our own.
Bouquet of Prayers

It is a beautiful photo. I'd love to live behind that bright pink door - although I can only imagine what my suburban HOA would say to a bright pink door!! But how cheerful would you be every day going into the door or walking out into your garden!

I hope to see you playing along with us this week at The Card Concept.


Dies: Spellbinders Bouquet of Flowers, Hemstitch Rectangles

Paper: Sunny Studio Subtle Grey Tones, Stampin' Up Smoky Slate, Polished Pink, Balmy Blue and Granny Apple Green, Taylored Expressions Peapod

Other: Simon Says Stamp Reverse Sentiment strips

Freshly Made Sketches: Mother's Day

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!
Mother's Day

There's nothing on this card that's new and trendy - but it totally works for my mother-in-law.  She prefers cute cards.  Actually she prefers snarky and sarcastic cards, but I don't have anything like that for Mother's Day.  So I dug deep into my stash looking for things that seemed like her.  The paper is at least a decade old - maybe even two decades - but I love its simple, cheerful look.  The stamp is long retired but it fit nicely into the open space while still having an interesting look.  And the dies are from a company that doesn't even exist any more.

Mother's Day

It always amuses me that I can so enjoy working with old and out-of-date products yet I keep adding to my stash! 

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


Stamps: Taylored Expressions Shade Tree Sentiments 

Dies: Lil Inker Perky Posies

Paper: Bo Bunny Sugar Shoppe

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Poppystamps: You Matter So Much

 I'm on the Poppystamps blog today with this quick and easy card to tell me son he matters. He's moving into the world of adulting and, as we all know, there are just so many decisions. Every time we talk, I seem to add another "have you thought about...." to his list.

Poppystamps: You Matter

I think the Whittles are always a great decision for these types of cards. Their expressions are so cute and can look calm and peaceful (although with the right sentiment they can also look a little snarky - like a heavy sigh!).

Poppystamps: You Matter

I found exactly the sentiment that I wanted in the Diamond Sentiments set then I framed each element with the Whittles Circle Frames

Check out the Poppystamps blog for more photos and more details.


Stamps: Poppystamps Diamond Sentiments

Dies: Poppystamps Whittle Circle Frames, Whittle Sunshine, Whittle Birds, Whittle Squirrel and Woven Basket Pop Up Easel Set (just the leaves), Memory Box Wrapped Stitch Rectangles (retired)

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Freshly Made Sketches: Tall Type Birthday

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

I usually put my sketches together with a very strong idea of what I'm going to do with it (if not actually having the card made in advance!)  This card was not it.  I had planned on a long narrow image and a tiny little sentiment in the strip. But I have been in the midst of a major re-org and these alphabet dies popped out at me.

I have kept my dies in three-ring binders in the clear pockets that Martha Stewart used to sell.  They were 8 1/2x11 and they had four pockets each with a flap. For sets with lots of pieces, I used magnetic sheets to keep the dies displayed in the pocket.  As my die stash got bigger (and as Martha Stewart quit selling the pockets), I started putting dies on the back side of each pocket and it became harder and harder to get to them.  I had to lift the flap from the front but pull dies out from the back.  Ugh.  Consequently, many of my dies almost never came out to play because it was just too darn hard.  (And who am I kidding - new dies keep coming into my house too!)  A big problem were alphabet sets. Now my new organization method makes it all SO much easier and this alphabet came out on this card.

I decided to go with pocket sleeves and came up with these on Amazon (equivalent to Avery Elle) and for slimline dies, I'm using these. I also use these magnetic sheets.  Note that they are strong sheets but they aren't quite the right size.  The sheets are 8x10 so cutting them into 4 pieces is only 4x5 and the standard-sized pocket sleeves can fit a wider piece.  But they are the cheapest and strongest that I've found so that's what I use! (ETA - I just noticed that the price is higher on these right now than I usually pay.  I also see these which are $10 cheaper and the specs are the same.  I've ordered them but won't be here until tomorrow to compare.)

Then I had to figure out how to file them. I was going to go with refrigerator bins and they'd probably still be easier, but I saw these at Target and thought they would be gorgeous in my craft room. 

The first two notebooks I changed over were the word dies and the basics, then I used some of my favorite cardstock colors to add dividers. The flaps on my pockets are up - I think I'll leave it that but it was more because the magnetic sheets I took out of my 3-ring binders were just slightly too tall for the pockets and I just wanted it done so didn't take the time to shave off a bit from the top so my pockets closed. 

I saw something else at Target that I'm experimenting with.  I have tall spaces for storage and the pretty little bins in the above picture don't stack.  I combined a bathroom shelf with some containers with handles for this storage.  It's not quite as convenient but it fits my space!  I just got started on floral dies and still have space for leaves and Christmas!

Sometimes I think that "organizing" might be my favorite part of this hobby (I'm obsessive that way), followed by "collecting" (I'm compulsive that way) - with the actual card creation coming in third!!  Actually it's all a really nice mix - my left brain and my right brain are both involved!

So back to my card (since I'm guessing all of you already have favorite storage methods and probably not my level of obsessiveness!)  I do love this alphabet set by Concord & 9th.  I love the look and I love the coordinating tagalong sets.  The tagalong dies have the balloon I used and also things like a rainbow and a star and a pumpkin - it works for everything! Then the tagalong stamps have words like "birthday". So the combination gives you everything you need. I just pulled out my favorite colors and put together a cheerful "happy birthday"!

Tall Type Birthday

I hope to see you playing along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches. I just love seeing the creative and unique ideas in the gallery!


Stamps: Concord & 9th Tiny Tagalongs

Dies: Concord &9th Tall Type Alphabet and Tall Type Tagalong

Paper: Stampin' Up Flirty Flamingo, Mango Melody, Daffodil Delight, Granny Apple Green and Coastal Cabana, Taylored Expressions Cupcake

Other: Studio Katia pearls in Lemon Burst and Apricot Glace, Pretty Pink Posh pearls in Sea Foam

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Freshly Made Sketches: Every Little Thing

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!
Every Little Thing

The sketch stumped me to begin with so I flipped through my stash of dies that I hadn't used yet. These two sets by MFT - the benches ("perches") and the houseplants have been in my stash forever; in fact, I think the perches are now retired. They come out as a possibility for many different sketches but never make the final cut. When I realized they worked for this sketch, I decided they were finally going to get used. The sketch does say "any shape" so I figured benches and plants qualified! And I ended up thinking the sets were totally the right choice!

The sentiment is one of my favorites by the old Verve Stamps. They may be gone, but their stamps will always stay in my stash! I did it in a crisp black so then wanted to balance it with black in my little scene so added black striped flooring and a teeny little heart. 

Every Little Thing

I thought about getting a little more detailed with the colors or maybe some more patterns - different greens, a patterned pot, etc. but I kept looking at it in its basic colors and decided I liked the simple look.  Not to mention, these colors seem to show up on every other card that I make so I definitely have an attachment to them (see the card just before this one - and I already have next week's FMS card laid out - all the same colors!)  I used to try really hard to stretch in my cardmaking - new techniques and styles, different color combos, etc - but finally realized that I like where I'm at and am totally happy just settling into my style!  (And hope you don't get too tired of it!)

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


Stamps: Verve Stamps Let It Be

Dies: My Favorite Things Cat & Plant Perches, Houseplants

Paper: Stampin' Up Flirty Flamingo, Daffodil Delight, Mango Melody, Granny Apple Green, Coastal Cabana, MFT Black & White Stripes

The Card Concept: Vintage Style

There’s a new inspiration challenge at The Card Concept and the theme is Vintage Style. Even with "vintage" as the theme, I created a Clean and Simple card using the elegant birdcage and the beautiful colors as inspiration.

Vintage Style

I have a love/hate relationship with this card. I'd like to have played with it a little bit more but it was either stop and snap a photo during daylight - or not have a card for this week's challenge. I love the idea of it. That birdcage was totally inspired by the challenge and it has such detail, I like the look of it on a fresh and clean card. The bird is so cute - and he looks so good with the pinks and greens in the background.  But after that it all kind of fell apart. The embossed square is the wrong size. The sentiment took my 7 tries to get right - seven!!  Seven wasted pieces of paper due to it being crooked or smudged or not all stamped (even using different tools to get it right).  Then I got one that was perfect, but this isn't it.  I had my little scene all put together and I picked it up with press-and seal, added my adhesive, then dropped the whole darn thing on my perfectly stamped card.  I could go on - but I think you can all relate to the drama that happens with some cards. Maybe the card isn't even all that bad - but the drama is impacting the way I view it!  Don't even get me started on the photo - my caring level was fairly low at that point - and the photo is so much harsher than the actual card.

I'm done whining! I do hope my card serves its purpose. I know the inspiration is named "vintage style" but there's always so much you can get from an inspiration challenge. This one didn't push me toward "vintage" but it did push me toward a beautiful birdcage and a sweet bird with flowers. I hope to see you playing along with us at The Card Concept - and may your crafting session be fun and relaxing!


Stamps: Taylored Expressions Itty Bitty Sentiments

Dies: Penny Black Vintage Birdcages and Tweets, Spellbinders Bouquet of Flowers

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Garden Green, Melon Mambo, Polished Pink

Other: Alexandra Renke embossing folder

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Poppystamps: Panda Hugs

 I'm on the Poppystamps blog today with panda hugs!!

Panda Hugs with Poppystamps

The expression on the Whittle Giant Panda is so sweet and seemed just right for a giant hug, a little flower and a rainbow of color! This card is destined for my MIL who I've written about lately. Any card with a Whittle is prominently displayed on her fireplace mantle and after a recent surgery (that went very well!) she is going to need big hugs during her recovery!

Panda Hugs with Poppystamps

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


Dies: Poppystamps Whittle Giant Panda, Luscious Script Hugs, Potpourri Flower Set, Orchard Leaf Square Frame

Other: Autumn Fairy Jewels

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Freshly Made Sketches: Cartoon Tulips

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!
Cartoon Tulips

I love these Cartoon Tulips by Altenew.  Actually I love all the flowers by Altenew! But this one kept calling my name until it finally came home to live in my stash. If you could see my stash - especially my flower stamps and dies, you'll understand that it takes something special for me to add a new flower. This one has kind of a quirky look which you might expect with the word "cartoon" in the name but I think it can also take on an elegant look. I tried for that look with my all-white background - a little lattice and some dotted detail - and a simple hello.

Cartoon Tulips

The coordinating ink trios come from Altenew ink sets. The sets are such a handy way to do layered stamping. I decided on purple flowers so I pulled out my Northern Lights ink set and stamped three purples - easy peasy! Then I needed a green and pulled out the Soft Succulents set. In retrospect, I'm not certain the greens in Soft Succulents were meant to work together.  The lightest color - Firefly - is in other sets that include much brighter greens for the darker colors.  This particular set goes a bit more olive for the darker colors.  I have to admit that I cringed when I first stamped the olive colors. I set it aside thinking I needed to start over, but the more I looked at the more I liked it.  The Firefly gave it a bright and cheerful base, while the next two colors added a richness.  I'm guessing they were meant to go together and most definitely the fine crafters at Altenew have a much better eye than I do!!

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


Stamps: Altenew Cartoon Tulips (and die), Sentiment Strips 2

Dies: Altenew Dotted Swirls Debossing, Garden Trellis and Featured Sentiments

Ink: Altenew Rose Quartz, Puffy Heart and Purple Wine (from the Northern Lights or Rose Petal sets), Firefly, Forest Glade and Moss (from the Soft Succulents set)

Paper: Taylored Expressions Plum Punch

Other: Studio Katia Radiant Orchid Pearls