Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Christmas Stained Glass

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!

Christmas Stained Glass

The first step was looking for something in a big circle - preferably in my Christmas or Thanksgiving stash. I found this nativity and couldn't believe I hadn't used it. Then I started picking colors.  I quickly settled on Stampin' Up's Petal Pink and then I decided to use the two coordinating colors from last year's in-colors - Starry Sky and Orchid Oasis.  When they came out, I thought they would be the most perfect Christmas colors ever, although more from the winter aspect not really for a nativity! Then when last year's holiday catalog came out - they weren't there at all.  And they aren't there this year.  I feel like they added two in-colors that none of their designers liked.  But I like them - even on a nativity scene!

The plan was to do the actual stripe from the sketch with a sentiment but even with my large stash of sentiments, I just didn't have the right sentiment for the stripe.  So I went with a longer straight sentiment but not on a stripe. 

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


Dies: Paper Rose Christmas Stained Glass Circle, Echo Park Merry Christmas

Paper: Stampin' Up Petal Pink, Starry Sky and Orchid Oasis, My Favorite Things In the Buff, Taylored Expressions Toffee

Other: Stampin' Up Distressed Tile 3D Embossing Folder

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Wishing You Joy

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

Wishing You Joy

I started with great intentions to follow the sketch exactly - right down to the leaf.  It wasn't working for me so I changed ideas...then changed again...and again.  I finally settled on a reindeer but after all the changing, now I'm feeling like I have to struggle a bit to see the sketch. I was definitely inspired...the sentiment along the bottom with two small strips of color above it is not something I would have thought to do without the sketch. I moved my main image off center at the last minute when I decided he really needed to be looking at a star.

The cute little reindeer is from Impression Obsession and there's actually a second one in the set - you can see him in the dies in the corner of the photo. Or leave the antlers off and you have a reindeer couple! The sentiment is from Mama Elephant. Nothing in the set is Christmas-related so this one probably isn't either, but it worked! The set comes with one plain banner to put behind the words, but I cut it in silver and blue, then moved the die and cut a thinner strip for my two narrow stripes. 

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


Dies: Impression Obsession Two Folk Deer, Mama Elephant Banner Greetings, Alexandra Renke Snowflake Cloud, Memory Box Postage Square Layers and Star of Wonder

Paper: Stampin' Up Pecan Pie, Crumb Cake, Granny Apple Green and Coastal Cabana cardstock plus Brights 6x6 dsp; Memory Box Majestic Hues Glitter Pad and Polished Foil Pad

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Playful Pumpkins

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!
Playful Pumpkins

This fairly new set from Concord & 9th has both fun stamps (and dies to cut those stamps) and also some stand-alone dies. Last week, at the last minute, I needed a few leaves and flowers so pulled just those out of the set (since it had just arrived in the mail and was still sitting on my desk). But right then, I put this card together.  I couldn't just pull a few leaves and flowers when all of these fun little pumpkins and sentiments were waiting to be used! I don't make a lot of Halloween cards - really just my two older teenage nieces and probably my son's girlfriend.  So the cards can be cute but not too young - I thought these jack-lanterns were just perfect.

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

Stamps: Concord & 9th Playful Pumpkins and dies
Paper: Catherine Pooler Sweet-n-Spooky 6x6, Taylored Expressions Strawberry Milkshake, Candy Corn and Mushroom
Ink: Taylored Expressions Mushroom, Strawberry Milkshake, Candy Corn and Plum Punch

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Thankful & Blessed

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today the sketch is by me and here’s what I did with it!

Thankful & Blessed

I created this sketch with the idea of something I do often on my cards and that is just a hint of patterned paper. (Of course, if you are playing along with this sketch, you can use any amount of patterned paper that you want - I just added a splash!)  I found a vibrant fall paper. I love the surprise of the blue.  Then I added a pumpkin (by Taylored Expressions).  At that point, it needed a bit more and while I was certain I could find appropriate flowers and leaves in my Taylored Expressions collection, I also happened to have a brand new set from Concord & 9th already out on my desk.  It also has pumpkins, but I skipped past those and used the leaves and flowers.  (I was having a fun card-making afternoon so later I did use those pumpkins - but that's for next week!) I needed a sentiment to fit the sketch and found one by Papertrey Ink.  Finally I used my all-time favorite background - Stitched Woodgrain from Lil' Inkers.  The company has closed and I don't know what I'll ever do if I need to replace my woodgrain die. 

I love fall cardmaking - maybe even more than Christmas.  The days are still hot here, but the nights are cooling off already.  Last night was in the 40s.  So I'm sure the leaves are starting to think about changing - I can't wait!!

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


Stamps: Papertrey Ink Keep It Simple: Blessed

Dies: Taylored Expressions Layer It - Pumpkins, Concord & 9th Playful Pumpkins die (the leaves and flower), Lil' Inkers Stitched Woodgrain

Paper: Sunny Studio Colorful Autumn, Taylored Expressions Mango, My Favorite Things Orange Zest, Stampin' Up Granny Apple Green and Azure Afternoon

Other: Trinity Stamps Glowing Garnet Embellishment Mix

Thursday, August 31, 2023

52 Christmas Card Throwdown: Merry & Bright

The challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is to use embossing folders and I definitely wanted to play along. There are amazing things you can do with embossing folders and I'll definitely be getting inspiration from their design team and in the gallery.  But I'm a fairly simple cardmaker - I do like embossing folders but generally just subtle polka dots, stripes and maybe woodgrain.  I happened to have this folder that I adore, but is quite busy for me and I figured what better time to use it than for an embossing folder challenge!

Merry & Bright

I wanted all the details from the folder to show so I only added a sentiment by Paper Rose.  To add interest, I cut it out of an ombre glitter paper. I accented it with an ombre array of glitter enamel dots from various sets by Your Next Stamp. Then I offset it on the background panel.  I've seen that done and I like the idea of it, but I don't think I did it dramatically enough.  It just looks like my glue slipped!!!

A big thanks to 52 Christmas Card Throwdown for not only inspiring me to pull out that embossing folder, but also to use a bigger and bolder sentiment than I would normally use!


Dies: Paper Rose Merry & Bright

Paper: Stampin' Up Granny Apple Green, Sweet Sorbet and 2022-24 In Color 6x6 Glimmer Paper

Other: Spellbinders Scattered Christmas embossing folder, various Gumdrops from Your Next Stamp

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Hey Lovely Bloom

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!
Thank You Blooms

I just got the flower die from The Stamp Market and then we have a sketch that has a big enough open space for me to use it. It was definitely meant to be! I found the paper and then mirrored the colors in my flowers.  Yes, I know one stem of flowers does not have multiple colors. (That's the first thing my husband noticed, bless his heart!)  It's a gorgeous die.  I definitely have more flowers than I'll ever use but then one comes along that calls my name and ends up in my stash. I love the tall stem, but there's also basic leaves in the set so you could use those flowers individually with just a small leaf or two for each one.

I don't use many thank you cards but really should. This became a thank you card just because I loved the sentiment on it. It has a nice shape and it was bold enough to hold its own with the big gorgeous stem of flowers. 

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


Stamps: The Stamp Market A Few Words and dies

Dies: The Stamp Market Hey Lovely Bloom, Taylored Expressions Stitched Rectangle Stacklet and Petite Scallop Rectangle

Paper: Carta Bella Flora No. 5 6x6 pad, Taylored Expressions Sweet Basil, Mango and Pink Champage, Stampin' Up Watermelon Wonder

Ink: Taylored Expressions Sweet Basil

Other: Pretty Pink Posh Buttercream gems

Monday, August 28, 2023

Hand Stamped Sentiments: Congrats

I needed a card that was very specifically a masculine coffee/tea cup with a big congrats. I was inspired by the colors at Hand Stamped Sentiments. I might have thought to put the blue with one of the brown tones - but I wouldn't have put those browns together and I ended up loving them on my masculine coffee cup.

Coffee Congrats

Why a coffee/tea a cup and a big congrats? Because the adult son who had been living with us while between jobs, to whom last week I sent a card of encouragement when he moved to Michigan, already has a job!!  And it's a coffee/tea company!!!  He's been doing multiple interviews with them over the last three weeks and knew that each interview felt good - like he really connected.  The job is working with data and he can happily talk data all day long (he even makes it interesting!), but he also likes coffee and he really got to know and love unique teas with a favorite hole-in-the-wall tea shop near his college.  It's already a national chain, although small, and planning to grow so he's on the ground floor - doing something he likes, at a company he likes.  Thus the huge "congrats"!

I had the perfect coffee/tea cup - and was inspired by the masculine colors - for just the right card for this situation!!  Isn't this why we all love this hobby???  The coffee/tea cup is a Sizzix/Tim Holtz colorize die set so lots of itty bitty pieces but each piece is labelled "coffee" or "tea" on the back and the die cuts have detail to show you where the next piece goes. Most importantly, I have a good pair of tweezers and a fine point glue bottle to do the job.  The only requirement for the "congrats" was that it be big and bold. I have an old Winnie & Walter set with just the right look.  I played with a variety of patterned papers in the background but finally decided the sun rays on the embossed panel were exactly the look I needed. 

Thanks to Hand Stamped Sentiments for the color combo that made this just right!


Dies: Sizziz/Tim Holtz Cafe Colorize, Winnie & Walter The Big, The Bold and You, Trinity Stamps Modern Embossed Rectangle

Paper: Stampin' Up Pecan Pie, Copper Clay, Misty Moonlight, Early Espresso, Pebbled Path, Gray Granite

Other: Spellbinders Sun Rays Embossing Folder, Little Things by Lucy Copper Rose Jewels

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Celebration for the 600th!!

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches!  And this is the 600th sketch!!  This amazing challenge and all of the inspiration it provides has been going on since 2011!  It is definitely time to celebrate and we're doing it by paying tribute to our multiple challenge winners. Be sure to go to the link above and you'll see not only the design team, but also those that have been a Perfect Princess or Prince multiple times!

Then be sure to play along. Each of us on the design team will be picking our favorite who will be offered a chance to be a guest in an upcoming challenge.

It's occurring to me as I write that that I really should have done a celebration card, but this week's sketch was perfect for something I wanted to do and here it is.

Thinking of You Fox

So why is this perfect? We have had both adult sons living with us this summer as they are between jobs (or college to job) and living situations. You have to understand that we have already down-sized so it's been an interesting summer.  But the oldest moved out last week!!  He has moved far away to Michigan. He's still between jobs and living situations but he really needed the mental boost of heading where he wanted to end up.  He's temporarily living with his girlfriend who is extremely appreciative of my cardmaking so I wanted to send a card to him but which appealed to his girlfriend! So I figured a cute critter, bright colors and a "thinking of you" would work.

The little fox is a charming little guy from Honey Bee Stamps Heart Hugs. There are two other critters that I am looking forward to using.  I had the Memory Box Vertical Line Collage out a couple of days ago on this card and I thought it would be fun to create  rainbow by turning it sideways and only cutting half way (then flipping it and cutting the other half, shortening it in the process). 

 I hope to see you celebrating with us!


Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Messages for Everyday

Dies: Honey Bee Stamps Heart Hugs and Spring Bouquet (the leaves), Memory Box Vertical Line Collage

Paper: Stampin' Up Pecan Pie, Pebbled Path (the hint of shadow behind the fox), Poppy Parade, Pumpkin Pie, Crushed Curry, Boho Blue, Granny Apple Green

Monday, August 21, 2023

CAS Colours & Sketches: Happiest Birthday

I have had an interesting die in my stash for a while - the Vertical Line Collage by Memory Box.  It's just lines - but I got it specifically with the idea that it would be interesting behind a single stem flower.  Then the sketch from CAS Colours & Sketches came along and it all came together.

Cottage Flower and Vertical Lines

I went with a visual rectangle with the cut out stripes down the middle and a few bits and pieces of the flower and sentiment sticking out just a bit. Everything came together easily except the sentiment - it gave me a few headaches trying to figure out what to do within that rectangle. I finally settled on a pre-printed sentiment which I then cut into three small sections. 

I love the fading paper behind it.  My original plan was just black for the drama of it but I love the softness of this paper. While I have the die out - I will have another card posted on Wednesday and the stripes became a rainbow of colors!!  LOVE a versatile product!

Thank you to CAS Colours & Sketches for the isnpiration.


Dies: Memory Box Cottage Flower Stem, Vertical Line Collage

Paper: My Favorite Things Coral Crush, Peach Bellini and Gumdrop Green, Studio Light White Fade pad

Other: Simon Says Stamp Reverse Birthday Sentiment Strips, Pinkfresh Leaf Glitter Drops

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Branch Out

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!
Branch Out

I was feeling like fall - but yet it was still 90 degrees outside my window - so I compromised with a fall theme but on a clean and fresh CAS card. I just got this branch from Taylored Expressions so I had to play with it. Behind it, I cut five stripes in subtle fall colors. 

I had the stripes and the leaf all done and I went to my autumn stash to unearth the sentiment that I had envisioned with it. I looked and looked and could not find it. Then I looked on the Taylored Expressions store and it turns the set is still sitting on my wishlist.  (It's Grateful Greetings - a set of gorgeous bold sentiments.)  A bummer for this card, but it does mean I have to do an order, right??!!  So I went a different direction and found a plain and simple sentiment from Penny Black.

So why was I feeling fall?  My husband and I did a long weekend in a part of Colorado that we've never visited - Walden, Colorado - the moose viewing capital of Colorado!  It's a small town - a real town, not at all trendy - and it sits in a large valley surrounded in the distance by State Parks and National Forests and Wildlife Refuges. We stayed in this cute little studio-size Airbnb - the Majestic Moose Cabin.  Absolutely charming!  That's the murphy bed to the right.

The weather was fabulous.  The first night got below 40 (I LOVE cold weather) and the days were in the 70s.  Thus my craving for fall.  

Here's my husband fishing at Lake Agnes, an alpine lake in the State Forest State Park (yes, that's the actual name.)

Then totally dumb luck on our part, Walden was having their annual balloon festival.  Don't think big festival where a hundred balloons go up and cover the sky - this is small town.  But what you do get in a small town festival is the ability to be up close and personal with every balloon.  My best shots are videos but here's a pic of a couple in the process of inflating. 

It really is the moose viewing capital.  One of the visitor centers has a flip chart where people can record sightings and there aren't that many.  In the short time that I was browsing the center, the park rangers were asked a dozen times where to find a moose.  So we were headed out of town early Saturday morning and lo and behold...

He was actually walking down the highway when we first saw him but it took me a second to calm down enough to pull out the phone for a picture!  He even turned and looked at us but his face was blocked by a branch - and even I know enough not to get out of the car and move around for a better picture!!

But now I'm back - and I do love my craft room - although not so much the 90+ degrees outside my window.

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


Stamps: Penny Black Autumn is Calling

Dies: Taylored Expressions Branch Out

Paper: Taylored Expressions Mango, Sweet Potato Pie, Raspberry Sorbet, Sprinkles, Lime Zest

Ohter: Pinkfresh Blossom Glitter Drops

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Gracious Floral

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

Happy Birthday with Gracious Flowers

There's a recent release by Memory Box named Gracious Floral.  It includes a stamp set, dies, a coordinating embossing folder and coordinating stencils.  Everything needed to create a beautiful work of art...and I'll use them all at some point (check out this stunning card by Lisa Elton).  But for its first time out, I went clean and simple. I used the embossing folder and then die cut the bouquet. (I did do it in that order so the 3-D nature of the embossing folder is slightly muted since I squished it to die cut it.)  I did this twice so I could add portions of it in each corner. 

The sentiment is also by Memory Box and is one of my favorites because I love the sentiments and I love that it has a layer to make it pop. Then I decided the background needed a little texture so I used the Memory Box Pinpoint Leaf Plate. This was a quick and easy card, but so much amazing detail due to these fabulous products!

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


Stamps: Memory Box Gracious Floral Clear Stamp and Die set

Dies: Memory Box Happy Birthday Posh Script, Pinpoint Leaf Plate

Paper: Stampin' Up Boho Blue and Misty Moonlight

Other: Memory Box Gracious Floral 3D Embossing Folder, Stampin' Up Tinsel Gems Three-Pack

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Merry & Bright

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!

Merry & Bright

I made this on Sunday and it was still Christmas in July.  Generally I love Christmas in July.  I have a Hallmark Christmas movie in the background; I crank up the AC; and I work on Christmas cards. It helps forget the awful heat right outside my window (I am NOT a summer person).  But this year, I only posted four Christmas cards. So it may be August today, but I made this in July for a grand total of five cards done for my stash.  

I also did this at the wrong time of the day for photos. (I don't have a fancy set up - just need the sun in the right place!).  It's much sparklier than it looks in the first photo - so I stuck my card under my desk lamp this morning to go full sparkle!

Merry & Bright sparkle

The Stampin' Up glimmer paper is one of my favorites. I can't believe it's no longer available - I guess I just wasn't paying attention at retirement time because I would have gotten a large stash of this paper.  Mostly because I love the colors - but it's so eye-catching in that it fades from one side to the other. How perfect for the strips on this sketch.

The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp. I needed something big enough to hold its own in the big open space. It's a somewhat "delicate" font so I filled on all that open space with an embossing folder from Spellbinders. It has a variety of Christmas icons so fills in the space beautifully.

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


Dies: Simon Says Stamp Merry & Bright

Paper: Stampin' Up 2022-2024 In Color 6x6 Glimmer paper

Other: Spellbinders Scattered Christmas EF (folder of the month October 2022)

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Birthday Kitties

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!
Birthday Kitties

A cat-loving workmate's birthday is coming up this week and I had already purchased the kitty die in preparation then when I saw the sketch for this week, it all came together beautifully!! 

I wanted to to give the eyes and noses some color but I didn't want to deal with those itty bitty pieces so I used a hole punch to get small pieces of the pink and jade then adhered those behind the white. I added a piece of gray cardstock behind the white kitties to make it pop from the cardstock.  The jaunty little bow came from another die set but I wanted a little accent on all that white. I picked a bright and cheerful piece of balloon paper which I think makes the white pop even more. I think this is going to be a hit!

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


Dies: Simon Says Stamp Sneaky Kitties, Memory Box Happy Birthday Posh Script, Papertrey Ink Bows Galore

Paper: Bo Bunny Baby Bump 6x6, Stampin' Up Calypso Coral, Groovy Guava (noses), Just Jade (eyes), Pebbled Path (a gray layer of kitties behind the white)

Other: Pinkfresh Aqua Glitter Drops

Sunday, July 23, 2023

30 Years Ago?

My husband is coming up on a big birthday. I saw this sentiment stamp a few months ago and knew it was perfect.  Then I decided to feature it on the outside of the card because when people display cards that's what they see and this sentiment was too good to hide. I was struggling on how to use it and luckily saw the sketch at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge. And then for even more inspiration, I saw the colors at As You See It which are a fun mix of masculine grays/krafts plus bright colors for a birthday.

30 Years Ago?

The sentiment was new-to-me.  Many of the other products are long gone (sorry!)  That's what happens when I am finally finishing up a massive organization/clean out project.  I see things from the olden days that have gotten lost in the shuffle and I just have to use them.  Then of course they never get "cleaned out".  The little icons are from some very old embosslits by Stampin' Up. The tag is an old Papertrey Ink. (Although I never clean out basic stuff like tags or rectangles/square/circles or backgrounds - you just never know when that exact size or style might come in handy!!)  The embossing folder is an old Taylored Expressions.  Sad story - when we moved to this house about five years ago, one of the things I chose to downsize was a drawerful of embossing folders.  They had been a huge deal on cards, then five years ago they weren't so huge, then after I downsized they became huge again.  So I had to start my collection over - ugh. Teaches me to try to organize and downsize!!

So everything on this card is old - but it's just right for my old recipient!!

A big thank you to As You See It and Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge for the inspiration!


Stamps: Riley and Company Funny Bones The 1990s

Dies: Papertrey Ink Tag Sale 3 (cut a big shorter)

Paper: Stampin' Up Gray Granite, Crumb Cake, Tahitian Tide, Poppy Parade

Other: Stampin' Up Fashionable Hearts Embosslits and Little Pieces Embosslits (both long retired!), Taylored Expressions Ah-maze-ing

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Spruced Up

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!

Spruced Up

Stampin' Up's Spruced Up set was one of my favorite Christmas sets last year but I only used it a couple of times. So I left it in my not-yet-used Christmas stash even though it actually had been used because I wanted to remember to use it more and here it is again.  After I made it, I went back and looked at what I'd already done and this one is remarkably close to this one. That's kind of funny because I didn't get it for the stamps (although I love them) - I got it for the outline dies so I could do cards like Allison's or Akiko's or Madeleine's.  I guess this set has to go right back into my not-yet-used stash!!

And check it out...I decorated the inside!!  I never decorate my insides although I am awe of all of you who do. It's such a special touch.  I'm just not a natural cardmaker so the front saps up all of my creative energy and I am DONE when it's done.  But in this case I had a two-part sentiment and I had one tiny little strip of patterned paper left from when I decided the dsp on the front was a bit too wide and I trimmed some.

Spruced Up

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


Stamps: Stampin' Up Spruced Up

Dies: Stampin' Up Spruced Up Outlines dies, Stitched Shapes, Stitched Rectangles

Paper: Stampin' Up Sweet Sorbet and Pool Party, Sweetest Christmas

Ink: Stampin' Up Garden Green, Pool Party, and Sweet Sorbet

Other: Stampin' Up Toile Tidings Glitter Gems, Winter Snow Embossing Folder

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Summer Shadows

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!

Summer Shadows

I waited a long time to get the Stampin' Up Summer Shadows - clear up until they were on sale when they retired this year.  I don't know why I waited - I adore them!  They are detailed yet still can be fun and playful (although I have seen truly elegant cards made with them also.)  

The other old thing on this card is the sentiment.  Over the last month, I have done what I said I would never do - I weeded out old Stampin' Up sets.  I am famous for never getting rid of a set! Years ago, I started using them all and posted a countdown of sets on Splitcoaststampers.  I'm not even going to discuss how many there were and that was easily a decade ago with my stash continuing to grow.  But I have been making cards for 30 years, almost as long as Stampin' Up has been in business, so of course I have a lot.   

In the meantime, I've been getting older.  I have a new theory about those of us facing a certain age and that is that some go big and some dramatically downsize.  I have friends and family who are getting bigger houses, pools, RVs, every known kitchen gadget and so much more.  And others want a tiny house on a plot of land. We may not be tiny house hunting, but we are definitely in the downsize camp.  I don't want to have to organize or clean or maintain anything.  I just want good walking/hiking shoes, my Kindle, a suitable cardmaking stash and good coffee and wine.

Stampin' Up was the latest area of my life to be downsized.  I can hardly tell you how dramatic it was.  I had stamps going back to the country style and I don't see that coming back around again.  But at the same time, I found some keepers that I had totally forgotten about when they got lost in the chaos.  This sentiment is from Itty Bitty Banners that I think dates back a decade.  It's not all that exciting, but I knew I'd use it and here it is already.  Done in white on black gives it a more modern look and it paired well with these fun flowers.

Clearly I'm feeling chatty.  I guess I need to add a friend who is a good listener to the list of things I want when I downsize!!

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


Stamps: Stampin' Up Itty Bitty Banners (long retired)

Dies: Stampin' Up Summer Shadows (recently retired), Bitty Banners (long retired) and Scalloped Contours (current!)

Paper: Stampin' Up Flirty Flamingo, Granny Apple Green, Parakeet Party and Daffodil Delight, Taylored Expressions Cupcake, My Favorite Things Pineapple and MFT Black and White Stripes

Monday, July 10, 2023

52 Christmas Card Throwdown: Hope & Light

 I squeezed in one more card over the weekend because I just couldn't walk past the pale blue and red color challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown!  I did end up going more aqua vs. a true blue. I had the little snowflakes cut and adhered before I decided the bottom layer of the card needed to be colored and true blues just didn't work with my little snowflakes!

Hope & Light

I used the Decorated Pine dies from Stampin' Up that I believe are retired.  I love the dies - I didn't even get the stamp set, but just the dies have a lovely pine branch and multiple ornaments. I did the ornament in a subtle glitter paper and added little snowflakes in blue. I back them with two other sets and an embossing folder from Stampin' Up.  The sentiment set is still available - it's Brightest Glow. If you follow me, you know I am passionate about my sentiments and this is one special.  I LOVE the font and the unique sayings!

Thanks to 52 Christmas Card Throwdown for inspiring me to use some of my favorite products!


Stamps: Stampin' Up Brightest Glow

Dies: Stampin' Up Decorated Pine dies, Stitched Rectangle and Scalloped Contours

Paper: Stampin' Up Pool Party, Memory Box Delicate Pastel Glitter pad (the little blue snowflakes), Michael red glitter (the ornament)

Other: Stampin' Up Snow Burst embossing Folder

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Atlantic Hearts Sketch: Merry & Bright

I've had a Concord & 9th stamp set in my not-yet-used stash that includes three large sentiments plus some add-on sentiments. I have ideas for two of the sentiments but the biggest one was just...big!  I wasn't sure what to do with it.  When I saw this week's sketch at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge, the light bulb went on!

Merry & Bright

I knew the sentiment was going to be the "merry & bright" so then I went looking for paper. Deep in my stash I found Bella Blvd's Holly Jolly Christmas which had some unique colors and really fun patterns. The sentiment actually gave me the bigger headache.  Deep blue on white? A little dull. White embossing on blue? I've never found a truly white embossing powder and with these big letters being embossed, it came up creamy and not at all vibrant on the white background. I tried a few other colors, but I really wanted the blue. Finally I stamped in blue, topped it with Versamark and used a clear sparkly powder.  That was it!!  

Merry & Bright

Thanks to Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge for the inspiration!

Stamps: Concord & 9th Big on Christmas (and dies)
Dies: Taylored Expressions Banner Stacklet
Paper: Bella Blvd Holly Jolly Christmas, Taylored Expressions Blue Corn
Ink: Taylored Expressions Blue Corn, Versamark
Other: Spellbinders Scattered Christmas embossing folder (Oct 22 folder of the month), Taylored Expressions Diamond embossing powder, a variety of colors of Pinkfresh Glitter Drops

Thursday, July 6, 2023

52 Christmas Card Throwdown: Poinsettia Peace

'Tis the season....Christmas in July!!  I need to start popping out Christmas cards.  Not only because I need them but also because my not-yet-used stash from last year is too big to be able to add any new stash this year. I hate when that happens.  So I took inspiration from 52 Christmas Card Throwdown and used three products out of my stash on this card!

Poinsettia Peace

I generally like this card. My one regret is the champagne foil for the accents.  It's a little better in real life, but I really should have used gold - it needs a little more shine than it has. The first not-yet-used product I used is the poinsettias by Sizzix.  I don't think I got the layers lined up quite right but I do like the dimension of them.  The second is the sentiment. It's from Festive Sentiments #1 by Sizzix (I have #2 also). The all have unique shapes and fonts - this being the least unique of the batch.  I think I'll leave them in my not-yet-used stash until I use some of the more eye-catching sentiments.  I also really like the border die by Paper Rose - it will definitely come out to play again.

Thanks to 25 Christmas Card Throwdown for the inspiration.

Stamps: Sizzix Seasonal Flowers Framelits with Stamps, Sizzix Festive Sentiments #1
Dies: Paper Rose Berry Border
Paper: Stampin' Up Granny Apple Green, Champagne Foil
Ink: Stampin' Up Flirty Flamingo and Sweet Sorbet, Taylored Expressions Granny Smith and Peapod

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Freshly Made Sketches: Bunnies and Berries

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!
Bunnies and Berries

My son has a new girlfriend that seems potentially more serious than what I have seen in the past.  He few out to visit her for her birthday and given this one seems different, I wanted to send a card. When I asked about what she liked - the answer was bunnies and strawberries. I have a variety of bunnies (although I did manage to justify buying a few more from my wishlist) and I ordered a couple of strawberry die sets and this is what I came up with!

The bunny is an older, retired die from Simon Says but I'll always keep him because I love the little heart which seemed perfect for the purpose of this card.  The strawberries come from Lawn Fawn. I added the little flowers from an old Stampin' Up punch. 

I was really happy with the way this came together - and I'm told it was a hit with the girlfriend!

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


Stamps: Taylored Expressions Itty Bitty Sentiments

Dies: Lawn Fawn Strawberry Patch, Simon Says Stamp Bunny Hugs (retired), flowers are an old Stampin' Up punch

Paper: Stampin' Up cardstock in Sweet Sorbet, Granny Apple Green, Parakeet Party and Crumb Cake, Country Gingham dsp, 6x6 2022-24 In Color Glimmer paper (the bunny's heart)

Monday, July 3, 2023

Sketch Saturday: Big Balloon

I love stripes! And making them out of cardstock of dsp is my very favorite.  The sketch by Sketch Saturday caught my eye obviously for the stripes, but I love the inspiration of that extra little stripe at the top. 

Big BIrthday Balloon

I don't know what possessed me to cover that top stripe with a big balloon. I was actually working on yesterday's card and flipping through dies for that, when I flipped by the big balloon and the light bulb went on. And I've definitely been in the mood to refresh my birthday stash of cards.  Then the paper was another a-ha moment. Not a usual birthday choice for me except I love the stars for the balloon and when I started planning stripes, I saw that some of the other patterns in the pad were fun for those too. 

My sons are still both living in our house. They spend their days job hunting and evenings in their rooms playing video games. Yesterday three of us went up to the mountains for a quick hike and then we checked out a new-to-us brewery.  My husband and I aren't the most exciting of people so it's nice to have other people around for mini-adventures. The funny part of the story is the library of the small town that we were in was having a used book sale and my son with the accounting major found a 1920 accounting textbook that he spent hours paging through.  Tucked into one of the pages was someone's class schedule including things like letter writing and comportment.  I'm the proud owner of a little autobiography named "My First Ninety Years". It was published in 1955 and it's even autographed!  It's just an odd feeling to even hold this book!

But that was enough people time - so I spent the evening in my craft room working with this big balloon!  Thanks to Sketch Saturday for the inspiration.


Stamps: Papertrey Ink Birthday Your Way (and dies)

Dies: My Favorite Things Perfect Fit Balloon

Paper: Honey Bee Stamps Spring Lullaby 6x6 pad, Stampin' Up Misty Moonlight, Taylored Expressions Pink Champagne and Cupcake

Ink: Stampin' Up Misty Moonlight