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)