Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Tweet Cardinal

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!

Tweet Cardinal

I'm already wildly behind on my Christmas card stash.  It's not so much that I have too many cards to make, but if I don't clear out some of my not-yet-used stash, I won't be able to buy new stash! (I'm guessing you don't believe the no-new-stash part because I don't even believe it myself!) So I made some space in my Christmas stash by using four different die sets. I had pulled a few poinsettias, then this little guy jumped out at me. He's Tweet Cardinal by Spellbinders. I've been doing this hobby for a long time and I remember when it was a big deal when basic-shaped dies like circles and rectangles came out and it was so exciting. Now look at all the dies available. There are so many layers and so much amazing detail. This die is just the cutest!

I stuck with my Spellbinders stash and found the greenery. Then I needed a large sentiment. I have lots of big Merry Christmas but do you ever find "christmas" hard to fit on a card front?  A big one goes across the full card and doesn't tuck neatly into a space like I had in front of my cardinal. So I found this "joy" by Simon Says. Then the background needed a little something so I added a die cut wnoflake background by Concord  & 9th and some sequined snowflakes.

This was a fun card to make. I did the cardinal first and he made me smile the whole time! I hope you hve as much fun playing along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches.


Dies: Spellbinders Tweet Cardinal, Spellbinders Parcel and Post Christmas Decorations, Concord & 9th Snowfall Card Front, Simon Says Stamp Large Joy

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Poppy Parade, Real Red and Peach Pie, Taylored Expressions Cilantro and Peapod

Other: Studio Katia Bluebell Pearls, Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Snowflakes

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Sending Hugs

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!

Sending Hugs

Virtually every time I create a sketch, I do it with the intent of using some of my patterned paper stash and most of the time, I end up making a card without patterned paper. I don't know why. It's not that I never use patterned paper, but when I do it's typically just a strip as an accent.  I love paper and I adore what I see other people doing with patterns (and then I end up buying that paper) but every time I use it, the card just feels cluttered so I don't use it and now I'm sinking under the weight of my stash. Wow. First world problems, huh?!

But this time I actually did use paper. It's the retired Garden Walk by Stampin' Up. Of course me being me, I couldn't go all out with color so I toned it down with a pure white bouquet of flowers from Be Bold Blooms by Spellbinders.  Actually the flowers were the second thought after I purchased the Stitched Rectangle Sentiments by A Pocket Full of Happiness (found at and realized they would make a nice tag for flowers. 

I hope to see you playing along with us this week. Have fun with it. I know I'll have fun looking at everybody's creative ideas. And as always, I'm sure I'll be adding products (especially patterned paper) to my wishlist after I've seen the amazing things you've done!


Dies: Spellbinders Be Bold Blooms, A Pocket Full of Happiness Stitched Rectangle Sentiments

Paper: Stampin' Up Garden Walk (retired), cardstock in Wild Wheat and Pretty Peacock

Friday, July 5, 2024

52 Christmas Card Throwdown: A Chubby Cardinal

The technique theme at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown has been to "colour an image".  I haven't colored in years and I used to color all the time, so I figured it was just the kind of challenge that I needed.  I pulled out a stamp set I got a number of years ago from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps (probably about the time I stopped coloring!) and decided this chubby little guy needed to make an appearance on a card.

Christmas Cardinal

If you follow my blog, you might realize that I colored on my very last post so this card wasn't the first one in years.  True - but even that non-Christmas card was somewhat inspired by this challenge.  As I was thinking about coloring for this Christmas challenge, I started seeing other coloring that I should do and now I've colored two cards.  But I definitely need practice. I've always been a simplistic colorer but I fell in love with Copics because they blend beautifully and you don't need to be an artist to make it all work.  I even have an entire tutorial from 2011 about simple blending found here.  I'm now looking at this bird's wing and it's not blended at all.  I guess I should have reviewed my own tutorial!

Thanks to 52 Christmas Card Throwdown for the inspiration to do some coloring!

Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Winter Birds and dies
Dies: Essential by Ellen Essential Arches
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Poppy Parade, Distressed Gold (on the arch)
Other: Sizzix Embossing Folder, Stampin' Up Gold Glitter Enamel Dots

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Heal Peace Rest

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!

Healing, Peace, Rest

OK, I admit it. I've been looking for an excuse to use this set so I made it fit the sketch. I haven't colored in forever. I really need to do it more because I thoroughly enjoyed making this card. I also store my Copics way too far away from my crafting table and it's just a complicated step to use them. But I already had them out finding my Copic matches for the new Stampin' Up in colors so decided to show off all of my picks. 

I added cardstock in each of the colors so you can see whether you like the Copic colors that I picked. Just keep in mind that (1) cardstock impacts the colors and (2) your eye impacts the color. Yellow is my best example (although there isn't a yellow in this batch).  I'm not a fan of plain yellow.  I don't know why because I know plenty of other people who pick it as their favorite color. That's my eye. So when I pick a Copic match for yellow (and remember, I did these matches for my use - I am not associated with Stampin' Up in any way), I will always tend toward a more golden hue than a bright yellow. It may not be the best match, but it will blend well and it's what I would use.

These are the Copics I used on my card.  The lighter of each of these colors is my pick to match In Colors.  The full chart of my selected Copic Markers for all Stampin' Up are available here and always on my sidebar. 

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


Stamps: Stampin' Up Country Flowers, Comforting Thioughts

Dies: Stampin' Up Country Flowers and Stylish Shapes, My Favorite Things Oval Shadows (retired)

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Pretty in Pink, Petunia Pop, Peach Pie, Shy Shamrock, Summer Splash

Other: Stampin' Up Eyelet 3D Embossing Folder, Adhesive-Backed Dappled Dots

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Feel Better

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!
Feel Better

Oddly, my first plan for this sketch actually involved the stripe. I have these patterned stripes from Taylored Expressions that I hadn't used yet. As I was looking at them, I focused on these three patterns and they drew me toward a get well card. I see those stripes as sunshine, rain and rainbows and I love that imagery for a get well. I tried to make it a bit more obvious with the sweet little sun and the subtle background of clouds. The bold sentiment is from - it's what I wanted to say plus it fit perfectly!

My latest retirement-exploration trip went well and the Black Hills area of South Dakota is staying on the list! It was beautiful there but I knew that because I grew up there and it just hasn't changed that much. I had some gorgeous walks and hikes while he found some great fishing holes. One of the fishing spots that he liked in the Hills is only 14 miles from Rapid City plus there is actually fishing right in the town! Compare that to Colorado where he can't get anywhere in less than 2 hours due to traffic and then might not be able to find a spot along the river due to the sheer volume of people. 

We still have a few years to figure this all out. We've visited two likely places this year, so now we need to figure out where we'll explore next year. It must have easy access to fly fishing for him and biking/walking/hiking options for me plus enough of a town that there are entertainment and social options. And it has to be reasonably priced - many of our very favorite areas have been "discovered" and we just can't keep them on the list (looking at you Bozeman, Montana and Buena Vista, Colorado.)

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


Dies: Taylored Expressions Easy Strips - 1/4" Patterns, Feel Better, Poppystamps Whittle Sunshine, Spellbinders Postage Edge Rectangles

Paper: Stampin' Up Sunshine & Rainbows, cardstock in Flirty Flamingo, Mango Melody, Pool Party, So Saffron

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Thinking of You

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!

Paper Florist Thinking of You

I knew right away that this card would have a flower from Stampin' Up's Paper Florist. I was late at getting this set only getting it when it retired. I talked myself out of it for so long because I have an outrageous number of flower dies - but it has a nice variety with a unique look so I just couldn't let it retire. I picked the biggest flower for this card. That flower was designed for more dimension but since so many of my cards get mailed, I kept it fairly flat.  I started out with the idea of using a Smoky Slate pattern that's in the same paper pack for a sympathy card, but when I put together the big flower, it had a unique and bold look so I changed to a brighter paper and changed to a "thinking of you" with a more cheerufl look.

In the next few hours, my husband and I are taking off for another retirement exploration trip. We're heading to the Black Hills of South Dakota. That's where I grew up and I still love it. I love the outdoors and the simple beauty of it all.  I even love the silly little tourist traps that are just a bit old-fashioned.  And for my husband, the fly-fishing is fantastic and that is the only thing he asks out of retirement. However, in the 35 years we've been together, we have never gone during tourist season. The last time we were there there were wide-open roads and everywhere we went was quick and easy.  I need him to experience the parade of Winnebagos as far as the eye can see, all with seemingly inexperienced drivers before we decide if it stays on our list. We are only gone for 5 days - it's not like I need to explore - we just need to see the traffic while getting to our hiking and fishing destination. 

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

Supply List

Stamps: Stampin' Up Four You

Dies: Stampin' Up Paper Florist

Paper: Stampin' Up Country Lace, cardstock in Petal Pink and Groovy Guava

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Get Well Flowers

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!
Get Well Florals

Just a couple of cards ago, I used the new Stampin' Up In Color inks - all five of them! On this card I used three of the cardstocks. (Then I have an order coming tomorrow and after that I should quickly be coloring with my chosen Copic color matches.)  I like this year's colors. Part of the reason I especially like them is because in all of my collections of cardstock from other companies, not a single color was equivalent so these colors are all fresh and new to me. Of course I'm saying all of that and nothing else on the card is from Stampin' Up. I'll probably always use Stampin' Up colors - I have every color of cardstock back to the very beginning so can't stop now!

I decided to stick with the circles on the sketch and went right to the Pinkfresh Floral Circles. (They seem to be retired but I love them so will continue using them regularly.)  I had used the pierced rectangle on the main panel for some interest then found a sentiment die that also had pierced detail - then finally picked a sentiment that fit.  Seems a little backwards but it's always good to have a quick get well card in the stash. 

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


Stamps: Papertrey Ink Say It Essentials

Dies: Pinkfresh Floral Circles, Avery Elle Double Pierced Rectangles, The Greetery Sentiment Suites dies, Mama Elephant Femme Frames

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Petunia Pop, Peach Pie, Shy Shamrock, Basic Beige

Ink: Stampin' Up Petunia Pop

Other: Stampin' Up 2024-2026 In Color Shimmer Gems

Monday, June 10, 2024

52 Christmas Card Throwdown: Golden Trees

It's June and I suddenly realized that I hadn't done a single Christmas card this year. Since I was already having an enjoyable and productive cardmaking session, I figured it was time to get started. And as luck would have it, the color challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown inspired me to pull out this Tree Pattern Cover Plate, a variety of green dsps and quite quickly, I have my first card of the season!

Hero Arts Tree Pattern

This is the Hero Arts Tree Pattern Cover Plate. I love the forest of trees. My original plan for it was a rainbow of color, but the challenge sent me to just green - so the die can't leave my not-yet-used stash until I've done my rainbow. The sentiment is from Paper Rose and I picked it because it was bold and chunky but it didn't cover many of the trees.The green is Stampin' Up's Garden Green which has been a long-time color for them and since I've also been around a long time, I knew I'd have dsp to match. 

Thanks to 52 Christmas Card Throwdown for the inspiration!


Dies: Hero Arts Tree Pattern Cover Plate, Paper Rose Season's Greetings Chunky

Paper: Stampin' Up Garden Green, tree scraps from Stampin' Up Distressed Gold, Gold Foil, Festive Foils, Peaceful Prints, Sweetest Christmas, and one of the early packs of dsp by color family

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Atlantic Hearts Challenge: Hoping with You

 After getting the new Stampin' Up In Color cardstock with my first order from the new catalog, I realized I liked the whole group of them so turned right around and ordered the ink. (I tend toward die-cuts on my cards and not so much ink, so it's a fairly big deal for me to get ink!)  I knew I could use all five colors with this retired set, Sending Smiles, so stamped them and then they've been sitting on my desk because I haven't had any great ideas to use them.  Then I noticed the sketch at the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge and it all came together.

Atlantic Hearts: Get Well Flowers

I put the flowers around another new-to-me set - Comforting Thoughts. It was one of Stampin' Up's online exclusives a number of months ago.  I got it for this particular stamp but I love them all - they are heartfelt and encouraging both in their words and their look.

Thank you to the folks at the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge for the inspiration!


Stamps: Stampin' Up Comforting Thoughts, Sending Smile and dies

Dies: Stampin' Up Stylish Shapes

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Basic Beige, Pretty in Pink

Ink: Stampin' Up Pebbled Path, Pretty in Pink, Shy Shamrock, Petunia Pop, Peach Pie, Summer Splash

Other: Stampin' Up Cane Weave Embossing folder, 2024-2026 In Color Shimmer Gems

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Just Bee-Cause

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!
Just Bee-cause

I like how this turned out but it was a happy accident. My cat was working her way up through her get-attention routine and she was already up to one of the top levels which is chewing on plastic and pulling things out of their storage boxes in my craft room.  (The top level had been chewing on electric cords which, of course, cannot be ignored. But I seem to have solved that with some mesh cord covers I found on Amazon!)  She was happily chewing on Sizzix die set plastic and as I was shooing her out of the room and putting back the sets she pulled out, there was this beehive set!!  That was a long story for no good reason except that I can never ignore inspiration even when it comes from an annoying cat who believes she must always be the center of attention. 

I had pulled out some paper that was more bee/beehive related but it was all yellow and black and I really wanted to pull another color in to give me a direction for the flowers that came in the die set.  I'm kind of a lot matchy-matchy and I like when the paper ties it all together. Funny story - I must be more matchy-matchy across my entire life than I thought because I dressed the other day in army green pants, a soft turquoise top and gray Skechers.  I thought it looked pretty good. When I came out the living room, my youngest son took one look and asked what was wrong with me because nothing matched!! It explains a lot about my cardmaking, doesn't it?!

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


Stamps: Concord & 9th Sweet Bee

Dies: Sizzix Bee Hive, My Favorite Things Sentiment Strips

Paper: Fancy Pants Park Bench

Other: Pretty Pink Posh Buttercream gems

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: A Mountain of Hugs

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!

Mountain Hugs

This one was easy! I had a definite need for a card for my oldest son who moved off to Michigan so I send him hugs from Colorado! And I had these colors out on my desk from last week's card.  I love it when it all comes together.  Good thing too because I just got back from my vacation and didn't have time to think too hard about this.

The mountain die is from Erin Lee Creative. This one is just Circle Mountain but there's also one with a river that I used here. The sketch gave me the idea to add some clouds and a bird in the upper right corner.

Vacation went very well.  That area of the country is still on our retirement list (tornade sirens notwithstanding!) It was gorgeous and had everything we are looking for. Biking and hiking trails even within the town; endless fishing; fine dining, basic family joints, an amazing deli, and the Whippy Dip which is a walk-up, no credit card, soft serve twist type of place; a vibrant downtown (no stamping stores, but there was a great yarn store!), dive bars and high end breweries, plus multiple coffee shops to try. And no cicadas!!!  If the tornadoes didn't give it away - we were in Iowa, specifically in Decorah in the northeast corner which is very different from the rest of the state. I'm very aware that I probably won't leave the house in July and August with the humidity but I don't even like summer here in Colorado so that's really no different.

We are actually going to do another little jaunt in just a few weeks and then we'll do a couple next year and it will be decision time!

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


Stamps: Avery Elle Simple Sentiments

Dies: Erin Lee Creative Circle Mountain, My Favorite Things Flat Bottomed Clouds, Paper Rose Flying Birds Small, The Greetery Pre-Text Banners

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Gray Granite, Boho Blue, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry

Other: Stampin' Up Pinewood Planks Embossing Folder

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Fab Flower Birthday

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!
Fab Flower Birthday

The birthday card I needed to make today was for someone I don't know well.  I knew the card shouldn't be frilly, yet I have seen her wear clothes with a floral pattern.  I knew it shouldn't be pastel nor bright. I settled on colors based on pictures on her office wall and I love how it turned out. 

The background stripe was a happy accident but I love how it grounded the flowers. Each vertical line is cut using the Memory Box Vertical Line Collage. Originally I cut multiple colored stripes for each opening - first I cut a variety of colors, then I cut a variety of greens like the greenery behind the flowers. Then as I was pondering how to keep the cute flowers from being...cutesy! struck me that I could go black and white so I found some stripes and added a panel behind the cut out stripes going the opposite direction.

The Happy Birthday is a recent purchase from Simon Says. My plan was to adhere the "happy" on top of the flower so I used vellum behind it. After I decided to add it behind the flower, I wish I would have the background layer in white - but my glue is strong and it was just too late! I love sets like this that give me a bold "happy" element and scripty add-ons.

A big shout-out to my Stampin' Up enabler at work for the wonderful black dots I used for the centers of the flower!

As you read this I am on the vacation/retirement-scouting-trip that I mentioned last week.  I am very much hoping I'm not sitting on a river bank while my husband fishes - while protecting myself from humidity, bugs and cicadas. I literally didn't know before we left that we were visiting during a massive cicada "awakening" - something that only happens every few hundred years. I'm not a huge fan of bugs, plus I noticed the American Academy of Audiology warns about ear damage from the noise.  Ugh. We're on the edge of it so fingers-crossed my worst nightmare hasn't come true!

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


Stamps: Simon Says Stamp (CZ Designs) Happy Combos

Dies: Simon Says Stamp (CZ Design) Happy and Fab Flower, Memory Box Vertical Line Collage

Paper: My Favorite Things Black & White Stripes

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Boho Blue, Crushed Curry, Calypso Coral

Other: Stampin' Up Matte Black Dots

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Copic Matches to Stampin' Up 2024 Colors

I am missing one Copic match to the new Stampin' Up 2024 in-colors (and Basic Biege) so have not updated the full chart yet.  It's Pretty in Pink. I figured I'd just go with the colors I used for the original Pretty in Pink but I was noticing people using a different Copic match that just happened to be one of a handful of colors that I don't own.  I've ordered it but it won't be here before I leave on vacation - so everything is delayed.  I'll give you my picks here and update the chart available on my sidebar when I'm back.

I also want you to know that my Copics are old. I don't think they are supposed to change but I think they might. I'm noticing some people using Copics that sure look like they match in their samples but when I use my same Copic, it's not right at all.  With that, I'm guessing some of you will feel the same way about my matches. Maybe it's old Copics, but it's also paper and ultimately what your eye sees.  So here's what I see...

Petunia Pop RV66

Peach Pie YR12

Summer Splash BG23

Shy Shamrock G03

Basic Beige W1 is grayer or E81 which is beiger

Pretty in Pink - my picks for the original Pretty in Pink were R81 but a better match is layering R11 and then R81.  What I'm seeing people use is RV21 and that's what I've ordered to check out.

I'm back from vacation on May 27th. RV21 should be in my mailbox by then and I'll update charts right away!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Wish Big

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

My husband loves to fly fish.  It actually might be more of an obsessive hobby than my cardmaking - with the abundance of poles and flies, the early hours, the long drives, the willingness to stand still in cold water for hours! He keeps trying to convince me that I'd love it and if I learned, we could do it together. Ugh. Just no.  I usually fend him off by telling him we could learn each other's hobby and spend even more time together.  He takes one look at my craft from and I don't hear about fishing again for months. 

When I saw Cécile's sketch, I knew these fish would be the frame. Then I was looking for a completely different sentiment and the "wish big" jumped out at me and tickled my funny bone. When he got home from a full day of fishing last night, he didn't tell me about the drive or the weather or the company - but he did catch a 20" brown (whatever that means!)

This weekend, we are starting a 10-day vacation. We're trying to sell each other on options for retirement. Where we are going ticks a lot of boxes for both of us. He'd be close to fishing and there are quaint towns and lots of outdoor/bicycling options for me. However, I'm not going  to mention where we are going. I don't want to offend anybody since my answer to this area is most likely a big "no".  It's the weather.  We ran into a chatty stranger a few weeks ago and she was originally from where we are going and she told me "Oh honey, he's taking you there for the one good week of weather all year long."  We'll see!

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


Stamps: Taylored Expressions It's Your Day (and dies)

Dies: Paper Rose Fish Family

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Misty Moonlight, Boho Blue, Old Olive and Mossy Meadow, My Favorite Things Naturals

Ink: Stampin' Up Misty Moonlight

Other: Honey Bee Stamps Black Gem Stickers, Stampin' Up Subtle Embossing Folder

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Birthday Deer

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!
Birthday Deer

I talk a lot about planning to use patterned paper, then not ending up using it. In the meantime, I do have a serious collection of patterned paper. I knew what I was doing with this sketch the second I saw it. I used this nature scene paper from Stampin' Up (retired) along with a critter for a birthday card for my husband.  The critter was supposed to be a moose based on a fabulous vacation we took last year to the Moose Capital of Colorado (Walden, population 569) but my stash failed me. I had a large very goofy moose and a small cute moose, neither of which I wanted to use with the gorgeous background paper.

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


Stamps: Papertrey Ink Winter Woods (the sentiment)

Dies: Sizzix/Tim Holtz Winter Wonderland, Trinity Modern Embossed Rectangle Stack

Paper: Stampin' Up New Horizons, Cardstock in Pecan Pie and Evening Evergreen

Other: Stampin' Up Brushed Metallic Adhesive-Backed Dots and Subtle embossing folder

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Birthday Candles

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!

Birthday Candles

As is so often the case, I had something totally different in mind when I put together the sketch.  I tried to tempt myself to use some of the beautiful dsp I have stashed away - so I figured this sketch would give me an opportunity. Then for a little fun, I put a big sentiment on the diagonal.  Did you notice that I didn't use any dsp?  I had every intention to but a candle background popped into my brain and there was no going back!

I cut the candles with Concord & 9th's Make a Wish dies.  The five candles to the right weren't quite tall enough so are snipped right behind the sentiment and "stretched" out a bit so you can see the top.  I was suprised to realize I was limited in my sentiment choices. I have plenty of large sentiments but it turns out most of them are stacked with the "happy" on top of the "birthday" so not long like I needed.  Luckily, I have always liked the font on this die from Poppystamps - it's fun but not too frilly.  

A little embossed confetti in the background and I know just who it's going to go to.  (Hopefully they don't take offense at a card full of birthday candles!)

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


Dies: Poppystamps Happy Birthday Poe Script. Concord & 9th Make a Wish dies

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Poppy Parade Mango Melody, Daffodil Delight, Parakeet Party, Balmy Blue, Orchid Oasis, HIghland Heather

Other: Taylored Expressions Sprinkles Embossing Folder

Monday, April 29, 2024

A Dahlia for Retirement

There is a long-time employee retiring from our department at the end of the week. I already made my personal card from me to her here but now my department has asked me to make a card for all of us to sign.  They don't usually ask for cards like this - but in this case, she is all about her dahlias and they knew I could find a way to add a dahlia to the card.

A Dahlia for Retirement

This is a 5x7 card. That's not my normal size so I struggled a bit but I needed space on the inside for 16 people to sign it.  It probably needed to be bigger but they'll just have to write small!

I did have to go shopping for the requested dahlia and I found this gorgeous die from Gina K which, had I noticed it earlier, would already have been in my collection.  I don't know much about dahlias so I googled images.  Apparently the most common is a red, but I saw yellow ones with orange centers and they were just so cheerful that I used that color scheme for the card.

I had different butterflies in mind but I could not find my favorites. That frustrates me so much because I believe I am hyper-organized, or maybe it's just I love the act of getting organized. They were definitely not with my other butterflies. I even flipped through my entire stash of flower dies in case they were misfiled there - nope.  They are misfiled somewhere (hopefully not accidentally in the garbage can at some point in the past) and I hope they turn up.  So I'm not totally in love with what I used - but I wanted it to be more graphic than realistic and I wanted them to have a die for the body so I could add a bit of black - and this is what I had.


Stamps: Waffle Flower Happy Retirement and dies

Dies: Gina K Designs Dahlia Flower Cover Plate, Birch Press Simple Butterfly Contour Layers

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Mango Melody, Daffodil Delight and Crumb Cake

Other: Gina K Designs Lattice Embossing Folder

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Birthday Polygons

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!
Birthday Polygons

The Big Birthday sentiment from Honey Bee Stamps is brand new. I paired it with a couple of retired products from Honey Bee - Polygon Thin Frames and the paper is the Great Outdoors. The paper pad also has more colorful papers and I had chosen the colors of the polygons based on those even though I ended up just using the basic woodgrain. 

Birthday Polygons

This was a bit of a stretch for me so thank you to Linda for the inspiration.  This was a rare card that came together quickly for me. I did start out with plain rectangles on patterned paper but quickly realized my rectangles needed to be more interesting - so they became polygons.  Then with the color in the nested polygons, I changed the paper.  Those were my only sidetracks which is shocking given my average card takes a few hours!  And now I have a masculine card in my stash!!


Dies: Honey Bee Stamps Big Birthday and Polygon Thin Frames

Paper: Honey Bee Stamps Great Outdoors 6x6 paper pad, Stampin' Up Pretty Peacock, Cajun Craze, Coastal Cabana and Old Olive

Other: Stamp Market Silver Glitter Stars

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Sunday Stamps: Artistic

I was on a roll crafting this weekend and decided I had to use my other retiring purchase from Stampin' Up.  Yesterday I used the Paper Florist dies; today is the Artistic dies.  I really wanted the stand-alone flower the leaf in the die set but I didn't get the stamp set so all the other dies in the set are irrelevant.  As soon as it was discounted at retirement, I could justify only needing half the dies in the set! 

Artistic Bouquet

I absolutely fell in love with the color combination at Sunday Stamps. It's nothing I would ever have come up with by myself. When I saw them, I knew the rich colors would really highlight this flower die in all white.  With the detail in the die, I just added four stripes and then used the fifth color to highlight the banner.

The sentiment went on the only thing from Stampin' Up in my stash that is still current - the Stylish Shapes dies.  It was a heck of a retirement year - my stash is now totally out-of-date.  Thank goodness I'm not a demonstrator and can use old sets as long as I want (check out the sentiment on this card to see how old I can go!)  Then I haven't used sequins in a while but I thought their shine just made sense on this card so I dug those out of the retired stash also.  (I don't love the look of the sentiment but it fit in the banner and it has a nice coordinating inside sentiment - "wishing you the HAPPIEST birthday yet".)

Artistic Bouquet

I had two other bouquets cut and I was going to layer them up to give it dimension. I was absolutely dreading it. I'm bad at layering up even simple die cuts - I never quite seem to get things perfectly lined up. But I had the card laid out on my desk and I liked the way the edges of the die were curling up. It gave it some nice dimension so I only adhered a strip down the middle.  I'll probably regret it when trying to get it in an envelope, but I like the way it looks sitting on my desk.

Thank you to Sunday Stamps for my color inspiration!


Stamps: Stampin' Up On Your Birthday

Dies: Stampin' Up Artistic and Stylish Shapes, Simon Says Stamps A2 Thin Frames

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink Terracotta Tile and Melon Berry, Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana, Bermuda Bay and Pretty Peacock (just a hint behind the sentiment banner)

Ink: Stampin' Up Pretty Peacock

Other: Stampin' Up Woven Threads Sequin Assorment

Monday, April 22, 2024

As You See It and Paper Players: Paper Florist

Two challenges came together to convince me to I absolutely needed to use a new set of dies before I tucked them away: Monochromatic Cherry Blossoms at As You See It and Spring Flowers at The Paper Players

Paper Florist

I've had my eye on the Paper Florist dies by Stampin' Up all year but managed to talk myself out of them. I have far too many flower dies for the average crafter! But very surprisingly, they retired this year and even more surprisingly, they retired at a huge discount. I do love the variety of flowers and their quirky look but I have this terrible tendency to tuck away anything I buy in retirement sales and never use them again. After all, there will be fresh new stash to buy and use.  When I saw the Spring Flowers challenge at The Paper Players, I had to drop everything and play. The "spring" part guided me to these particular flowers. I think of spring flowers as delicate and perhaps a bit raggedy like the wildflowers in my Colorado mountains so these quirkly little flowers and flower centers were just right. 

I had already bookmarked the Monochromatic Cherry Blossoms challenge at As You See It and, while these aren't cherry blossoms, I love the color combination. This is the first time I've used Bubble Bath (a little too pink for me) but paired with the other two colors I think it is fabulous.

Paper Florist

I needed a little interest in the background so pulled out the Stampin' Up Cane Weave embossing folder (which is actually still current). Then came time for the sentiment. Since everything I'd used was Stampin' Up, I looked through my stash and found a really old sentiment set that had exactly the look that I wanted for the flowers and then the sentiment fit in an older die set called Tasteful Labels.

A big thank you to both challenges for inspiring me to play with these retired dies just in case I tuck them away when I have new stuff to play with!


Stamps: Stampin' Up Well-Scripted

Dies: Stampin' Up Paper Florist, Tasteful Labels

Other: Stampin' Up Cane Weave EF and Gold Glitter Enamel Dots

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Happy Retirement

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!
Happy Retirement

I have a workmate who announced she was retiring three years ago.  Not that in 2021, she said she'd be retiring in 2024 - but that she was actually retiring in 2021.  She had a calendar in her office on which she crossed off each day. Well one thing happened after another, both at work and in her life situation and it's now 2024 and she has announced that she is retiring in May.  This time I believe her. 

Her retirement plan is actually working a little "farm" which they bought about three years ago. They sell their local produce to various restaurants in the area and she raises prize-winning dahlias. I don't have anything farm-related in my stash and I don't have dahlias but I do have these cheerful little Nordic flowers. They have such a happy look, I thought they would be perfect for retirement.

Happy Retirement

The colors took me the longest to pick but that's fairly normal for me. I started with my comfort-zone colors of flamingo, mango and daffodil but it was a little "cutesy" for my future farmer. I just kept switching out colors until it felt like my friend. I had so many flowers in so many colors all over my desk, I couldn't even tell you at this point what the colors are that I ended up with! I do sometimes wonder why I obsess over each and every card.  I know my friend would have appreciated any version I made. But luckily I do like the process and I just keep going until it feels right.

FYI: The tall flower pot is actually taller. I trimmed a strip off the top and bottom of it to fit this 4 1/4" square card. Without the trimming, it would fit nicely on a taller card.  Also, there are smaller flowers in the flower set which I used on this card

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


Stamps: Papertrey Ink Big Balloon Sentiments

Dies: Poppystamps Nordic Flower Pots and Stems, Nordic Flower Heads, Nordic Butterfly Trio

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Single Rose

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!

Single Rose for Birthday

I had a specific need this week - a birthday card that needed to be sweet and pretty, but not cutesy. With the leaves on the sketch, I quickly decided the circle needed to be a flower and got quite excited when I flipped through my stash and found this flower that was almost exactly a circle! It's Single Roses by Simon Says and given where it was in my stash, it's an older die (although still on their website). I changed it up a little bit because the simple line drawn rose wasn't quite strong enough to stand out behind the "happy". They had an idea in their store showing it using the cut out pieces on top and that's exactly what I needed. 

Single Rose for Birthday

With the older die, I went with something new-to-me from Simon Says Stamp - the Happy Combos stamp set with the Happy die.  It's a really nice all-around with dozens of sentiments to go with "happy". The Happy die also has a backer but it covered too much of the flower so I skipped it in on this card.

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


Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Happy Combos with dies

Dies: Simon Says Stamp Happy and Single Roses, Essential by Ellen Essential Squares

Paper: Stampin' Up Brights 6x6 dsp, cardstock in Flirty Flamingo and Granny Apple Green, Taylored Expressions Cupcakes

Other: Studio Katia Rose Pink pearls

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Freshly Made Sketches: Hey Hi Hello

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!

Hey Hi Hello

I imagined a lot of different cards for this sketch. I saw a panel with a rainbow, one with clouds and one with sun. I thought about using three different patterned papers and a big sentiment. But I finally "settled" on a sentiment with three lines - specifically "Happy", "Birthday" and "To You".  Clearly I didn't actually settle on that. It was a nice mental picture in my head but I got stuck on how to decorate it.  Notice how the "hi" ultimately worked on my card with the bouquet of flowers extending across two panels.  That didn't work when the second panel had the long word "birthday" and I really like how the bouquet ties the panels together.  Only a crafter truly understands the drama of trying to figure out a way to decorate with that long word!!

Hey Hi Hello

The sentiment came from Concord and 9th so I dug into my C&9 stash and came out with the fabulous Friendship Garden set which has multiple tiny bouquets and fun holders for those bouquets. It's nice to work with becaue the little flower and berries are a separate die so very easy to get all the little pieces that you need and they plop right on top of the green stems. The background is also C&9. I thought about patterned paper like a simple gingham - it would have been nice but I do like a fresh white card.

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


Dies: Concord and 9th Friendship Garden, Stitched Stripe and Hey Hi Hello, Trinity Stamps Modern Embossed Rectangle Stack

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Flirty Flamingo, Mango Melody and Lemon Lime Twist, Taylored Expressions Cupcake