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