Monday, December 31, 2012

Puppies, Kitties and Love with TAWS!

It's blog hop and new release time at The Alley Way Stamps (TAWS)!

Last week, I gave you a sneak peek of a cute kitty set - see it here!  Exciting news - there is a puppy set also!!!
Woof! Bark! Howl!

I love this little guy and I'm not even a small dog person.  But never fear, the set also includes a mid-size and big burly dog!!  I love the newspaper, because I can add any type of sentiment inside and the card will work!!

Besides the kittens and puppies, it's also the time of year that cardmakers start thinking about Valentines.  TAWS has a darling new Valentine's set.  (Hopefully you are hopping through the entire blog to see the variety of stamps and sentiments in this set!)

Love is in the Air
Next on your hop is Melissa.  Have fun!

Here's the official blog hop verbiage - AND BE SURE TO KEEP SCROLLING FOR ANOTHER GREAT PRIZE DEAL!!

One person will win ALL 3 NEW SETS!! YEP!! So if you want that person to be you.. 
all you have to do is comment on the hop! 
Here are ways you can win.. You can pick and choose which ones you want to do.. 
but the more you comment, the more chances you have to win.. 

1-Comment on The Alley Way Stamps Blog
2-Comment on the DT girls blogs (below)
3-Post about it on facebook or your blog
4-Like us on Facebook
(leave a seperate comment for each that you do)

 You have until tonight, December 31st by 10:30 PM TAWS time to leave comments.

Here are the DT Blogs to visit

But this isn't the only way to win great prizes this month with TAWS!  Because TAWS is celebrating its first birthday!!


We will be having a 13 day GIVEAWAY Birthday Celebration.. TAWS is turning 1!!! eek... we hope you join us. For a chance to win a random stamp set, place this banner on your blog and/ or share on FB  or PIN it.. make sure to link it back to TAWS. Then head to the TAWS page yourself and add your name to MR. Linky or add a comment. That's 2 chances to win..

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps The Gane
  • Paper: Echo Park Woof Words dsp, Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate Chip
  • Ink: Memento Espresso Truffle, Copics
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Curry ribbon, Bella Blvd Dog Flags
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Lighter Than Air
  • Paper: Imaginisce dsp, Stampin' Up Basic Gray, Cherry Cobbler
  • Ink: Memento black, Copics
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler twine, Fiskars squeeze cloud punch, Papertrey Ink Aida Impression Plate
  • Challenge: retrosketches

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Amazing, Fantastic, Extraordinary, Wonderful

I spent this morning preparing ahead (fingers crossed, knock on wood).  My 16-year old son has had a tough few years.  Of course, you couldn't pay me enough to go back to my teen years so I can totally relate.  Just this year, he enrolled at Lutheran High School for the significantly smaller classroom size and the Christian environment.  It's been a perfect fit!!  He went into mid-terms with straight A's (and a great attitude!)  But one of the things that developed over the last few years is a severe test anxiety - so it's always possible that his nerves got the better of him on his mid-terms.  The results come out at the end of this week and I want to have a card ready to go - so I can immediately hand it to him and he will know that I have faith!

You are Wonderful
I have had this set out on my desk for awhile because I wanted to play along with Avery Elle's AEI♥U Challenge to create a project summing up my personal style.  I love clean cards - either white or I also love kraft.  I love including something that is unique or different - in this case, the button, and the fun sketch from retrosketches.  (I'm also a big challenge player!)  I don't tend towards patterned papers and if I use it, it's usually just a dash.  I love stamps that can stand alone - in this case, the variety and arrangement of fun fonts makes the sentiment interesting all by itself.

  • Stamps: Avery Elle Framed Fonts and Bright Days (the sun rays)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake and Island Indigo, MME Indie Chic Nutmeg "Hanging Out"
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Summer Sun and Island Indigo
  • Accessories: A Flair for Buttons Etsy Shop, Paper Crimper, Corner Rounder, Stampin' Up Island Indigo twine

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Have an Epic Year!!

It's a big day in my house - my youngest is a teenager!!  Yes...I'm old.  (Actually older than you might think.  Erik, the new teenager, came home from school with a story that he thought was funny.  A teacher was talking about the first moon landing and how long ago it was - so long ago that the student's parents wouldn't even remember it.  Wrong!)

My kids get to pick their special meal on their birthdays - either home cooked or dining out.  Erik is usually quite fun as he is a foodie.  He likes new and unique food experiences and unusual restaurants.  He went an entirely different direction this year - - Golden Corral's breakfast buffet - - seriously!!!???

2012 13th Birthday

I am so uncomfortably full as I write this because I couldn't possibly say "no" to the second serving of biscuits and gravy!!

Then we wandered across the parking lot of Golden Corral to the bowling alley.

2012 13th Birthday

None of us even broke 100!!

Then I had my husband take a picture of my boys and I.

2012 13th Birthday
The shortest one is the birthday boy - a new teenager!  The biggest one actually has a birthday in a week - he'll be 17!  If anyone knows the trick to making a teenager smile, let me know.

After seeing the picture, I decided the boys needed haircuts - they both look like they have had bowl cuts.  But the only way to get Erik there was to bribe him with the extra treatments - it's $5 for that warm towel and head massage - but he loved it!!

2012 13th Birthday

Now we are home and Erik is settled into the recliner,  hair a little shorter and spikier, PS3 remote in hand, playing a new game.

2012 13th Birthday

With this picture, you can see why I went the direction that I did with his birthday card!!

Epic Year

I used the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches.  I found this one really hard - that square piece under the circle gave me headaches.  But that's why they are "challenges"!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Trey Ink Boy Basics: Game One, Grunge Me
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake CS and dsp, Pacific Point CS, Black CS
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Pacific Point, Basic Gray
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Star Brads, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Nestabilities Circle dies

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thank You Snowflakes!

I LOVE the current photo for The Alley Way Stamps (TAWS) BE Inspired challenge.  I have always thought that I will know that I have made it in life if I can have seasonal bedding (other than the switch from cotton to flannel when it gets cold!!)

I used the snowflakes from Holiday Sparkles which is a free set for the month of December with a $40 purchase.  The sentiment is from Jibber Jabber (although I did cut the "s" from "thanks. FYI - cutting stamps can be really helpful.  Just be sure to cut them with a little curve so that when you want them put back together, you can line them up easily - they will just fit together like a jigsaw puzzle!)

Thank You Snowflakes

Aren't red and white wonderful together???

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Holiday Sparkles, Jibber Jabber
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Real Red and white
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Real Red and Versamakr
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Red grosgrain and gingham, Zing white embossing powder, misc twine and bling

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sweet?? Not So Sweet!!

This is my second post today!

I almost missed the current Addicted to CAS challenge and then I got a perfect set of stamps in the mail.

The challenge is:

My card has some sweet chocolate and little not-so-sweet attitude!!

More Than Chocolate

  • Stamps: The Craft's Meow All You Need is Love
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Dark Chocolate CS and dsp
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Dark Chocolate, Stampin' Up Real Red
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up ribbon, Dress It Up Red Hot Hearts button

Happy Cat-urday! (on Thursday)

It's sneak peek time for the January release at The Alley Way Stamps (TAWS)!  If you follow the TAWS blog - yesterday you saw puppies.  Guess what today is?  Kitties!!!!

We share our home with two kitties.  One is feisty (that's a polite way of saying that if you annoy her, she just might scratch your eyes out!).  The other is a big black and white lug.  He loves to sit on the stairs going upstairs and swat as you head down the other set of stairs - BUT, never once do his claws come just feel a big thump.  He purrs if you just glance at him and it can be heard throughout the house.  My big boy was my inspiration for this card...

Happy Caturday
Here's my inspiration - hanging out with his sister.  They are truly sister and brother, but you couldn't have two more different cats in looks and in personality!

2012 01 21 008

Not only did I use the new TAWS set, Sittin' Pretty (available January 1), I also added a "sun" using the current free-with-$40-purchase set - Holiday Sparkles (only available through December 31).  I've already done a snowflake card with it - check it out here.  I love the doily look and thought it would make an interesting sun.

Enjoy the rest of the sneak peeks - be sure to check back on the TAWS blog over the weekend - there is still a charming love/Valentines set to sneak a peek at.  I'll be back with more TAWS for the new release blog hop on January 31.
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Sittin' Pretty, Holiday Sparkles
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Daffodil and Black
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Daffodil
  • Accessories: misc black and white gingham

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White on White with Papertrey Ink

I hope everybody had a wonderful and joyful Christmas!  It was very calm and peaceful at my house.  This year worked out so it was just my little family and it was very nice.  There was no hurrying, no time schedule, no last minute cleaning.  Instead, there was time to laugh and chat and to reflect.

( time for me to make cards!!!)

This month's blog hop at Papertrey Ink is "white on white".  I LOVE white on white!!  Such a clean and pure look, so I immediately thought of a baby card!

Welcome Little One
The pattern on the animals is actually a polka-dot, but my embossing powder didn't quite capture that. On the other hand, when I realized it had the same look as my new Aida Cloth Impression Plate - I was  thrilled with the soft look!!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Sweet Baby, Bitty Baby Blessings (sentiment)
  • Paper: white!!
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Soft Stone, Versamark
  • Accessories: White embossing powder, misc white ribbon,  Paper Trey: Sweet Baby dies, Double Ended Banner die (just one side of it), Edgers #3 die, Aida Impression Plate, White Button

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fa-La-La to You!!

It's my day to post over at The Alley Way Stamps (TAWS) blog and it's Christmas Eve day, but there is nothing overtly Christmas-y in the newest release at TAWS.  Never fear - Doodle Frames can be used for anything - and it's PERFECT for chalkboard art!!


I used this week's sketch from retrosketches.

Fa-la-la to you!  I hope you are through with the hustle and bustle (or at least by the time stores close today!!) and are able to settle in for festive and peaceful and holy times with family and friends!

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Doodle Frames, Jolly Holiday (one of the ornaments) and Fa-La-La (an ornament, the sentiment and the teeny tiny snowflake)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Riding Hood Red, Kiwi Kiss, Basic Black, MME Winter Wonderland Stripes
  • Ink: Colorbox Frost White
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Top Note die, Kiwi Kiss ribbon, misc gems colored with Copics

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Joyful Bluebird with Memory Box Dies

I have a great cardmaking friend who has recently fallen IN LOVE with Memory Box dies, so there was no doubt, when it came time to make her card, that I would use a variety of dies!

Joy Bird

I picked the bird and branch dies when I saw the colors at Stampin' Royalty.  It definitely seemed meant to be!!

And then somewhere I had seen the Tessatina Border die used on a banner - I wanted to use the same idea, so the sketch at Try Stampin' on Tuesday was perfect!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Beautiful Blooms ("joy")
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Summer Starfruit, Riding Hood Red and Chocolate Chip CS, Island Indigo dsp, Lucky Limeade CS and dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Two Tags Sizzix die, Memory Box Perched Reed Bird, Twigs and Berries, Tessatina Border die

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Near and Far, Follow His Star

{CAROL Y - yoyo - If you are reading this and have not yet received a card from me in the mail - STOP NOW!}

Now, I'm leaving lots of white space, so if Carol hasn't received her card, she won't see it.

The rest of you just need to scroll down a little!!

Recently I was visiting a dear friend (and cardmaking fanatic) when she commented on her all-time favorite card that I had made.  It was early in the life of my blog, but is still my most visited post - see it here.

Between coffee, conversation and a little bit of knitting, she also showed me some tags she was making for a swap and I told her about my all-time favorite tag die.  So, of course, for Christmas I had to pick up one of these dies as a surprise gift for her!!

So...these two things have come together to create her card...

Follow His Star 3
You have to see the snow in close-up.  (Be sure to check out Kristina's video on how she flicks on the snow vs. spritzing.  You can also drool over the most amazing poinsettia that she has created!)
Follow His Star close
I knew that I wanted the trees on her card, but I credit the star idea to this week's CASology challenge.
I have to admit that this card would not have been simple had I not done it before.  But, having done the trees and the sponging on a previous card, and being able to use that blog post to remember all of the colors, this card was under 10 minutes!!


If you haven't seen this yet, be sure to check out Amber's amazing Drawn Together program.  Amber is collecting craft supplies and cards for the surviving children in Newtown to be used as a creative coping mechanism.  Her initial plan was to create 50 kits, but not surprisingly, the cardmaking world has rallied together in love and generosity and the numbers have soared.  If you are feeling called to be part of this program, be sure to start with the most recent blog posts on her blog, Damask Love, and read the updates as to the needs.

I read a lot of blogs and so many people are joining Amber's effort.  And many others are passing along the details to their children's school classrooms and their Sunday School programs.  This is truly an amazing idea that will have a long-term impact. 


  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Lovely As A Tree, A Star-Studded Season
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive, white
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Soft Sky, Old Olive Daffodil Delight and markers in Old Olive, Always Artichoke and Crumb Cake, Versamark
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink's Tag Sale #3 Die, Sparkle 'n Sprinkle Chocolate Sparkle Embossing Powder, Mr. Huey's Calico White and Calico Shine mists, Stampin' Up embossing folder, Old Olive seam binding and silver cord.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bethlehem Chalkboard Art

I have been so intrigued by various cardmakers and their chalkboard art cards.  Many of them combine fonts, sentiments and images for an incredible Subway Art look.  That just seemed like a little too much work for me!!

I have a great stamping buddy who is an incredible cardmaker.  Her cards are full of layers and embossing, patterns, ribbons, twine and charms - and she loves a vintage look.  When I make a card for her, I love to try to come up with something that, just perhaps, she hasn't seen and might interest her.  I thought chalkboard art would be the way to go, but I kept the image itself quite simple - with a few more layers than I would normally use as a nod to her style.

Let Us Adore Him

The sketch is from Tuesday Morning Sketches.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Come to Bethlehem
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Black, Poppy Parade, Crumb Cake, Gumball Green (dsp and CS)
  • Ink: Colorbox Frost White
  • Accessories: misc gems, Stampin' Up twine and embossing folder, Zing White embossing powder

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Love Bird on Love Knots

I am in love with Love Knots by The Alley Way Stamps.  Woodgrain is so in style and can be used in so many ways.  It's extra fun when there is a "love knot" on the wood!!

Love Bird

For this card, I used a new-to-me challenge called Sunday Stamps.  They have color challenges and sketch challenges - this week is a sketch...

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Love Knots
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake
  • Accessories: Memory Box Nestling Bird and Twigs & Berries dies, Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler twine, Circle and Heart punches, Martha Stewart Fine Crystal Glitter (on moon)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Soft Kitties and Snowflake Blessings

There is nothing particularly unique or creative about the cards that I am sharing today except for the amount of thought that I put it into each of them (or perhaps it was simply avoidance.)

I have shared many cards with you that I have been sending to my long-time friend in hospice care.  Tammy passed away on November 29th.  It was what she chose and her death ended a long period of suffering.  I have spoken to her husband many times by phone, but I haven't sat down and made a card.  I've thought it about it daily, but just haven't gotten it done.  It's amazing how much harder cards are when they have to have meaning to the recipient (vs. all the cards that I make for design teams and challenges that I may or may not use someday.)

Tammy and Jeff made the decision not to have children, but Tammy had cats - and those cats were definitely her children!  I wasn't entirely certain how Jeff felt about the cats until my last visit in October when he showed me how he played tag with Blossom.  He would run around the house like a crazy man and that cat would take off after him...they stalked each other...they surprised each other...Jeff laughed...and I was so glad to see it.  So, whether or not it is the common thing to do, my sympathy card for Jeff HAD to have a cat in tribute of his wife and my friend...

This is a very deliberately simple card.  A few flowers in honor of Tammy, but no frills for Jeff.  Jeff is a firefighter and spends his free time helping his dad with the cattle - frills would not have worked.
Then I moved on from this card and started thinking what I could do for him for Christmas.  "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" just didn't work.  I decided upon a single snowflake based upon a sentiment I found in my stash.
Snowflakes are kisses
sent from above,
falling from heaven
to show God's great love.
Xmas Blessings

Thank you to the following challenges who made these difficult cards a little easier to make.

CAS - Colours & Sketches

The Paper Players: CAS Snowflakes

CAS-ual Fridays: Even the Score.  (I had punched the snowflake and stamped the sentiment, but it looked too empty.  A few score lines filled it in and kept it all very simple!)

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Summer Solstice (sentiment), Hampton Arts cat
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Ocean Tides, Stampin' Up Summer Starfruit, Naturals White, Pink Paislee Indigo Bleu
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Ocean Tides, Stampin' Up Going Gray
  • Accessories: MME Follow Your Heart twine
Christmas Blessings
  • Stamps: Hero Arts Greatest Gift, the inside sentiment that I quoted was a set from Clear Dollar Stamps - they are moving to digital stamps and a quick search did not turn up this stamp
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Baja Breeze
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Baja Breeze
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart snowflake punch, Stampin' Up Baja Corduroy button, silver cord