Monday, March 31, 2014

Viva La Verve: Get Well Soon

My kids are back in school after what felt like a very long spring break.  Yay!!  (Is it wrong to feel this way??)  They both had plans fall through so they ended up moping around the house.  For a spring break, it was a very gloomy week!

So in celebration of peace and quiet this morning, I am playing along with a challenge -Viva la Verve.  All the layers and angles on this one are a little out of my comfort zone - but my great friend Stacey Schafer created it and I'm going to give it a try.  While I'm jumping out of the box, I decided to go all the way and I used four patterned papers, buttons, sequins, wood dots, ribbon and twine!

Hope You Get Well Soon

It was a stretch - but I like it!!

The cardstock and the ink are new-to-me from Simon Says Stamp.  I decided to give some of their inks a try and I'm always a sucker for a good neutral.  They have a nice feature on their blog called Color Coordinates. Shari Carroll looks through their store's stock and finds papers/washi tape/stickers/dots and much more that coordinate with one of their colors - I think it's weekly and they have done four colors so far.  I am still in mourning over the loss of Archivers so I particularly like this feature as I can no longer match things in person.  The patterned paper is one of the suggestions for their Khaki color.

  • Stamps: Verve Stamps Treasured Words, Amazing Wishes
  • Paper: Simon Says Stamp Khaki cardstock, My Mind's Eye Darling Dear 6x6
  • Ink: Simon Says Stamp Khaki, Memento brown
  • Accessories: Verve Stamps Tagged Rectangle Die, Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangles, Papertrey Ink Terracotta Tile and Button, Ellen Hutson Daffodil sequins, Hemptique 10-lb natural, My Mind's Eye Just Splendid Wood Dots

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sketchbook Saturday and Big Word Bubbles

A number of my favorite companies have come out with word bubble border dies and I had managed to resist for quite some time.  I don't know why I resisted - just a realization that I really couldn't own everything. Lawn FawnPaper Smooches and Mama Elephant each have great sets (the links go directly to their word bubble borders.  Then Iwona came out with the current sketch for Sketchbook Saturday and I took it as a sign that I had to have a word bubble border die.  Each of the sets has their advantages, but I picked Mama Elephant's set because I loved the cloud version (and I really wanted an excuse to order the Just Hatched set.)

We Wish You

Aren't these little guys sweet?  I resisted this stamp set simply because most of the words were baby-related and I really have no need for baby cards right now.  (My friends are too old, and their kids aren't quite at baby age yet.)  You should see the dinosaur in the set!  There are a few non-baby words in it - but I chose to use a Simon Says set called From Us - it's a great set because everything is from "us" or "we". 

  • Stamps: Mama Elephant Just Hatched, Simon Says Just Us
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Going Gray, unknown dsp
  • Ink: Memento Black, Copics, Stampin' Up Going Gray, Papertrey Ink Limeade Ice
  • Accessories: Mama Elephant Speech Trio dies, Just Hatched dies, Stampin' Up Calypso Coral twine, misc enamel dots

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Papertrey Ink Inspiration Archive: Thanks

Papertrey Ink has a great new feature on their blog - they are compiling all of the inspiration for the month in one place and letting us all play along.  Here's March's inspiration post.  There are sketches, colors and trends - all sorts of inspiration!

For this month, I used the photo inspiration - I love that rustic gray with the bright splashes of color - and I used one of the sketches.  I hadn't yet used my Stripe Cover Plate so there was no doubt that was coming out.  And I just got the Wet Paint set on Monday so that was also calling out to me.

Thanks for Everything

(My flower really is Raspberry Fizz - I think I just over-adjusted in Photoshop!)

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Wet Paint, Turning a New Leaf
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Soft Stone, Raspberry Fizz CS and dsp, black
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink New Leaf, Versafine Onyx Black, Versamark (for glittered flower center)
  • Accessories: Papertrey Cover Plate Stripes Diagonal Die, Turning a New Leaf die, Beautiful Blooms II die, Simple Sunflower die (the flower center), Woodgrain Impression Plate, Martha Stewart Crystal Fine Glitter, Stampin' Up Heat and Stick Powder, Pretty Pink Posh Flat Marshmallow sequins, Divine Twine Black Licorice

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop: High Gloss

Today is the monthly blog hop at Papertrey Ink and the theme is High Gloss.  I didn't get overly glossy but I wanted to use a technique that Nichole had demonstrated when the Button Stack dies came out in February. Back in February, I was a day late in getting my Button Stack dies ordered and they were already out of stock.  So when the Bitty Button Stacks came out this month, I ordered within minutes of them going on sale - and picked up the full size ones at the same time.  They arrived yesterday so absolutely had to go on this card. Nichole stacked the die cuts, added gloss over the entire stack and made a great dimensional button.

Lucky Enough

There are three layers to the button - Tropical Teal on the bottom, Hawaiian Shores in the middle, and a small circle of Aqua Mist on top.  The entire stack is completely covered with Glossy Accents.  I would love to show you a close-up, but I had a little mishap at the end - it was almost dry and I carelessly knocked it off my desk.  Of course, it landed upside down on the carpet - so instead of being smooth and glossy, there's an annoying carpet texture on it!

I also picked up A Little Inspiration last month.  I love the unique sayings and the way the sentiments are separate so you can add color changes.  

There's going to be lots of gloss at the blog hop today!  It's going to be fun to see what everyone else does with the challenge!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink A Little Inspiration, Bits and Buttons (the gray circles)
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Hawaiian Shores, Tropical Teal, Aqua Mist
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Tropical Teal, Soft Stone
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Tipped Tops die, Bitty Buttons Stack die, Sunshine Impression Plate, Pretty Pink Posh clear sequins, Hemptique 10-lb white twine

Monday, March 24, 2014

Viva la Verve: Sweet Baby

I am back from Chicago and happily sitting down this morning to craft.  Check out the beautiful weather and wonderful people!  It is so much fun to meet other crafters in person - not just on their blogs!

The Chicago skyline with Stacey Schafer

Chicago-style pizza with Stacey and Cathy Santie

In terms of crafting, I'm feeling a little rusty.  This simple little card took more time than I care to admit. I'm still not totally happy with it and I can't even figure out why.  I guess I'll just have to keep practicing with some serious cardmaking time - don't you think???

Sweet Baby

I am playing along with the current Viva la Verve challenge that includes a sketch and an inspiration.  I didn't go with the florals but I did pull the pinks, grays and a touch of green from the photo.

The sequins and the twine are from the Pretty Pink Posh Springtime Embellishment Kit which actually sold out on its first day!!  The parts of the kit are still available - check out the great sequin mix with the large and small floral sequins.  I also tried really hard to get the chevron ribbon on this card - it's a lovely soft ribbon, but I just couldn't get the yellow to work on this particular card.
  • Stamps: Verve Treasured Words
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pink Pirouette, Papertrey Ink Soft Stone CS
  • Ink: Memento Black, Copics, Papertrey Ink Soft Stone
  • Accessories: Pretty Pink Posh Springtime Embellishment Kit, My Favorite Things Doily die, misc sheer white ribbon

Friday, March 21, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Farm Fresh Part II

There's still time to play along with the Farm Fresh challenge at Curtain Call.

Taylored Expressions was kind enough to supply the design team with a petite set and die of our choice. On my original Curtain Call post, I talked about the warm memories I have of my grandparent's big kitchen on their farm in eastern South Dakota, so I picked the set "kitschy kitchen".  I used the oven on my first card, today I'm playing with the toaster!!

Poppin' Up 2
I was inspired by the current sketch at retrosketches. I did move my panel to the left simply due to the length of the sentiment.
I hope you all play along with the Farm Fresh inspiration!! You have until 8 am CDT on March 25th of link up your card.
  • Stamps: Taylored Expressions kitschy kitchen
  • Paper: Simple Stories Vintage Bliss 6x6, My Favorite Things Chocolate Brown, Stampin' Up Crushed Curry
  • Ink: Memento Black, Copics, Versamark
  • Accessories: Wow embossing powder, Papertrey Ink Hibiscus Burst button, Hemptique 10-lb kraft twine, sequins

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DeNami Inspired By....Me!!!

DeNami Designs has a fun feature on their blog called "Inspired By".  If you create a card using DeNami products go to the Inspired By tab on their blog, link it up and you might be the inspiration for their entire design team!!!  I had fallen in love with their woodland animals release and I had linked up the card that I made.  Guess what?

Details on my original card are here.

I even get to be inspired by my own card.  It's funny how it worked out, because in my original post, I had commented that this could be a great Christmas card by adding a Santa hat to one of these cute little animals, so I had the perfect CASE already in my mind!

Forest Christmas
One of the things that I enjoy with DeNami Designs is that many of their stamps are small items that can be grouped together into a scene.  The row of animals is one stamp (however, there are lots of little animals available separately too!).  In my original card, I just added a bouquet of balloons and a sentiment.  In this card, I masked the animals and added a tree.  Then I added the hat and the poinsettias and sat the entire thing on a Christmas sentiment.  I love the flexibility of their stamps!
Now you need to head over to the DeNami Designs blog and check out how the rest of their design team was inspired.  I am just tickled to see their interpretations of my card!
  • Stamps: DeNami Designs Woodland Friends, Tall Curly Christmas tree, Ho-Ho-Holidays set, Small Poinsettia Blossom, Merry Christmas border
  • Paper: Red CS, scrap of diagonal stripe
  • Ink: Memento black and Copics
  • Accessories: Red Stickles (on tree), Picket Fence Stickles (on hat), misc sequins

Monday, March 17, 2014

Catered Crop: Spring Fever and Viva la Verve!!

I love this cardmaking/blogging world that we live in.  Thanks so all of you who sent birthday wishes my way and thank you to all of you who have asked whether my class load is getting better.  I am amazed at what a large group of good friends I can say that I have, even though I've only met a few of you in person.

A quick update. I started new classes last week.  I was scared to death because I wasn't sure if the crushing load from last semester was going to continue now that I am into the senior level classes, or if those classes were just flukes.  Happy news...based on the first few weeks, these classes seem much more comparable to others that I have taken, which means that I can dust off my crafting corner!!!  But not quite yet...I did two weeks of classes in the last eight days because I am running away tomorrow for a quick girlfriend get-a-way!! (I guess I can't whine anymore about being busy, can I?)  I'm heading out to Chicago for a couple of days of sightseeing, dining and a lot of chatter. When I get back...I'll be crafting, I'll be reading blogs, I'll be commenting and catching up on your lives.  It will be fantastic!!

Before I run away, I am playing along with a couple of challenges.

The new challenge at Catered Crop is Spring Fever.  Linda starts describing the challenge with this quote...

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"    ~Mark Twain

I most definitely have spring fever!!  (Although that doesn't quite explain why I would go to cold, windy and rainy Chicago instead of staying in Colorado where the forecast is mid-60s and sunshine all week!?)

Spring cards could be St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, Easter, butterflies, flowers, rain, bunnies...anything springy!  I had an uninked stamp set in my stash that is most definitely spring and also works perfectly with the current sketch at Viva la Verve.

Happy Easter Chick

Do you like my spray of sequins?  I said in a recent post, that I would be using sequins long after the trend fades (if it fades).  I love the way they fill space without getting cluttered.  It's rare you'll see a card of mine without at least a trio of sequins - a couple above the sentiment and one below - it's a perfect way to make it stand out.  In this case I splashed seven sequins across the card to add a little sparkle to my muted card. These particular sequins are from Pretty Pink Posh.  The flat marshmallow sequins are the first flat sequins that I have purchased and I love the way they "layer" with cupped sequins.  The silvery-looking sequins are actually their 6mm sparkling clear sequins (they recently came out with a smaller size too).  If you didn't see it, be sure to check out my clear sequin post from a few months back in which I compare the look of a variety of "clear" sequins.  I mentioned the silvery look of these Pretty Pink Posh sequins and, given it was winter, mentioned that they were perfect for snowman and snowflake cards.  But I find that I use them for much more, particularly given the trend towards grays in papers such as in the above card.

Here's the sketch I used...

And now I am off for a little last-minute shopping and then packing!! I have a couple of posts scheduled for this week - so you'll never know that I am gone.

Thanks again to all of you!!

  • Stamps: Verve Egg-stra Special
  • Paper: My Mind's Eye Chalk Studio 6x6 pad, Papertrey Smokey Shadow cardstock
  • Ink: Memento Black, Copics, Papertrey Smokey Shadow
  • Accessories: Pretty Pink Posh sequins Sparkling Clear (6mm) and Flat Marshmallow, Hemptique 10-lb white twine, Spellinders Lacey Circle die

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Farm Fresh

It's time for a new challenge at Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge and it's time to go Farm Fresh!!

Our sponsor this week is Taylored Expressions!  They were kind enough to give each member of the design member our pick of a petite stamp set.  With the theme in mind, I fell in love with their kitschy kitchen set.

I spent summers of my very, very early years on my grandparents' farm in eastern South Dakota.  Besides farming, they also had Hereford cows and I was told that for years their was a picture in the state capital of one of their prize-winning Herefords with a little blonde girl on its back - that would be me!!

I have very few specific memories, but a lot of impressions.  I remember being scared of the chicken coop, the dark and never-used dining room and the steep and squeaky stairs to the upstairs bedrooms.  I remember loving the cool and shady strawberry patch, the long tree-lined walk to the field when we carried grandpa's lunch to him, and I most definitely remember the kitchen.

My memory of the kitchen is simply that it was spacious, smelled great, and that it had a large booth-type table inset into the wall. It's probably my strongest memory, so I have to imagine that there were happy times in that kitchen! I do wonder if it really was as large as I remember it, but my mother had told me that grandma could easily feed a dozen farm-hands.

Here is one of the few pictures that I have of that time.  This my great-grandmother, mother, me and grandma in the farmhouse living room.

Given those memories, I had to work with the Taylored Expressions Kitschy Kitchen set!

Warm My Heart

I do hope you play along with our Farm Fresh challenge. You don't have to use Taylored Expressions stamps, but you do get your choice of two petite sets if you win!  The challenge is open until March 25th with winners announced on March 31st.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Curtain Call: Perfectly Peach

Just a reminder that the current challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge is open for three more days.  I hope you all play along because there's a nice gift certificate up for grabs!!

As part of the design team, I got to pick out stamps from our sponsor, Peachy Keen Stamps, and I picked out these charming little ducks.  I have an elderly friend with whom I love to visit because she has amazing stories. (Colorado friends - she actually tells of dancing at Elitch Gardens when it was in its old location...and was actually a garden!)   She also has about a hundred cute little statues and knick-knacks - each of those has a story too... trust me!  So when I was thinking about today's card, even though she is not currently ill (knock on wood), I know that at some point she may need this happy little duck. And this is what I love about being a cardmaker, I would create a card that's just right for her. (In this case, with the hope that I never need it!)

Get Well, Ducky

  • Stamps: Peachy Keen Stamps Duck Dolls
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crisp Cantaloupe CS and dsp
  • Ink: Memento Black and Copics
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Melon Berry button, Hemptique 10-lb white twine, MFT Fishtail dies, Lil' Inkers stitched squares

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Catered Crop: Safe Travels

There's a new challenge up at Catered Crop - safe travels. I love Linda's decriptions of the challenges so instead of trying to do it myself, here's the challenge....

Whether you like to travel on a bicycle, motorcycle, car, plane, train, boat, or camper . . . across the world or in your back yard, this challenge is wide open to anything related to travel. Show us where you’ve been or where you hope to go. However you want to travel, where ever you wander, add us as your escort.

I spent way too much time on this challenge.  Partly because I still haven't cleaned my desk after letting it build up for a month - it took 20 minutes just to find the ink pad that I needed!!  But mainly because most of my truly travel related stamps date back quite awhile and my style has changed since then.  I have some lovely stamps and I really wanted to make them work, but my style is my style, and I need to stick with it. Luckily, I have a new stamp set with an appropriate sentiment...although perhaps more metaphorical than intended!

Far Better Things Ahead

It's a new Papertrey sentiment called Building Blocks.  I paired it with a sailboat from Paper Smooches.  I love adding sailboats, and my sailboats are always red.  We have a small sailboat up in the Colorado Rockies on Lake Dillon - and it's red - the only red one out there.  Recently I saw an art photograph on sale in a mountain town that had snow-capped mountains fading into a deep blue sky, a gorgeous blue lake, with dozens of sailboats bobbing on the lake - one of them bright red!!  It was ours!!  I'm somewhat surprised they didn't photoshop the red out.  But you have to admit from a card-making perspective, the red is really nice with the aqua!

I hope you play along with Catered Crop. Linda always curates a Pinterest board for inspiration which you can find at the link.  Then on Sunday, all of the design team's cards will be showcased and you'll still have another week to play along.

Speaking of that small mountain town near the lake - now that I've posted this card, I'm throwing a few things in a bag and heading up there for a few days (although the lake is frozen and the sailboat is in storage). I am meeting an old friend that I've only seen once in 30 years - we have high school memories to re-live and then 30 years of catching up.  I'm sure alcohol will be involved.  I'll be back this weekend and then I am cleaning this desk - the mess is causing me to avoid the whole area and I am so missing time at my craft desk.  
  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Building Blocks, Paper Smooches Wicked Nautircool
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist, Stampin' Up Bermuda Bay
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana, black
  • Accessories: misc enamel dots

Monday, March 3, 2014

Viva la Verve: Many Blessings

I took one look at the current sketch at Viva la Verve and could picture one of my favorite mini sets - Many Blessings - and its row of simple little flowers.

Many Blessings

I love coloring the various blooms that Verve has.  There are so many sweet layers and cute touches like the cross-hatched centers.  It's a happy day when I get to color such cheerful flowers.

I turned in all of my classwork yesterday and have a week off.  I have a month's worth of cleaning to do at my craft desk (and most of you knows what happens if you even skip cleaning after one cardmaking session!)  But today...after coloring these sweet flowers...I'm taking a day off of everything.  I have the last four episodes of this season's Downton Abbey to watch and a few other shows that I like (but am embarrassed to mention!)  I'm not good at "lazy" - wish me luck!!!  
  • Stamps:Verve Many Blessings, With Love
  • Paper: DCWV Spring and Summer Stack, Papertrey Ink Summer Sunrise
  • Ink: Memento Black and Copics
  • Accessories: MFT Fishtail Layers die, Papertrey Ink New Leaf button, Hemptique 10-lb gold twine

Sunday, March 2, 2014

WPlus9 Birthday Celebration: Stretch It

For week 4 of WPlus9's Birthday Celebration, they are challenging us all to "stretch it" - to try a different style or a technique that we haven't done before.  I have avoided stencils and paste like the plague but I love what I am seeing with them, so that was clearly the technique that I needed to try.  I wandered over to Hobby Lobby because I knew they had a number of stencils in their scrapbook section.  Funny enough, just when stencils appear to be hitting it big in blogland, Hobby Lobby had all of them on clearance including the pastes!  I found raindrops and I knew that I had a WPlus9 set that fit them perfectly.

Hang In There

The technique isn't nearly difficult as I had imagined.  Find something to smear a little bit on - an old credit or gift card works great.  It does take a little time to dry.  (After I had done this one and let it dry, I realized that the raindrops come a little too far in for balance and they are too "regular", but I don't have time to let another one dry.)  Then carefully lift the stencil straight up.  Set it out of the way of any place you might accidentally set something on it or a where a cat could walk across me!

The paste that Hobby Lobby had on sale is pearlescent and I like it for raindrops.

Hang In There close

The stamp set is WPlus9's Heartfelt Mix.  I bought the whole darn set for that line on which to hang things.  Not that I don't use the hearts, clouds and sentiments that are also in the set - but that line is really cute.  I have used it for birds, for pennants and for baby clothes - not just with the hearts that come with it!

The colors are also out of my comfort zone.  Crazy 4 Challenges came up yesterday to use Pantone's IT color of the year.  One look at it and I realized it was Stampin' Up's old Marvelous Magenta (at least that's the way it looks on my monitor!)  You could also add gray and white - I have two grays (even though it looks black) - Steel Gray and Grout Gray.

I'm off to finish up final projects in my courses.  The classes in this program run two for two months (instead of the more typical four for four months) - so I am at the end of a term.  I don't have the words to tell you how ugly this term has been, 60 to 70 hours a week, not to mention issues with the curriculum and the professors.  After I submit everything sometime before midnight tonight, I have a week off!   I am so looking forward to visiting everyone's blog and seeing what you have been doing.  I've missed you all!
  • Stamps: WPlus9 Heartfelt Mix
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Marvelous Magenta, My Favorite Things Steel Gray
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Marvelous Magenta, My Favorite Things Steel Gray and Grout Gray
  • Accessories: Prima Raindrop stencil, Creative Imaginations Modeling Paste, My Favorite Things Grout Gray button, Hemptique 10-lb white twine, corner rounder

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Perfectly Peachy

It's time for a new challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge!

Our sponsor for this challenge is Peachy Keen Stamps.  (Peachy Keen...Perfectly Peach...get it?!) The LEAD from the challenge will get a gift certificate to Peachy Keen!!

Peachy Keen also supplied the design team with our choice of stamps.  I picked a stamp set specifically for the cute grin on this little guy and the fun sentiment.  (I do have to tell you that I backed it with "Peach" Parfait paper before I even looked at the challenge graphic - and my "peach" is much more orange than the challenge's "peach"!)

Just Ducky

My Curtain Call teammate Marisa has been using that chicken wire embossing folder recently and I fell in love with it.  I was thrilled when I wandered into Joann's earlier this week and guess what was there?! And on sale!!  I I still love the look!

I used the sketch from Mojo Monday.

I hope you play along with Curtain Call.  You can use pinky-peach or orangy-peach.  You could be inspired by some of the great patterns and textures in the graphic.  Or stamp a peach!  You do not have to use Peachy Keen stamps to play along, but you do stand a chance of winning a store gift certificate to buy your own.  Be sure to check out the inspiration from the rest of the design team.  I picked a cutesy stamp - but there are quite a variety of stamps that the design team is playing with!

  • Stamps: Peachy Keen Stamps Duck Dolls
  • Paper: MME Just Splendid 6x6 dsp, Stampin' Up Peach Parfait
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Copics
  • Accessories: Hemptique 10-lb natural twine, Cuttlebug Chicken Wire embossing folder