Sunday, December 24, 2017

Smells Like Carrots!!

Isn't that just an odd title for a Christmas Eve post...Smells Like Carrots?!!  I have a deep, dark secret to tell you.  I really dislike December.  Don't read too much into that.  I am passionate about Christmas.  I have Christmas music playing starting December 1st.  It's in my ear all day at work; it's in my car and in my home. I am sitting here this morning with Christmas lights on and the fireplace blazing. The highlight of my year will be tonight at church when the candles are lit and Silent Night is sung followed closely by the organ triumphantly playing Joy to the World as we are leaving. Our family "tradition" is to keep the holidays simple - so we have movies and family games planned.  Since I'm surrounded by men, probably a lot of football - but that's OK, we are together!  However, the rest of December?  Just too darn busy and crowded for my tastes.

This card was planned for a very special family but honestly, in might have been more for me as it totally tickled my funny bone during the overly busy days of December!

TE Smell the Carrots

For the background, I sponged three different blues on a plain sheet of cardstock - then covered it with that perfect winter die cut.  I love that snowman...and the really fun part??  It has a bunch of different faces that you can use.  The scrunched up face totally worked for me!

TE Smell the Carrots Close

It's finally Christmas Eve day.  I'm ready!  The boys will be up soon.  We'll watch football.  My youngest is a fabulous cook and he's making dinner.  And then church and Silent Night - it's a glorious day!

Merry Christmas!!!

TE Smell the Carrots Copics

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Naughty or Nice Little Elf??

My oldest niece is a month away from being a teenager.  That is such an interesting age.  Sometimes she is all little girl with a passion for pink and stuffed animals.  Other times she is a rebellious teen with teenage-fashion sense and a passion for whatever teenagers might be passionate about on any given day.  So I tried to combine both sides of her on her Christmas card.  Lots of pink, a sweet little elf, and a silly sentiment!!!

Naughty or Nice

The elf's body and head are separate stamps.  The idea is that the head could pop up such as with a Mini Wobble Spring.  I didn't use one because with the sheet of foam adhesive under the entire front to create the shaker, the Wobble Spring just added too much thickness. However, the separate head did allow me to tilt her head like she was thinking hard about the question!

Naughty or Nice Close

Surprisingly, I am actually 99% ready for Christmas.  I do need a few groceries.  I was going to go before dawn this morning just to avoid the crowds, but I decided it was much more fun to settle into my crafting corner with the Christmas tree and the fireplace on - and my noisy men and boys still asleep.  I have Hallmark movies on the TV and good coffee in my Christmas mug.  

We have a completely relaxed and easy Christmas in front of us.  It's just the four of us through the 25th.  We have our favorite meals planned, we'll definitely have football on during the day - and then church on Christmas Eve with my favorite Christmas moment - candles and Silent Night - and finally we'll be playing our favorite family games.  On the 26th we are celebrating with my brother's family who are vacationing in the wonderfully picturesque mountain town of Estes Park, Colorado.  

I do hope you all are able to come into these holidays prepared and relaxed and ready to celebrate!!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches: Holiday Florals

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Linda.

This challenge will stay open through the holidays - it will close on Monday, January 8th.

At the point I was making this card, I was down to needing three Christmas cards. One of the three recipients is a gardener - so I wanted to make a Christmas card with floral and nature images.  I pulled out my favorite set for building bouquets and found a sentiment that fit on the tall panel.

FMS Holiday Florals

I love creating groupings of die-cut images.  I was originally envisioning just a flower and leaves centered at the bottom of the panel - but I just kept stamping and cutting out images then arranging and re-arranging them.  I ended up with the bouquet in the corner (I carefully picked up the entire arrangement with Press n Seal Kitchen Wrap to keep them all together!)  FYI - I lengthened the Stitched Rectangle by cutting half of it, sliding it down to be longer, then cutting the other half.

FMS Holiday Florals close

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the Freshly Made Sketches family!!


Friday, December 15, 2017

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: 'Tis the Season

It's time for a new challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Pines.

It's a huge day for Curtain Call.  We have two guest designers:
Elizabeth StewartPaper Sweetness
Julie Gearinger, Stamping with Julie Gearinger
We also have all of our past design team members back for a big reunion. Why the big reunion?  Because after this challenge, Curtain Call will be bringing down the curtain.  We have had an amazing team of designers over the years - it's been an honor to be part of this team. A big thank you to Stacey Schafer for being our inspiration.  And thank you to all of our sponsors. 

For my card, I pulled out a large variety of dies that represented the various images in the inspiration photo - a pinecone, pine sprigs, a twig and some light blue "berries".  I also recently purchased this sentiment set - and I loved the way it fit in with my grouping of pines.

CC 'Tis the Season

I kept the background clean and white just like the inspiration.  A few of the pieces are spritzed with glimmer mist.  I added a few sequins for the look of berries.  I also added some white enamel dots (mostly because after I had everything adhered, I regretted not stenciling some glittery snowflakes in the background - so the enamel dots are my substitute.)

The thin frame was a last minute requirement.  I originally adhered the pieces directly to a white cardbase.  I got them all on and realized it was all upside down!!  Luckily that's an easy fix - just trimmed off the front of the card - which made it a bit too small - so I trimmed the sides and added a subtle frame.

I hope to see you playing along!


Dies: Concord & 9th Season of Cheer, Dee's Pinecone, Impression Obsession Pine Sprig Cluster, Cottage Cutz Spruce Stems (the twig), Memory Box Floral Sprigs (the light blue sprig)
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler, Sahara Sand, Garden Green, Baked Brown Sugar, Soft Suede, Soft Sky
Other: sequins, Doodlebug white glitter dots

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches: Birthday in Bloom

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Jen Mitchell.

A dear friend had a birthday yesterday.  I knew I wanted to send happy colors and fun flowers.  I also remembered a card that I've had in my inspiration files for quite awhile - I even bought the flower die to do it.  It's a cutting plate die which means it actually covers the front of a full-size card. This is just a piece of it.

FMS Blooms

Here's the card that inspired me.  It's stunning and I kind of hate to let you see it in comparison to mine!!  But I always give credit and the concept of cutting into the die is all Shannon's (plus I'm sure it will inspire you too!)

I hope to see you playing along.  Most of us either have Christmas cards to finish - or we are done with cards and can take a deep breath and make a card just for fun.  Either way - it's a great sketch to play with!!


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Winter Warmth, Peace & Joy

A few years ago, I fell in love with a stamp set and bought it immediately - but then, sadly, it's been in my unused stash for so long that it actually retired at the company. This year I fell in love with a couple of dies from the same company and bought them immediately.  (I usually let things sit on a wishlist for awhile to see if I still love it later.)  For this card, it was clear to me that I should use my old impulse purchase and my new impulse purchase on the same card!

MFT Peace & Joy TCD

I had a number of false starts on this card.  I played with multiple colors (I have a lot of extra poinsettias on my desk for a future card - although some of them are in colors not found in nature!).  I played with the peace as a shaker.  Nothing was quite right.  Then the challenge at The Color Throwdown sent me in the right direction.  Just black, red and gray (although I did add a little sparkle with silver instead). And I hope they forgive me for the small pop of green - although I did deliberately use a dusty green color to stay with the subtle grayish look instead of a bright Christmas green.

I only have five Christmas cards to go!!  And other than my little niece's Christmas violin concert at our local garden center tomorrow - I can settle in all weekend and make cards.  (I already have Hallmark Christmas movies on TV, the tree is lit up and peppermint coffee is poured. When my guys wake up and the TV switches to football - I'll put Christmas music in my headphones.  Yes - I'm one of those people!)


Stamps: My Favorite Things (MFT) Winter Warmth
Dies: MFT Winter Warmth Dies, Peace, Joy, Ampersand
Paper: Glitter Paper from Michaels
Ink: MFT Red Hot, Electric Red, Pineapple, Cactus, Black
Sequins: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Snowflakes

Thursday, December 7, 2017

TE Release Day: Food and Doodles

It's the big day! All the Taylored Expressions products you've seen through sneak peek week are now available - and I have a few more to show you.  Be sure to head over to the Taylored Expressions blog for a few more peeks - and to see if you've won a prize!

Another new set for Valentines is Matchy Matchy - Foodie Friends.  It's full of cute images and "punny" little sentiments.  Two of the sentiments include an in and an out sentiment so I got the idea of a tag using the previously released Flap Stacks.  Here's the outside of the tags.

Taylored Expressions Foodie Fun

The tag is an independent die called Tag Stacklets 3.  You can use it alone or cut the flap with the Flap Stacks - Half Circle.

For the cheesy tag with the grater, I added a few slices of American and Swiss cheese using Little Bits - Mac & Cheese.  It opens to say this...

Taylored Expressions Foodie Fun

For the corny tag with the popcorn, I added some popcorn using Little Bits - Movie Night.  The inside sentiment for this one is vertical so I just cut the flap sideways.  It opens to say this...

Taylored Expressions Foodie Fun

I LOVE these!  There are five other foods in the set and a number of sentiments. (Next time I want to use the taco and "let's give 'em something to taco 'bout"!!)

Here's the supply list but keep scrolling down because there's another peek.


I kept looking at the new single stamp Doodle Expressions - Valentine thinking that my little nieces would love to color it and how was I going to give them one to color.  Then I realized a tri-fold card would work.  Here's the front that I colored.

Taylored Expressions Doodle Valentine

There are three other peeks on this card.  The background is the new Luv-a-Doodle Background that I embossed in white.  It's a great background because while it does have hearts so it works for Valentines, it also has images like bees so can be used at any time of the year.  Also notice the envelope.  This a new addition to the line of stamps to decorate envelopes - it has a number of heart images, and I love the long "love mail" sentiment.  Finally the Inside Scallop Oval Stacklet is a new addition to that line of dies along with a new square set and the previously released circles and rectangles.

Back to this card...I cut two horizontal card bases scored to open sideways.  Then I adhered the backsides together so it opens like this.  (I scalloped one edge so it was totally clear there was one other flap.)

Taylored Expressions Doodle Valentine

I created the sentiment on my computer sized to fit the Double-Ended Flag Stacklet.  Then I used removable adhesive for the image and its pink frame.

The sentiment is on the third part.  This is from the new Simply Said - Valentine.

Taylored Expressions Doodle Valentine

I hope you enjoyed this week of sneak peeks.  The store is now open!!


Taylored Expressions Doodle Expressions CollageTaylored Expressions Foodie Fun Collage

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

TE Sneak Peek Day 3: Sitting Pretty and Mandalas

It's the third day of sneak peeks for the December release from Taylored Expressions!  Today I have a little love - and a cutting plate that is perfect for any occasion. Everything you see today will be available tomorrow - Thursday, December 7th. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

The Sitting Pretty series of dies creates little scenes - either wall groupings (think a variety of framed pictures on ledges) or mantelpiece decorations (along with By the Fireside die set).  There's a Sitting Pretty set for each of the holidays/seasons and now we have one for Valentines.  They are perfect combined with the rest of the series (like with the fireplace) - but they also stand alone because they have perfect elements for a holiday.

Taylored Expressions Sitting Pretty

I thought this simple woodgrain banner would be just right for a masculine card. I added the previously released Conversation Hearts embossing folder for a bit of whimsy.  The new elements are the "LOVE", the heart and the lips (I replaced the "O" in "LOVE" with the heart and lips.

Taylored Expressions Sitting Pretty

I don't add a lot of decoration to my masculine cards (I discussed my guys' aversion to "bling" on Monday!) but I do like unique details.  For this card, I cut the card itself 1/2" narrower so that the banner could hang over the edge.

Here's the supply list for this card. Be sure to keep scrolling down for a chance at a prize and for another sneak peak.


Taylored Expressions is celebrating Release Week with a giveaway during each day of sneak peeks! Visit the TE Blog to answer Taylor’s Question of the Day for a chance to win one of the latest products before you can buy it!

Next I want to show you the new Mandala Cutting Plate.  (BTW - there are also new mandala background stamps that you can see on the other designers' blogs.)  I loved this from the minute that I saw it.  It has fabulous detail so you can create a very simple card that looks amazing.

Taylored Expressions Mandala Cutting Plate

Honestly, even this card adds a few more touches than would be needed.  For instance you could do a horizontal card with the mandala on the top or bottom and add the sentiment in the open space.  It doesn't get much easier and the mandala is so gorgeous it can stand alone.  I've used a sentiment from the previously released Shade Tree Scripture which is one of my all-time favorites (along with the all-occasion Shade Tree Sentiments.)

Taylored Expressions Mandala Cutting Plate

I focused on crafting simple cards with this die, but I'm sure you can imagine how it could be dressed up.  Can you picture a sponged background to it?  What about using the negative portions and piecing a rainbow of colors back into it?  Gorgeous!!

Be sure to head over to the TE blog for a chance at prizes and to see more inspiration!  Then come back tomorrow when I have some foodie tags and a tri-fold for coloring.


Freshly Made Sketches: Peace, Joy, Love

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Jen Timko.

I just picked up Neat & Tangled's new Tree Duo stencil.  My original plan was to create an entire forest of sponged trees - but I wanted them to be misty and snowy and I just don't have the artistic skills to do that (although I'm going to keep trying).  Then I decide a few sparkly white trees with one colorful tree was just the ticket!!

FMS Peace Joy Love

(Sorry for the shadowy picture - my normal lighting set-up totally washed out the trees.)

I used one of the stencils minus one tree and added embossing paste with a sprinkling of glitter on top.  I liked the small pattern on this paper for the tree so I just matched up some cardstock colors.  I've always liked the look of this sentiment and I thought it was bold enough to stand alone.

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


Stamps: Technique Tuesday Jingle All the Way
Dies: Neat & Tangled Scandinavian Prints Christmas, Lucky Stars
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Sweet Basil, Mulled Wine, Mocha
Paper: Simple Stories Cozy Christmas 6x6
Other: Stampin' Up Embossing Paste, Martha Stewart Fine Clear Glitter

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

TE Sneak Peek Day 2: Tucked In and Love Struck

It's the second day of sneak peeks for the December release from Taylored Expressions!  Today I have a little gift box that is perfect for any time of the year!  And a new addition to the Clearly Planned line of stamps. Everything you see in the next two days of sneak peeks will be available on Thursday, December 7th. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

I am not particularly good at 3D type projects - but when a die is available that does all the work - I'm in love!!  The new die All Tucked In is one of those dies.  It makes an itty-bitty box (it's the size of a few squares of Ghiradelli chocolate).  To make it extra special there's a scalloped flap and a little cut out to tuck the flap into.  (You can't see the cut out because that's where I adhered the heart.)

Taylored Expressions All Tucked In

I was trying to decide what to put in my sample boxes.  I really wanted to avoid Ghiradelli chocolate squares because I have zero self-control and I would have been lucky to get the picture taken before I started munching.  For an entirely different reason, I had these bracelet sets on my desk that I had seen on a random shopping trip to Hobby Lobby and I knew they would be nice for my little nieces at some point.  Guess what?  These boxes are just perfect for my little gifts.

Taylored Expressions All Tucked In

I got totally giddy over this project when I found the stamp "Filled with Love" in a previously released set called...Filled with Love!  How perfect for these bracelets!

The other peek on this project is the paper.  I've shown you four different patterns - the outside of the lid and the inside liner - all part of Playful Patterns - Valentine.

Taylored Expressions All Tucked In

This die is even more exciting because for a limited time, earn DOUBLE CRAFTY POINTS on our All Tucked In die! If you're not a Crafty Points member, it's free and easy to join. Just create an account at the TE webstore and you're automatically enrolled to begin earning crafty points with every purchase. You'll earn 74 Crafty Points on the purchase of our All Tucked In die! Offer valid on qualifying purchases made between 9am CST on Thursday, December 7, 2017 and 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, December 10, 2017 and only while supplies last. Crafty Points are only available on purchases made via our retail site:

Here's the supply list for this card. Be sure to keep scrolling down for a chance at a prize and for another sneak peak.


Taylored Expressions is celebrating Release Week with a giveaway during each day of sneak peeks! Visit the TE Blog to answer Taylor’s Question of the Day for a chance to win one of the latest products before you can buy it!

Of course, we need an addition to the Clearly Planned line of stamps for Valentines Day!!  The new set Love Struck is full of sweet treats, an envelope and a heart - plus 6 "love" sentiments.  I am using the little "treat on a stick".

Taylored Expressions Love Struck

My first thought on the treat was that it was a chocolate-covered marshmallow - yum!!  But I was totally locked into using a pink and mint color scheme and every time I colored the chocolate part, it just seemed to dark.  So strictly for the design purposes - I created a treat that's mint green with a toasted marshmallow topping!!

The shaker is made with a new addition to the Inside Scallop series.  The newest addition is the Inside Scallop Oval Stacklets.  I cut the scallop into the front of the card.  Then I cut a frame for the opening using the same scallop and the larger Stitched Oval Stacklet. The patterned paper in the background is also the new Playful Patterns - Valentine.

Taylored Expressions Love Struck

Be sure to pop over to the TE blog for more peeks and to enter for a chance at a prize!  Then I hope you come back tomorrow because I have another masculine Valentine (see yesterday for other masculine cards) and I have a must-have cutting plate that can dress up a card for any occasion.

All Tucked In Collage

Monday, December 4, 2017

TE Sneak Peek Day 1: Cupids and Whales

It's the first day of sneak peeks for the December release from Taylored Expressions!  The December release is always about love and Valentines!!  In the middle of the love that's such a part of the Christmas season - we are thinking ahead to the love of Valentines Day!  Everything you see in the next three days of sneak peeks will be available on Thursday, December 7th. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.

My first "love" card includes a whale!!  It's from the fun new set One in a Buzzillion that not only includes this whale but also a bee, a rocket ship, an elephant and more.  And it's extra fun because of the new addition to the On the Right Track line of dies.  These are dies that make it easy to put together slider cards.  The new addition is On the Right Track - Heart!

Taylored Expressions Whaley Great

I watercolored a stitched square using Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors in Cobalt Blue, Turquoise Green and Pale Aqua.  I just swished it around to make an ocean.  I cut the heart track, but kept the piece that I cut out to adhere to the background so the ocean colors showed through. (Also - FYI - the stitched banner isn't really this long - I just snipped it in the middle so that it showed above and below the whale.)

Taylored Expressions Whaley Great

Isn't he just fabulous swimming around in his little heart!!?

Here's the supply list for this card. Be sure to keep scrolling down for a chance at a prize and for another sneak peak.


Taylored Expressions is celebrating Release Week with a giveaway during each day of sneak peeks! Visit the TE Blog to answer Taylor’s Question of the Day for a chance to win one of the latest products before you can buy it!

I adore the entire line of TE stamp sets that include a character and a variety of facial expressions that you can add to the character to match your chosen sentiment.  They are so versatile and so much fun to get just the right expressions.  The new set - If Cupid Could Talk - is the perfect addition to the series.

Taylored Expressions Don't Make Me Shoot

You also have to remember that I have sons between the ages of 17 and 21 - so this glaring face was just right!!

Because my boys are 17 and 21 (and there's a 59-year old "boy" too!) - I kept it very simple.  I'm typically a clean cardmaker - but I often plop on a trio of sequins or enamel dots as an accent.  I can't tell you how many times one of the "boys" has walked by my craft table, given my card a critical look and said "too much bling".  Seriously??!!  I'm actually a bit worried about their reaction to the shiny enamel heart in the middle of my target even though it's black.  Do you begin to understand the "Don't make me shoot" sentiment?

Taylored Expressions Don't Make Me Shoot

I created the target using the Stitched Circle Stacklet.  The fun arrow comes from the previously released Follow Your Arrow die set - there's a huge variety of fun arrows in the set so goes perfectly with the new Cupid.

That's it for today.  Be sure to head over to the TE blog for more inspiration and for a chance at a prize.  Then head back here tomorrow for a fun little gift box and to be a little "love struck".