Monday, September 1, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Lovely Leaves

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

photo source:

I love autumn!!  I love the leaves, but I particularly love the frosty feeling in the air.  Whenever I make a fall card, I add a bit of frost - be it a little glitter or a few clear sequins.  I do love the colors of autumn, but it's the crisp, clean, frosty air that makes it my very favorite season!

Give Thanks

I am definitely giving thanks today but not for the usual autumn reasons.  Yesterday - after two years of hard work and a lot of stress, with not even a Christmas break, I finished my second college degree!!  Yay! Hallelujah!!  Woot, woot!!  I am definitely giving thanks today!!!!  This week, I have a number of mom things to do - including watching my kids' marching band playing at the Colorado Rockies baseball game, so watch for proud mom pictures!  Next week, I am running away to the mountains for a week - just me - with a daily hikes and bike rides, a lot of good books (fiction!) and some DVDs of movies and TV shows that I have missed over the last few years, and of course some great bottles of wine.  I know a lot of you think that sounds lonely - but I am going to revel in the complete lack of responsibility

Check out all the inspiration by my fellow designers.  You can find them all at Curtain Call, but the links are all below so you can find out all the details of each card!

Lovely Leaves Designers

Amy Kolling
Amy Sheffer
Amy Tsuruta
Gayatri Murali
Kim Singdahlsen
Laurie Willison
Lisa Henke
Marisa Ritzen
Maureen Plut
Monika Davis
Sarah Gough
Sheri Gilson
Stacey Schafer
Tenia Nelson
Tracey McNeely

Follow us!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Falling Leaves
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Dark Chocolate, Scarlet Jewel, Pure Poppy, Terracotta Tile, Canyon Clay, Orange Zest, Summer Sunrise, Simply Chartreuse
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Dark Chocolate
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Phrase Play #7 die (just the leaf), clear sequins (Clearly Beloved that I get at Simon Says Stamp - these are the clearest of the clear sequins)
Stop by the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Lovely Leaves for the challenge details and to play along with us!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Merry Monday and Pals Paper Arts: Christmas Wreath

I'm right in the middle of the long Labor Day weekend and what better way to spend it than to make Christmas cards!!  After I post this we are heading out to the local Smokin' Brew BBQ competition.  What an odd mix of a day!  Fall festivities and frosty Christmas cards!

Merry Christmas Wreath

I love the mix of colors in this paper pack - Mistletoe Magic by MME. It's not a new pack but I still like it. The greens are "limier" than the traditional Christmas papers and the reds tend towards a brick color.  It's different and fresh.  So I pulled out one of my favorite Christmas sets that lends itself so well to simple cards - Signature Christmas by Clearly Besotted Stamps. I played around for quite awhile with adding some beads/pearls/bling on the wreath but I ended up leaving it plain because I like the simple pattern.

I used the wreath from the set for the current Merry Monday Christmas Challenge.

And since I love to hang wreaths - the sketch at Pals Paper Arts was the perfect inspiration (although I just noticed that they clearly want three layers so you'll have to imagine a green layer as the base!)

  • Stamps:Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas
  • Paper: My Favorite Things Brick Red, MME Mistletoe Magic 6x6 paper pad
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Limeade Ice, My Favorite Things Brick Red
  • Accessories: Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas dies, Pretty Pink Posh 4mm sequins, Hemptique 10-lb natural twine, Glitter Dust Iridescent spray (on the bow)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

So Sorry for Your Loss

I haven't had much time to craft this week but I did sit down first thing today to create a sympathy card for the family of a truly wonderful woman who lost her battle with cancer last week.  This family has been the foundation of our church for so long.  They are very quiet people and I don't think any of us realized just how active they were until we were reminiscing about Ellen this week and each of us had different stories about our connection to the family.

Sadly, it's been almost five years since they lost their eldest son.  He was a Marine who was killed when a Marine helicopter and a Coast Guard plane collided near Camp Pendleton.   They would be the family to whom people say "God doesn't give you more than you can handle", but I have to say that I so disagree with that saying.  I feel like it requires the person to be stronger than they might otherwise be feeling...that they would feel they had to live up to God's trust in them.  But we are all human and life can be too much for us. Of course, God is always there to give love, support, strength and the promise of our future life in Him, but He certainly does not promise that life is easy or even happy.  

I hope today's service will let the family know how much we loved Ellen and love each of them.  If you have followed my blog for long, you know that my long-time church has been rocked in the past few years with two very difficult situations which cut the membership almost in half.  But today's service will overflow with people wanting to show love and support including so many members who left in pain and anger, and former staff who just could not live in the situation anymore.  Also coming back is the pastor who was in the middle of the storm (since we don't yet have a full-time pastor).  I know today is about Ellen and her family, but I also feel like it's going to be a time to let go and remember Ellen in her humble service to the church and realize what truly is important and that is our life in Him.

I struggled with a card.  I hate that when it's really important, I struggle the hardest. I did use a light gray cardstock (it's not just a gray picture).  I was thinking of a misty day, a few enamel "tears" and the one bright leaf.

So Sorry

  • Stamps: Hero Arts Remember clear set
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive and watercolor paper, Papertrey Ink Soft Stone, Smokey Shadow
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Shabby Shutters, Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade
  • Accessories: Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangles, Papertrey Ink Phrase Play #7 die (just the leaf from the center), MME Lost & Found Record It Antique Enamel Dots, Hemptique 10-lb natural twine

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches: It's My Sketch!!

I have had the thrill of being the August guest at Freshly Made Sketches.  It got even more amazing when they asked if I would do a sketch for this week.  Me!!  A sketch!!! That you all are going to use!!!!  Can you believe that I've never done that before?? is my first ever sketch...

I'm not going to say that it is wildly creative - but I think it gives you some room to play.  I was dragging my feet coming up with something (nerves!), then I made a card for my personal use and realized there was a sketch in it!

Thank You Close

I used a tag for the top panel.  I scalloped the next layer.  Then the bottom layer isn't even a paper square - I used a mini heart stencil.  Clearly my sentiment went in a different place than on the sketch, but I figured many players might want to use that top panel for an image.

FMS Thank You

This month with the group at  Freshly Made Sketches has been truly wonderful.  They are such a friendly and welcoming group.  There is a private Facebook group and the chatter ranges from blogging horror stories to advice on product purchases to funny life moments.  Thank you all for letting me join you this month.  It was an  honor!

I do hope you all play along with this sketch - I am very excited to see what everybody comes up with!
  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Tag Sayings (the border around the tag), Lots of Thanks
  • Paper: Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue, Green Apple
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Simon Says Stamp Medium Tags and Balloons & Patterns Stencils, Stampin' Up border punch, Webster's Pages Party Time Sequin Mix, Dreamweaver White Embossing Paste, Hemptique 10-lb Natural Twine

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cutting Edge Blog Hop: Fill My Thoughts

I had the thrill yesterday of being a guest designer for the Cutting Edge Blog Hop hosted by Pretty Pink Posh but I couldn't stop with just yesterday's card.

Today's card is a little simpler and relies on some cute feathers for interest.  This card uses stamps and dies by Simon Says Stamp who is one of the sponsors on the hop.  I cut the feathers and then used stencils and white ink to sponge a pattern on just one side.

Fill My Thoughts

This is a hop in which everybody needs to participate.  There are prizes for playing and prizes for commenting.  The hop is to celebrate die cuts so you need at least one on your card - other rules are at the blog hop link: Cutting Edge Blog Hop.  Check out these sponsors!

I used the colors from the color throwdown.  I had bookmarked this challenge as a must-do mostly because I could not even imagine how to use these three colors together.  But my hat's off to color throwdown - it's a fun combo!

  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp You
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, Pale Plum, Pear Pizzazz
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, WPlus9 White
  • Accessories: Simon Says Stamp You, Pointed Feathers and Tilted Banners dies, Simon Says Balloons and Patterns stencils, Studio 490 Checkmate Stencil, Pretty Pink Posh Mossy Green sequins

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cutting Edge Blog Hop: Happy for You

It's here!  It's time for the Cutting Edge Blog Hop sponsored by Pretty Pink Posh!  It's going to be a fabulous weekend.  Today, I have the thrill of being a guest designer.  There's much more fun and inspiration at Pretty Pink Posh.  Then tomorrow, all of you get to link up your projects featuring die cuts. Check out this amazing list of sponsors.  There are many, many prizes available if you play along.

On to my card!  I am showcasing three of my favorite die-cut products, and also featuring a few of our wonderful sponsors. Specific details on products used are found at the bottom of this post.

  • I love dies with stitched edges.  It makes the die-cut look so finished.  It gives it a "frame" without adding lots of layers and bulk.  Pretty Pink Posh is new into die-cuts but the four that they have released all feature the stitched edges.  This card uses the Stitched Film Strip and also the rectangle from Stitched Duo 2 but slightly altered (see below).
  • I love word dies.  It makes the sentiment pop from whatever you have in the background.  On my card, I have a lot going on (at least for one of my cards!!).  There are layered dies and bright flowers and 16 sequins.  But even so, you cannot miss the sentiment.  I have my sentiment on a white strip but a die-cut works well even directly on top of other dies or patterns.  The "happy" die is from WPlus9's Happy Trio and works with their Whole Lotta' Happy stamp set.
  • I love dies that match stamps.  I am scissor-impaired so trying to cut around edges of stamps has always been an exercise in frustration.  Coordinating dies keep things neat and tidy, and keeps my frustration level down.  These stamps and dies are the Spring Blooms and coordinating dies from WPlus9.

Happy Film Strip

So I have mentioned two of our sponsor companies, the third company on this card is Simon Says Stamp. They also have a wonderful line of their own dies and I own more than my fair share.  I already had enough die cuts on this card, so I am featuring their inks and cardstock on this card.  I cannot get enough of their Fog cardstock - the light gray - anything I put on top of it looks extra bright.

Also on this card are a variety of sequins from Pretty Pink Posh: 6mm Marigold, 6mm Mossy Green, 4mm Pumpkin and 6mm flat tangerine.  I love the variety of sizes and also flat vs. cupped - it really helps layer them.

The long white stripe behind the sentiment is done by using Pretty Pink Posh even though they don't have this exact shape.  I used the rectangle from Stitched Duo 2 dies and then slide it over for a second cut.  The stitching along the edge is helpful because you can feel it "lock" into place on the stitching for the second cut.

Check out the Cutting Edge Blog Hop starting at the Pretty Pink Posh blog.  Then be sure to link up your own card!  I'm looking forward to seeing what everybody creates and, most likely, adding greatly to my shopping list with dies that I absolutely have to have!
  • Stamps: WPlus9 Spring Blooms and Whole Lotta' Happy ("for you")
  • Paper: Simon Says Stamp Fog, Smoke and Slate
  • Ink: Simon Says Stamp Slate, Sunshine, Orange Peel, Schoolhouse Red, Green Leaf
  • Accessories: Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Film Strip and Stitched Duo 2 dies, WPlus9 Happy Trio and Spring Blooms die, Pretty Pink Posh Sequins: 6mm Marigold, 6mm Mossy Green, 4mm Pumpkin and 6mm flat tangerine

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches: Get Better Quick

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches and it is my third week as their August guest designer!!

I have been working really hard at not being tied exactly to a sketch. For instance, in today's sketch, those flowers could be stars, they could be popsicles, they could be trees or many other creative ideas!  But my card for today is pretty much exact.  I just got a new Stampin' Up set called Fabulous Four with four big sentiments that I knew would work perfectly in all of that open space.  I'm also in the middle of a major stamp reorganization.  My stamps are now being sorted by company, instead of theme.  The only part of this that is giving me a little headache are my Stampin' Up singles.  Flowers used to be in the flower section, sentiments with sentiments, etc.  So I am having to dig through my stuff and find all of my Stampin' Up singles.  This big Five-Way Flower was literally sitting on my desk waiting to be reorganized.  I took this as a sign and, of course, I had to follow the sketch exactly.

Sorry You're Sick

Be sure to head over to Freshly Made Sketches and check out the rest of the design team's work.  Then I am looking forward to seeing what you do with this sketch!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Five-Way Flower, Fabulous Four
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Hello Honey CS, Lullaby dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Hello Honey, Crushed Curry, Baked Brown Sugar
  • Accessories: multiple Stampin' Up Scalloped Circle Punches, Stampin' Up Pool Party Twine, misc gem