Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Freshly Made Sketches: Smile!

Did you take part on the big 200th celebration last week for Freshly Made Sketches??  We had 340 entries - WOW!  Thanks to everybody for joining us in our celebration and congratulations to all who won prizes from our generous sponsors!

Now it's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Narelle. I love her work.  She does lots of layers and patterns, but her cards are still so clean and fresh. Check her out at her blog Stamplicious.

I had a definite need when I sat down to make this card.  I have mentioned my son who is taking a year off before college.  He's moved out on his own, about 90 miles away from us, and his first couple of weeks have been rough.  He's been sick, his car battery died, and he was having no luck finding a job.  But finally this past week - he got a job - and a decent job for a 19-year old.  It's still fast food which he wanted to avoid, but it's a low level management position so pays well, offers more hours and will give him more experience than just working the grill.  So after he weathered all of his trials - I needed to make a "smile" card!

I Love to See You Smile

Obviously very simple for my guy.  I loved the masculine colors in the plaid so just matched those colors!  I layered up the smile a few times to make sure it stood out. The sentiment banner uses a single edged pennant die (MFT Fishtails).  I cut it once then flipped the die around to cut the banner from the other side too.
I hope to see you playing along this week!!


The paper is My Mind's Eye 6x6 Darling Dear and is discontinued.  I linked to Frantic Stamper which has a few left but I don't know long this link will work. My background paper is Natural White but I have no idea where I got it.

I linked to the basic set of My Favorite Things Fishtail dies but they also have a Layers set. Mine are all mixed together so I never know which set I am actually using.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Taylored Expressions: Heart Filled with Thanks

I am so ready for autumn.  I think I've said that on every post recently.  The weather here is cooperating - August is usually insanely hot, but this year it's been cooling off at night so that the mornings are wonderfully crisp and cool.

Leaf stamps and leaf dies are one of the biggest parts of my collection.  They are great for spring in soft greens and a few sequins as dew, and for summer in brilliant greens with bright flowers. They are perfect for fall. I particularly love these Mega Leaves dies by Taylored Expressions because of the veins that emboss while you are cutting.  I pulled out a piece of paper from the Carta Bella Fall Blessings paper pad and started matching colors for this colorful autumn "bouquet"!

TE Mega Leaves

Here's a better view of the veins.  (Ignore my glue smears in this close-up!)

TE Mega Leaves Close

I am surprised that I used that particular piece of patterned paper as my least used color is mint and this has a very minty background.  But I really liked how the rich fall colors looked against the mint, plus I loved that it had some teal leaves in it as a surprising contrast. 

The blue sequins were an afterthought.  I should have taken pictures without them.  I had arranged and rearranged the leaves about 50 times - yes, I am totally obsessive.  For many of those I actually snapped a picture with my phone so that I could put that arrangement back together if I decided I liked it.  I finally settled on one and I glued it all together.  But as I looked at it on the final card, that blue leaf had so much "weight" it seemed to pull the whole arrangement downward.  I tried tucking another blue leaf in at the top but then it looked too "regular" - like it was bookended in blue.  I ended up with the sequins - it gave it the weight but kept it as a random(?) grouping of leaves.  Probably not worth the time or effort - but I like the final result!


The leaves are a mix of cardstocks to match the colors in the patterned paper.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Taylored Expressions: Inspired by Pinterest

This is my second post today.

Taylored Expressions maintains a fabulous array of Pinterest Boards sorted by product and some by theme.  It's a fabulous source of inspiration for every cardmaking need!  Today I was inspired by a card in the Fan Favorites gallery - this card by Rosemary Dennis.

I love the layout - the simple patterned strip, the curled edges of the banner, the dimension in each layer.  I also love the colors and the stamps and the theme, but I thought I should change up something!!  I did a bright birthday card.

Taylored Expressions Bday Balloons

I popped a few layers just like Rosemary did.

TE Bday Balloons CloseUp

The balloons with their curly strings came from the Up, Up & Away Cutting Plate.  I used a small piece of cardstock under the balloons then I cut out the bottom two balloons.  You don't even have to be neat and tidy when you are cutting because then you cut balloons out of patterned paper (using the two extra balloons) and adhere on top of your cut out balloons.

Thanks to Rosemary for today's inspiration!  


Curtain Call Reminder: Mason Jar

Just a reminder that there is still time to play along with the challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Mason Jar.
I actually used this inspiration photo to justify a stamp purchase, not that I often need any real justification to buy something that I love.  Paper Smooches has a mason jar set called Best Buds with big cheerful flowers that had to be part of my collection!

I started with the paper - I paged through my collection looking for red/yellow and black.  I found this much more muted paper that I just love and knew this had to part of the card.  It's more brick than red, and more gold than yellow - but I am so ready for rich, fall colors that I went with it!!

Celebrate Mason Jar

This card is going out for an 80th birthday so I had to make sure it sparkled!  I added some glitter on the flower centers and then piled some sequins into the jar.  

Celebrate Mason Jar CloseUp

The oval at the bottom comes from one of those stamp sets that sits in my most-used box right next to my desk.  It's a set of flat ovals by Paper Smooches called Shadows.  You can ground anything with it so the image doesn't seem to be floating.  I use a piece of post-it note to mask the bottom of the jar and then stamp the shadow.

You don't have to use a mason jar for this challenge - be inspired by the color or the theme or the flowers or anything else.  I hope to see you playing along!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Freshly Made Sketches 200!! Happy Day!!

It's the big day - it's time for the 200th sketch at Freshly Made Sketches!!

I've been playing along since Sketch #1 - and I hope to play along for the next 200!

Did you come from the FMS Blog?  Did you already see all of the sponsors and all of the prizes? Did you see the mass of inspiration - not only from the FMS design team, but also from the sponsors' design teams?   If you haven't been there - head right over (but don't forget to come back!)

The sketch this week is nice and basic so you can fill in the details in any number of ways.

I decided to create a party scene, because it is a "happy day" today.  I knew that I wanted a large expanse of green and an outdoor scene at the top.  I started with the idea of a rising sun - but then I remembered this park bench die.  It just kept growing from there - to the little squirrel and the leafy tree and the festive lanterns!!  I'd love to be sitting on that park bench having a happy day!

FMS Happy Day

Truly one of my favorite things to do is build little scenes.  I generally like a lot of open space with a multi-layered, detailed scene somewhere on the card.  This is why I love Freshly Made Sketches. This is their definition of "clean": We are looking for clean-lined creations but unlike Clean and Simple challenges, we encourage lots of detail and embellishments as long as they maintain a "clean" look to your card.  This definition gives us wide-open latitude to be creative!  

Just a few details on this card.  The embossing folder on the green is actually called Cable Knit.  I was fairly proud of myself for using it as greenery (in my limited brain, something called Cable Knit is clearly a sweater and clearly has a place on winter cards, right??)  The tree is part of a full-size cutting plate that has trees on both sides of a horizontal card.  I love its little leaves so I used just a small piece of the cutting plate.  The little white dots are so old that I couldn't find a place to link them (sorry!).  They are white Mark Richards Glitter Domes.  I wanted their hint of glitter particularly on the lanterns.

FMS Happy Day Close Up

I hope you are having a "happy day" - and I know you will if you can find time to play along during our big celebration week!

Congrats to Freshly Made Sketches on #200!