Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Curtain Call Inspiration Anniversary!

It's time for a new challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge and this is a big one - it's time to celebrate!  The curtain went up on Curtain Call two years ago!  I remember chatting with Stacey Schafer, our founder, a few months earlier.  She asked if I wanted to help re-open Curtain Call. Absolutely!  Then a few weeks later I heard from her again and I'm thinking we'll start talking about it. Nope - she's got an entire design team, start date, graphics, sponsors - all ready to go!  So here we are, two years later, and still going strong.

The theme for this challenge is "celebrate" and we are going to go all month long.

I was kind of amused when I saw the photo.  This is my second post today and my earlier post discusses the fact that I don't like the mint color.  Then this graphic has mint-toned balloons.  To compound the problem, I don't like gold.  I don't know why.  I love silver, brass, copper, and platinum, but I don't like gold.  I know I'm in the minority on both of these colors, but there's no accounting for my tastes, right??!

Birthday Sparkles

The colors made this card a little difficult for me, but the dies made it easy.  I love this balloon die. It's actually a full background die, I just covered it with another frame die, and I added the bistro lights die behind it.

Check out all the sparkle.  I'm definitely celebrating!

Birthday Sparkles Close

I sure hope to see you playing along.  Remember, the challenge runs the full month of July.  The Lead of this challenge will be invited to be a Guest Designer in a future challenge.


The gold glitter is Best Creations Glitter Cardstock.  The balloons come from two DCWV Glitter Cardstock Border Stacks that I got from one of the big box stores years ago.  The pictures below show regular sequins for the larger sequins, but at the link you can choose the flat sequins.

Make sure you visit each of the designers' blogs for more inspiration!

Celebrate Designers

Freshly Made Sketches: A Little Kindness

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

I was playing at a Stampin' Up friend's house recently and we were discussing the new Stampin' Up In-Colors.  I indicated some disappointment in the new greens.  I was quickly shouted down by all six people there - they all loved Mint Macaron.  As I thought about it, I realized that of every companies' ink/cardstock collection that I collect - I didn't have the "mint" in any of them.  Isn't it funny how our tastes in color vary?  Why would I not like mint - particularly given that I seem to be in the extreme minority?  And I'm sure there are colors that I like that many of you would avoid.

So I had to set out that day to use Mint Macaron.  I became a little more convinced when I saw the Pretty Petals Paper pack.  LOVE those butterflies, and it's hard to go wrong with diagonal stripes!

A Little Kindness

I hope to see you playing along.  And be sure to check out Rita's blog, Rita's Creations, for lots of inspiration!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Taylored Expressions: Sweet Summer Fun

I am not a summer person.  I don't do heat.  I don't like bugs.  I hate the noise of fans running non-stop in my house.  My favorite day of the year is the first fall day that it is cool enough to turn off the fans and there is peace.

In fairness, there are a few things that I like.  I love hiking in our Colorado mountains.  I love sitting on the deck as the sun goes down.  And I really, really love fresh-squeezed lemonade!

TE Sweet Summer Fun

I have started collecting the monthly script dies from Taylored Expressions.  I started with June which includes the words sun fun, dad, summer, June, vacation.  They aren't overtly for cardmaking, but I have so many typical dies like birthday, get well, etc. - I love adding to my collection with more unique words so I can do different sayings.

To use my June set for the first time, I knew I had to use "fun" because I love the "f", but since I think it's clear that "summer" and "fun" don't go together for me - I dug around and found the "sweet" stamp - which then obviously led me to the lemonade!!

TE Sweet Summer Fun

I did have fun coloring in the lemonade and made sure I added a touch of sparkle to those wonderful, cold ice cubes!

TE Sweet Summer Fun

Now I'm going to head out for a walk (since it's 6 a.m. and only 62 degrees)!  And then, I'm going to squeeze some lemons, add some fresh mint and a pinch of nutmeg - and I'm ready to face the day!


TE Sweet Summer Fun

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Freshly Made Sketches: So Kind Butterfly

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

In my first Stampin' Up new catalog order, I got the entire array of butterfly stamps and dies - so it was an obvious choice to plop a butterfly on my card!  Plus - my new favorite color is Stampin' Up Watermelon Wonder so that was clearly meant to be the butterfly.

FMS So Kind

After those choices, the card evolved.  I originally had a black and white patterned paper along the edges with a white panel and large sentiment.  It was pretty good, but as I was dealing with a large tower of paper that kept tumbling over on my craft desk, toward the bottom I spotted an unused pad of vellum that Stampin' Up offered for Sale-a-bration this year.  I thought it would be good to add a backing to the butterfly, but then I saw the pattern with the cute little flower stems along the bottom and this card was born!  (Maybe I need to keep my desk out-of-control messy so that I have other happy accidents!?)

Be sure to check out what the other designers have done on the FMS blog and also browse more of Jen's work at her blog, I Create.  Then I hope to see you play along!


The vellum is the Stampin' Up Sheer Perfection Designer Vellum Stack which, sadly, was only available for Sale-a-Bration.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Birch Trees for Father's Day

In last month's newsletter from Taylored Expressions, the design team created cards for Father's Day along with photos and a brief shout-out to our fathers.  Although my father died when I was quite young, I still have vivid memories.  Here's my dad in the 1970s.

This picture was downloaded from the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame website with this little blurb.
1949 McLaughlin HS grad. 1953 Huron College grad. He coached Huron High's basketball team to an unbeaten season in 1958. He became a coach at Rapid City Central in 1962. In 1969, he became Rapid City Stevens' first activities director, a position he held until his death in 1977 at age 45. In eight seasons as basketball coach at Huron and Rapid City, his teams were 195-62. At Huron, he was an NAIA Little All-American in football in 1952, and he also was a standout in basketball. He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1966.
Obviously, athletics were an important part of his life.  The story goes that he was drafted by the NFL  in the 60s but decided he could make more money as a teacher!!  

At the time of his death, he was the high school principal at Stevens High School in Rapid City, South Dakota.  In his honor, the town renamed the gym after him. This is my son in front of his grandfather's gym.

I have scrapbooks of letters from people honoring and remembering him.  Some came decades after his death, with people just wanting to let us know what a profound impact he had had on their lives. He was a sincere and very caring man and had an impact on all who knew him.  

My memories are of small moments - yet they are vivid memories.  We spent a lot of time out in the Black Hills of South Dakota - long hikes and camping.  I have raised my children in the same way.  I remember his booming laugh.  He had an amazing ability to laugh at himself.  I remember one time we were hiking with my grandmother and we got to a stream that was a little too big to jump across.  My dad found an old log and struggled for a long time to drag it to the stream.  He propped it up and let it go to fall across to give us a footbridge, but when it dropped the entire log shattered.  He sat down on the ground and laughed until he cried.  

His love of the outdoors is why when Taylored Expressions wanted to do a tribute to our fathers, I went right for the stunning Birch Tree dies.  Although there wasn't a deer looking at us as my father sat and laughed at himself, the feel of this card represents my memories - beautiful, peaceful, and a little misty.

Birch Trees by Kim Singdahlsen

I love you Dad!


The patterned paper is from the We R Memory Keepers Free Spirit 12x12 paper pad.  I found a section that looked like a distant mountain scene! As I was writing this, you could find this paper at places like Createforless and there were even a few pads available on Amazon.  The birch trees are done in a confetti white cardstock but I don't remember what brand it is.