Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bits and Pieces......PPA232

A bit of housekeeping first - Blogger has added its own number captcha code in the comment section of blogspot blogs - like mine! Everyone is searching for a way to remove it because those codes are so annoying! So far we can't get rid of it. But what we have discovered is that you don't need to enter it - just comment and click post and it will work the same as always.  Hope that helps as you visit and comment in blogland!

Pieces -  I have a shallow tray on my desk where I toss extra bits, pieces, diecuts and images from projects.  I clean it out the end of every month - which means I toss almost everything in it (I know - gasp!) and start fresh on the first! Three weeks into December however that tray was full of stuff!  I had a piece of brushed silver cardstock left on my desk this week so I rummaged in the tray to see what else I could find.  A Merry Christmas acetate sheet from Project Life got me started and then I looked for accessories - a small piece of embossed white, random sequins, a leftover silver snowflake from Paper Pumpkin and my card came together quickly!  I did have to open my desk drawer for a piece of washi tape to hold it all together  :)

Pals Paper Arts has a terrific sketch challenge for us this week!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Woohoo....It's Birthday Week! FMS167

This is definitely the busiest week of the year for me. It is my daughter's birthday, my birthday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day all in a span of 10 days. It does take some juggling to assemble the troops four times in that span and try to keep each gathering unique! We celebrated with pizza, wings and cupcakes for my daughter last night.  It is so much fun when you have a little one in the crowd who is just enamored by candles, cupcakes and ice cream!

Narelle designed a wonderfully layered sketch for us this week at Freshly Made Sketches.  It was great to take a crafting break and design a simple birthday card for a friend. Hope you get to take a break as well and join us!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Creative Blog Hop.....CTS103

That wonderful and oh-so-talented Cindy Beach has nominated me for a Creative Blog Hop.  That means I get to share my creative process with you by answering 4 simple questions - so here we go!

1.  What are you working on?  Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!  Finishing cards, writing out cards and making a few last ones just in case!  Here's a peek at my desk this week!

2.  How does your work differ from others in your genre?  My work is usually clean and simple but I like to have an interesting - or even quirky -  little detail somewhere on my a small piece of mesh in the background  - 

or Santa's red nose - 

                           or a wonderfully punny sentiment......

3.  Why do you create what you do?  I loved doing bulletin boards when I taught school  After I retired I missed working with paper and design.  I look at each card as a mini bulletin board - each with its own theme and personality!  I rarely make more than one of the same card - except at Christmas - most of my cards are created with a specific person/occasion in mind.  

4.  How does your creative process work?  I like to start with a sketch.  Then I pull stamp sets from my bookcase looking for images that would fit.  When I decide on the set I start picking colors and Designer Paper.  Of course there are those times when I start with the Designer Paper and work this process backwards! 

I created today's card starting with that terrific sketch from Cas(e) this Sketch..........and an extra cut out Noel that was found on the corner of my desk........


I used Natural Composition Designer Paper and whitewashed it slightly with white ink so that the notes stand out in the background.

I have passed the baton on to Debbie Crowley at expressively deb.....she is also mostly a CAS designer with a wonderful eye for color and composition.  I enjoyed meeting her at a gathering last year - she has a great smile and is such fun to chat with!  Her post about her creative style will go live next Monday....Dec. 22nd.

And I will leave you with a housekeeping note......

Blogger has taken it upon itself to add a number captcha code if you leave a comment.  Unfortunately no one has found a way to remove it yet.  But in the meantime we have discovered you can skip it and just hit "post comment" as usual......hope that helps as you travel around in Blogland!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Sparkling Holiday Season - FMS166, PP225, FM188

Christmas activities are in full swing around here.  The tree is up, my shopping is done and I am finishing the last of my holiday cards. Winter is off to an early start here so I'll be staying in the next day or two wrapping packages and baking while another foot of snow falls!  Nothing like snow to bring on the Christmas spirit!

                      My daughter's back yard last week....

That oh-so-talented gal from New Zealand - Karren -  has designed a sweet sketch for us at Freshly Made Sketches - hope you play along!  Not a flake in sight these days where she lives!


I dressed up Karren's sketch in silver and gold with embossed ornaments.  A gold cord tie and my card is ready to deliver an elegant Christmas greeting - just right for the Paper Players Challenge this week as well!


Friday Mashup is also having a Silver/Gold/Holiday theme this week!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy Wonderful Holidays - PPA230, CTS101

Oh these colors have a down home feel to them at Pals Paper Arts!  I used Ornamental Pine and Wondrous Wreath along with the sketch from Cas(e) This Sketch to create my card this week.  And that off center paper piercing just makes me smile. As some of you have realized by now, I do tend to like things slightly askew!  

Pals Paper Arts has a wonderful homespun color challenge for us this week!  Hope you play along!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Trimming the Tree......FMS165, MM137

Decorating this sweet tree was a snap using washi tape! Then that delightful cardinal came along and offered to add the tinsel - an offer I couldn't refuse!  We will be getting our own Christmas tree this if I could just get another cardinal or two to help me with the tinsel.......

I adore this sketch by Cindy Lovell this week at Freshly Made Sketches!  Hope you play along!

Merry Monday's Christmas challenge this week is to use a bird - or two - on your holiday card.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Welcome Home! PPA229

Guess who returned home safe and sound???  Yep it is Hip Hip Hooray!  I was so excited to see him that I inked him right up on a birthday card!  Pals Paper Arts had a really neat sketch this week that reminded me of the bokeh technique so I went with it and sponged lots of soft white circles over a watercolored panel. And where was Hip Hip Hooray you might be wondering?  Well he didn't get too far........looks like he spent the week on my bookshelf stuck to the back of my Stampin' Up! catalog!   


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stache-ing Through The Snow - FMS164

When I asked my niece what her 8 year old daughter would like for Christmas she responded "Anything with mustaches!" I had no trouble finding shirts, mittens, wrapping paper and party props - mustaches are everywhere!  Of course I had to make a card especially for her as well.  We will see them Thursday at our annual Thanksmas celebration. We gather with my husband's side of our family on Thanksgiving and celebrate both holidays so everyone can be home with their kids on Christmas Day.  It is a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!

Even though I make a variety of Christmas cards I try to keep the same color theme on my cards each year. This year (as you have probably noticed) it is silver, white and those wonderful shades of blue - Lost Lagoon, Pool Party, Soft Sky - along with All is Calm designer paper.  I also made a few "easier to mail" versions of this card.

But in the meantime Emma must-ache you a question......she likes the red nose card best.......what do you think?

Jen Brum's terrific sketch is wide open for lots of creativity this week!  Hope you join us at Freshly Made Sketches!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter Joy..... PPA228

Hope to spread some joy today to those of you who may have struggled to remove words or intricate pieces from thin dies.  I came across this video on Facebook and thought I would share the news. Karen Burniston demonstrates how to use dryer sheets to make those tiny pieces slide right out!  It really is amazing and definitely brought me joy as I added a few of these cards to my holiday stash!

The snowflakes from Endless Wishes embossed in white on the middle panel aren't the kind that need shoveling. I live about three hours from the Great Lakes where communites have been buried in 5 feet of snow - with another foot or two expected.  Convoys of snowplows left our area to help out. We have escaped with just frigid temps, wind and flurries.  In the meantime I have received many comments and emails from many of you about my Hip Hip Hooray stamp that has escaped from my craft room........there have been "sightings" as far south as Georgia and as far west as Arizona..........oh will he ever return??????


Pals Paper Arts has a sketch challenge this week - hope you play along with this very versatile sketch!  Put your own stamp on it! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Birthday Break - FMS163

Just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean my friends stop having birthdays!  It was time to take a break from those Christmas cards and and make a birthday card or two.  This card was supposed to have "hip hip hooray" on the sentiment panel and "it's your birthday" on the inside.  But just as I was taking "hip hip hooray" out of the case Emma woke up from her nap, followed by a phone call and then it was time for dinner. Oh and that Polar Vortex paid us a visit  - wind, snow, ice, and a power outage! When I returned to my desk a few hours later that sentiment stamp was nowhere in sight.  I looked everywhere but no luck so the inside sentiment earned a spot on the cover!  In the meantime "hip hip hooray" is still on the loose.......probably enjoying his freedom and heading south for for warmer weather.........

Cindy has a fun sketch for us this week at Freshly Made Sketches!  Hope you join us!

Monday, November 17, 2014

High Flying - CAS(E) this Sketch

Making cards that will easily mail is like trying to pack everything you need on vacation in your carryon bag.  You want to look nice when you get there.......and you really need those wedge heels.......and just a few accessories.....and a sweater or two...and maybe some cool boots....... In the end you bring the little black dress, a bright scarf and a casual outfit for the plane.  

I have relatives in England and every year I try for a simple but classic card to make that trek across the ocean.  So here's my version of the "classic black dress with just a pop of color".  The tops of the houses from Holiday Home have a definite European feel and the simple twine will hardly make a bump in the envelope - perfect!

The 100th sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch was my inspiration. Congrats to all of the wonderful designers there who have provided inspiration 100 times!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yesterday and Today......CTS99, PPA18

Today I was visiting CAS(E) This Sketch and decided to play along using their wonderful sketch.


My friend Lesley Croghan is on their DT so I stopped by her blog and there I learned about a fun link up going on at Amy Tsurata's blog.  Amy is celebrating 7 years of blogging by revisiting a post from her first year and has challenged us to upload a card from our first year of blogging. 

I started blogging five years ago in August 2009 and posted this card that November for a Pals Paper Arts Challenge. Hope you enjoy "yesterday's" card!


Winter Snows - FMS162

I love how this print from All is Calm DSP looks like a swirling snowstorm!  I'm also thinking that a banner change would make this card work for December birthdays and Valentine's Day so I may be making a couple more!  That Alaskan snowstorm is barreling across the US this week and we will probably see our first flakes of the season soon.  Looks like Miss Emma Lin inherited a new winter coat from her cousin just in time!

The fabulous Kim Singdahlsen has a very cool sketch for us this week at Freshly Made Sketches!  Join us and put your own stamp on her design!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Giving Thanks - PPA226, CTS98

November is the month of Thanksgiving.  But why wait until Thanksgiving?  Thought you might like to know what I was thankful for today.........

1- Forgot my umbrella for my morning walk but the sprinkles that started when I was a mile from home cleared up in two minutes.....who needs umbrellas?

2- The dog has an infection and needs people antibiotics - yikes - but they were only $14.57!

3-  After 30 years of living with a garage door that only my husband could open (I know hard to believe) we ordered a new one today with an automatic opener!  I am delighted but then again there obviously isn't much in the garage I need............

4- My husband just remembered he needs to bring chocolate chip cookies to a meeting tomorrow so guess who had to get busy in the kitchen?  Oh but now there are warm chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen and the CMA awards on TV.........definitely thankful!

And I am thankful to be part of this wonderful online stamping community!  We have a great fall color challenge at Pals Paper Arts this week.  Hope you play along!


                   I was also inspired by the cool sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Soft and Sweet - FMS161

Hmmm the title of this post might remind you of the Pillsbury Dough Boy but I am actually talking color here today.  At a recent Stampin' Up! gathering we were asked to name our favorite SU! color. The moaning and groaning that followed was incredible but our leaders -  Brian and Pam -  held firm. We had to name one color and boy was that hard to do! Strong colors like Real Red, Blackberry Bliss and Cherry Cobbler were very popular - and those colors crossed my mind for sure - but when it was my turn the words Soft Sky just popped out.  I have used it here in my Christmas card - softened even more with a piece of vellum layered over it.  It is one of those colors that always seems to add a sweet fresh look to a design. Exactly the look I was going for today since I created this for Freshly Made Sketches!

  I am hosting this week and would love to have you join us at Freshly Made Sketches and play along using my sketch!  I'll by dropping by to see your wonderful creations!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hope Soars - HYCCT1430

Jen Timko one of my partners in crime at Freshly Made Sketches is hosting one of the Hope You Can Cling To challenges at Splitcoast today.  Jen is a past Artisan, current Dirty Girl and a pilot!  So it is only fitting that her challenge today is Hope Soars. Hope you head over to Splitcoast and join in......there are prizes :)

Are you playing along with us? If not, you're missing out on

the chance to lift the spirits of women battling breast cancer 

and also on more than $5000 in prizes from your favorite 

crafty companies. So what are you waiting for? Get to 


Click here or on the links in the first paragraph for the 

challenge thread......keyword HYCCT1430


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Fun......FMS160

Looks like these witches just dropped their brooms and ran off to celebrate Halloween!  Such fun images in this Stampin' Up! set called Tee-Hee-Hee. We are looking forward to Halloween night and expect about 100 trick or treaters. Miss Emma will be here in her pirate costume to help us hand out Halloween treats.  But after seeing her play with her stuffed animals this week I am thinking next year she should be Dr. Emma Lin, DVM!

That wonderful Rita Wright designed a stylin' sketch for us this week at Freshly Made Sketches!