Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful For You

Hello!  This is just a post for fun.  Making cards is a wonderful outlet for me on the occasion that I need a break, but the really rewarding part of this hobby is being able to share it with others.  Though I feel a bit of anxiety every time I give my cards to people outside of my family, I'm happy to know I created something just for them.  I know I've shared lots of Christmas cards on here lately and that is because I've been trying to make a bunch for the Caring Hearts Card Drive.  It's such a great cause.  I don't actually mail out hardly any handmade Christmas cards (gasp!) .  It's true, though.  I don't like card-making to be stressful, and I'm constantly trying to simplify at Christmas, so I get our cards printed.  I feel like I've kind of neglected Thanksgiving on my blog, but I think it is a beautiful, important holiday, so I wanted to focus on it today.  Thanksgiving is the most perfect holiday to precede Christmas because a heart full of gratitude is so much more willing to give and recognize the needs of others and more likely to remember and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.   I just love that we have a holiday dedicated to helping us feel and express gratitude.  I have much to be thankful for...and that includes you! :) I sincerely appreciate the sweet and uplifting comments you leave on the cards I share here.  I love to smile and reading your comments always makes me smile.  Thank you so SO much!!!  I hope you have the happiest Thanksgiving!  And I hope you are surrounded by the ones you love.  (P.S. I realize it isn't Thanksgiving Day for everyone, but you can never say thank you too often, right?)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Watercolor Christmas Tree

Hi! I have one last card to share today.  Let me preface this post by saying that I know next to nothing about watercoloring.  Okay, now I'll tell you how this card came to be.  I had one idea for Curtain Call's CAS-ual Christmas challenge that never came to fruition.  I loved that tree offset to the right in the photo.  
When I went to the source of the inspiration photo I saw that the picture in its entirety reveals a beautiful burlap bow atop the tree (if you're curious, go here to see it).  I received my Clearly Besotted stamps Saturday and I knew immediately that the bow in their Make a Wish set would make the perfect tree topper.  And that was the last straw.  I had to try to make a tree.  I got out some watercolor brushes, ink pads, and a squirt bottle and got to work.  I tried super hard to channel my mom (who is amazing at watercoloring), and this is what I came up with.
I sprayed the watercolor paper with water and then I watercolored the tree using ink from three ink pads that I had rubbed onto a sheet of acetate.  Next I inked up the bow from CB's Make a Wish and sprayed it with water before stamping it on.  I did the same method (ink, spray, stamp) with the small and large buttons in CB's In Stitches: Christmas set to create the Christmas ornaments.  (Random side note: My color scheme was based on darker shades of the colors on our Christmas tree last year.)  Last I stamped on the Merry Christmas Sentiment (also from In Stitches: Christmas).  I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.  I hope my mom likes's going to her. :)
Unfortunately I didn't have time to post this card until now and Curtain Call's Challenge is closed, but I'm happy that I still get to link this card up at Clearly Besotted Challenge #6: Christmas.
Stamps: In Stitches: Christmas, Make a Wish (Clearly Besotted)
Ink: Always Artichoke, Old Olive (SU!), Cranberry (CTMH), Dark Chocolate, Hawaiian Shores, Ocean Tides, Tea Dye Duo (PTI)
Paper: kraft (PTI), kraft (recollections), watercolor paper, watercolor brush

Clearly Besotted Snowy Reindeer

I'm back!  I know, I've been so sporadic with posts the last two months and now I've posted 4 times this weekend and now I have another one today.  Hopefully you're not sick of me. ;) I made another Christmas card (you can see my first here) using my new Clearly Besotted stamps.  LOVE them!  Sometimes I get new stamps and find I'm a bit stumped with what to do with them, but not these.  I definitely have more ideas than time to create.
The set I used was In Stitches: Christmas, and it was a super quick card to make. I stamped the images, rounding the sentiment slightly.  Then I added some "snow" using  glossy accents and some SU! dazzling diamonds glitter.  I also added glossy accents with a little glitter mixed in to the darling reindeer's nose.  Isn't that nose adorable?  It's my favorite part. :) Oh, and I'm linking up to Clearly Besotted's Christmas Card Challenge.  Yay!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Simon Says Monday Mood Board

At the very last minute tonight I decided to make a card for WPlus9's Monday Mood Board #23.  I combined it with this week's challenge sketch at the Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge Blog. The entire thing (including the the twig wreath and the floral pattern paper) was created using stamps from WPlus9's Fresh Cut Florals Stamp Set.  I had intended to tie some twine across the middle to represent the horizontal strip in the sketch and to pull from the twine in the inspiration photo, but I totally forgot to put it on before I glued everything else down.  Oops.  Okay, now I'm really done for the night. :)

Turkey Thanks (cQc #216 &TAWS #42)

Just a quick card I made combing inspiration from two challenges: ColourQ #216 and TAWS Be Inspired #41.  I veered to the color palette of the ColourQ Challenge and interpretted those big yellow flowers in the brown jars in the TAWS inspiration photo as the big yellow feathers on the brown turkey.  I also used the brown scalloped piece and the brown tag to represent the brown table runner in the photo.  The sentiment was stamped with some selective inking on sentiments from TAWS's All About You set. (P.S. The layout of the tag was inspired by one Alice Wertz made on p. 109 in Paper Craft's Birthday Creations Magazine.)

Grateful Tags (MIM #141 , cQc #216)

I haven't had the best of luck with my heat and stick powder in the past (and have almost thrown it away twice), so when I saw Papertrey's Make It Monday Challenge this week was to add glitter using heat and stick embossing powder, I was happy to watch and get some tips from Heather.  And it worked.  Problem solved.  Apparently when used correctly it can be a wonderful adhesive.  What I like most is that the glitter really sets in and you can rub your fingers over it afterward and almost nothing falls off.  
I love looking at other blogs, and I pin and save ideas all the time, but I don't end up using those ideas often enough.  I decided that's ridiculous.  If I'm going to spend the time to be inspired by others, I might as well use that inspiration on my projects.  So I happily combined inspiration from two uberly talented ladies for my tags.  Maile Belles was the genius behind the layered tag in a post she shared for Papertrey's designer tips, and Amber Kemp-Gerstel inspired me to use an off the page sentiment in this post.  The beautiful fall color palette was inspired by this week's ColourQ Challenge.
This is actually the first time I've ever inked up my Birds & Blooms set from PTI, and I LOVE the font of the sentiments.  I just did some selective inking, so only the "grateful" part of the sentiment was used.  I actually made 8 of these tags for neighbor gifts and I can definitely see my self using this same idea in the in all the rest of my Christmas tags will probably look something like this. :)

Stamps: Birds & Blooms, Borders & Corners: Monogram Edition, Mat Stack #1 (PTI)
Ink: Dark Chocolate (PTI), Autumn Terracotta (CTMH), Versamark
Paper: Stamper's Select White (PTI), Night & Fall (Recollections)
Other: Tag Sale #5 die (PTI), Fire Opal Glitter (Martha Stewart), Heat and Stick Powder (SU!), Cappuccino Twine (The Twinery)

Clearly Besotted Craft Dash

I couldn't have been more excited to play along with this week's Craft Dash Challenge.  The colors were fun and I my brand new (very first!) Clearly Besotted Stamps arrived in the mail today.  Woohoo!  I've been so eager for them to get here, and they really didn't take long at all to arrive...I was super impressed with the shipping time.  I don't think I'll be reluctant to shop internationally anymore.  I didn't really have a plan for this card except I knew I wanted to use my CB stamps and I wanted to make a Christmas card so I could enter it into Clearly Besotted's current Christmas themed challenge. 
This card came together so quickly.  I finished in 7 minutes 50 seconds, but really I would have finished sooner, but my son woke up and came in to visit while I was making it. 
To make my cards I used Clearly Besotted's In Stitches: Christmas set, which I am hoping is the start of a series.  These stamps ink up so nicely and stamp like a dream, so just for fun I made two more cards switching things up ever so slightly on each one.
I'm so glad you stopped by today.  Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Less Is More Designer Paper Challenge

Just a quick post to share another card I made for the current Less Is More Challenge to use designer paper in a CAS way.  If it hasn't been obvious, I've been trying really hard to use up some of my patterned paper lately, so this challenge is perfect.  I'm pretty proud of myself for using paper on this card that I've had for years!  If you follow the amazingly talented Maile Belles, you'll recognize that my card is a CASE of this card that she made.  I pinned it a month ago because it was such a brilliant way to use patterned paper, and I just loved it.  Well, I'm off to bed at last. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Stamps: Reflections (Paper Smooches), Say it in Style (CTMH)
Ink: Cranberry (CTMH), London Fog (Memento), New Leaf (PTI)
Cardstock: Rustic Cream (PTI)
Patterned Paper: Glitter Christmas Stack (DCWV), Lost & Found Two (MME), Mosaic Memories (Recollections) 
Other: Reflections Graphic dies (Paper Smooches), Vintage Cream button (PTI)

Christmas Stockings 2 Ways (Curtain Call CAS-ual Christmas, Less Is More, TAWS)

Hello, again!  I'm so excited to share the cards I've been working on the last few days.  Inspiration struck very clearly for this card.   I was completely inspired by CAS-ual Fridays and Curtain Call's combined challenge.  The combination of rustic and sparkles, the monogram stockings hanging from the mantle, and the blue in the inspiration photo just begged to be made into a card.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and I knew exactly who I wanted to make the card of the kindest card bloggers I know. :)  The only trick was I didn't quite have the tools I I improvised.  I don't have a stocking die, so I drew a template.  I don't have a scrawly Merry Christmas sentiment, so I wrote it.  It's far from perfect, but I feel like it adds to the feeling of wanting this card to come from my heart.  
This card makes me smile over and over because there are so many little things I did specifically with the recipient in mind including the use of my brand new (yay!) Lil' Inkers rectangle stitched mats.  Though I had the idea for this card first, I was too nervous to make it right away (that happens sometimes when I really want something to turn out well), so the next card was actually my practice run to prepare me for this one.
For my second card, I used the same idea but switched the stockings up a bit with added inspiration from the TAWS Be Inspired #41 photo (polka dots) and the Less is More Challenge to use designer paper in a CAS way.  And I suppose this might even be more suited for the CAS-ual Fridays part of the combined Curtain Call and CAS-ual Fridays Challenge because it is a bit more CAS that my first card.  I have the sweetest neighbors across the street, and their daughter is one of my son's best buddies.  I just love them, so I made this card with them in mind.  The patterned stockings reminded me of the stockings I sewed last year...can't wait to get them out in a week. :)

Burlap Stockings Card Supplies
Stamps: Sans Alphabet (CTMH), Trees Company (TAWS)
Ink: Bordering Blue, Garden Green (SU!), New Leaf (PTI)
Cardstock: Rustic Cream (PTI)
Dies: Sketched Shaped (PTI), Stitched Mats: Rectangles (Lil' Inkers)
Other: white gold, florentine gold, sterling, and lapis lazuli glitter (Martha Stewart), burlap (Hobby Lobby), Zing! gold embossing powder (AC), hemp (CTMH), hole punch, embossing pen

Patterned Stockings CardSupplies
Stamps: Alphabet Soup, Trees Company (TAWS)
Ink: Cranberry (CTMH), Garden Green (SU!), New Leaf (PTI)
Paper: Merry (MME), Stamper's Select White (PTI)
Other: Linen & Canvas Impression Plate (PTI), Grey Flannel Marker (CTMH), hole punch

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Joy (Craft Dash, Curtain Call, CAS-ual Fridays)

I've attempted to play along with the current 10 Minute Craft Dash Challenge in my spare moments over the last week.  I've actually made about 8 cards...only one of which I completed in less than 10 minutes.  And it's not this card. :) I forgot to take a picture of that one.  I like this one the best, so it is just as well.  And I was close...I finished this one in 10 minutes 22 seconds.  I've said this before, but many of my best ideas come when I'm putting my son to sleep.  He's pretty darling and its been so fun to watch how his creative little mind works and how much his creativity is expanding and developing in complexity (it fascinates me...especially since I worked so many years with children who did not develop typically).  Maybe his creativity seeps over to me a little bit in those moments. :) Anyway, as I was pondering about my failed Craft Dash attempts I decided I better combine it with another challenge to give me a little more direction. I loved the warmth, the pine boughs on the mantel, the touch of sparkle amidst the natural elements, and the blue in Curtain Call's new inspiration photo.  So I decided to go with that.  Since Curtain Call is teaming up with CAS-ual Fridays this week I really tried to keep the layout simple.  But I had to use that patterned paper.  It represented everything about the inspiration photo that I love too well not to use it.  I'm glad that the card turned out exactly how I sketched it out in my mind, that I used a bunch of PTI dies that I haven't used in a long time (including the button dies), and that I finally have a card to post's been too long.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!
Challenges I'm participating in:
10 Minute Craft Dash Challenge #29       
CFC120:Curtain Call         

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Joyful Snowman (TAWS & Simon Says...)

I was feeling a bit guilty that my last card ended straying a bit more than I had intended from the challenges I was using, so I made another one.  First, this one is a much more literal interpretation of the stacked polka dot teacups in the TAWS Be Inspired photo.  Second, though I still used patterned paper, I think this one captures more of a CAS feel for the Simon Says Keep It Clean and Simple challenge.  And since the season of gratitude is upon us I thought I would mention that as I was finishing up this card I was super thankful for speech bubbles.  Sentiment placement is often a struggle for me, and I've decided that speech bubbles are a new best friend.  They're incredibly helpful in taking out the guesswork of where words should go.  Oh, and I had to include one last picture.  It's admittedly grainy, but it captured the sparkly happiness on this card.  And that makes me smile. :)

Stamps: Chill Out, Toy Land (TAWS)
Ink: Dark Chocolate (PTI), Champagne (VersaMark)
Paper: Lost & Found Two, Merry (MME); pink, white (Michaels)
Other: Bubble Talk Dies, Linen & Canvas Impression Plate (PTI), Dazzling Diamonds Glitter (SU!), twine
Simon Says Stamp Challenge: Keep It Clean and Simple

Monday, November 11, 2013

Believe: TAWS, Simon, CAS-ual Fridays

Hello!  Just popping in to share a card I made a few days ago for three challenges.  I was inspired by the polka dots, stacked element (I'm loosely asserting that my trees are stacked) and multiple colors in the TAWS Be Inspired photo.  I embossed the frame using burlap for the CAS-ual Fridays embossing challenge, and I attempted to keep it clean and simple for the current Simon Says Challenge.  I realize it was more CAS before I put the patterned paper on the card front, but I just loved how it looked and I really need to start using my patterned paper, so I left it.  Hopefully I didn't busy it up too much.  I have one more card to share I'm off to finish that post.  As always, thanks so much for stopping by. :)
Stamps: Chill Out [sentiment], Trees Company [tree trunks] (TAWS)
Ink: Dark Chocolate (PTI)
Paper: white (PTI), Cowboy & Merry Collections (MME)
Other: Fabulous Frames Dies (PTI), burlap (Hobby Lobby), twine
TAWS: Be Inspired #41

Simon Says Stamp Challenge: Keep It Clean and Simple

CAS-ual Fridays Challenge #119: Embossing

Friday, November 8, 2013

WPlus9 Monday Mood Board #22

I totally forgot I made this card last week.  I was super excited to see a new Monday Mood Board at WPlus9.  My original intent was to make a masculine card, so I drew inspiration from pretty much everything in the board except the lace and pink paper.  However, after I stamped the sentiment I realized it definitely didn't look like something an 8-year-old boy would appreciate (the card was going to be for my cute nephew's baptism), so I had to totally rethink the card. If you're wondering why I have polka dots stamped in a stripe down the card, it is because I also started the card with the intent of following last week's sketch from CAS(E) this sketch, but I ended up straying a bunch when I changed the purpose of the card.  The dots bug me a bit and several times I considered starting over, but I just didn't have it in me.  I adore the hanging clusters that the incredible Debby Hughes uses on her cards (like here and here), and though I did not realize it while I was making this card, I'm sure her ideas influenced how my card turned out. :)  Thanks for stopping by!  I'm hoping to find some crafting time in the next few days and catch up on looking at everyone else's blog posts, too.
                                                         Monday Mood Board #22  
Stamps: Fresh Cut Florals (WPlus9)
Ink: Dark Chocolate, Fine Linen, Fresh Snow (PTI), London Fog (Memento)
Paper: Kraft (PTI), blue stripes (MME Cowboy 6x6 pad)
Other: pearls (Michael's), burlap string (Hobby Lobby), button

Christmas Tags Revisited

Long time no blog. :) We've had a super busy last few weeks filled mostly with visits to or from family.  We've had lots of fun and I can't believe how quickly the time has flown by.  I haven't done any crafting in a while, but I did get a chance to take some more pictures of the tags I made a couple weeks ago, so I thought I'd share.  Still not ideal lighting conditions but I took them in literally the only spare moments I've had the last two weeks.  When I made these tags I wanted them to be cohesive but also suit the varied recipients I had in mind, so I pulled out just a few supplies (almost all things that have been very neglected) and forced myself to make all the tags using them and nothing else.  Every tag has the same five things: color scheme, tag shape, snowflakes, rhinestones, twine/floss.  Here's a close-up of each one.
This tag is the first I created in the set and it makes me smile the most because the zebra striped ribbon reminds me so much of the person I created this tag for.
Stamps: Friendship Jar Holiday Fillers, Think Big Favorites #19 (PTI)
Cardstock: pure poppy, white (PTI)
Ink: aqua mist, true black (PTI)
Other: Tag Sale #4 die (PTI), snowflake punch (Marcy Uchida), rhinestones (CTMH), ribbon (Hobby Lobby), red embroidery floss (Michael's)

I wanted the next one to be more masculine, so I kept it very simple.  I didn't use any stamps and instead was super excited to finally use some washi tape that I've had for a long time.
Cardstock: aqua mist, pure poppy, white (PTI)
Other: Tag Sale #4 Die (PTI), snowflake punch (Marcy Uchida), rhinestones (CTMH), washi tape, black embroidery floss (Michael's)

I was a bit undecided on the recipient for this next one, so I wanted to make sure it could go masculine or feminine.  My favorite part by far is that glittery snowflake.
Stamps: Background Basics: Retro (PTI)
Cardstock: pure poppy, white (PTI)
Ink: true black (PTI)
Other: Tag Sale #4 Die (PTI), snowflake punch (Marcy Uchida), rhinestones (CTMH), twine (The Twinery), dazzling diamonds glitter (SU!)

This one might be my favorite. Each snowflake is actually super sparkly (you can see just a hint of that), and I put glossy accents on the stars, so they shine, too.  Oh, and I love the twine, too...makes me wonder why I don't use that stuff more often....
Stamps: Friendship Jar Holiday Fillers (PTI)
Cardstock: aqua mist, white (PTI)
Ink: true black (PTI)
Other: Tag Sale #4 die (PTI), rhinestones (CTMH), twine (The Twinery), glossy accents (CTMH), dazzling diamonds glitter (SU!)

Try as I may, I could not capture the glitter on this snowman tag.  I mixed glitter with the white embossing powder, so in person you see tiny flecks of glitter throughout the entire image.  It's quite fun (even if the only one who will be able to fully appreciate it's glittery-ness is the recipient).
Stamps: Friendship Jar Holiday Fillers, Polka Dot Basics (PTI)
Cardstock: pure poppy, white (PTI)
Ink: Versamark
Other: Tag Sale #4 Die (PTI), snowflake punch (Marcy Uchida), glossy accents, rhinestones (CTMH), ribbon (Hobby Lobby), white embossing powder, dazzling diamonds glitter (SU!), white embroidery floss (Making Memories)