Monday, June 30, 2014

Guest Designer for 12 Kits of Occasions (Again!)

Hello!  I have an extra special post to share today.  You may be surprised to see that I am the Guest Designer for 12 Kits of Occasions again.  (Squeal!)  The super sweet and talented Marybeth asked me a few months ago if I would like to be the guest designer for the kit she would be hosting in June.  Of course I said yes!  Then as luck would have it I randomly won the guest spot for May.  The 12 Kits Designers chatted it over and were incredibly nice to let me do both months.  I can't even tell you how much fun I've had.  The kit Marybeth created for this month made me gasp as soon as I opened it.  Everything about it was absolutely beautiful right down to the way it was packaged.  And it was even more special because it came from Marybeth.  She is one of the most genuine, thoughtful, kind, and loving people I've ever met.  She reminds me of my mom, which is probably the greatest compliment I could ever give someone.  And if the only thing that ever came out of me starting a blog was to meet Marybeth, I would consider myself incredibly blessed.
Please make sure you stop by the 12 Kits of Occasions blog to see what the other designers created.  I'll be headed that way the first chance I get!  A detailed supply list can also be found there...I've only listed the supplies that I used that were not part of the kit.  Okay, if I haven't already lost you with all the chit-chat, here are my cards.
Additional Supplies: Melon Berry ink (PTI)
The very first thing I noticed in the kit was the beautiful ribbons.  Coral is one of my very favorite colors, so I pulled that one out right away.  I also loved the patterned papers.  I'm not sure how to describe them, but they are shiny in real life and stunning.  I needed several congrats cards right away, so I chose a super simple design and made a bunch of cards.  Not surprising, my favorite is the first that uses the ribbon included in the kit.  P.S. Ribbon bows are hard...that's all I'm going to say about that. :)
Additional Supplies: Teal ink (Heidi Swapp), ribbon (Hobby Lobby)
Additional Supplies: Mint ink (Simon Says Stamp), ribbon (Hobby Lobby)
Marybeth also included some really fun stamped images and tons of great sentiments.  I loved all the fonts.  The combination of all those things made this next card come together super quickly.
Additional Supplies: sequins (Pretty Pink Posh), scallop punch (Martha Stewart)
P.S.  I didn't quite have the right color of sequins I wanted to match the stripes on the paper, so I layered some sparkling clear cupped sequins on top of some flat gold sequins and it worked perfectly.  It was a happy discovery. :) Also, I thought I'd mention that after I made this card it seemed familiar to me...I'm not sure why.  I may have unintentionally CASEd someone, but if I did, I have no idea where I got the inspiration from.
One of my absolute favorite things Marybeth included in this kit was this embossed outhouses stamp.    It's so unique, the idea makes me chuckle, AND my family has a ton of outhouse stories.  My grandmother was a great storyteller and had an incredible sense of humor.  She shared lots of hilarious stories with us about funny things that happened to her and family members in or around an outhouse.  That side of the family also built a few cabins together.  Of course all the cabins had outhouses, so the outhouse stories just continued as my dad grew up.  I even have memories of using some of those outhouses.  Ahhh...good times.
I knew right away that I'd be giving this card to my parents for their anniversary, so in honor of my mom, I watercolored it.  Okay, one last picture because I just can't help myself.  This card just makes me smile so much. :) I kind of want to frame it because of all the fun memories it evokes.  I know my dad will get a kick out of it, too.
Additional Supplies: Watercolor Wonder Crayons (SU!), watercolor brushes (Michael's)
This card just came to me.  One night I had all the papers in front of me (struggling to cut into any of them because I liked them all so much), and the idea popped into my head to use them just like that...overlapping each other under this pretty die cut (also included in the kit).  I added just one pink (the 3rd color down), and the hoarder in me trimmed off just the tiniest amount of each color to use on this card, so I have plenty of each one to use later. :)
Additional Supplies: Stamps - Love Notes (CAS-ual Fridays), Ink - Smoke (Simon Says Stamp), scrap of pink cardstock
This was an evolving card.  You know how they do that sometimes?  I sketched out a layout, but as I started creating, it seemed a little boring.  Then I remembered the butterfly card Dawn McVey (love her!) shared in this post a little while back, so I changed up my design moving everything at an angle, and I liked it much better. I'm hoping if you look closely at the pictures you can see a bit of the shine to the paper and the fun sparkles on the really intricate butterfly die included in the kit.
Additional Supplies: Stamps - Tilted Banner Sayings (Simon Says Stamp),  Ink - Hibiscus Burst (PTI), Dies - Beautiful Butterflies (SU!), Tilted Banners (SSS)
Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I really only scratched the surface with this beautiful kit.  There are so many items in it that I just love but didn't get a chance to use.  My time has been pretty consumed between my family and some continuing education classes I've been taking, and I can't wait for life to slow down a tad so I can make even more cards with this kit.  I saved even the tiniest scraps and all the packaging because I plan to use it all.  Marybeth, thank you a million times for letting me be your guest designer this month.  I think the world of you!

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Hello!  There are many times I have been astounded by the kindness that exists in this paper crafting community.  I have "met" and been inspired by many wonderful people...just one of whom I wanted to talk about today.  I've been a long time fan/follower of Cristina Kowalczyk.  Her cards and projects always amaze me.  She is an author, too, and I am thrilled that her recently published book is already receiving fabulous reviews.  (Read more about her book here.) I have always thought Cristina was a wonderful person, and recently I was the blessed recipient of her kindness and generosity.  I wanted to send Cristina a thank you and decided that a card from my stash just wouldn't suffice...I wanted to create something just for her.  Remembering that she had a Pinterest account, I searched her boards for inspiration...what better way to be able to see what a person likes? :) I chose this color scheme and this piece of art (by Marius Roosendaal) and got to work creating this card.  
You would think that since I had my color scheme and design literally spelled out for me that this card would have come together in no time.  It probably would have if I had a die that cut circles in the size I wanted that I could then place the negative image on the card for a template.  Instead, I worked at snail's pace the "old fashioned" way -- punching out circles, placing them on a grid I'd drawn on my card base, and then using a ruler to check and correct alignment.  It isn't perfect, but trust me...the effort was there. :) I really didn't mind how many hours it took to create, though, because I was making it for someone special, and I figure the labor was just another way to reinforce the sincere gratitude I feel.  
ETA: So after much debate I'm linking this up to the wonderful Darnell's NBUS (Never Before Use Schtuff) Challenge celebrating her having 500 followers (yay for you, Darnell!).  Why the debate? I wasn't sure if the style counted as my comfort zone.  I'm still working out the kinks on my dream comfort zone and my actual comfort zone, but in the end I decided it worked because CASEing a beautiful piece of art is most certainly in my comfort zone. :) To meet the other requirements, the stamp set is deliberately NBUS, and I don't know what could emphasize friendship more than a note of thanks.  Plus, the kindness and generosity that inspired the card are certainly two of the best qualities in a friend...even if you've never met them in person. :)

Card Supplies
Stamps: Simon Says Stamp (Thanks)
Ink: Hero Arts (Navy)
Cardstock: PTI (Berry Sorbet, Melon Berry, Soft Stone, Stamper's Select White); from my stash (grey, navy blue)
Other: hole punch