Tuesday, March 31, 2015

12 Kits of Occasions: Song of the South

Hello, friends!  I am happily back for this month's 12 Kits of Occasions cards.  Our theme is "Song of the South" and the sweet and oh-so-wonderful Marybeth is the hostess.  She put together the most fabulous kit!  I had to snap a quick photo before I opened it.   See how cute it came packaged?  (Please don't mind the legos, box of trucks, and couch cushion [aka fort] in the background.) :) 
I started making cards right away, and I'm so glad I did because then my kiddos got sick and we've had birthdays and lots of extra things pop up this month.  Two of my favorite cards (and best ideas in my opinion) are actually only partially finished. :( One uses those fun bottles in the picture above, but the good news is that means you'll get to see more of this awesome kit later. The kit included four sentiments in the same style, so I started by making a simple set of cards.  The only extra supplies I used were pinking shears and twine. 
It makes me smile seeing them lined up all together.
Sometimes I'm surprised by how I use the supplies from the kits.  I used a ton of patterned paper this time, and I also made a shaped card...two things I don't do all that often.  I used the largest banner in the kit as a template to trim out a second banner to make my shape card.  
Don't you just love that giant sentiment banner?  I liked it when I saw it in Papertrey's February release, but I love it now that I have been able to use it and see the brilliance of the die design close up.  That brings me to the topic of the only negative thing about these kits....they make my wish list grow! :) 
The strawberries in this kit just called to me (probably because I love to eat strawberries in any form-raw, frozen, dried, baked in pies, dipped in chocolate, blended in smoothies, atop shortcake for my favorite birthday treat, etc.!) After I stamped the sentiment I got to thinking the only thing sweeter than strawberries would be sugar dipped strawberries, so I did another rare thing...I got out the glitter.  The photos make them just look wet, but really they are nice and covered in clear chunky "sugary" glitter.
I sure hope you'll take a moment to visit these wonderful ladies to see how they've used Marybeth's beautiful kit, and don't forget to pop over to the 12 Kits of Occasions Blog to see all the supply details and to enter in to win next month's kit.  It'll be a good one...they always are! :)
PS I'm entering these cards into the Simon Says "Anything Goes" Wednesday Challenge.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Celebrating National Craft Month

Did you know that March is National Craft Month?  I'm a little embarrased that I did not know that until last week when I received inspiration from an incredible artist and designer of unique gifts, Patience Brewster.  On my first visit to her website I got lost (in a good way!) for a very long time.  I was fascinated by this post that shows how Patience's art comes to life and fell in love with her unique style.  You can (and should!) check out her work. :)  I pinned my very favorites...these reindeer...and shortly after my sister sent me a message saying that those were the ornaments that her mother-in-law had bought for my sister's family for Christmas.  Small world, right?  I can't wait to see them in person when we visit this summer.  
In honor of National Craft Month, I created this post reflecting on why this craft is important to me.  The card I'm sharing today is a perfect illustration of why I love card making.  
Last week I made a card for my sister's birthday. (You can see it here.)  I was happy with the card, but the more I looked at it, the more I knew it was the wrong card for her.  The colors were right, but I knew that I could make a card that reflected her so much better.  Then when I started thinking about why I love this craft, I knew I had to make a new card.  Late the night before I was supposed to drive to my sister's house, I pulled out Altenew's Vintage Roses and got to work.  I was on a mission.  I spent hours on this card, but it was so worth it.  The final product (at least in my opinion) is a perfect reflection of my sister and some of the things she loves most.  
So why do I love this craft?  It's a way for me to show my love for other people.  I almost always make a card with a specific person in mind.  I love to personalize cards with the recipient's favorite colors or images, to create a card that is a reflection of how I see them, or to create a card that conveys the feelings in my heart.  I try to create something that reflects their style/personality...to create something that they would love.  I also love card making because most of the cards I make are thank you cards, and I love that this craft helps me to not only better recognize the blessings in my life but to express that gratitude.
And selfishly, I love this craft because it makes me happy.  I was giddy and dancing after finishing this card. It was a challenge.  Just the process of creating the right color of ink for each layer alone was more intense than I normally do (these three and four step images actually ended up being five to eight step images), but it was so worth it...because I knew it would make my sister happy. :) Thanks so much stopping by today!  You are amazing if you've stuck with me to until the end of this very long post.  I hope you do something special in honor of National Craft Month, and I hope that you have a wonderfully happy week!

PS I'm linking up to the following challenges:
Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes
Darnell's NBUS Challenge #4 (my NBUS is Altenew's Vintage Roses)

Sunny Make It Monday

Hello, again!  We've had some beautiful weather (yay!) and a very busy week/weekend, so although I meant to post this a few days ago, I'm just getting to it now.  While I had the supplies out for my PTI hop card, I decided to use them to try out Make It Monday #206: Stamping and Mixing Patterns.  Patterns are kind of a weakness for me, but it's always good to stretch yourself, right?  The card turned out a lot busier than I usually prefer, but I suppose that was to be expected since I was covering the entire thing with various patterns.  Had time allowed I think I would have liked to try again using the patterns in more of my typical simple style.  Sometimes when I try something new I sort of lose "me" in the card, and I can always tell when I'm finished.  Regardless, I learned a few new things, stepped out of my comfort zone, and enjoyed pulling out some NBUS to create my patterned papers.
This card is joining the fun at Darnell's latest NBUS Challenge #4.  This is the first time that teeny tiny cupcake has ever seen ink, and I also used  PTI's Polka Dot Parade #12 for the first time.  Although I still feels like I haven't really used the set yet because I turned one of the candles over and just stamped the backside, so I would have a fatter stripe for my patterned paper.  I'm also linking this up for the Simon Says Wednesday "Anything Goes Challenge".  I've got a few things to check off my list before I can turn in for the night, so I better run.  I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!

Supplies (all PTI unless otherwise noted)
Stamps: Blue Skies, Polka Dot Basics, Polka Dot Parade #12 Tiny Treats: Birthday, Space Ships & Robots (My Cute Stamps)
Ink: Aqua Mist, Harvest Gold, Hawaiian shores, Summer Sunrise, True Black, Tropical Teal
Other: oval punch (Marvy Uchida)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March Papertrey Blog Hop

Hi!  It's been a while, and I'm so glad you stopped by today.  I couldn't resist playing along with Papertrey's Blog Hop this month.  My sister's birthday is in a few days, and she loves the colors in the inspiration photo, so I made this card for her.  The irony of the card (and difficulty in photographing it!) is that today was anything but a sunny day.  In fact I can still hear the beautiful sound of rain as I type.
PTI Inspiration Photo Source
The star of the show here is PTI's Blue Skies stamp set.  I adore the fonts and cheerful nature of this set.  (BTW, you know you've made a good purchase when you are ridiculously happy the entire time you are using your new stamp set.  And because I used my never-before-used-schtuff, I'm also entering this into Darnell's latest NBUS Challenge #4.)  My card was inspired by the color scheme of the photo, including the grey floor.  I had so much fun making this one.  I chuckled to myself over and over again looking at those plain cupcakes anxiously waiting to be decorated with the colorful sprinkles falling from the sky.  Ahhh...it's the little things.
Speaking of cupcakes, they were inspired by The Card Concept's Cupcake Challenge.  See how the frosting is similar and how the star/heart mimics the raspberry on top? And instead of an overlapping vertical row, I went with an overlapping horizontal row.
Though it is rare for me, I stamped on the inside of the card as well.  I used Blue Skies again with a little selective inking of the birthday sentiments.  I topped the cupcake with some sprinkles and number "candles".
Well, that's it for me today!  Thanks again for stopping by and happy hopping! :)

Supplies (all PTI unless otherwise noted)
Stamps: Blue Skies, Inside & Out: Love, Tremendous Treats: Birthday, Tremendous Treats: Valentine
Ink: Aqua Mist, Harvest Gold, Hawaiian Shores, Soft Stone, Summer Sunrise, Tropical Teal, True Black, Unicorn (Hero Arts)
Cardstock: Hawaiian Shores, Stamper's Select White