Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches 4

We've got another great sketch for you to try at Freshly Made Sketches this week.  And LeAnne Pugliese is joining us at Guest Designer!

I can hardly believe that we're up to our fourth week already!  It's been such a treat to check out the submissions to our challenges.  I love to see how everyone interprets the sketch, and I always learn a new thing or two.  Often, I'll see something new and I think "now why didn't I think of that!"  So keep 'em coming.

For my card this week, I've continued the Christmas theme.

The card base is Chocolate Chip and the designer paper is called Jolly Holiday.  I finished it up with some Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive accents, including my snowflakes.  The tag is from Two Tags, a Stampin' Up! exclusive Sizzix die.

I hope you have a chance to join us for our challenge this week.  Our design team has lots of inspiration for you, so hop on over to their blogs and show them some love!

Then don't forget to hop on over to Freshly Made Sketches and use the linky tool to show us your creation!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Paper Players 65

I've been plugging away making Christmas cards lately, but I still haven't settled on a design that can be easily mass-produced.  Last year I made so many cards for challenges that I almost had enough to satisfy my Christmas card list, but this year I'd like to have a design of one or two that can be recreated fairly easily in case I need to make some in a hurry.  I'm not saying that I sometimes forget to send cards to people, it's just that sometimes I forget to send cards to people.  Hey, we old folks are forgetful sometimes.  Just you wait, it will happen to you too!

So in this spirit, I found The Paper Players sketch challenge very helpful in my Christmas card quest.

Now, some of you might remember that I've been busy trying to use up my Christmas designer paper from years past.  The one you see here is called Holiday Lounge and it's another reason why I saved what Ruby Red and Taken With Teal cardstock that I had on hand.  The designer paper has a very cool, seventies, sort of retro look to it.  I never seem to make a card that does this paper justice, but I actually like this one quite a bit.  I softened the edges by sponging some Sahara Sand on pretty much every white surface you see, as well as all the designer papers.  It really does help to soften the overall look of the card and I'm glad I did it (despite some initial misgivings about it)!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Color Throwdown 160 and Stamping 411 Sketch

I've taken a little break from my Christmas cards to participate in the Color Throwdown challenge.  The colors are awesome and the inspiration from the design team was very..........inspiring!

Add in the wonderful CAS sketch this week at Stamping 411 and my creative juices got going.

I had a general idea in my head how I wanted this card to look, but as I got assembling all the pieces I realized that I didn't know what stamped images I wanted, which meant I had trouble deciding how to proceed.  Despite all the stamps I have, sometimes it seems like I don't have exactly the one I want!  I eventually settled on a sentiment from Whimsical Words, a Sale-A-Bration set from last year, and an image from Simply Soft, a hostess set from the current catalog.  I opted to forgo the bow in the sketch, because I wanted to keep the layout of my card pretty clean.

I love working with colors like these.  There's just something about them that catches my eye and I'm happy to send a big thank you to Danielle from the Color Throwdown DT for picking them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A La Card Monkey 75

This week the challenge at A La Card Monkey is a sketch with a Christmas theme.  No problem for me since I've been trying to squeeze in as many Christmas cards lately as I can.

My card has a couple of things on it that I don't think I've used before. On that note, I wish someone could explain to me why I have a strange compulsion to buy cool crafting things, then never use them.  I suspect I'm not alone in this, so maybe we should form a support group!

First I used some never-before-used chocolate chip ribbon from a set called Masterpiece.  I also used a mini library clip.  I've had those for ages and never thought I'd get to use them, but I decided it looked pretty good with my tag here.  I had debated about using a button, but I didn't have any chocolate chip ones and nothing else I thought of looked good to my eye.  Then I remembered the library clips and my tag was saved!

The pleated flower was made from some Holiday Treasures designer paper using a Sizzix decorative strip die called Mini Paper Rosettes.  In fact, all the designer paper on this card is from that set.  The sentiment came from the Delightful Decorations stamp set. 

I actually got the idea for this tag from a very nice tag that is featured in the Holiday Mini.  That tag had a few more layers and some stamp sets that I don't have, but I like my version too!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

MOJO 207 and ColourQ 103

This has been a very busy week for me and tonight is the first time since Sunday that I've had a chance to sit down in my stamp room and create something.  I'm quite sure that my mojo has deserted me because it took forever for me to decide what I wanted to do!

I ended up making a card for the latest MOJO Monday sketch challenge.  MOJO Monday has been on vacation for the last couple of weeks, so I think I was the victim of some pent-up demand for their sketch.

Then I turned to the lastest ColourQ for my color palette.  The colors this week are attention grabbing.

Not the sort of colors I would expect to see in late September, but perhaps that is why this challenge appealed to me so much.  Wisteria Wonder is the new "purple" that I think is just wonderful.  I've hardly used it, but that doesn't mean that I don't love it. 

I knew that the Berry Blossoms designer paper included some of these colors, so I used some of it for my card.

I'm not sure you can tell, but the little flowers have been colored in both Calypso Coral and Poppy Parade.  The sentiment is stamped in Poppy Parade.  Initially I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the little bow treatment in the sketch, but ended up going with a bit of scrunchy ribbon tied in a bow.

It's good to be back in my stamp room and I hope that this weekend I can spend some more time there.  I'm so behind on the challenges that I like to do, that I'd like to sneak a few in before they expire.  Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches 3

Hello everyone!  Today is our third challenge at Freshly Made Sketches!  We've had such an unbelievable response to our clean sketch challenge.  It seems that a lot of people appreciate a clean card!  So, it's no surprise that we've got another great sketch for you to try this week.

The other day I said that I was going to try to use up the Christmas designer paper that I had in my stash rather than buying any new paper this year.  I'm committed to this challenge, so I dug deep into my stash for my card today.

For this card, I used a small piece of designer paper from a set called Wintergreen.  This set features colors like Always Artichoke, Certainly Celery, Sage Shadow, and Soft Sky (at least I think it's Soft Sky).  I saved what I had left of Sage Shadow specifically because I had this designer paper, so that's what I used for my card base.  The larger stamped image is the wonderful poinsetta stamp from the Bells & Boughs stamp set, which I stamped in Always Artichoke and colored with my Cherry Cobbler marker.  The two holly stamps are from the same set as well as the sentiment.

So now it's time for you to check out the inspiration from our Clean Team of Freshly Made Sketches designers.  This week the talented Nance Leedy is joining us as our guest designer.  Once you see what the Clean Team has created I'm sure you'll want to show us your creation too!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 135

This year I have decided to not buy any new Christmas designer paper.  (I think I may have just heard a collective {gasp} from blogland)!  After I took an inventory of the Christmas stamps and designer paper I had in my stash, I realized that it would be quite a self-imposed challenge if I were to use what I already have instead of buying some new stuff.

I've used a bit of it already, but now I've got to commit myself because I've told all of you about it!  Incidentally, I have 11 packs of designer paper with a Christmas theme.  They're not all full packs, but some have quite a bit left.  So in this spirit today I made a card for the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge so I could get a jump start on using this stuff!

The paper I used here is from a set called Merry Moments.  It's got all sorts of colors that I love working with:  Chocolate Chip, Real Red, Old Olive, Garden Green and Very Vanilla.  This card uses some of the Old Olive and Real Red paper.  I even decided to use some Old Olive and Real Read for my snowflake.  Very non-traditional I know, but I think it works here!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FTL158 and Create With Connie and Mary 167

My first thought when I saw the latest color challenge at Create With Connie and Mary was of a Halloween card.
But I saw that quite a few cards from the design team were all about autumn, so I thought I'd make a card  with that theme instead.  I saw a neglected stamp set in my stash called Autumn Splendor so I inked that up for this card and used the Clean and Simple Stamping sketch for my layout.

This sketch was perfect to let leaves take center stage.  I inked up two of them then cut them out so that I could layer them.  Even though you can't see it, the top one is popped up with dimensionals.  The sentiment is from Pocket Silhouettes

I also did something I almost never do.  By wrapping the linen thread around the card base, it is exposed on the inside of the card.  I really don't like doing that.  And I mean I really don't like doing that.  I don't like ribbon showing on the inside of my cards or even the little metal things on brads.  I usually have enough layers on my cards to hide these messy details, but on this card I didn't want a layer on top of the textured Basic Gray cardstock that I used as my base.  So I ended up cutting another piece of Basic Gray and layering it on the inside of the card to cover the thread.  Problem solved!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Card Patterns 132 and Cards & Things 87

The color challenge this week at Cards & Things was too good to resist!

I see a challenge with Crumb Cake and I cannot resist it!  Add some Early Espresso and all my creative juices start flowing.  Then add a bit of Pretty in Pink and Rose Red and I'm in heaven!  Now all I needed was an awesome sketch challenge to go with this fabulous color challenge.  Enter the Card Patterns sketch. 
Square card + CAS layout + awesome color challenge = card I love to create!

I actually tried a couple of things for the focal point of this card before settling on this.  The larger flower layer is colored with a Rose Red marker and the smaller with a Pretty in Pink marker.  The center of the flower is colored with Early Espresso.  And I mananged to find some Pretty in Pink brads to add above the flower.  I've had those for ages so it felt good to put them to use!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Color Lab Challenge 54

Today is the 15th which means it's time for another great color challenge from the ColorLab!

Great colors for a Halloween card, wouldn't you say?  Yesterday it was a Christmas card, today it's a Halloween one.  I keep going back and forth between those holidays lately and it's been a whole lot of fun!

The other day, I made a Halloween card with what I consider to be the best skull stamp ever.  Well today's card features the best witch stamp ever!  It's from a set called Best Fiends (from the 2006 Holiday Mini) and along with this witch features a couple of characters that look a lot like Count Dracula and Herman Munster.  It's one of my all-time favorite Halloween stamp sets and I'll NEVER part with it!

I watercolored my witch to give her a Lucky Limeade face and a Rich Razzleberry Robe.  Add a little Basic Gray and I finished off her hat.  Look at that adorable face that only a mother could love!  I also colored her stripey socks with some Lucky Limeade.  (Whenever I see striped socks, I think of Witchy Poo from H.R. Pufnstuf.  I guess you could say this old girl is my Witchy Poo)!

Thanks so much for stopping by today and don't forget to head on over to the ColorLab and check out the samples from the design team.  Then join us by using the linky tool to show us your creation!  Don't forget you have a whole month to join in the fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches 2

I'm so excited to be bringing you a card I made for the second sketch challenge at Freshly Made Sketches!  We had an unbelievable turnout for our first week with 41 participants!  So I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their support.  I had so much fun looking at everyone's fabulous cards and marveling at everyone's talent.  I can't wait to see what's in store for us this week!

Lesley has cooked up another great sketch for us.  Have a look!

So on to my card.  I've been thinking that I really need to get going on my Christmas cards, so that's the theme I chose for my card.

I used Chocolate Chip as my card base for no other reason I handn't used it in a really long time.  It used to be my go-to color for a lot of my cards, but since Early Espresso came along, I have been neglecting it.  I was feeling a little guilty so I used it along with some retired designer paper called Ski Slope.

For my stamped image, I used the gorgeous sentiment stamp from Season of Joy.  I oh-so carefully inked it up with Chocolate Chip, Real Red, Old Olive and Baja Breeze markers.  I was a little nervous that the image wouldn't stamp cleanly, so I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that it looked almost perfect!  I colored in the snowflake again with some Baja Breeze, punched it out, and layered it with dimensionals over the original image.  I think it's a little hard to see in the picture.  And I also used a red glimmer brad on the center of my snowflake and I'm almost embarrassed to so say that I think this is the first time I've used one of those!  I bought them last year from the Holiday Mini and never used them.  (Oh the shame)!

Now it's time for you to check out the samples from our amazing design team.  Then you should definitely head on over to Freshly Made Sketches and link up your project.  I can't wait to see what you create!

and our guest Designer Ann Schach

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge 220

I've been in a mood lately to use up some of my old designer series paper.  So for today's card, which uses the Stamping 411 sketch, I found and used some paper called Apple Cider.

Among other colors, it features Chocolate Chip, Really Rust, and River Rock.  Although I still had some bits of Really Rust cardstock left, oddly I didn't keep the ink so I substituted Dusty Durango instead.  I was pleased to see the colors are pretty close.

I rock and rolled the leaves in Dusty Durango and Chocolate Chip.  (Really what is it about those leaves that somehow demand the rock and roll technique)?  A vintage brad captures a small bit of crochet trim ribbon and the sentiment is from Matchbox Messages.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PPA110 and Deconstructed Sketch 18

This week the challenge at Pals Paper Arts is to make a Halloween project.

As soon as I saw this challenge I got it in my head to use the best skull stamp ever to grace the stamping world!  Of course, I'm talking about the skull stamp from the retired SU set, From the Crypt.  I chose the newest Deconstructed Sketch challenge for my layout.

I took a little liberty with the oval layer.  And by "liberty" I mean that I made it a circle.

Forgive me, but I had to do it.  That fantastic skull wouldn't fit on an oval!  As per my usual, I heat embossed the image in black.  Stamping it in black ink just doesn't do it justice.  And if you're wondering what the designer paper is, let me tell you that I went so far into the vault to get it that it could be weeks before I emerge!  It's from a single-sided designer paper set called Halloween Night.  And since I have every mini since I started my Stampin' Up! journey I looked it up and found it in the Holiday Mini from 2006!

Now, I hope you don't think I have a morbid fascination with skulls after reading this!  I just love Halloween stuff.  The scarier the better!  And this stamp is just so awesome!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Color Throwdown 158 and FTL157

This week the color challenge at the Color Throwdown features an old favorite and a new one.

The old favorite is the light gray for which I used SU's retired Going Gray.  I was so disappointed when that color was retired, especially since there was nothing to replace it.  I have small amounts left but that was enough to use on my card.  And my new favorite?  The delicious Island Indigo, of course! 
A little help from the Clean and Simple Stamping challenge and my card was born.

I really love how the Peach Parfait looks against the Island Indigo.  I keep looking at this card and thinking tht it reminds me of Moroccan colors.  I don't know why, I've never been to Morocco, but these colors (especially Island Indigo) seem to bring to my mind the vibrant and rich colors of a bazaar.
The flowers here are from the gorgeous Raining Flowers stamp set.  The larger flower was stamped off once so that it wouldn't be quite as dark as the smaller flower layered on top.  Both were mounted on dimensionals.  The sentiment is from another old favorite, the retired Great Friend

The weather here is beautiful after several days of gloomy rain.  I hope to spend some time outside with the sun on my face, but I also hope to spend some time in my stamp room getting a head start on some cards I need to make.  I wish the weekends were longer and that I didn't have to work on Monday, but we do what we can!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ColourQ 101 and Inkspirations 85

The other day I was looking at some designer paper that I had in my stash and I came upon some called Cottage Wall.  One of the colors featured in this paper pack was Orchid Opulence and I thought I'd never get to use the scraps I had in that color since the color was retired and nobody ever thinks of those retired colors anymore.  Well, to my surprise this week the ColourQ challenge features this forgotten color!

And it also features some other fabulous colors.  Anyone who visits my blog (and a big heartfelt thank you to those who do!) know that Lucky Limeade has almost replaced Kiwi Kiss in my affections so I'm all over a challenge that features that color.  Then I see it's paired with Pool Party, a color that I don't have a lot of experience with.  But I see that it pairs really well with the other colors so I'm anxious to try it out with my card.   I ended up choosing the Inkspirations sketch challenge as my layout.

At first I was a little apprehensive about attempting this challenge.  It seemed like there were so many layers that I wouldn't know what to do with.  But I talked myself into attempting it and once I broke it down, I realized that those layers were very manageable.

After my white base I added a Rich Razzleberry layer that I scalloped on one side.  To this I added my oh-so-rare Orchic Opulent designer paper.  I topped that with some more Rich Razzleberry cardstock.  To create a little visual interest, I stitched each layer of Rich Razzleberry.  I topped it all with some flowers stamped in Pool Party accented with some Lucky Limeade leaves. 

I'm pleased with how this came out.  The colors are unusal and vibrant.  I'm glad I attempted these two challenges!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches Debut

Good morning everyone!  I'm so excited to announce that today is the beginning of a brand new sketch challenge.  It's called Freshly Made Sketches and I do hope that you'll hop on over and check us out.

Today is our debut sketch designed by the stamper who never sleeps, Lesley.  Check it out:

Our challenge is to keep your card clean.  Not clean and simple, just clean!  Not sure what we mean?  Be sure to check out the samples from the design team for loads of inspiration.  Now on to my card!

I chose a color combo of Early Espresso, Old Olive, Peach Parfait and Bermuda Bay.  I used one of my favorite stamp sets from the new catalog, Array of Sunshine, which is a hostess set.  I even managed to work in some Early Espresso bakers twine.  I can already see a tendency to hoard that bakers twine, so I'm trying to force myself to use it more! 

So let's get sketchy everyone!  You can find the challenge here with a linky tool to show us your creation.  And here's where I introduce our amazing Clean Team.  Stop by to check out their creations!

and our Guest Designer Jaydee

Monday, September 5, 2011

CCMC165 and Stamping 411 Sketch 219

The color challenge this week at Create With Connie and Mary made think of Halloween.

 So with a color scheme in mind I searched around for a sketch challenge and thought the latest Stamping 411 challenge would be just the thing.

I love making things for Halloween.  Cards, favors, you name it, I love it.  It seems like it's been ages since I've used one of my Halloween stamp sets so this was a lot of fun.  For this card I used a couple of stamps from the Halloween Hoot stamp set.  I colored the frog with a blender pen in Lucky Limeade.  I didn't have any buttons, so I once again made my own with the Sweet Buttons embosslit. 
I hope this inspires me to make some more Halloween things before the season is over.  I know it's only the beginning of September and I should have plenty of time, but time has a way of steam-rolling past and before you know it, it will be Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

PPA109 and Paper Players 62

This week the challenge at Pals Paper Arts was a very interesting color combo.

And the challenge this week at The Paper Players, was to make a birthday card.  Since those cards always seem to be the first to disappear from my stash, I can always use another one of those.

At first I was going to make a card using flowers, but then as I was perusing my stamps I spied my French Foliage set and thought that Calypso Coral and Riding Hood Red would make some nice leaves.

I rock-and-rolled the leaves first with Calypso Coral then with Riding Hood Red on the edges.  Then I cut them out.  The top one is popped up on dimensionals as well as the round postmark stamp.  I briefly thought about embossing the sentiment with pewter embossing powder, but it's kind of hot here today and the thought of turning on my heat gun did not appeal to me!  Luckily my Basic Gray stamp pad is pretty juicy, so the sentiment stamped nicely on the designer paper.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Monday is my nephew's birthday and as I perused my stash of cards, it was no surprise that I didn't have anything that was not "girly."  So, off to the drawing board I go.  For masculine cards I always think that the simpler they are the better they are, so I chose the latest FTL sketch challenge as my layout.

Then I chose to use Not Quite Navy, Old Olive and Riding Hood Red for my colors (which were actually the colors from the Color Throwdown challenge #82).

I've been on a roll lately making these circles.  Today I mixed it up a bit by adding a quarter-inch circle in the middle.  A little stitching around the edges and voila!  It's not too fussy and a great card for a young man's birthday.

As luck would have it, I was just about to click "publish post" when I looked at the sketch and realized that I put the sentiment in the wrong place.  I hate when that happens.  Hopefully the folks over at Clean and Simple Stamping will be forgiving!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Paper Players 61

I made a card the other day for The Paper Players challenge and I've been debating with myself ever since about whether I wanted to post it here.

What I had in my head for a card for this sketch is not what ended emerging on my stamp desk!  I don't understand how that happens sometimes!

I've been contemplating Christmas cards quite a bit bit lately and I've got loads of Christmas designer paper so I thought I'd use some of it for this challenge.  I think the end result is a bit too busy for my taste and to make matters worse, I am now completely OUT of Cherry Cobbler seam binding ribbon.  I barely had enough to wrap around this card.  Oh, the horror!  I don't know how I let this happen, but you can bet that it's on the top of my list to re-order!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Color Throwdown 157 and Stamping 411 Sketch 218

I've been in a Crumb Cake mood a lot lately.  It seems that all the cards I've made lately have got some Crumb Cake in them so it was inevitable that this weeks color challenge at Color Throwdown featured it too.
This is a great color combo.  I think that Marina Mist is a lovely blue color and I should use it more often.  I feel like Bravo Burgundy is the forgotten color of the bunch.  It always seems to make an appearance around the holidays, then is quietly put away for a year until the holidays roll around again.  And Lucky Limeade needs no introduction.  It's just great all around.  So all this colorful goodness was put to use for the Stamping 411 sketch challenge.

I went WAY into the vault for some of the elements on my card.  Take a look and I'll explain.

For starters I used the wonderful flower from the Best Blossoms stamp set.  I have mentioned a time or two here that it is probably my all-time favorite stamp set and as I sat down to contemplate my card I realized that those flowers hadn't seen any ink in quite some time.  Then, I poked around my stash to see if I had any Bravo Burgundy designer paper.  I did not, but I did have something that was very close.  Back in olden days, when Stampin' Up! first decided to create the In Colors, there was a color called Cranberry Crisp.  I happen to have some Christmas designer paper that featured this color and it is a very close match to Bravo Burgundy.  So that's what the polka-dotted paper is on the bottom of my card. 

Now, if you'll indulge me for a bit I would like to reminisce about that first batch of In Colors.  I loved every one of those colors (with the possible exception of Marigold Morning).  The other colors were the aforementioned Cranberry Crisp, True Thyme, Cool Caribbean, Buckaroo Blue and my favorite, Vintage Violet.  The designer paper that I used on my card was from a pack called Holiday Thyme.  To this day, it is very likely my favorite designer paper and I rarely use it.  Every so often I take it out to admire it because I can barely bring myself to cut it.  I hope I'm not the only one who forms strange attachments to paper!

Anyway, thanks for joining me on my little trip down memory lane and for taking the time to visit.