Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches 13

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Freshly Made Sketches!  This week, the lovely and talented 
Lesley has given us a gorgeous, versatile sketch to work with.

I was getting a little worried that I hadn't made enough Christmas cards so I figured I better add to my stash just in case.

I paper pieced the poinsettias from the Deck the Halls dsp.  That's something I don't often do, but I really like the result.  Then I cut out the holly leaves and the music from the same set.  The sentiment is from Bells and Boughs.

Our wonderful design team has some great inspiration for you, so be sure to check them out.  Then head on over to Freshly Made Sketches and use the linky tool to upload your creation.  We can't wait to see what you do!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MOJO217 and PPA121

I think I just made it before the linky widget expired for the Pals Paper Arts challenge this week.  The challenge was to use pearls and I almost didn't make a card for it until I spotted the MOJO sketch and was struck with Inspiration.

I nearly made a around card this time around because, oddly enough, I had some round scraps in my stash that were just begging to be used.  They will continue to beg, because I needed the additional space that a square card gave me.

Santa came a little early this year and brought me a new Sizzix decorative strip die called Festive Greenery that I couldn't wait to use.  It's got holly, berries, branches, arborvitae leaves and some flourishes.  I cut out the holly leaves in Always Artichoke, the arborvitae leaf in Old Olive, the branch in Early Espresso and the berries in Cherry Cobbler.  I used the holly leaves with the scratchy side showing because I thought it looked pretty neat, especially after I sponged them with some Always Artichoke.  The scratches took on a little more ink so the leaves have a cracked paint look to them.  I took a little liberty with the placement of the sentiment vis-a-vis the sketch and now I wish I had lowered it a bit.

I'm in the home stretch making the Christmas cards that I will need this year, because I'll have to get them out in the mail within the next week or two.  I hope I have enough, but I like this one quite a bit so hopefully I can more of them if I need to.  It actually came together pretty quickly.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Color Throwdown 169 and Deconstructed Sketch 28

The Color Throwdown challenge combined with the sketch at Deconstructed Sketch just called out to me to use my Snow Much Fun stamp set.

For some reason when I see blues I want to make snowmen!  Go figure!

I wanted to use this ribbon with the white stitching, but it's rather wide.  Along with my scallop border I think it's a little out of proportion and makes the card look top heavy, but the snowman is just so darn cute I like it anyway!  I colored the little birdies with Baja Breeze in the hopes that they might pass for bluebirds, but they don't!  Oops!

It's back to work for me tomorrow after a long, but very satisfying vacation.  I wonder if all my co-workers even remember what I look like!  Ha!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

CCMC177 and Paper Players 74

I wanted to make a holder for a CD that I got for my nephew for Christmas.  The color challenge this week at Create With Connie and Mary gave me the perfect colors to make a masculine-inspired project.  Then I thought it would be fun to adapt the sketch challenge at The Paper Players to fit the CD.

A funny thing happened on my way to making this project.  I was typing away at this post and uploaded the picture only to realize that I used Sahara Sand instead of River Rock.  Argh!  I hate when I do that!  So back I go to recreate the holder in the correct color.  It actually was a little blessing in disguise because my original had a design flaw that was bugging me so this gave me the opportunity to fix it.

The long Night of Navy and Lucky Limeade layer is actually a belly band and the tilted layer and the to/from tag are attached to it so that whole thing slides off to get at the CD inside.  The tree is from Perfect Presentation which I inked up in Lucky Limeade then embossed with clear EP.  I mounted it on my tilted layer which I tried to dress up with a bit of faux stitching.  In real life it's kind of muddy and I wish I hadn't done it, but I'm sure my nephew won't be so critical!  The tag is from the aptly named To & From Tag and I added the button and baker's twine to jazz it up a bit.  I followed a tip from Nance at Canopy Crafts about using a straight image on a tilted panel, which I like very much!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Mashup 34 and FTL 168

As soon as I saw the sketch this week at Clean&Simple I got it in my mind to use my Dasher stamp.  I had been neglecting it all this Christmas card season and I aimed to rectify that.

Then I saw the Friday Mashup challenge and immediately recognized that this was a match made in heaven!  The mashup was to make a Christmas card using the colors of aqua, chocolate and white.

The problems began when I began to search for my Dasher stamp.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  But I made sure to look in every nook and cranny before I panicked.  Once I figured it was truly missing I sat down to figure out if I had perhaps loaned it to someone.  I called my sister and sure enough, she had it.  Then my nephew very graciously offered to drive to my house to give it to me so that I could make this card.  What a sweetie!  Disaster averted!

I used Taken With Teal as my aqua for the color challenge, and squeezed in a bit of matching designer paper from the Sweet Pea pack.  I suppose I could have used Tempting Turquoise instead, but I like the richer color of Taken With Teal.  I embossed the stamp with some EP called "Espresso" but it's really anything but.  It actually looks darker in this picture than it is in  real life, but it will have to do.

I hope that everyone has recovered from their "Black Friday" shopping.  I did not venture out into all that craziness, but I hope that if you did, you got a great bargain!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches 12

Today I'm very excited to share that I am the hostess this week at Freshly Made Sketches!  This is the first time I have ever designed a sketch and I sure hope that everyone likes it.

I decided to interrupt my regular programming of autumn and Christmas themed cards to bring you a card with a decidedly spring-time look.

I broke out a couple of Verve stamps for this card and layered them on some Whisper White, Pink Pirouette, and a Basic Black Scallop circle.  I had a hankering to use my crimper (why do these urges hit us out of the blue sometimes?) so I crimped some Pear Pizzazz, wrapped it with a bit of linen thread and finished it off with a button. The itty bitty sentiment is from Tiny Tags.

The design team has some amazing inspiration for you so be sure to stop by and show them some love!

Lesley Croghan
Linda Callahan
Cindy Hall
Lauri Ingram
Tui Nathan
Christy Q
Jennifer Timko
Rita Wright

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Friday Mashup 33 - It's a Tag!

I've been making tags for Christmas presents and thought that I'd try and turn the sketch challenge this week at The Friday Mashup into a tag.

And since I've been staring at some rosettes and my mini paper rosettes sizzix die has been neglected I decided to go the full monty and mashup the challenge!

I flipped the sketch to make the tag go the long way.  The base is Always Artichoke and matches perfectly with some of my Wintergreen DSP.  I added a layer of the musical notes from the Newsprint DSP because I saw it on another tag somewhere and thought it looked really cool.  I sponged all the edges in Early Espresso to give it a vintage feel.  And the little Merry Christmas sentiment is from Delightful Decorations.

Thanks for stopping by.  Tomorrow I'm hosting my first sketch challenge at Freshly Made Sketches so I hope you'll pop by to check it out!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Paper Players 73 and Stamping 411 Sketch 230

I absolutely loved Jaydee's challenge for us this week at The Paper Players.  The challenge is to make a card that is clean and simple using the colors Night of Navy, Whisper White and silver.

The design team cards are absolutely gorgeous and really got my creative juices flowing.  So I thought I'd make a card combing this challenge with the sketch at Stamping 411.

I wish I didn't have such a hard time getting a decent photo of a white card.  The color is always off.  Argh!  But anyway, as you can see, I substituted the square scallop from the sketch for some plain rectangles because I really wanted to use the tree from Season of Joy and it didn't look so great on a square.  (What I really need are some rectangle scallop dies and my problem would be solved)!

I embossed the tree and the sentiment (also from Season of Joy) in silver embossing powder.  And I don't mind saying that in real life, it looks fantastic.  Not a stray piece of embossing powder to be had!  Thank you Embossing Buddy!!

I'm in the home stretch of my vacation and today I'm homebound while my car is getting a ding on my bumper fixed.  My plan is to stay focused and finish up my Christmas cards.  And if I can squeeze it in, I'll try to work on some Christmas treats too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I made a card for the Pals Paper Arts sketch challenge this week.  It involves a snowman...with a bit of a tan.
When I saw the sketch, I got it in my head that I wanted to use one of the snowmen from Snow Much Fun.  Then I got it in my head that I wanted to use some of my Jolly Holiday designer paper.  So I put the two together.

It wasn't until I started to color my snowman that I realized something wasn't quite right.  I think it's rather hard to tell in the photo, but this card is made with Very Vanilla.  Including the layer with the snowman stamped on it.  When have you ever seen an off-white snowman?  I'll tell you.  Never.  But rather than scrap the card and start all over, I kept my somewhat strange colored snowman.  He's kind of growing on me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Color Throwdown 168 and Sketchbook Saturday 38

I don't mind saying that I was a little lot intimidated by the colors this week at the Color Throwdown.

The colors look great together, but I was unsure if I could pull something off that I actually liked.  Especially since I feel like I'm out of practice and my mojo is apparently on vacation.  But then I saw Chupa's Sketchbook Saturday challenge and I had an Idea.

Admittedly I changed my mind a couple of times about what stamps I was going to use as I was putting this together, but I'm happy with how the end result turned out.

The So Saffron DP is from the Sweet Pea pack.  (Seriously, I have so much of this paper, I'll be old and gray before I ever use it all up)!  The friend sentiment is from Simple Friendship and while I was originally going to use the butterfly from the same set, I ended up going with the one from Great Friend. I inked it first in So Saffron then sponged it lightly with Riding Hood Red.  Then I heat embossed it with clear EP before I cut it out.  A few pearls down the center and I was done!

Not too shabby for a sunny Saturday morning.  I think I might stick around in my stamp room for while longer today to make sure my creative juices keep flowing.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, November 18, 2011

CCMC176 and Inkspirations 96

This week has just flown by!  I can hardly believe it's Friday already and I've barely set foot in my stamp room all week.  Since I've been on vacation I've been so busy cleaning the house, running errands and doing some Christmas shopping that I haven't had time for much else.  But I was determined to get some stamping done so that I don't completely forget how to do it!

I thought the wonderfully CAS card sketch at Create With Connie and Mary was pretty awesome, and I thought it would look good paired with the color challenge at Inkspirations.

I was originally going to make a card using one of the snowmen from Snow Much Fun, but as I was perusing my stamp sets I came across a few neglected ones and thought I'd show them some love.

The poinsettia is from Season of Joy and I tried to jazz up the center with a bit of Dazzling Details, but unfortunately I think it looks like a blurry, blobby mess.  The sentiment is from Perfect Presentation which I cut out and popped up on dimensionals.

Sorry about the helter-skeleter photo.  I'd like to blame it on my new eyeglasses but I'm sure that's not the case!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches 11

This week Linda has created a wonderful sketch for us to play along with at Freshly Made Sketches.

This sketch has so many possibilities!  When I saw it I was almost immediately reminded of a card I made a while back.  I decided to tweak a few things and make a new updated version of it.  I really like how it turned out!

The striped DSP is from the retired Urban Garden and the herringbone DSP is from Urban Oasis.  Both of these papers allowed me to dig out my beloved Kiwi Kiss cardstock.   I used Inspired by Nature to stamp some grass in Kiwi Kiss and Baja Breeze.  Then I added the sentiment from Upsy Daisy stamped in Basic Gray.

My nephew's birthday was last week and since he's away at college we've decided to celebrate his birthday on Thanksgiving when the whole family will be together.  I thought this sketch and these colors would be perfect for a masculine card and I intended to keep this one simple.  Then I found myself powerless to resist adding the button, even though I know the unspoken rules of masculine cards state that things like buttons and flowers are not allowed!  Hopefully, he'll forgive that little bit of embellishment!

Now, don't forget to check out the other cards the super-talented Freshly Made Sketches design team has made to inspire you, then head on over to the FMS blog and link up your creation!

Lesley Croghan
Linda Callahan
Cindy Hall
Lauri Ingram
Tui Nathan
Christy Q
Jennifer Timko
Rita Wright

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ColourQ 111 and PPC41

The color challenge this week at ColourQ has a nice autumn theme, so I thought I'd ink up one of my leaf stamps for it.
Then I came across a new (to me) challenge called Scrapbooker's Paradise so I thought I'd give their newest sketch a try.

I did a little rock-and-roll on my leaves from Gently Falling in Pumpkin Pie and Rich Razzleberry.  I think I even added in some Pear Pizzazz on the little one.  This is a "two-step stamping" set so I heat embossed the outline with gold embossing powder (even though it doesn't look like it).  I tried to replicate the sheaves of wheat in the image graphic with one of the stamps from Tropical Party.  Close, but no cigar, I say to myself.  But I still kind of like it!

I'm on vacation this week and next and I foolishly thought that this would give me oodles of time to spend in my stamp room.  How wrong I was!  I seem to keep finding things to do around the house, coupled with trying to get some Christmas shopping done, so find myself neglecting my stamping.  I hope I'm not the only one that is better at managing my time when I have loads of things to do rather than when I have nothing to do!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Paper Players 72 and FTL166

I spent the better part of last night and part of today trying to make a card for a particular color challenge, but I couldn't seem to make something that I was happy with.  So I abandoned what I was working on and instead focused on LeAnne's color challenge at The Paper Players.  These Christmas colors went perfectly with what I had in mind for the FTL sketch challenge.

This color challenge gave me an excuse to use my retired Wintergreen DSP and I also used my Artichoke Denim Jean Ribbon for the first time.  I inked up the sentiment stamp from Season of Joy colored with my River Rock, Riding Hood Red, and Always Artichoke markers.  And I have quite a bit of Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon so I made a little bow for the top of my tag.  As I was putting this card together, I realized that my Bow-Easy has disappeared, along with one of my sanding blocks.  (I suspect the kittens are behind this).  So as a result I had to tie this bow by hand (oh the horror)!  I could have used a fork to tie this one (as suggested by my blogging friend Jen Timko), but I was too lazy to go downstairs and get one!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CCMC175 and Stamping 411 229

I recently (unintentionally) conducted an experiment.  I have spent several days away from my stamp room and have concluded that this is a mojo killer.  Earlier today I sat down at my table with the intention of making a card combing the Create With Connie and Mary color challenge and the Stamping 411 sketch challenge.

I wasted a lot of time staring at my stamps and wondering what in the world I was going to make.  I couldn't seem to make a decision.  So I stepped away for a couple of hours because this usually helps to clear my head.  I don't think it did.  I'm still feeling out of sorts.

But I persevered and I used my old favorite French Foliage to make this poinsettia from the small leaf in that set.  I stamped it in Craft White onto some Cherry Cobbler cardstock.  I added some Basic Pearls in the center which looks nice and covers up the messy part where the ends of the leaves meet.  The sentiment is from Four the Holidays.

I'm off to get back to my stamp room to get my creative juices flowing.  I've seen some nice challenges that I'd like to participate so I better get cracking!  Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MOJO214 and ColourQ110

A great sketch from MOJO combined with a fabulous color challenge from ColourQ make for some fine inspiration!

Oh, I wish I could make cookies like that!  Alas, I have to settle for making cards out of in-edible cardstock!

I do like how the card turned out, I just don't like how the photography turned out.  Recently my fellow FMS design team friend Linda lamented about how hard it is to take photos of white or very vanilla cards.  No matter what I do the card always appears to have the wrong color.  I use a light tent and although the card seems well-lighted, my camera always seems to have other ideas!  Some day I'll figure it out!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches 10

It snowed here last week, so I guess I had snowflakes on the brain when I finally settled on an idea for Rita's fabulous sketch this week at Freshly Made Sketches.

Oh, the possibilities with this sketch!  I had a thousand thoughts running around my head as I contemplated the card I was going to make this week.  Finally, I settled down and made this one.

It had suddenly occurred to me that Not Quite Navy and Brushed Silver would look fabulous for the layers on this sketch.  So I dug out my retired stamp set, Snowflakes and heat embossed the biggest snowflake and the sentiment in silver embossing powder.  I added a little bit of silver cord and ta-da, my snow-inspired, winter wishes card was born!

So, don't forget to check out the samples from our amazing design team for loads of inspiration, then head on over to Freshly Made Sketches and show us how you have interpreted this sketch!

Rita Wright

Sunday, November 6, 2011

PPA118 and CCMC174

The last few days have been very hectic.  Between my sick father and a sick kitten, I haven't had much time to get my fingers all inky.  But tonight after visiting my father at the hospital and seeing that the kitten seems to be on the road to recovery, I was determined to get in my stamp room for a little while.  I decided to make a card for the Pals Paper Arts color challenge combined with the sketch from Create with Connie and Mary.

I love the idea of the monochramatic color scheme of the PPA challenge.  My first thought was that it would make an interesting Christmas card, then I thought I would make an autumn-themed card.  I ended up going back to the Christmas theme.

In the end, I'm not sure it's Christmas-y enough, but it has a certain appeal, I suppose.  It's clean and not fussy, plus the colors are somewhat unusual for a Christmas card which makes for something visually interesting.  I used a few scraps from the Christmas Cocoa designer series paper and the sentiment is from Perfect Punches.  I'm also happy to say that I got to use one of those big Spice Cake buttons.  When I first saw those buttons in the Holiday Mini I wasn't interested in them at all until I saw that the 1 1/4-inch punch fits perfectly on the inside.  I thought that was interesting enough to get them and although this is the first time I've used one, I am determined to use them more often.  (Ha. Ha.  How often have I said something like that)?

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MOJO 213 and ColorQ 109

Well, I have been struggling with the MOJO sketch since Monday.

I just couldn't settle on a design that I liked.  I thought the interesting color combo at ColourQ would help.

Even combining these two fabulous challenges, I still struggled.  I finally ended up with this.

I think I had the most trouble with that small vertical layer behind the flower in the graphic.  I just couldn't decide what to do there and I tried a few variations before I used a bit of striped grosgrain ribbon gathered in the center.  The polka-dotted designer paper is from Jolly Holiday, the flower is Verve, and the sentiment is from Tagtastic and Vintage Labels.  I topped the flower with a pumpkin pie corduroy button.

I'm not entirely sure that I like the end result and if I have time I might try something else with this interesting color combo.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches 9

This week at Freshly Made Sketches we've got a wonderful sketch designed by Tui.  There are so many possibilities with this sketch, I can't wait to see how everyone interprets it!  And this month we are joined by two fabulous stampers, Lauri Ingram and Christy Q as our guest designers.

I've been anxiously awaiting the perfect opportunity to ink up my brand new Field Flower stamp set, and this sketch is absolutely perfect for it.  I had been seeing a whole lot of fabulous cards made with this set, so I had to have it!

I stamped the stem and leaves from Field Flowers in Old Olive onto the wonderful Newsprint designer paper which I then layered onto some Basic Black and Calypso Coral.  Then I stamped the flower from the same stamp set twice in Calypso Coral and cut them out so that I could position them onto the stem where I wanted them.  The sentiment is from Fabulous Phrases and is punched out with the Word Window punch.  It's then finished off with an Antique Brad.

Now I hope that you'll join us this week at Freshly Made Sketches.  And if you need some inspiration, be sure to visit our amazing design team.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Friday Mashup 30

I so wanted to mashup the challenge this week at The Friday Mashup.

The mashup challenge is to make a card using this sketch and to use up something from our stash that we have been holding onto for some crafting purpose or another.  I've got loads of ribbon that I have saved from various gift bags or boxes, buttons, plastic containers and who knows what else floating around my stamp room so I figured I'd be able to do this challenge with no problem.

The problem was that I had no idea what recycled item I wanted to use!  None of my ribbon looked quite right so I ended up using an old button.  And as you can see, I went with a Christmas card theme because I've begun to realize that it's November 1st and I have not seriously considered what I want to make for Christmas cards this year.  Yikes!  For this card I used the retired Holiday Treasures designer paper and the Snow Much Fun stamp set, which I think is going to end up being my stamp set of choice this year.  I stamped the image in Timber Brown Stazon and colored it in Baja Breeze, Old Olive, and Riding Hood Red with my blender pens.  It is just about impossible to tell from the picture, but I used Dazzling Details on the buttons, the pom-pom at the end of the hat, and the snowball.

In case you haven't heard of this tip I'll tell you that quite often when you squeeze something like Dazzling Details onto your cardstock the shape of the blob (for lack of a better therm) can be a bit pointy.  If you want a more rounded look, just tap the underside of the cardstock and the blob will flatten out a bit.  I generally "flick" the cardstock using my middle finger and my thumb.  I'm not entirely sure how to describe "flicking" but it's the same thing as when you use those fingers to "flick" a bug off your arm!

Thanks for stopping by today!