Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ColourQ 122

Hello everyone!  I have some very exciting news to share.  Today is my debut as part of the ColourQ Royal Court Design Team!  I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of this talented bunch of designers!  What I can tell you is when Arielle extended the invitation to me I nearly fell off my chair!

I've been a long-time stalker participant of the ColourQ challenge, but I never imagined that one day I would be part of this group.  And to make this all the more sweet, this week's challenge was sure to get my creative juices flowing because it included one of my all-time favorite accent colors:  Basic Black!

Of course, based on this wonderful image my first thought was to do a Valentine's Day card, but once I got going my card morphed into something else entirely.  And I can't forget to say that my layout is courtesy of the awesome sketch over at Create With Connie and Mary.

I used some Real Red designer paper from the Christmas Cocoa collection (hopefully one day soon I'll use all that paper up) which is layered on some Basic Black.  The bottom of that layer is embossed with the Stripes embossing folder which is a wonderful way to add some interesting texture.  The flourish and the flower are from Creative Elements and the simple sentiment is from Everyday Flexible Phrases.

I sure hope you'll join give these colors a try and join us at the ColourQ this week!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Less is More 52 and Stampin' Royalty 108

I don't usually do inspiration challenges.  In fact, the card that I've made here may just be the first card I've made for an inspiration challenge!

The challenge is courtesy of Stampin' Royalty.  Despite my trepidation I wanted to participate so I decided to really look at the challenge picture and break it down into elements.  

For me, that's not as easy as it sounds.  I'm a number cruncher by day so I'm not used to dealing with subjective elements like what you find in an inspiration challenge.  Give me a sketch and I can follow.  Give me some colors and I'm ready to get inky.  But give me a nice colorful picture of some flowers and a birdcage and some fruit and I'm well on my way to information overload.

But I think I pulled it off.  I combined the elements of flowers with some of the colors in the picture.  I used Lucky Limeade for the leaves, Pacific Point for the flower and a Daffodil Delight button for the center of the flower.

I used the Less is More sketch because I think I need the simplicity of a good CAS sketch to keep me grounded.

It took me FOREVER to make this card because I waffled a hundred times (or so) about which flower to use for this card.  I had high hopes that I was going to be much more productive in my stamp room today but there's always tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Color Throwdown 176 and Viva la Verve

I started making a Valentine's Day card for the Color Throwdown challenge, but I wasn't happy with how it turned out, so I turned it into a birthday card with a flower.  Shocking, I know.

I love this flower from Array of Sunshine.  It's perfect for fussy-cutting and layering.  I stamped it twice in Rose Red then cut out different sizes and layered them together.  The leaf from the same set is stamped in Crumb Cake and then rock-n-rolled on the edges with a bit of Chocolate Chip.  The colors are a little bit non-traditional for a leaf, but I think it looks pretty good (and I don't have to step outside the precept of the color challenge).  My layout is courtesy of one of the January Verve sketch challenges.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ColourQ 121 and Cards & Things 105

Sometimes I see a sketch challenge and it's a no-brainer for me that I want to participate.  And sometimes I see a color challenge and I'm itching to get inky.  This week these two worlds collided for me with the ColourQ and Cards & Things challenges.

This is two days in a row that I've made a card with this flower stamp from Verve.  It's one of my favorite flower stamps.  This one is stamped in Riding Hood Red and finished off in the center with a More Mustard button.  I tied a little bow through the button with some bakers twine and I wish someone would explain to me why one side of the twine curls and twists every time I try and tie a bow with it.  (You can see it in the lower loop on this bow).  I'm sure there's a logical explanation for it, but it's very aggravating!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches 19

Wednesday is, of course, Freshly Made Sketches challenge day and this week we've brought you a sketch from me!

I love making square cards and my favorite are ones that are 4 1/4-inches square.  The size is adorable and as a bonus fit in an A2 envelope.  If you live in the US, this lets you avoid the surcharge that comes from mailing a square envelope.

My card base is Chocolate Chip (a color that I feel like I've been neglecting a lot lately) and I added a layer of So Saffron and some designer paper from the Sweet Pea designer series paper pack.  The flower  and sentiment are stamped in Rose Red and the leaves are Old Olive.  I found some So Saffron brads so I added those in the lower left corner.

Our Freshly Made Sketches design team have all cooked up some amazing inspiration for you so be sure to stop by and show them some love.  Then head on back to the FMS blog and link up your creation!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Less is More 51

The other day I made a tent card that I was originally going to link up to this week's Less is More challenge to make a card with a hole it it.  But the card was a whole lot "more" than "less" so I decided to go back to the drawing board.

Then I thought I'd incorporate the colors from the ColourQ challenge while I was at it but I ended up wasting so much time trying to figure out what to do for my card that I missed the ColourQ deadline.  Rats!  I also discovered that it is clearly beyond my photographic capabilities to get a decent picture of a card with a hole in it.  I wanted to photograph the card open showing that the sentiment was stamped on the inside of the card and visible through the hole, but each photo I took was worse than the last.  The hole was creating a terrible shadow that I didn't know how to fix.  I ended up putting a bit of dotto on the inside of the card to hold it closed and took the photo you see here.

And the colors look way off too.  The sentiment is stamped in Rich Razzleberry and the edge of the hole is lined with Bravo Burgundy.  The other two circles are Wisteria Wonder and Island Indigo.  I alwalys have trouble photographing cards that are predominately white, but this one was a doozy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Color Throwdown 175 and Just add Ink 101

The other day my blogging buddy and fellow Massachusetts cardmaker Kim made this adorable tent card.  I just had to give that technique a try.

At first I was thinking of making a card for this week's Less is More challenge to "cut it out" as in make a card with a hole in it.  Perfect for the tent card.  But I don't this qualifies as the type of clean card they're looking for so instead I used the Just Add Ink sketch and the latest Color Throwdown colors of ivory, kraft, olive, and red.

I think I over-dosed on the red shimmer paper, though.  It was incredibly hard to get a decent photo of the card because the glimmer paper kept creating glare and it was just about impossible to show that there's a big hole in the middle of this card.

But see, there really is!

It's snowing here today and I feel like having some comfort food so I'm off to make a pot roast.  Then hopefully I'll make it back into my stamp room so that I can get ahead on some of the cards I'd like to make for a few of my favorite challenges.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches 18

Welcome to another exciting week at Freshly Made Sketches!  Last week an amazing 85 people participated in our challenge.  I guess that means there's a whole lot of love in the world for clean cards!  For this week's challenge, designed by Linda, I went way into the vault and found some retired designer paper called Parisian Breeze that hadn't seen the light of day in ages!

The designer paper is extra special because it's quite heavy-weight and is textured.  I love it, which means that I hoard it and have tons of it left!  I stamped the flower from Simply Soft in Chocolate Chip and Baja Breeze onto watercolor paper because the texture of it is very similar to the texture of the dsp.  Then I highlighted the stamens of the flower with my Chocolate Chip marker to make them stand out a little more.  Finally, I used a bit of Chocolate Chip taffeta ribbon adhered with a retired brad from a set called Sending Love.

The Freshly Made Sketches design team has some wonderful inspiration for you so be sure to stop by and show them some love.  Then head on back to the FMS blog and use the linky tool to show us your creation!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A thank you card for three challenges!

Kind of by accident, I made a card that met the requirements of three challenges this week!  I hardly ever do that!

First, I thought the color challenge at the Paper Players was VERY interesting.  I never would have thought to put these colors together, but once I got going on my card I liked them very much.  Then I decided that the Sweet Sunday sketch challenge would be just the thing to show off this unusual color combo.

I stamped the flowers in Calypso Coral with my Greenhouse Garden stamp set, and cut the leaves from the Little Leaves sizzlet.  It's funny that at one time this was my "go to" stamp set.  I couldn't seem to get enough of it and found myself reaching for it again and again.  Then something new must have come along and I forgot all about it.  I always feel a little sad that some stamp sets seem to languish unused, while other ones seem to see ink all the time.  Maybe I'll try to use some of the oldies-but-goodies a little more often!

Once I had this card all together, I remembered that the Friday Mashup challenge this week was for a thank you card and some designer paper.  I was able to mash this one up and squeeze in two pieces of designer paper:  some Blushing Bride and Pear Pizzazz.

That's some challenge!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Less is More 50 and Unscripted Sketches 141

I had a very productive card-making day yesterday - I just love when that happens.  And I've got the day off from work today so hopefully I'll be productive again.  This is the first of the cards that I've been making.

The challenge this week at Less is More is to make a one layer card with the subject of birds.  I remembered that I had this cute stamp from Happy Together so armed with the very CAS sketch at Unscripted Sketches I put this together.

I'm not sure why but for some reason this is the second time that I've participated in a Less is More challenge recently and felt the need to hand draw a square to fit around my stamped image.  I don't know - I just took one look at the sketch and that's where my thoughts went.  For this one I punched out two squares from cardstock and then used them as templates to draw them on the cardstock.  I stamped the bird in timber brown Stazon so that I could color it in with a Daffodil Delight marker.  Apparently I didn't wait long enough for the ink to dry, because it ran a smidge on the wing.  The square and the sentiment were done in Early Espresso.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

ColourQ 119 and Sketchbook Saturday 45

Today is one of those days where I think everything has gone wrong with a card.  I actually started making this last night hoping I could get it finished before the football game started, but nothing was coming together as I wanted so I abandoned it.

This morning I thought I'd start fresh with a clear head.  I had been eye-balling the color challenge at ColourQ and although I found it a little lot intimidating, I wanted to try it.  Then I saw the great Sketchbook Saturday sketch and thought I could put the two together.  That's when everything went awry!

I couldn't find my Bow-Easy so I had to tie that ribbon by hand!  Not an easy feat for the worst bow-tier in history.  So as I'm fussing over that and struggling with getting all these colors to come together in some semblance of order I check the ColouQ blog and see I've got less than two hours to finish it and get it posted.  So slapped it together, ignored the bow, and here it is.

That was hard!  But thanks to the gals at ColourQ for including Going Gray in this challenge.  I really miss that color!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Merry Monday 2

My friend Lesley has recently started a new challenge aimed at getting us to make one Christmas card a week.  Every Monday, she provides us with a Merry Monday sketch for inspiration and our task as participants is to make a Christmas card.

I wanted to participate in this challenge for a couple of reasons.  First, I really believe that if I make one Christmas card per week it will really take the pressure off.  I always seem to be scrambling around in December because I haven't got enough cards made, so starting now will give me plenty of time to make what I need.  Second, I STILL have tons of Christmas designer paper left (despite my self-imposed challenge to use as much of it as I could this past holiday season), so participating in the challenge will force encourage me to use more of it!

So without further ado, I present my first Christmas card of 2012.  I used some of my Wintergreen dsp, the tree stamp from Perfect Presentation and a sentiment from Contempo Christmas.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches 17

It's Wednesday and this week at Freshly Made Sketches we've got another great sketch challenge for you designed by Rita.

I had a hankering to make a card with some bright and cheery colors this week for the challenge.  I'm not one for winter and all the cold and sometimes dreary weather that goes with it, so I thought it would be nice to make a card that celebrates spring.

I used some Melon Mambo cardstock to highlight the white of this card.  Then I thought it would be nice to add a little Old Olive, so I used both colors for the vertical ribbon layers as well as the layer that I used for the flowers and leaves.  Those flowers and leaves are from Fabulous Florets which hadn't seen any ink in a while.  It's hard to tell in the picture, but the leaves are embossed with clear embossing powder which not only makes them look nice, but makes them sturdier when they are fussy-cut.

The FMS design team has cooked us some really awesome cards to give you some inspiration for this sketch so be sure and hop on over to their blogs to check them out.  Then head on back to Freshly Made Sketches and use the linky tool to show us your creation!

Monday, January 9, 2012

PP77, CCMC184, SSC237 {Whew}

It's not very often that I combine three challenges to make one card, but I managed to do it for this card!

The Paper Players challenge is "All You Need is Love" so I made a Valentine's Day card with the Love You Much stamp set.  I combined it with the color challenge at Create With Connie and Mary and the sketch challenge at Stamping 411.

It's fun to sometimes use non-traditional colors for holidays, so that's why I thought I'd make a Valentine's Day card with Blushing Bride, Pool Party and Soft Suede.  But by the time I put this together I wasn't at all sure that I liked the result.  I thought about coloring in the "love" sentiment with Blushing Bride but I was afraid that the Soft Suede outline would run.  I ended up by lightly sponging the embossed Pool Party vertical pennant.  I'm not sure that it jazzed this up all that much, but it looks a little better to my eye.

I also remembered that I mentioned last week that I wanted to share some photos of an ink pad storage system that I received for Christmas, and then I completely forgot to upload the photos!  So here it is:

This holds 96 ink pads plus markers and ink refills!  Oh my!  Here's a close up.

It came unfinished, so I stained it then gave it a couple of coats of polyurethane.  I love it.  It's big, but it is exactly what I needed to keep everything organized.  Santa is so awesome!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

ColourQ 118 and Deconstructed Sketch 33

There are certain Stampin' Up! colors that I really love and even though they are retired I still have the ink and some cardstock left.  Lucky for me I have some Cameo Coral and Cool Caribbean so I didn't have to make a substitution for this week's ColourQ challenge.

The Cherry Cobbler looks really dark in this photo, but in real life it looks great with the Cameo Coral.  I added a little stitching to the edges of the Cool Caribbean cardstock because it looked really plain all by itself.  I inked up some of my new Christmas goodies for this card and used the latest Deconstructed sketch for my layout. The flower and leaves are from PTI and the sentiment is from Verve.

The weather  has been very strange this weekend.  Here we are into January and yesterday the temperatures were in the sixties!  More like spring than winter!  I don't like snow or cold weather all that much so I'm not complaining!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, January 6, 2012

PPA126 Color Challenge

The new year has brought a return of the challenges that I can't seem to live without!  Today I've made a card for the Pals Paper Arts color challenge.

I embossed the vertical Not Quite Navy layer with the Elegant Lines embossing folder.  Then I added a couple of layers of Baja Breeze.  I sponged the layers before adding a scrap from the Walk in the Park dsp to the top layer.

The flower was cut from the Sizzix Tattered Florals die and then stamped with Stitched background stamp. I sponged the edges then crinkled them up before I attached them with an Antique brad.

The layout for my card comes from a February Viva La Verve challenge.  As I've mentioned before I've got a binder where I've printed out several compendiums of sketch challenges.  I turn to it whenever I need a little inspiration, which is how I came up with the layout for this card.

I thought about stitching the vertical layer (as in the sketch), but decided to dry emboss it instead.   I only wish that I had run the cardstock through the embossing folder twice so that the top of this layer wasn't so plain.  (Why do I always think of these things too late)!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

MOJO 222

I actually started making a card for the MOJO sketch challenge on Monday.  But I hit a snag and had to put it aside for a few days.

I had consulted the ColourQ Compendium and decided to follow #78 for this card, which was Pink Pirouette, Certainly Celery, Kraft, Early Espresso and White.  I stamped the flowers and leaves onto Whisper White before I realized that Whisper White looked terrible with the designer paper that I used from Woodland Walk.  But I had already spent time fussy-cutting them out and was in no mood to re-stamp them onto Very Vanilla and cut them out again.  So I put it all aside and went back to it last night.

In addition to using Very Vanilla instead of Whisper White, I ended up switching out Early Espresso for Chocolate Chip since I wanted to use this wide grosgrain ribbon and corduroy button.  So I guess in the end, I didn't really follow the color challenge at all!  But I'm still really happy with how this turned out!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches 16

After a little holiday break, Freshly Made Sketches is back with a brand new sketch designed by Tui Nathan.  And we also welcome two new guest designers for January, Nina Forsythe and Jen Sannes.

This is one of those sketches that is timeless and completely adaptable to whatever you can imagine.  And judging by the cards made by the design team, (and I've seen them all) the possibilities are endless!

For my card, I used a base of Basic Gray, then added a layer of Kiwi Kiss cardstock and some Urban Garden designer paper.  I used my much-neglected basic gray corduroy buttons as the focal point and added a sentiment from Much Appreciated.  The ribbon across the center is some Basic Gray satin ribbon.

I hope that you have a chance to participate in our challenge this week.  For some inspiration make sure you visit the fabulous Freshly Made Sketches design team.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


New year's day found me volunteering for the "First Day Hike" at Borderland State Park and not so much motivated for stamping.  But in the afternoon, I was a little bored so I figured the best cure for that was crafting.  So into my stamp room I went and emerged with this.

The layout is courtesy of the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge and the colors are sort of a take on a past ColourQ challenge.  If you click here, you will see the ColourQ compendium that is a great resource if you're looking for a little color inspiration.  I used #32 for this card, only I substituted Calypso Coral for the Groovy Guava.

I used some Crumbcake dsp from Welcome Neighborhood and some Calypso Coral dsp from Berry Blossoms.  The flower and leaves are both Verve stamps.

I've had today off from work so I took the opportunity to de-Christmas the house.  The tree is away and the candles are gone from the windows.  I always feel a little sad when I put all my festive Christmas decorations away.  The house always seems a little boring afterwards.  Here's a little pic of the angel on top of my tree.

Have a great day everyone and thanks for stopping by!

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