Saturday, June 30, 2012

Grandmothers Are Extra Special!

Good Saturday morning everyone.  And a very special welcome to Linda!

You've reached the next stop on our special blog hop celebrating grandmothers!  Hopefully you've arrived from Nance's blog and have been awed and amazed at all the creativity you've seen so far.  If you're just beginning your journey here, then you'll definitely want to go back to the beginning and start at Lesley's blog.

My very talented and witty friend, Linda is soon to become a grandmother for the first time and the ever-thoughtful Lesley thought it would be fun to celebrate with a blog hop!  Our theme is this beautiful quote from an unknown author:  "A garden of Love grows in a Grandmother's heart."

I have many fond memories of my own grandmother and the card I made today reflects a very special tradition we had.

She had many lovely and dainty tea cups.  I don't recall that any of them matched or were part of a set, but they were all exceptionally pretty and every time I touched one, I was afraid I would break it.  But she never seemed to worry that my little grubby kid-sized fingers would inflict any damage on those cups and she would brew batches of tea and serve it in them.  (My mother never let my sisters and me drink tea, so I always felt like I was getting away with something when I was enjoying a cup of tea with my Nana)!

Sometimes we would make donuts (my job was to roll the donut holes in sugar) and sometimes she would let me poke around in her knitting basket and ruin the mittens she was working on.  She hated having her picture taken (we have home movies of her running across the front lawn away from the camera) .  She was frugal and resourceful.  She was from New Brunswick and always said she was from "down east" even though that was "up north" of where we lived!  But most of all, she was the ever-patient Nana that gave me a lifetime of good memories. 

A grandmother is so, so special and I have no doubt that Linda will make a fantastic one! 

Thanks for sticking with me while I reminisced about my grandmother!  Now to continue this hop, your next stop is Tui.  Enjoy the ride!

In case you get lost along the way, here is the complete list of participants:

Jen Mitchell   =====> That's me!
Rita Wright (who just had a beautiful baby girl)!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Create With Connie and Mary 208

The challenge this week at Create With Connie and Mary is to use the fantastic color combo of Basic Gray, Real Red, and Pumkin Pie.  While I was pondering my card, I came across a technique I'd not heard of before called the "bordered sentiment."  It's a fantastic way to show off a fabulous sentiment.   Take a look:

I stamped the sentiment from Word Play in Basic Gray then drew lines at the top and bottom of it to create a border.  I used a scrap of paper as a mask and stamped the flowers from Reason to Smile (available for a VERY special price in July).  This stamp set is perfect for a little two-step stamping and these colors are to die for!  I really love how this turned out.  The eye is drawn to the sentiment and the masked flowers frame it so well. 

Don't forget to head on over to Create With Connie and Mary and check out the challenge and the design team creations.  Then use the linky tool to show us your creation.  I can't wait to see what you do!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches 41

Hello everyone!  Today our Freshly Made Sketches sketch is brought to you by the uber-talented Cindy!  When I first saw this sketch it was love at first sight because this is one sketch that is so versatile.  I can't wait to see how you interpret it!

I decided to go with a Basic Black card base accented with Rose Red cardstock and DSP from the retired Thoroughly Modern.  The two biggest butterflies are from the Beautiful Butterflies Bigz die, the smallest one is die cut in So Saffron from the Beautiful Wings Embosslit.   I crimped the biggest butterfly because this is such an awesome look (!) and I wanted to make sure that it showed up when I layered it on the card.  A few Basic Rhinestones and my butterfly was complete.  

Now your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to create a card, scrapbook page or 3D project using this sketch.  Then link up to the challenge so that we can all see!  To get your creative juices flowing, our Freshly Made Sketches design team has got some inspiration for you to check out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

colourQ 143

Over at colourQ, the color palette seemed a bit patriotic and since Independence Day is just around the corner, I thought I'd make something with fireworks.

I ended up using the retro sketches challenge for my layout and I went a bit subtle on the fireworks in favor of making the stars be the focal point.  I think you can just see the fireworks from July Fourth are there, stamped in Poppy Parade on Poppy Parade cardstock.  One of the stars is from that same set and the others are from Seeing Stars.  

I hope you have time to join us this week at colourQ.  The design team has been busy creating some great cards to inspire you so be sure to head on over and check them out.  You have until Sunday, July 1st at noon CST to link up your project and be considered for colourQueen.  You know you want to.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Paper Players 101 and Color Throwdown 197

It seems like forever since I made a card for the Color Throwdown challenge, but the colors this week were too good to pass up so I stayed up late last night in my stamp room to make a card for the challenge.  The sketch at The Paper Players was the perfect pairing for the colors.

And I've just realized that once again I put the sentiment in the wrong place.  Grrrr.  I hate when I do that.  Hopefully the lovely ladies at The Paper Players will be forgiving.  I used some of my Urban Garden DSP for the Kiwi Kiss layer (I swear I'll never use that all up) and for the Cajun Crazer layer I used the Stripes embossing folder.  The sweet flowers and sentiment are Verve.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dynamic Duos 8 and Just Add Ink 123

Because Blogger lets us schedule posts ahead of time, it looks like I have been pretty busy in my stamp room the last week.  But the truth is that I haven't set foot in there since last Monday!  Yikes!  This has been an unusually busy week for me topped off with my father having medical issues that necessitated him going to the hospital on Wednesday so Saturday evening was the first chance I had to spend some time with my stamps.

All my favorite challenge sites were calling my name and I decided to answer the call from Dynamic Duos and Just Add Ink.

The sketch was a beautiful CAS one and I thought it would be perfect for the two-color themed challenge.  I thought about adding some patterned paper but ended up keeping the clean lines of the sketch as simple as possible.  I replaced the library clip from the sketch with an Always Artichoke button tied with some baker's twine and the stamped images are from Technique Tuesday.

I hope to make it back into my stamp room later today.  I always feel like I get rusty if I stay away too long! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CCMC207 and Some Exciting News!

Today I am not only posting a card that I made for the CreateWith Connie and Mary 207 challenge but I also get to tell you that I will be joining this fabulous group of Thursday stampers until October!  I was so excited when they asked me to be a part of the Thursday challenge team and I still can't quite believe it's true!  I owe a big "thank you" to Connie and Mary for giving me this wonderful opportunity.  Thanks ladies!!

My first challenge with them is this fabulous CAS sketch (a sketch after my own heart)!

I started with a base of Early Espresso then layered on some of the gorgeous Natural Compositions specialty paper with musical notes.  Then I added small layers of Raspberry Ripple and a paper pierced layer of Primrose Petal.  I followed that up with some Primrose Petal ribbon.  The sentiment is from Creative Elements and I embossed that in white so that it would really show up against the dark background.

Don't forget that it's not too late to subscribe to the Create With Connie and Mary New Catalog 2012 Edition.  There will be lots of tutorials using products from the new catalog and I, for one, can't wait to see them!

So be sure to stop on by CreateWith Connie and Mary and check out the design team interpretations of this sketch.  I know that you will be inspired to create something of your own!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches 40

Today at Freshly Made Sketches the super-talented Lesley has created a great sketch.  I know you're going to love it!

I switched up the oval for this great Gina K stamp.  I stamped the image in Versamark and embossed it in black.  I just couldn't get black ink to be vibrant enough so when that happens I turn to embossing powder to save the day.  I accented the stamp with a couple of flowers punched from the Boho Blossoms punch.  The sentiment is from Itty Bitty Banners.  

For my colors this week I found the challenge at Dynamic Duos was too good to resist.  And I managed to squeeze in the dessert option of ribbon with my scrunchy black seam binding. 

Our fabulous Freshly Made Sketches design team has got some great inspiration for you so hop on over to check them out.  Then do a little creating of your own and link up your card.  We love to pop on by and see what you've done!  Here's a list of the super talented FMS design team.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

colourQ 142

Tuesday means another awesome color challenge by our colourQ fearless leader, Arielle.  Week after week she manages to find the most inspiring photos with interesting color combos that always challenge me to think of colors in a whole new way.  Well, this week the colors made me want to attempt a sketch challenge that was nothing like I'd ever tried before.

Here are the colors:

And here's the sketch from retro sketches:
When I first saw this, I thought "no way."  My brain couldn't comprehend what I was seeing and I wanted to just close my browser window and pretend I never saw it.  But as it turns out I couldn't pretend it didn't exist.  In fact, I studied it very carefully and decided that I would try and make a card using many of the elements of the sketch.  I'm a left-brain kind of person and tend to interpret things quite literally so that's why many of the elements of my card echo the sketch quite a bit.  I did change it up some and in the end I'm quite pleased with it.  (Secretly, I keep staring at it because I can't quite believe that I made this - it's so far outside what I usually do).

So now it's your turn.  Head on over to colourQ and check out what the design team has put together to amaze and delight you.  I hope you can join us this week!

Friday, June 15, 2012

CCMC206 and Try Stampin' On Tuesday 70

When great color challenges and sketch challenges collide I am one happy stamper!  Such is the case with the color challenge at Create With Connie and Mary and the sketch challenge at Try Stampin' On Tuesday.

I stamped the Cherry Cobbler layer randomly with one of the stamps from French Foliage.  The sentiment is from Word Play and the butterfly is from Summer Solstice. I thought that something was missing from my initial design so I tied some Cherry Cobbler baker's twine around the skinny Crumb Cake layer and added a little Crumb Cake button.  Just what the doctor ordered I think!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches 39

Wednesday brings us another sketch from our friends at Freshly Made Sketches.  Actually this week, I'm the hostess and I've brought you a sketch that's pretty clean but I think has room for some embellishment.  One of the secret delights of being on the FMS design team is getting to visit everyone's blogs and see all the unique interpretations of our sketch.  Some are super clean, some are layered and I can assure you that all are fabulous.  I learn so much every time I stop on by to visit you!

Now on to my card.  Last Friday I got a box of new goodies from the man in the big brown truck and I finally got a chance to try out some of the new colors.  I've got four of them on my card:

The flowers are a sneak-peak of a new stamp set called Reason to Smile (which will be available in July as a special promotion).  They are inked up in both Primrose Petal and Raspberry Ripple.  The vertical layer is Summer Starfruit cardstock and DSP, and the Little Leaves Sizzlet were cut from Gumball Green.  I've got to admit that I'm not sold on Gumball Green yet.  It's quite bright and well, so green that I'm not sure I'll ever be happy with it!

But I will tell you that I have the new Stampin' Scrub and I am totally in love with it!  I have a couple of the old-style ones and one of them really needed replacing.  The new style has several features that I think are fantastic:  first, it is bigger so no more wiggling around those background stamps trying to get them clean!  There's plenty of room to rub-a-dub-dub them.  Second, the scrubby part is much more dense which results in a clean stamp with less effort.  Third, the scrubby part fits snuggly in the case, so it no longer moves around while rubbing your stamps on it, and fourth, there are rubber feet on the case so it stays put while you are rubbing your stamps around.

But enough about my little testimonial.  You came by here to hear me gush about the amazing design team creations for my little sketch.  And let me tell you they are all gush-worthy!  So here they are:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

colourQ 141

Tuesday, of course, means a new color challenge from Arielle and colourQ.  And what a challenge this is.  I think you'll find that these colors are perfect for that oh-so difficult man-card.  And what timing - especially since Father's Day is right around the corner!

Despite the tie and the man-card colors, I decided to go in a totally different direction!  The latest Deconstructed Sketch gave me a perfect layout to show off these awesome colors and I went with the fabulous PTI flower that I seem to be obsessed with!

I searched my stash, and I didn't have any more Brocade Blue so I substituted Marina Mist instead.  It's a rather poor substitution, but the best I could come up with.  Despite my liberty with the colors, I've got to say that all these blues look fabulous together.  There's light and dark and a little something in between.  And they are all perfect foil for the Lucky Limeade accents!

Be sure to stop by colourQ and check out this challenge and all the inspiration from the design team.  You won't be disappointed!  And don't forget to link up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Paper Players 99 and Sketchbook Saturday 63

I managed to get a lot done stamping-wise this weekend.  So today I've got a card for the super-awesome color challenge at The Paper Players that I paired with the sketch at Sketchbook Saturday.

I used one of my brand new edgelits called Finishing Touches on my Lucky Limeade layer.  The rest of the card is boring old stuff including some DSP from Urban Oasis, a Melon Mambo button, and a sentiment from Curly Cute.  I have to admit there's some comfort in using the old familiar stuff, especially since I haven't had time to properly learn the new stuff yet.  Hopefully that will improve over the next few days!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have time to pop by tomorrow to see my card for the latest colourQ challenge!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dynamic Duos 6 and CAS-ual Fridays 56

I thought I'd get a quick post in this morning before I head out to mow the dreaded lawn.  I'm not looking forward to it as it rained the better part of last week and now the grass is almost up to my kneecaps!  

I actually made this card yesterday incorporating the polka dot challenge at CAS-ual Fridays and the color challenge from Dynamic Duos.  I was going to scrap it and try something else, but when I looked at it again this morning it didn't seem so bad so here it is:

I don't think my dots do this lovely color challenge justice and if I find time this week I may try something else.  I've got some lovely Basic Gray DSP that is calling my name so maybe I'll get to use it.  The layout I've used is fairly simple and is from an FTL sketch from March.  It's actually the layout I thought of first when I saw the polka-dotted challenge.

The dots are just a 3/4-inch Basic Gray circle layered with a 1/2-inch Regal Rose circle.  The sentiment is from It's Your Birthday.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hand Stamped Sentiments 121 and retro sketches 15

Today, when I should have been mowing the lawn, I went into my stamp room and made a card.  I feel a little guilty, but I got a bunch of new stuff yesterday and I needed to try some of it out!  The lawn will still be there tomorrow, after all.  Not to mention that Hand Stamped Sentiments has a really cool color challenge this week and I didn't want to forget to participate.  Paired with the latest retro sketch I think I made a pretty card.

I used a little old and a little new with this card.  The Daffodil Delight DSP is from Beyond the Garden and that beautiful flower is from the new Stippled Blossoms.  I was pretty sure that flower would look fabulous in yellow and I was right!  I'm a little excited about my bow.  I think it looks nice and I have a new gadget to make them.

I'm a huge fan of ribbon and bows on my cards, I'm just not a huge fan of making bows.  I am able to make a half-way decent one and some of my blogging friends have generously given me tips and tricks to make me better at it.  I've got the Bow Easy, but I don't like using it because I think the "fingers" should be longer so that there's less chance the ribbon slips off it.  I have this huge wooden bow maker that I bought years ago for tying ribbons on my Christmas packages and I realized that what I really wanted was a smaller version of that.  So today, I went down cellar and made this from a scrap of walnut (so fancy!) and dowels.

I've seen other similar bow makers for sale on other's blogs, but I'm cheap and I've got a cellar full of wood and figured it would be pretty easy to put together.  So far I like it.  It's super simple to use and the dowels move around so I can make different sized bows.  Yay me!

Thanks for stopping by!