Saturday, November 30, 2013

12 Kits of Occasions - November with Kelly

***There's a prize up for grabs - Read about it on The 12 Kits of Occasions blog***

It's the 30th of the month and time for November's edition of The 12 Kits of Occasions.  You can find us on our blog, Facebook and our Pinterest page (I especially love seeing all the cards made this year grouped together all in one place).  This month our hostess is Kelly of Gingham Girl and wow did she come up with a great kit for us this month!  In true Kelly style, our kit was packaged in a gingham bag...I won't be surprised if I see that bag or pieces of it included in someone's project this month.  Here a peek at the cute kit we all received from Kelly.

Can't you just imagine all the fun we had with this one?  I love the color combinations Kelly sent and black as well as the traditional red and green.

My first card is my favorite.  I love the little dog and matching sweater.  I also added a little bell and red sparkly collar to go with the cute sentiment.

My second card uses some of the beautiful patterned papers and one of the PTI One-Liner die sentiments.

My third card took advantage of the snowflake embossed panel that Kelly sent us and I added some Lil Inker glittery snowflakes.

This fourth card has one of my favorite Christmas sentiments all stamped in white with the chalkboard look.

My last card also uses some of the beautiful patterned papers and bright red Waltzingmouse ornament.  I used my Lil Inker Stitched Mat Circles for the base and I'm loving the gray, white and red combination.

Didn't Kelly send us a great kit?  You are going to be amazed at all the creations the other girls in our 12 Kits of Occasions group have made.  In fact, I heard Joyce made 15!  Can you believe that?  15 cards and who knows how many more she made before she was finished! 

Thank you Kelly for a great kit this month!

More details on this kit are located on the 12 Kits of Occasion Blog.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Comfort & Joy

A very quick post this is what I was doing while I should have been cleaning my bathrooms and brining a turkey, not necessarily in that order.  I have been wanting to try my new On the Diagonal die from Lil Inker.  There were so many cute cards used with it during the release week...if you missed them, here's a link to their recap with all of the cards displayed all in one place.

What a fun die and it fits perfectly with Lil Inker's Connected Circles Die.  I stamped one of the new Modern Mehndi flower images in the centers and colored them with copics and a few dots of stickles for some sparkle. The cute rows of sentiments are from Instant Camera Christmas Stamp Set.

I have put my stamps away and am now probably scrubbing away at something in my home...I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful for all of my crafty friends.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Modern Mehndi...and a little guilt

As mothers, we spend so much of our lives feeling guilty.  Guilty we didn't spend more quality time with our husbands and kids.  Guilty our house isn't as clean as we would like, guilty we ordered a pizza instead of making a home cooked meal, on and on and on.  Guilty all the time. Today I felt a little guilty...actually a lot guilty.  I always visit my mom every Sunday.  I know she looks forward to my visit and no matter what I say, to her it is the most interesting thing she has ever heard.  Today though, instead of paying attention to my mom, all I could think about was the brand new set of stamps and dies I had waiting for me when I got home.  My new Lil Inker order arrived and was neatly spread out on the desk in my craft room just waiting for me to get home.  I watched the clock,  just waiting for an acceptable time for me to say goodbye and get on home.  The more I thought about my stamps, the guiltier I felt.  I honestly forced myself to put them out of my head and come up with some kind of witty things to talk to my mom about.  Now that my kids are grown, not that much funny stuff happens to me and then of course, I feel guilty about that!  Mom didn't seem to notice my distraction and I have vowed to never open a new package of stamps right before I go for my weekly visit.  That ought to handle the guilt for a while, at least until the next package of stamps arrives.

So, home again and very excited to try out my new stamps.  I have very few flower sets...big mistake on my part as they are very fun to use.  Here is what I made with Lil Inker's Modern Mehndi Stamp and matching die set (Modern Mehndi Die Set).
Taking a break from holiday colors, I chose pinks and browns for my card today.  In addition to the pretty flowers, I used Lil Inker's new Stitched Mat Ovals.  The sentiment is also from Modern Mehndi and I love that it can be used for any special occasion.  Did you see I even stitched on this one?  Big day for me when I break out the sewing machine...and a stickpin!

My guilt has subsided...the new stamps and dies have officially been broken in and I now have my New Years Resolution picked out.  Here's hoping you all had a "guilt-free" weekend and carved out a little bit of time to get crafty!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Jeanne!

Today we are getting together to wish our dear friend Jeanne Jachna of A Kept Life a very happy birthday.  Jeanne is truly one of the nicest people I know and not only makes beautiful cards, but is such a generous and supportive friend.  I can not count how many times my husband has gone out to get the mail and returned with a little package of goodies from Jeanne.  Ribbon, twine, patterned paper, stamps and fabulous cards, all sent for no other reason than she thought I would like them.  Best friend...ever!  A special thank you to Joyce Mehrberg of Cards by the Sea for once again organizing this little party.
First I will show you my card for Jeanne and then give a very brief explanation as to why I made this particular card for Jeanne.
See those cheery colors...I bet if you look back at Jeanne's blog you would find pink, orange, yellow and green over and over on her cards.  I know she also loves purple, but when I think of Jeanne...these are the colors I remember.  The leaves?  Not exactly Fall colors, but once again, there is a reason behind why I chose them.  I loaned Jeanne the Leaf Print stamps and dies from PTI and when I did, she warned me that she was very "tough" on dies.  I laughed that off and got the package in the mail to her.  A few weeks later Jeanne wrote me to say my stamps were on their way back to me, but the dies...didn't make it.  Apparently they were mangled and bent from Jeanne's less than gentle touch with her die cutting machine and replacement dies were being ordered.  We have laughed about that more than once lately, and I knew I had to use my newly replaced dies on Jeanne's card.  
The sentiment on my card is from Lil Inkers, Snarky Sentiments and is my very favorite from that set.  So true, don't you think?  

I am hoping Jeanne has a great birthday...I will be thinking of her today and so will a whole bunch of other blog friends.  Here is a link to the other people attending Jeanne's birthday party:

VickiePlease stop in and wish Jeanne a very happy birthday!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ho! Ho! Ho! (and a little card surgery)

Have you ever done this?  Made a card which you liked, but something about it just nagged at you and you couldn't get past it?  That happened to me yesterday with a card I liked, but couldn't get it to photograph well.  I posted it and as I watched television last night I couldn't stop thinking about what was bothering me about that card.  Here's the card:
First Version of Ho Ho Ho
I loved so many of the elements on this card, but the black just looked washed out and the glittery back panel did not look glittery.  
So...this morning I got up and did a little bit of card surgery.  I carefully took the card apart and reconstructed it a little differently, but I am finally satisfied with the look.  

As you can see, I used the same products, Lil Inker jingle bells (Christmas Bits Die Set)  made to look like Santa's suit, a woodgrain texture frame (Texture Plate Collection Frame One), also from Lil Inker as well as their Stitched Mat rectangles.  I went with white instead of black and left off the twine.  I changed the "H" font and added an exclamation point.  The glitter is still tough to photograph, but overall the quality of the picture is better.  If anyone knows how to photograph glitter...please let me know!  There must be some trick to it that I have not figured out yet.

This card is much more CAS and I feel much better submitting it to this weeks CASology challenge where the cue word is Bell.

As I sign off here today, the patient is doing fine, not so much for the original card though!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Snowy Gingerbread Couple

Happy Veteran's Day to all this beautiful Monday morning.  Veteran's Day is very special at our house and we typically do nearly the same thing every year.  My husband hangs a gigantic American flag across the front of our house.  It is 15' long and was his father's flag who served in World War II and was displayed in the front of his home for more than 40 years.  He passed away 10 years ago and my husband has held up the tradition of sharing his Dad's love for our country.  We always visit the cemetery where he is buried in the section with other WWII servicemen.  We made sure to bury him near other Marines from WWII and always imagine him swapping war stories with the other soldiers just like he did when he was alive.  

I guess I should be sharing a patriotic card today, but since I don't have one of those made, what I do have to share is a project I really love.  Think Gingerbread.  Think snow and snow globe.  Put those three together and you have a gingerbread couple and a snow globe to go along with it.

First the card:

I dare you to not break into a great big smile when you see this cute gingerbread couple standing in front of their Christmas tree.  I don't think it's possible, because I smiled the whole time I was making it.  First I made a frame using two Stitched Mat Circle Dies.  The gingerbread cuties and the sweet Christmas tree are from Lil Inker's latest release (Christmas Bits Die Set).  I dressed them up with a white gel pen and a bow tie for the boy and a cute little bow for the girl.  That bow is from Lil Inkers (Flip Flop Dies).  I just trimmed it down a bit so that the scale fit the little gingerbread girls head.  
The sentiment is stamped on a Gift Bow Topper die cut using a sentiment from Jolly and Joyful Sentiments.  That beautiful script sentiment die is from the latest release too, Joy Word Die.   I also used a couple of little stars left over from using the Lil Inker jingle bells from Jingle Bell Die Set.  With such cute dies, I stamped up some matching patterned paper with the snowflake from Jolly and Joyful Sentiments and embossed it with white embossing powder.  Whew!  Are you still with me?  

As I was wandering though Michael's the other day, I saw a Do It Yourself Snow globe.  It's made from plastic, not glass and it reminded me of something my sweet 4 year old niece would love to shake up and carry around with her.  Since it's plastic, I am hoping it will be a little more difficult for her to break, so I have made a matching snow globe to go along with my card.
 This is the girl's side of the globe with the daytime background.

On the reverse side, I made a night time version with the little boy gingerbread man.

I think my little niece will love this one and hopefully I won't make her mother mad if it breaks and spills snow all over their house!  I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Veteran's Day.

I am entering this card in the Christmas Cards All Year Round Challenge whose theme this month is Winter Wonderland.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Christina!

Today we are celebrating the birthday of one of the sweetest people I know...Christina MacLaren of SeaGlass Papercrafts.  I have come to know Christina through our 12 Kits of Christmas and then 12 Kits of Occasions group.  Christina is not only a fabulous card maker, but she always leaves the most heartfelt and sincere comments on my blog, the kind of comments that make you feel good all day!  Joyce of Cards by the Sea has once again organized a birthday blog hop for Christina and I am hoping she will enjoy all of the cards her friends have made for her today.
I have been wanting to make a card using my new Serendipity Owl die with a Fall birthday theme.  Christina's special day was all the incentive I needed.  Isn't that the most detailed owl die cut?  I perched him on the Impression Obsession Bare Branch with leaves cut from Fall patterned papers.  The sentiment is also from Serendipity (Everyday Words, large) and the background layer is a Spellbinder die.

Make sure to stop by Christina's blog and wish her a Happy's a link to all of other crafters who have made cards to wish Christina happiness on her special day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Jingle Bell Intervention

I think I need an intervention.  A jingle bell intervention.  I am sure my blog friends are saying, "Step away from the Jingle Bells Cathy!"  Like a true addict...I thought I had my jingle bell obsession under control.  I could stop any time I wanted to, in fact I had packed them up and put them away in my craft closet so I could play with some of my other stamps and dies.  Then, I took a little shopping trip to Target and saw all the cute Christmas decorations and lots of them were using jingle bells.   I told myself, just one more time and then I will stop.  Really.  I will stop.  LOL, but since I did break those bells out one last time, here is the tag I made using all three sizes of Lil Inker Jingle Bell dies:

My tag uses lots of Lil Inker products and also one of their new stamp sets.  First...the tag is the Folding Tag die (original).  I cut it twice, once in red and once in white.   Both tags are stamped with the cute snowflake from Jolly and Joyful Sentiments in red or embossed with white embossing powder creating a quick and easy set of patterned papers.  I also used the Stitched Scallop Border along the inner edge of the tag.  Now for my favorite part of this tag.  I am sure you guessed it, the jingle bells.
I used all three sizes of jingle bells from Christmas Bits Die Set and the Jingle Bell Die Set to make a miniature snowman.  I cut the jingle bells from white glittered paper and stacked them one on top of the other.  Aren't they the perfect scale for a snowman?
See those little arms?  Those are part of the arrow from Of the Heart Dies.  Real snowmen are made with bits and pieces of things that were once used for something else...right?   I drew and cut a miniature hat for my snowman and added the holly leaves from Holly Jolly Dies and a little red stickles for the holly berries along with some black pearls for the eyes,  mouth and buttons.  A little sliver of orange for the carrot nose finishes off my little snowman.  
I promise this is it with the jingle bells, at least for a few days.  Thanks for being a part of my jingle bell intervention.  Let's see how long my resolve lasts!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Holly Jolly with a Jingle

The weekend is over and I have one final card to share made this weekend using my Lil Inker's October release.  Once again,  I laid out all of my Lil Inker stamps and dies and picked one here and one there to make my card.  I have been in a holiday kind of mood lately, so this one is another Christmas card.
I started the card off with the Texture Plate Collection (Frame One).  Both sides of this die are fun to use, but I am partial to the woodgrain.  I cut out the center of the frame using a Stitched Mat Rectangle die which is the exact perfect size for this frame.  I embossed the green panel with the Circles & Diamonds Stitched Pattern Die to give a nice, crisp background to highlight the largest jingle bell in the Jingle Bell Die Set.  I suspended the bell from some silver rope trim and added a Bow Die (Small) topped with a sparkly silver gem.  The sentiment is from Holly Jolly Sentiment stamp set and that cute set of holly leaves are from the Holly Jolly Die set.  If you look closely you can tell that those cute holly berries have a nice coat of diamond glaze on them and really do pop out and shine.  This might just be a record for me...I used seven different Lil Inker stamps or dies on this one.  I wonder if the Guinness Record Book people will be calling me soon?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Tracey!

Happy Birthday Tracey!  Today is all about celebrating one of the sweetest people I know, Tracey McNeeley of In My Creative Opinion. You probably had an inkling that your friends were planning to celebrate your special day with lots and lots of Happy Birthday cards, but I am pretty sure you will be surprised by the "number" of people who wanted to participate.  So many that Joyce of Cards by the Sea, our official birthday blog hop planner had to install a linky tool on her blog as the list would be way to long for everyone to copy and paste.  Thank you Joyce for spreading the word and organizing the hop.

For your special day Tracey, I tried to channel you.  You are the expert in CAS cards and although I am sure this card is no where close to being as good as yours, here is my attempt at a true, CAS card...practically.  Only one tiny little layer and a little bit of glitter, but pretty close to CAS.  I used PTI Quilled Elegance stamp set and colored the images with copics.  To see all of Tracey's cards or to share a birthday card for Tracey yourself, just hop over to Joyce's blog and enjoy some birthday inspiration.

Here's hoping you have a fabulous birthday Tracey and enjoy your blog hop!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Jingle Joy

Happy Saturday!  It is such a beautiful day here...sunny, yet cool enough to want to spend time outdoors.  My husband and I are going on a bike ride today, the first for me in quite a while so I expect to be plenty sore by the time we are done.  I wanted to pop in and share a card I made last night using some of Lil' Inker's new release dies.  I have been wanting to use their jingle bells on a card as soon as I saw them.  They are so realistic and when you add out, you have yourself a shiny and sparkly card where you can practically hear the bells jingle.  Here's my card:
Lots and lots of Lil' Inker on this card, I brought out everything I had and just started choosing elements that would go together.  First, the striped frame is one I cut using Stitched Mat Square dies.  Then I cut an Instant Camera Die and and used patterned paper to add a little interest in the colors I was working with.  I cut five jingle bells from Christmas Bit Die Set and ran them through my xyron and coated them in different colors of glitter.  

Aren't the bells realistic?  I strung the bells on some jute twine and added those cute bows, also from Christmas Bits Die Set.  The final touch was the cute die cut sentiment...Joy Word Die, also from Lil' Inker.  I know I sound like an infomercial for Lil' Inker today, but that's what happens when you have so much to work with!  Hope you all have a fun day with a little time to get "crafty" and also time to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Fall weather.  Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight!

I am entering this card in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge...Anything Goes.