Friday, January 31, 2014

12 Kits of Occasions: January with Sharron

The last day of the month is always a fun day...the posting day for our 12 Kits of Occasions card kit group.     To learn more about our 12 Kits of Occasions can find us on our blog, Facebook and Pinterest where we have all of our cards from through the year pinned, all ready to give you lots of inspiration!  This month our hostess is Sharron of On Papillon Wings.  We all received a beautiful kit, full of so many beautiful elements with a "I think I Love You" theme.  When I say a large kit...I am not exaggerating.  Take a look at the kit photo:
Photo courtesy of Kara
It's a beauty, isn't it?  I bet you can just imagine all the cards you could make with such a kit.  I ended up making 5, with enough left overs for many more too!
This card is my favorite...I used the sweet elephant patterned paper and die cuts to make a baby card.  I love the "hello" die cut and the pretty twine that Sharron sent us.

Everything on this card except the bow and enamel heart are from our kit.  The patterned papers we received were so much fun to work with.

Isn't this the cutest angel image?  I colored her with colored pencils and glittered the cloud, wings and hearts with prisma glitter.  The tag is from Lil Inker (Love Tags Die Set) and has a beautiful embossed heart pattern all around the outside edge.

 I have never used any stamps with a typewriter theme before...but they are FUN!  I added a few little hearts to the keyboard and popped the typewriter up with dimensional foam.

This card is all Lil Inker.  Every. Single. Element.  It started with the Floating Hearts Die that Sharron sent us.  I layered it over a Cover Up Die: Stitches and Stripes, added a Balloon String Die to the hearts (Of the Heart Dies) that Sharron sent us and used a Stitched Mat Rectangle stamped with a sentiment from Love Things Stamp Set.  The balloons look so cute with a few sparkly sequins attached, don't you think?

We also are lucky to have a guest designer playing along with us this month.  In addition to the rest of the 12 Kits of Occasions designers...please check out Michelle of Pretty Periwinkles who was the winner of the extra kit Sharron put together.  I can't wait to see what everyone created!
Sharron (Our hostess)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fusion Card Challenge #3: Hearts and Lace

It's time for Fusion Card Challenge #3 and this one has been my very favorite so far.  By now I am sure you have heard that the Fusion Card Challenge is open for business again and is even better than before!  Here are the rules:

How to play:
1. Play with just the sketch challenge.
2. Play with just the inspiration photo challenge.
3. Or you can create FUSION by combining BOTH challenges into one card.
4. Use the challenge graphic and link back to Fusion in your post.
5. Please read the other considerations on the Our Rules Page before playing along.

Ready to see this week's sketch and inspirational photo?
This week I decided to use only the inspirational photo for my card.  I was immediately drawn to the cute heart pattern and knew I had the perfect stamp set I could use to re-create that pattern...Papertrey Ink Background Basics: Hearts.  Those little red hearts are such fun to stamp and I used the stamped paper to create a cute sweater-shaped card (Papertrey Ink Shape Up Sweater Die ). While I was making the sweater, I was wishing my daughter was little again as I would have loved to dress her up in this sweater  with a pair of cute red leggings.  You remember those days...when you could dress your kids in anything you wanted that was "cute", at least to you?  I can't remember the last time I was able to buy something for Carly that she would "actually" wear!  
I added some lace trim around the collar, cuffs and hemline and added a row of pearls to bling up the red trim.  The cute cupid die cut is from Impression Obsession (Cupids).

So what do you think?  Will it be the sketch, the inspirational photo or a combination of them both for you this week?  There is lots of time to think about it, make your card and get it posted before the challenge ends on Tues. Feb 11th at noon PST.  That's right...two weeks to play with the winners being announced right before the next challenge is posted.  Speaking of winners...have you seen the winners from Challenge #3?  Here's a link...I am hoping you will see your own card in the winner's gallery!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Card Concept #2: Add Texture

Today is a very big day for first day on the Card Concept Challenge Design Team.  I am beyond excited to be one of the Classy and Elegant style designers for this brand new challenge and believe me, I know how lucky I am!   Anyone who has ever seen my cards might be doing a little double-take right about now.   Most of the cards I make are in the Clean and Layered design style, after all I live in a town whose motto is "Horsetown USA".  My idea of classy is drinking beer... from a glass.  Frosting the glass in the freezer...elegant.  Setting it on a coaster... bumps it all the way up to regal, so Classy and Elegant cards are going to be a bit of a stretch for me.   That's why the Card Concept Challenge is going to be such great fun for every card maker.  Every challenge,  the design team will share two examples of six different card styes and you can use any one of them to make your card.  I think you will be surprised to see how many qualities each style has in common.
Here are the six styles and a link for more information about each style:

For Challenge #2, we have a beautiful inspiration photo and a challenge to use texture on our card.
I drew my inspiration from the texture on the roof and the red and white color of the house.
I based my card around a beautiful sentiment stamp from Waltzingmouse Stamps (Safe Harbor Sentiments embossed in gold.  I layered the sentiment onto a couple of Spellbinders Floral Ovals.  The texture on my card is some jute wired ribbon that I spray pained gold to make it a little more elegant.  The burlap ribbon is also spray painted.  The background patterned paper is stamped with Waltzingmouse (Pinstripe Backgrounder).  I added a gold bow and some guessed it, spray painted gold to match the ribbon.  
Classy and Elegant not your style?  I guarantee you will find something that is just right for you when you check out the other cards made by the Card Concept Challenge Design Team.  Challenge #2 lasts for two weeks, plenty of time to make a card...or two!  The challenge ends Feb. 3rd at noon, PST.  The winners will be revealed on Wed. Feb. 5th.  I hope to see your card in the gallery very soon!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Big News!

Just a quick post today to share some very exciting news for me...I am joining the Card Concept Challenge Design Team and...hold on to your hats...I am designing for the Classy and Elegant style.
I KNOW!  Not my typical style card, but I am going to be stretching my comfort zone a bit and taking my usual Clean and Layered cards with bling, ribbons and lots of sparkle.

If you haven't heard about the Card Concept about it here.  There is something for absolutely everyone at this challenge.  My first card will be shown tomorrow when Card Concept Challenge #2 is posted.  I hope to see you there!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Card Concept Challenge #1: Colours

There's a new challenge blog that's caught my eye and I wanted to get in on the inaugural challenge...The Card Concept.  It has the neatest idea behind it.  The Design Team represents 6 different style themes and the challenge for players is to use the bi-weekly theme to make a card in one of those "styles".  What are the styles you ask?
Clean & Simple
Clean & Layered
Clean & Graphic
Freestyle Collage
Shabby Chic
Classy & Elegant

This is a challenge that is "just right" for every style of crafter.  Sounds fun, don't you think?  Here's the inspiration photo for Challenge #1:
Such a beautiful color combination to work with for the first challenge.

I found a pack of patterned paper (MME Lost & Found Madison Avenue) that I have had for the longest time...every single piece was the right color for this challenge.  I used the Papertrey Ink Coverplate Hexagon die, cut it with 5 different pieces of patterned paper and just started mixing and matching the different papers to come up with a random pattern.  I cut a Lil Inker On the Diagonal die in pink patterned paper and wrapped some chevron twill ribbon around it and tied a nice poofy bow.  The sentiment tag is tied on with twine and stamped with one of Papertrey Ink's Fillable Frame stamps.
I am having a tough time making a final decision about what style this is.  Normally, most of my cards are Clean and Layered, but this one has the bow and stickpin so I am guessing it is a combination of Clean and Layered and Classy and Elegant.  I guess the experts over at the Card Concept will have to make the final determination!  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fusion Card Challenge #2 - A Sunny Happy Birthday

**This is my second post for today...for my Four of a Kind Blog Hop, please scroll down to the next post**

I am here today to share a card I made for the second week of the newly re-vamped Fusion Card Challenge.  The first challenge was a huge success with 85 players and so many fabulous and creative cards...I pinch myself every day when I realize how lucky I am to be a part of such a fun challenge group.  Have you seen the favorite cards from Challenge #1 yet?  They were posted just a short while ago over on the Fusion Card Challenge Blog.  Here's a link for you to take a peek at the winners...right after you take a look at the sketch and inspiration photo for Challenge #2 of course!

First up...the sketch and photo inspiration for Fusion Card Challenge #2:
The best part of the Fusion challenge is that you can use either the sketch, the photo or "fuse" them together and make a project using them both.  Aren't those beautiful flowers and a fabulous woodgrain background?  Here's the card I made based on both the sketch and the photo.

This week, not only was I inspired by the sketch, but I also loved the gray, white and yellow colors of the inspiration photo.  I dug out my Simple Stories "Snap" patterned papers and several dies and stamps from Lil Inker Designs and before long had a cheery birthday card all ready to go the next time I need one in a hurry.  The cute stitched sun is from Lil Inker's Sunshine Die (Large) and the clouds are from the Rainbows and Clouds Die Set cut four times, scored down the middle and popped up with dimensional foam. Do you see the cute faux stitching on the dark gray circle?  It's a Stitched Mat Circle die from Lil Inker, and the stitching matches those on the sun, clouds and sentiment strip.   The sentiments are from Sun Sentiments Stamp Set and are stamped on a piece of the Gift Bow Topper Die.  Ready for more inspiration?  The Fusion Design Team have all created projects designed to tempt you to play along with us!

Would you like to play along with the Fusion Challenge?   Don't forget you have two weeks to play and the challenge ends on January 28th at noon PST.   I can't wait to see what you come with!  Just in case you are new to the Fusion Card are the rules:

How to play:
1. Play with just the sketch challenge.
2. Play with just the inspiration photo challenge.
3. Or you can create FUSION by combining BOTH challenges into one card.
4. Use the challenge graphic and link back to Fusion in your post.
5. Please read the other considerations on the Our Rules Page before playing along.

Four of a Kind: January with Joyce

**I have two posts Fusion Card Challenge card should be at the top of my blog roll**

Even though Christmas is over and it is nearly 80 degrees where I live, it is technically still Winter and do I have some fun Winter cards for you today!  It's time for our quarterly Four of a Kind blog hop with Joyce (this month's hostess), Kim, Renee and me.  In early December, Joyce sent us a fabulous kit...jam packed with all kinds of patterned papers, die cuts and embellishments all prepared to help us make some Winter/Christmas cards in time to photograph and then mail out for the 2013 Christmas season.  I only got two cards done before Christmas, but they are long gone now and only these photographs left in their place.  Here's the great kit Joyce sent us:
I was very excited to see that Joyce sent us stamped images from Papertrey Ink's Two Feet Deep.  It was a set I really wish I had gotten and could not wait to use it.  I also loved the patterned papers from Carta Bella Winter Fun collection.  The blue, kraft and cranberry colors looked so beautiful together.  Here are my cards:

This one is my favorite...loved those skis and the Snow diecuts.  I got to use a lot of patterned paper on this too!

Isn't that the cutest sled?  My very favorite image from the Two Feet Deep Stamp set.  I also loved the loopy border die Joyce sent us too.

You might think I did a lot of stamping on this card, but you would be WRONG!  The patterned paper already had the cute silhouettes, polka dot trees and swirls.  I just crimped the tag and added the other embellishments. 

I got to use that cute sled again as well as some of the pretty patterned paper and a large Lil Inker snowflake.

This last card was so fun to make...kind of an organized mess when you think of all the kit pieces that went into it.  I did learn that I should NEVER make my own snow shoes...they are very hard to lace!  I also added a very cute bow to the bottom of the snow shoes.  The die is from Mama Elephant and was a gift from Joyce, so I had to add it to the mix.  

This was lots of fun this month...I can hardly wait to see what Joyce, Kim and Renee have made with their kits.  Here's a link to their blogs so you can take a peek at their great cards!  Thank you Joyce once again for a really fun kit!

Friday, January 10, 2014

CASology#77 and Paper Smooches Sparks Week #1

Wow.  That is a long title, but to be expected when you are playing along with two challenges with one card.  This is my sweet friend Joyce (Cards by the Sea) first week on the Design Team for CASology...big, exciting news for all of Joyce's friends!  Go Joyce!!!  I wanted to play along with this week's challenge (Casology Week #77), especially when I saw the cute theme for this week...Bubbly!
Lucky for me too, Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge Week #1's theme is Anything Goes, so my card can serve two purposes.  I love it when that happens.
Also, today, I have a re-freshed blog.  I was referred to Jessica of Creations by Jessica Lynn who gave my blog a badly needed make-over.  She's creative, fast, and very reasonably priced, so if you want to make over your's a link to her Etsy store.  You won't be disappointed!

On to my card...
I don't have any of my own Paper Smooches stamps yet, but I have friends who do and I borrowed a few sets to get me started on their challenges.  Lucky me!  This set is Surf and Turf and has some really cute bubbles that fit the CASology theme of bubbly.  I colored the fish with copics and added glossy accents to all the bubbles.  
This card is as CAS as I will ever get!  I practically had to drag myself away from it to keep from adding any more touches to it!  You would think CAS is easy, but for me...not so much!  There's still time to play along with both of these challenges and don't' forget to check out Jessica's Etsy store if you are looking to update your blog.  Also, please stop by Joyce's blog and congratulate her on her new Design Team position with CASology!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

CAS-ual Friday #125

**Edited to add photo**
Lunch with Joyce and Marybeth

This is going to be a very fun day for me...going to have lunch with my crafty friends Joyce (Cards by the Sea) and Marybeth (Marybeth's Time for Paper).  Am I lucky, or what?  We have been meeting sometime during the holiday season for several years now and it is always a lot of fun.  I will try to coerce someone in the restaurant to take a picture of my hair freshly colored so I am all set to go!  Before I take off though, I have a card to share that I made for CAS-ual Friday Challenge #125.  The theme this week is "In a Word". 

 Cute theme, but the first thing I thought of were speech bubbles.  You would think that with the thousands of dollars of craft supplies I have, that I would have at least one speech bubble...but, you would be wrong!  I don't have a single one.  So, what do I have that I could use to make a speech bubble?  Speech bubbles to me always look like ovals or circles with a triangle cut from the bottom.  I tried a little experiment with my oval and circle Lil Inker Stitched Mat dies.  They cut the perfect bubble, but what could I use for the triangle?  I brought out my Stitched Star Dies and ran them through the already cut oval and circle and created what I think to look like a pretty darn good bubble.  What do you think?
They even have the cute trademark stitching that most Lil Inker dies have.  Now wouldn't these be a great idea for Lil Inker to sell?  Hint, Hint!

I stamped my sentiments using one of Lil Inker's newest stamp sets (Love Things Stamp Set) and popped up the negative panel with dimensional foam.  I added a little more pink with a copic marker...can't have enough pink for Valentines Day, and that was it!

I'll be back later with the mug shot taken from our little get-together!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge

It's a lazy Saturday morning here in CA...still in my pj's and finishing off a card for the January 1st Curtain Call Challenge.  This week's challenge theme is Smitten and has a beautifully knit pair of mittens as the inspirational photo.  I have absolutely zero knitting-themed stamps, but instead, decided to try one of my new dies from Lil Inker (Cover Up Die - Stitches and Stripes) of which I am certain I will soon be "smitten".  Here's the inspiration for my card:
I loved the beautiful mitten colors, so my card uses Smokey Shadow, Lemon Tart, Berry Sorbet and Hibiscus Burst card stock.
In addition to the Cover Up Die - Stripes and Stitches from Lil Inker.  The cute pink diagonal strip (On the Diagonal Die) is just the right size to hold one of the stitched pieces left over from the Stitches and Stripes die.   I also used one of their newest stamp sets (Love Things Stamp Set) to stamp the cute XoXo sentiment.  I love the cute little heart inside the O.  The stitched hearts and arrow are from another Lil Inker die set (Of the Heart Dies) which just happen to be on sale now in the Lil Inker store. Hint Hint!

Since I used several stamps and dies that I have never used yet, I am linking this card up to the Simon Says Stamp Challenge where the theme is Use Something New.
You still have some time to show us what you are "Smitten"'s a link to this week's Curtain Call Challenge.  Let's see what you've got!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches #117

I'm enjoying a day just for up early and spent some time in my craft room.  I'm playing along with a "new to me" challenge today...Freshly Made Sketches #117.  They had a very cute inspiration sketch this week and although I don't really need an excuse to craft, I do have some new stamps to try out.  I just got the Fresh Squeezed Stamps, Friendly Folk stamp set.  This is such a cute set!  An even bigger surprise was that they are located in San Diego, CA, very near to my home and I received my stamps the day after I ordered them!  Yay!

Here's the sketch we had to work with on Challenge #117:
I did take a few liberties with the sketch, but I think it is still pretty close to the inspiration photo.
Aren't those sheep cute?  I stamped the houses in a very subtle kraft color and added the sentiment from Friendly Folk.  The banner is from Verve (Pennant Trim Banner), the hearts are from Lil' Inker's Floating Heart Die.  I love that I can have just about any size heart I want using the cut outs from this die.

This card is going to be my anniversary card for my husband next  month...#34!  You've heard the expression that couples married that long tend to start looking alike...LOL.  We aren't quite to that point yet, but we are getting close.

Here's a link to Freshly Made Sketches still have a few days left to play along.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fusion Card Challenge

Happy New Year and welcome to the very first Fusion Card Challenge of 2014!  Yes, you heard it right...the Fusion Card Challenge is back in business and with some new design team members, myself included.  Here's a list of the designers who will be doing their best to inspire you during the new year.

If you aren't familiar with Fusion challenges, all you have to do is tune in every other Thursday to see the inspiration photo or sketch and all the different projects made by the design team.  You then put your thinking cap on and make something based on either the inspiration photo, the sketch, or mix them all together to create Fusion!  You will love that you can use any stamps or dies you want, any style you want, anything at all!  We also will love to see scrapbook pages based on the current challenge.  You can let your creativity be your guide.  The challenge lasts for two weeks, ending every Tuesday at noon, PST and the winners will be revealed just an hour before the next week's challenge goes live on Thursdays.  Easy, right?  Ready to see your first challenge? 
 Here is the challenge for January 2, 2014.

January 2, 2014

For this first challenge I decided to mix up the photo and the sketch to create a little bit of Fusion  Here's my card:

I was inspired by the beautiful colors and patterns in the photo.  I especially loved the pillow with the quatrefoil pattern.  I found a quatrefoil cut file in the Silhouette store and made that the focal point of my card and the overall design is based on this week's sketch.  I found some patterned paper that looked similar to the orange pillow and filled in three of the areas to represent the circles in the sketch.  The sentiment is from Waltzingmouse stamps (Folk Art Medallion).

Enough from me...time for you to get busy and play along with the Fusion Card Challenge.  Remember, you have until Tuesday, January 14th (Noon, PST) to enter.  I can't wait to see what you all create!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Top Ten

Happy New Year!  Every year I like to look back on all the blog posts I have made during the past year and choose my ten favorites.  It is such fun to see how my cards change and evolve through the year.  Here are my Top Ten favorites for 2013:

Loved the City Scene Stamp Set from PTI

Fun ice cream cones and balloons
Hexagons everywhere
For my son the firefighter
Love the raven
Thanksgiving turkey made from a pinwheel
Love the whale and the seagulls on the clouds
You can't have enough flip flops in CA
How many dies can I use on one project?
My favorite of 2013
                                                          Which one do you like the best?