Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches: Nautical Sympathy

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Linda.

As soon as I saw this sketch, I also saw the card in my mind's eye.  A dear friend recently lost her father.  In a tribute to him, she posted a beautiful picture of him on a boat which she said had been his happy place.  I had all of this in my mind when I saw the sketch and I knew I could put together nautical images on a clean and fresh card to send her my sympathy.

FMS Nautical Sympathy

The nautical set is Strong Anchor from Verve stamps.  It didn't have a sympathy stamp so I used a sentiment from New Mercies.  However, it has a lovely stamp for the inside "This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. Hebrews 16:9".   He is the anchor!

To my friend: I am so sorry that you are likely seeing this on my post before you receive it.  I have no excuses for not getting this in the mail.  I've enjoyed our conversations and wish we were closer for a hug and a relaxing cup of tea on your dock.  I hope you can find time to rest and refresh amidst all of the decisions.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Stamps: Verve Strong Anchor, New Mercies
Dies: Verve Nautical Die Set, Taylored Expression Rectangle Stitched Stacklets
Paper: Simon Says Fog, Taylored Expressions Toffee, MME Wood Necessities
Ink: Taylored Expression Toffee, Simon Says Cobblestone and Sparrow, Versamark (with white embossing powder)
Sequins: Cartwright Clearly Beloved (from Simon Says Stamp)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Cuddle

It's time for a new challenge at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge: Cuddle.

This is such a cute graphic but I went in a different direction.  I needed an anniversary card and a teddy bear just didn't work.  So my inspiration just came from the word "cuddle"! These two are definitely cuddling!

CC Cuddle

The Lattice Frame Cutting Plate comes with multiple oval dies for the inside.  I used the largest two to make a frame, then layered it up three times. This is my favorite kind of card.  Lots of details - but lots and lots of white space!

I hope you are inspired by the "cuddle" - I'd love to see what you create!


Stamps: Taylored Expressions (TE) Love is an Adventure
Dies: TE Love is an Adventure dies, TE Lattice Frame Cutting Plate
Sequins: TE Snow Flurries Sequins

CC Cuddle Copics

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches: Happy Meow-loween

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Rita.

I just sorted through my Halloween card stash to figure out what else I needed.  One of the big holes in my stash was a card for my youngest niece - only 9 years old.  She is just a fireball - I saw this image and I just thought it fit (not the grumpy part, but the quirky look of that cat in a tutu!)

FMS Meowloween

What I didn't think fit for her were the sarcastic sentiments in the Grumplings in Costume stamp set.  The sentiments are laugh-out-loud funny and sarcastic - but I didn't think she'd understand them, so I found a Happy Meow-loween sentiment that would work.

What's not in the picture is that I'm going to put the cat on a Mini Wobble Spring so it pops up when she takes it out of the card.  Her big sister is getting this card with a slider so I wanted some action on this card too.  I like the wobble springs but I find they just stand out too much to photograph well.

I hope to see you playing along with us at Freshly Made Sketches.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Merry Monday Christmas Trees

I am really focusing these next two months on my stash of unused Christmas stamps.  This week the Merry Monday Christmas Challenge inspired me to focus on Christmas trees.  This card is a bit of a cheat in that the stamps are brand new - I skipped right over some of trees that have been sitting unused for years - but I love layered stamps!

Merry Monday Christmas Tree

This card also took a number of left turns!  This was supposed to be a nature card - in other words, no pink!  But without the pink, it looked too "cold" which is an odd thing to say given I've built it around snowflakes!!  I used a bit of pink and light blue to soften it.

I layered up a base of natural green, then I used an embossing powder that is clear with a bit of sparkle.  And then the third layer is a white powder with silver flecks.  I struggled with the lighting to capture all of this, but you can get a hint of these layers toward the top of the tree.

Thanks to Merry Monday for the inspiration!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

TE Release Day: Hope and Joy, Fun and Snow

It's release day at Taylored Expressions!!  Everything you have seen this week is now available. Have fun Christmas shopping!  Be sure to head to the Taylored Expressions blog to see more samples of the fabulous new stamps and dies (and to see if you've won a prize) - then visit the rest of the creative team for more inspiration!

I have two more cards for you.  The first is clean and simple, and embodies the true meaning of Christmas using the new Little Bits - Dove.

TE Little Bits Dove

That dove is so elegantly shaped - I wanted it to be the full focus.  I found this lovely sentiment in the previously released In & Out Christmas.

Have you ever noticed how each of us have certain colors that we gravitate towards and against?  I am always amused when a cardmaker writes that they hate a certain color and just can never make it work on their cards - but the color they are talking about is one of my favorites!  It's the same for me and I'm sure many of you would disagree with my preferences.  In greens, I can never find a way to use pastel greens or even bright Christmas greens.  I lean strongly toward more olive or natural greens.  But as I was putting this card together, my folder of Mint Julep cardstock kept jumping up and saying "pick me, pick me" and I'm so glad I did.  It was a wake up call for me to quit just flipping by certain cardstocks when I'm picking out colors for a card.  Whether or not it's one of my favorite colors - sometimes it's the right pick for a card!  (In fact, I ended up liking this card so much, I now have eight of them in my Christmas stash!)

TE Little Bits - Dove

Here's the supply list for this card and keep reading for one last peek.


The dove was the "hope and joy" and now we have the "fun and snow"!

I am a huge fan of the previously released Quick Critters Stamp & Die Combo.  There are simple little animal silhouette dies with little hearts in them - plus faces you can stamp on - and a number of sentiments.  They make me smile and they are SO easy to work with!  Imagine my excitement when this release included Quick Critters - Winter!!

TE Quick Critters Winter

I took the "quick critters" and made a fairly complex card (at least complex for me!)  They can easily stand on their own - just a quick critter and sentiment and you've got a cute card.  But I wanted to use them all.  I started with the previously released Mini Colorblock Cutting Plate and layered up three of them. There are scalloped squares that fit inside each of the windows - I left the negative of the scallop squares in the two windows with critters to give them a fun little frame. I added a glittery snowy hill in the large window and then used the snowflakes from the new Matchy Backgrounds - Holiday (sized to work with the Matchbox die but perfect for inside my window) to add a bit of snow. I dropped in a few snowflakes from Little Bits - Snowflake Confetti and a few gems that I colored pink using Copics.

TE Quick Critters Winter

Another great addition in this release is Merry Mail 1 and Merry Mail 2 that you can use to decorate your envelopes such that they are worthy of the work of art you've tucked inside!!  I used Merry Mail 2 and added a decorative address box to my envelope colored in the same colors as the card.  The colors give it the fun look - but you could just as easily go with traditional colors to match a different type of card.

TE Quick Critters and Merry Mail

That's it for now - and it's time to go shopping!!  But don't forget to pop by the TE blog for more inspiration and prizes.


TE Quick Critters Winter Copics

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

TE Sneak Peek Day 3: 12 Days of Christmas Calendar

It's the third day of sneak peeks for the October release from Taylored Expressions!!  I have a fun and very easy-to-make Advent calendar for you today.  Everything you see during sneak peek week will be available on Thursday, October 5th. Be sure to check out each of the creative team members' blogs for all of the sneak peeks - starting with the Taylored Expressions blog.  While you are there make sure you check out how you can win a prize!!

I have not been particularly good at creating 3D projects.  I can't draw a straight line, let alone cut and fold them so starting from scratch was a non-starter for me.  However, when products exist that do all of the work for you - simply cut and paste - I love doing it and I LOVE the results.  Here's my 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar.

TE Advent Calendar with Matchies

Each one of those is a Matchbox created from the previously release Matchbox die.  New this month is the Matchy series of dies.  I've used Matchy Santa, Matchy Rudolph and Matchy Elf.  They cut out pieces perfectly shaped to make the little characters on each matchbox.  (Also new is Matchy Penguin and Matchy Snowman.)  There are all absolutely charming!!

The matchbox builds with a nice, tight fit.  Even though these hang sideways, I'm not sure there's anything that small that's heavy enough to cause the inside of the matchbox to slide out. However, I chose to make it a treasure hunt and using my computer, created 1 5/8" x 2 3/8" squares to tuck in the inside.  I gave it a little color with little candies from the new Sweet Season Stamp & Die Combo.  (Our "dancing reindeer" is one of those truly annoying Christmas decorations that dance and sing when you walk by.  We've had him since the kids were little and they will not let me get rid of him even though they are now 17 and 21.)

TE Advent with Matchies

Here's a close-up of six of the calendar days.

TE Advent Calendar with Matchies

Each piece in the Matchy's comes in their die set.  I colored the top of the Matchbox with a Copic to give them some facial color.  I didn't put Matchy's on every day because I wanted those that were there to stand out.  The other days include snowflakes from the previously released Make a Snowflake and the numbers are from a new set in the the Clearly Planned series, Candy Cane Numbers and their coordinating dies.

TE Advent Calendar with Matchies

FYI - I wandered the aisles of Hobby Lobby and found a myriad of things to use as the top hanger.  The candy cane I used is a tree decoration that hangs vertically.  I just clipped off the hanger and turned it sideways. It's styrofoam so very easy to pin on the ribbon.  But they also had dozens of small plaques that you could glue ribbons on to.  I even looked through the plant picks and the bundles of sticks.  There are so many options to put this together.  Have fun!!

Tomorrow is the big day.  We all have a few more peeks - and the release is available starting at 7 a.m. PST tomorrow!  Be sure to pop over to the TE blog for more peeks and for a chance at prizes!


Freshly Made Sketches Week 2

If you hadn't heard, the link at Freshly Made Sketches behaved badly this past week so it was decided to continue the sketch for one more week!!  Here it is...

I had had two ideas when I made my first card last week, so this was a perfect opportunity to try my second idea.  In my mind's eye, I saw a branch, a sign and a cute little bird!

FMS Bird-day

That bird is so happy but he looked a little lonely so I ended up plopping on a couple of bees.  They even have a bit of sparkle on their wings!  This is a rare card that I made without someone in mind.  Sometimes I just have to pull out my cutest stamps and make a card simply for the joy of doing it!  This card made me smile!

A big thank you to Jennifer Timko who created the sketch.  I hope you all play along (or play along a second time!!)