Friday, March 30, 2012

Simply Grape

I think clean & simple (CAS) cards are perfect for capturing the beauty of Spring, so here's my attempt at a simple card featuring my favorite bulb flower, the grape hyacinth. I planted some when we first moved into our house 5 years ago, and they came up really beautifully this year!

The main design of this card was totally inspired by by the "Take Three" challenge at Less is More; see below for which past challenges I chose.

I was also inspired by the "Bling and Glitter/Sparkle" theme at Craft-room Challenge; the only thing on this card that doesn't sparkle is the green ribbon (from Crafty Ribbons)! The sentiment is heat-embossed in a glittery purple, and both papers are sparkly.

Less is More Sketch 1
Craft-room Challenge: Bling and Glitter/Sparkle
Less is More Week 60: Take 3 Challenges
     • Week 3 [Feb 19th] Theme Spring
     • Week 8 [Mar 26th] Sketch or Recipe Tall Card Sketch 1
     • Week 49 [Jan 7th] Colour Predominately Purple

Anne-Marie L, if you're reading this, you can see how quickly I've turned back to purple! Wait till you see my project on Sunday!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dude Time Doodles New Release Blog Hop: Gettin' ballsy

Welcome to my stop on the Dude Time Doodles New Release Blog Hop! You should have arrived here from Ruth's fabulous blog.

The Design Team is featuring four fantastic new DTD images, and one of the Dudettes - or Dude - will be named our MYSTERY HOST at the end of the hop and one lucky person who comments on that blog will win a free Dude Time Doodles image of their choice; So be sure to comment on each blog. You have a whole week to hop (through next Tuesday)!

I used the Briefs from the Brief Conversation series to create a very special Congratulations card:

Around November, my best friend from college took a sabbatical from his job and decided to spend several months visiting family & reevaluating his future. I'm so proud of him: he felt himself becoming unhappy and decided to save for over a year in order to take this time. Not everyone can do that, and I'm truly proud of him. Of course, not everyone has been as supportive as I, a fellow free-spirit, so I thought I'd make him a card to make him smile!

The background paper is the February 2012 Freebie from Get Funky!, which I printed onto white linen paper. Believe it or not, the Briefs image is printed onto fabric...fabric from a pair of underpants! Because I can't throw anything away, I had a pair of white undies (my version of briefs, ha!) that were falling apart that I could cut up for this project. Don't worry, they were clean! I adhered the fabric onto a piece of cardstock with my sticker machine (you run the paper through the machine & then flatten the fabric onto it; easy-peasy!), and then just ran it through the printer and fussy-cut it out. I set the sentiments in Rockwell, and cut/embossed them with Sizzix dies in my Big Shot. I added some color with a blue Copic, and edged it with my black Copic. 

Using my awl and a template I made with dotted lines, I pierced the background and the orange self-adhesive Felt Fusion (from Queen & Co.). I hand-sewed the stitching on the felt with black thread, but that's faux stitching on the background.

Thanks for hopping by! Your next stop is the crafty Dawn.


I just adore this free digi stamp from Floweret, and thought it would be fun to paper piece it for this week's Paper Pretties Challenge. I decided to go way outside my comfort zone and went PINK for this week's Speedy Fox & Friends Challenge at Mark's Finest Papers.

I also played a little Tic-Tac-Toe with the Card Crafter's Circle (see the board below). I chose the right-to-left diagonal: Embossing, Digi, Bling.

I dry-embossed the bottom of the Kraft piece using a Tim Holtz Texture Fades folder, and ink-distressed it a bit with Rose Bud Memento ink.

The stitching is actually a stamp from the great Stitchery Doo set by SP & Company. I stamped it in Memento Tuxedo Black and heat-embossed it with Kaleidoscope embossing powder from Stampendous! for a little bit of Bling. I also heat-embossed the Hero Arts sentiment, with MS pink powder.

For the paper-piecing, I used about every piece of pink paper in my stash! Eight papers in total, plus a white piece that I built onto. The skin is actually a light pink... I added color to the hair, light & seat with Copics.

I strung some bakers twine across the background, and popped up the image piece with foam tape. I added a pink gemstone to her helmet for a final touch, and she's OFF!

Thanks for visiting!
Update: Many thanks to Floweret for spotlighting this card on her blog!

Card Crafter's Circle Challenge #15
Card Crafter's Circle Challenge #15: TIC TAC TOE - Embossing, Digi, Bling
Paper Pretties Monday Challenge: Paper Piecing/Piercing

Mopedbrud digi stamp by Floweret (thank you!)

Ribbon-framed blossoms

Sunday night I was reading my blog feed and my imagination was sparked by the "Ribbon Frame" theme at Come & Get It Challenges. This is a new-to-me technique, and I just loved the example projects by the DT.

Just above the card in the background you can see our cherry tree in its version of full bloom; it has to fight for sun but gets stronger every year. And as it's in our yard, to me it's the most beautiful cherry tree in the world!

Come & Get It Challenges: Ribbon Frame Technique

Update: Many thanks to Cindy for choosing this card as her top pick for the Ribbon Frame Technique challenge at Come & Get It!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pile It On #13 sponsored by Dude Time Doodles

Dude Time Doodles/Bonibleaux Designs is sponsoring the Pile It On Challenge this week, so we're having a "For/from a Man" challenge (one of my favorite themes!) Perfect time to make some of those male cards by piling on this week's challenges! Pile It On has a great list on their site, as does Feline Playful. This challenge is very special to me, because it brings together two of my teams; I just adore working with these ladies (and gentleman!), and am inspired by their creative work every week.

I used Chef Burly Becky from DTD/BBD and made a side-step card (many thanks to Beate at Splitcoaststampers for the tutorial). This is my first side-step card, and it came out pretty well.

I kept the image pretty simple. The coat and hat are printed on linen paper and pieced onto of the main image, which I colored with Copics. I am particularity proud of his pants, which I checkered with my *new and awesome* Microliner pen. I got the .003 size, and it's fabulous!

The sentiment is by Create with TLC, and I find it particularly fun because we don't eat nuts in our house due to my husband's allergies. That's not to say we're not nutty! I embossed/cut it out with a Sizzix die, added a couple of holes with my Crop-O-Dile, and slid it onto a wooden stick (recycled from a rock-sugar pop!); I attached the piece to the card with actual baker's twine (from a bakery).

I've had this kitchen-themed chipboard piece in my stash forever; I keep saying that I'm going to make a big recipe scrapbook, but this is about as far as I've gotten so far!

The background papers are made by embossing white-core papers and sanding them to reveal the pattern (I used a Tim Holtz folder).

I'm entering this into the following challenges:
Alphabet Challenge - D for Dry Embossing
Cardmadfairy's Digi Days - Add a Sentiment + digi image
Cards for Men: Cheeky Chappies
Cute Card Thursday - Anything goes
Paper Playtime - For The Guys + Sentiment
Stampin' For The Weekend - Anything Goes
Totally Papercrafts Challenge 109 - Humour

Update: This received a top 3 spot for Crafts 4 Eternity Recipe Challenge #64!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Anything Goes at Pattie's Creations, sponsored by Dude Time Doodles

Dude Time Doodles/Bonibleaux Designs is sponsoring this week's Anything Goes challenge at Pattie's Creations, and I couldn't resist merging their images to make a card. 

The quilt is digitally paper-pieced with the Tiny Polka Dot digital papers from Mel Stampz; I used 5 colors, 10 papers, out of the many choices. Mel, you are awesome, thank you!  I picked the solid colors from the digi papers, using the Eyedropper tool in PhotoShop.

I generated the ticket in InDesign using this fun sentiment I grabbed quite a while back at Create with TLC (thanks Paulette!)The embellishments were inspired by the Bingo! challenge at Simon Says Stamp Challenge. I chose the right-hand column: Brads, Ticket, Ribbon/Twine.

Cletus, my favorite banjo player is colored with Copics. The ribbon is from Crafty Ribbons, and the fuzzy brads are from Creative Imaginations (I've had these in my stash forever).

Hope you'll join us at Pattie's Creations, all you have to do is make anything ha ha!

Also, this week's Dude Time Doodles Challenge, All About Cowboys, runs through Tuesday (Mar 27), and DTD/BBD will also be sponsoring the Pile It On challenge starting Sunday (Mar 25). Have a crafty day & thanks for visiting!

Simon Says Stamp
Simon Says Stamp Challenge: Bingo / Brads, Ticket, Ribbon (right)

Digital Elements:
  1. Quilt from Pattie's Creations
  2. Cletus from Dude Time Doodles/Bonibleaux Designs
  3. Bright on White and Bright Solid Tiny Polka Dot digital papers from Mel Stampz

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dude Time Doodles Inspirational Challenge: All about Cowboys!

This week at Dude Time Doodles Challenges we're All about Cowboys!

Hmm, I wonder if Dude Time Hollow has cattle drives, or perhaps the more adrenaline-inducing version of Running with the Bulls. Hey, you gotta get the buggers across town one way or the other, so you might as well have a coupla drinks and watch the young 'uns get some exercise while doing it! That sounds jes fine to Deputy Dave; so's long as no one musses his snakeskin boots!

I was really inspired by the Challenge photo (left), but anything with cowboys will do. Wait till you see the fun and wildly creative projects the Design Team came up with!

We're being sponsored this week by PaperTemptress, and one lucky winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to their store.

So kick up yer heels and join us at Dude Time Doodles this week!

The star badge and sentiment are also from Dude Time Doodles/Bonibleaux Designs; I merged and sized everything in InDesign. I added a little Tea Dye distress ink to the pieces, which I cut out with scissors & a craft knife. Both woodgrain DPs were in my stash.

I wanted Deputy Dave to dance a little, so I cut him apart and attached the arm and leg section with brads so that they jiggle.

Look at 'im go!

I traced his hat onto felt (which I'd backed with cardstock) and added the black lines with a Copic. I'm particularity excited about his boots: I used a glossy, basketball-pattern embossed DP and colored it with Olive green (thanks to my husband for helping me choose the right color).

He's colored with Copics; I made the plaid on his shirt, and used the colorless blender to add texture to his jeans.

Crafting When We Can Challenge #14: One for the Boys
i{heart}2stamp March Challenge: Sketch
Love to Create Challenge #7: Anything Goes
Paper Playtime Ch# 70: For The Guys & Include A Sentiment
Tuesday Throwdown #90: Spring Cleaning (I've been hoarded these woodgrain DPs for...oh dear, 4 or 5 years?! Waiting for the perfect project! I've also had the paper I used for the boots for over a year.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring!

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, so I wanted to make a card to celebrate the occasion.

Totally Stampalicious Challenge: Purple, Turquoise & Green 

I took the first photo on my porch, but then the wind caught the card and hurled it the 7 feet down into the dirt! Happily, the card was totally unscathed and since I was down in the yard I took another photo of it with our beautiful wildflowers:

Happy Spring all!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Up in the Air at Pile It On

click to enlarge
This week's Pile It On Challenge is sponsored by Jellypark, and one lucky participant will win 2 of their adorable images!

The Challenge theme is "Up In The Air": bugs, birds, butterflies, clouds, balloons, planes, etc. Oh my goodness, wait until you see what the PIO Design Team came up with! I used Jellypark's Space Rocket to make this Baby Boy card.

The Jellypark Friends Challenge this week is "National Craft Month", so I featured some of my favorite crafting techniques. 

I love stitching on cards, so I machine-stitching the quilt pattern onto the DP and hand-stitched the sentiment with green thread, using a template I generated with with the Ahoy in Stitches font.

I printed the image onto 7 papers (I used large scraps for this), plus white for the base & window image, and paper-pieced the image. I colored the little astronaut with Copics and used Glossy Accents on his helmet.

My absolutely most favorite thing to do with baby cards is to add "ribbon tags"...the kind that is added to baby toys. Plus, this cards uses many years' worth of ribbon scraps!

The buttons are glued on, but I did run green thread through them first. I made the border with white silk ribbon & good ol' double-sided tape.

I've been hoarding the space-themed DP for at least 3 years, if not longer -- I was waiting for the perfect project!

Hope you'll pop on over to Pile It On for some inspiration and then join us -- and as many other challenges as you wish -- with your "Up in the Air" project!

I'm entering this card into the following challenges:
Delicious Doodles - The Wonder of Life
Jellypark Friends Challenge - National Craft Month (my 2nd entry; favorite crafting techniques: stitching (machine & hand), paper piecing, ribbon tags)
Just Some Lines - Spring Cleaning (DP, ribbon scraps)

Update: Wow, I won 3rd place in Digi Doodle Shop's Best "People" Challenge!

Apron Strings across America

Happy Mother's Day to all my readers across the Pond!

This week's challenge at One Stitch at a Time (OSAAT) is Girly, to celebrate Mother's Day. 

We don't celebrate Mother's Day in the U.S. until May 13th this year, but I went ahead and made this for my mom. I chose a bright/funky color palette because that's her kind of "girly"!

I made a mini dresser easel card depicting Mom's apron strings crossing the country, featuring the Apron Strings digi stamp set by Stitchy Stamps/Trina Clark

From now on, to win our main prize entries must be made using a product from StitchyBear Digital Stores. There are freebies available, and every month there are great deals on digis from all the artists.

This week's main prize is a a £10 gift voucher to Bunny Zoe Crafts!

Entries using none StitchyBear products will be entered into a draw to win $3 to spend at our store.

Hope you'll join us!

I'm entering this into several Easel Card challenges, and although it is a box it's also a card:

I plan to write a message when I send it to Mom. The inside features "vines" cut from 2 flourish Sizzix die cuts, and plastic 3D poppies by Donna Downey Studios. The little knobs are from 7 Gypsies (love love love these!!!)

Each drawer contains a notecard that I also plan to write something in:

The sentiments on the front are heat-embossed, but the one on the inside is simply stamped with chalk ink. They're all from the For Every Mother stamp set by SP&Company.

This uses no store-bought DPs: it's all created with Vintage Vine digital papers by Mel Stampz (thank you!) printed onto white linen cardstock. I created the map background in PhotoSHop, using digital paper piecing. This is a great way to make the most of your digi papers, and Snappy Stampin' with Arielle has an excellent tutorial on how to do it with the free online editor Pixlr.

I totally had an Ah-Ha moment while making this... I had planned on using real spring-action mini clothespins to attach the aprons to the bakers twine, but they were too bulky. So I folded some kraft paper scraps in half and free-cut some teensy old-fashioned round-top clothespins. I literally clipped them on, adding just a drop of glue to the inside.

Thanks for visiting, and I'm looking forward seeing your projects for this week's challenge at One Stitch at a Time!

I'm entering this into the following challenges:
Craft Your Passion: Easel Card (2nd entry)
Delightful Challenges: Someone Special

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stray Cat Strut

Like many of you, I'm really enjoying playing with the Clean & Simple (CAS) style of cardmaking... I guess we all find our "simple"!

This design was sorta inspired by our neighbor's cat Max, who I caught walking our fence this morning. He's not a tabby, but we used to have a tabby who visited the yard from time-to-time and actually took to spending rainy afternoons on our front porch. I haven't thought of that cat in several years... our house is pretty much staked out by our neighbor's cats now. We can't have cats due to allergies, so I love having neighbor cats!

The cat and the sentiment are from the Just Sayin' set from Rogue Redhead Designs' Essentials Range. I won this set through Rogue Redhead Rebel Challenge #8; thank you!!! I've seen such gorgeous projects using this set, and I'm totally impressed by the design and quality.  

I didn't do much to this; the images are stamped in Memento brown, the blue piece is embossed with a Sizzix folder, and the punched "fences" are slightly ink-distressed with Ranger Tea Dye distress ink.

Thanks for visiting!

CAS-ual Fridays Challenge #44: Pattern, Image, Sentiment
Gingersnap Creation Challenge #142: Spicy Supply Challenge - Border Punches

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jars o' buttons

I'm on a mission to use up a ton of my embellishments...partly to make room and partly so that I can buy more! I seem to have quite a lot of buttons, especially considering that I personally have never purchased loose buttons (thanks Mom!), so I'm going to try my hand at some of the lovely button projects I've seen. My first attempt is a button-jar scene, using these sweet Jam Jar digis from Melonheadz.

I was inspired by this week's "Rainbow" challenge at Can You Digi It?, so I made a rainbow gradient for the sentiment (from Create with TLC) and sewed a border with red, orange, yellow, green, and violet bakers twine.

I used the third jar in the set for the inside message section:

Incy Wincy Designs #137
CYDI? Challenge 5: Over the Rainbow
Incy Wincy Designs Challenge 137: Tic Tac Toe (right-hand vertical column: Twine, Buttons, Stitching)
Totally Gorjuss Challenge 122: Anything goes with a button

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dude TIme Doodles March Freebie/Guest Designer Challenge

I know you love seeing our Dude Time Doodles cards every week, and I know you especially love it when we have a freebie challenge! This month's freebie is a real cutie, and you could win the enviable prize of joining the Design Team as Guest Designer for the month of April, just by making a card for a man or boy!

One doesn't really think "cute" when one thinks of cards for men, but the men of Dude Time Hollow are a tough yet sensitive bunch, and a little "cute" goes a long way in this wicked world!

I combined Forever Friends (the DTD freebie) with the Just Be Happy digi sentiment by Create with TLC to create the scene; I printed it twice and popped up the images.

This is an easel card; I used Putt Putt Hearts from Dude Time Doodles/Bonibleaux Designs for the inside popped portion.

I hope you'll be inspired by this great image and join us this week (and maybe all next month!) at Dude Time Doodles.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Craft Your Passion Challenge #101: Easel card
Digital Tuesday Challenge #151: Think Spring
Everybody-Art-Challenge #184: Easel card
Sweet Stamps Challenge #57: Spring
Touch Twin Marker Challenge #13: Spring

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First Snow

I just had to pull out First Taste of Snow for Karen's Doodles Challenge #100: Something Special. Although I ended up making a Christmas card, this card is really all about that great first snow of the year!

I kept to a white background and brown color scheme, inspired by the challenges at Come & Get It and Jingle Belles. The image only uses four Copic colors (well, plus pink for her cheeks & tongue) -- love coloring with Browns! The sentiment is a peel-off I've had in my stash for several years. I cut the flourish from a scrap of vellum with a Sizzix die.

Inspired by the Glitter theme at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge, I used a pre-glittered Core'dinations cardstock for the top portion, and also painted the white wood snowflake with Icicles Stickles. I put Polar White FlowerSoft on the snowflakes, so they have a shimmer too. I used ultra-fine white Flowersoft for the snowbank.

This is the most snow I've seen this year, which is fine by me!

Mojo Monday 232
Come & Get It Challenge: White on White
Karen's Doodles Challenge #100: Something Special!
Mojo Monday 232: Sketch (right)

Monday, March 12, 2012

International Crafting with Mom Month

I don't think there's any such thing as International Crafting with Mom Month, but I just invented it for this card! I made this card with the awesome freebie provided for Jellypark Friends' National Craft Month Challenge, and since Sunday is Mother's Day in Britain I decided to make it in honor of my crafting guru, my mom! Of course, that also means I can enter it into this week's Mother's Day challenges, so if I win anything I guess Mom gets it, ha!

I made a Joy Fold card, mostly so that I could use my other favorite crafting image, Craft Lady by MelonHeadz Illustrating.

I have so many favorite crafting products, only a few of which are depicted in these images, ha ha! I ink-distressed the edges with Antique Linen; I never thought I'd like ink-distressing until I found this product, and now I'm hooked!

The red ribbon is actually from a Harry & David gift package! I've had these pretty vintage-y DP and pretty buttons forever.

I generated the sentiment with the cute freebie font 4 My Lover. I thought that some of you might want it for International Crafting with Mom Month (pick the month, ha!), so here it is (there's no border on the actual image, so that you can make your own frame). If you use it, please let me know. This JPEG image is 1.3 inches square & 300 DPI (click to go to full sized image and save to your computer):

I am so blessed to have my mom in my life, and crafting has brought us so many good times together. Have a crafty day!

I'm entering this card into the following challenges:
Craft Your Days Away Challenge #40: Mother's Day
Jellypark Friends Challenge: National Craft Month
One Stop Craft Challenge #173: Mothers Day with Ribbon
The Crafty Pad Challenge #161: Mum's The Word

Update: This card made the Top 5 for The Crafty Pad Challenge #161!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pile It On: St. Patrick's Day / Shades of Green

This week's theme at  Pile It On is St. Patrick's Day and/or Shades of Green, so I brought out from Shamus Shamrock by Dude Time Doodle/Bonibleaux Designs to make a petal card:

petal card back
This week's Dude Time Doodles Challenge is also Shades of Green, and you have until Tuesday to play, hint hint!

I found the sentiment, an Irish saying, online somewhere; it reads, "May you live to be one hundred years...with one extra year to repent!" Shamus and his clover are fussy-cut from white cardstock and glued atop the cream piece.

A Petal Card is fairly simple to make; you just glue together 4 circles (see photo of card back, right). I cut the circles with a Spellbinders die and embossed them with a Sizzix texture folder. I used two shades of green Core'dinations paper; one for the base and one for the inside (those are actually semicircles glued onto the base). I sanded the pieces to give it little more dimension.

PIO Challenge #11 - St. Patrick's Day / Shades of Green
Card Crafter's Circle Challenge #13 - Orange & Green OR St. Patrick's Day
Delightful Challenges - St. Patrick's Day Projects
Little Miss Muffet Challenge #30 - Easel, Shaped or Step Card
Phindy's Place Challenge #96 - monochromatic green
Pixie Dust Studio Challenge #117 - Show Us Your Irish!
Scrapalicious - Anything Goes

Have a great week!

Update: This card won 2nd Place at Delightful Challenges! That's what what I call good luck!

Friday, March 9, 2012

First Birthday

Another week, another challenge at Meljen's Designs . . . And this one is her 100th, wow! I'm using her sweet little Giraffe and Happy Birthday sentiment to make this card, yet another boy birthday card for Card Cupids' March Card Drive!

It's also appropriate to celebrate the birth of our nephew; he arrived right on time and is a real cutie . . . although I still can't get over the fact that my little brother-in-law is a daddy (he's in his 30s now, but he'll always be a kid to me!) Happy first birthday sweet nephew!

The papers and banner are freebies from Quick Cards Issue 90 August 2011; I photocopied them onto white linen cardstock to give them some weight & texture. Now I can use them again! Magazine paper is heck to work with, anyhow.

Sarah Hurley's Challenge 61: Birthday Celebrations

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I had so much fun with Counting Sheeple from Squigglefly that I had to grab Turtle Express too -- I cannot even stand how cute that snail is! Since I still have plenty of time to make more boy birthday cards for Card Cupids' March Card Drive, I grabbed one of Paper Cupcakes' super freebies offered with this week's Magical Monday challenge (Happy Birthday Nina!) to make the sentiment ticket chain.

Craft Us Crazy Challenge 22
The tickets are actually one piece; I used the perforation blade on my papercutter and then tore them apart except for one bit. I gave them some character with my paper distress, Antique Linen distress ink, and Copics.

If you haven't seen this week's Craft Us Crazy bright color inspiration photo yet (right), I know you'll want to join in when you do! Finish reading my post first though, Ha!

I used the fun Inspirational Card Sketch #154 (below), which is sadly the last for that challenge site.

I found the perfect DPs in my stash, although it took some looking! I also had just the right amount of the pretty spotty ribbon from Crafty Ribbons.

I also added some bakers twine, because why the heck not
ICSketches #154
Craft Us Crazy Challenge 22: Color/Photo Inspiration
ICSketches #154: Final challenge :(


I couldn't believe my luck when Mr Linky chose my name again as the monthly prize winner at Midnight Madness! Thank you Priscilla! One of my newly acquired PriscillaStyles images is this sweet Fireflies digi:

You might remember the big box of second-hand stamps Mom let me pick through? Well this Jar rubber stamp from Mail Expressions is one of them, and although it's really big (it's wood-mounted) I'm so glad I grabbed it. I stamped it in StazOn onto plastic, and again onto silver paper for the lid. I colored the image with Copics. and filled the shaker with gold micro beads.

I printed the lovely sentiment from Create with TLC on white cardstock, and traced and cut the tag shape. The ribbons on the sides and the bottom are from Can You Digi It? and the embossed Core'diintions paper is actually a scrap from another project.

I used the sketch for Just Us Girls Challenge #126 (right) to bring it all together. Thanks all!