Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorites for the Year

I've noticed a lot of other bloggers posting their favorite cards of the year, so I thought I'd jump in and try it too! It is kinda fun to look back and see the creative highs and lows throughout the year.

January:  I love this card and it is one of my all-time favorites.  In fact, I still have it stashed away!  :)   I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day, but I did love this creation. Maybe I will be nice and give it to my darling husband next year.  :)

February was not a good month, so let's skip over to March.  :)   I borrowed Inspired by Nature from my upline and had a blast with it.  I can't believe I still don't own it for myself!   I love the simplicity of this one and find it quite striking.  

April:  There are a few I love from this month, but this one is definitely my favorite.  I still can't believe I used that many peals on ONE card!!  It is gorgeous though.  The shimmery white card stock really adds a nice element and it truly says 'wedding' to me!  

May:  I'm still a bit surprised that this card is actually one of my creations!  It turned out so fun and absolutely perfect for a teen.   I love to challenge myself by buying a stamp set outside my comfort zone and this one was definitely one of those!

June:  I guess I really like the few wedding cards that I make!  :)  This was one of the cards from my time on the Creative Crew.   I had to borrow the bird punch to make it and was so happy with how it turned out.   

July:  Emboss resist is one of my favorite techniques and this card is my favorite I've made using it.   I love the colors of this one.  Island Indigo is so gorgeous and it has been way too long since I pulled it out!  

I'll save the other months for tomorrow, so stay tuned!  :)

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for all the kind comments over the past year.   It is so fun getting to know other bloggers and making new friends.  

Friday, December 30, 2011

FM39: Happy New Year

So here is the "Mashup" Challenge :
  1. Make a project that "Sparkles".
  2. Or Make a project "Celebrating the New Year".
  3. Or "Mash it Up" and create a project "Celebrating the New Year that Sparkles" .
Time for a new challenge at The Friday Mashup!   Kasey has a fun challenge to make a New Year's project with some sparkles!   Who doesn't LOVE sparkle?   Now I must admit that I had to do something thinking for this week.   I started trying to come up with an idea and realized that I have no number stamps or dies AND I had ONE sentiment that said Happy New Year.   So, sparkly stars it was!   :)

What do you think?  Can it pass a fun sparkly card for the new year?   I hope so!   It definitely has a lot of sparkle.  I used black with the silver glimmer paper in hopes of the silver really shining.   I used a retired star stamp to emboss some small silver stars in the corner too.   My original idea was one big star on a black background, so you can see I kept adding more and more to finally get something that seemed complete. 

I hope you'll find some time between celebrations to play along with us this week!   

Stamps:  Teeny Tiny Wishes, July Fourth
Ink:  Versamark, Staz On Black
Paper:  Silver glimmer paper, Basic Black, Whisper White
Tools/Accessories:  Big Shot, Stars #2 die, silver embossing powder, heat tool, basic rhinestones

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FM38: Be My Valentine

So here is the "Mashup" Challenge :
  1. Make a project using the "Sketch".
  2. Or Make a project using "Watercoloring".
  3. Or "Mash it Up" and create a project using the "Sketch & Watercoloring" .
With everything going on last week trying to figure out if we were going to go out of town or not, I wasn't able to do my card for the Friday Mashup.   My mind finally settled enough today that I thought I would at least attempt one.   I was hoping to watercolor, but my Aquapainter seems to be clogged up or something.   Anyone had that happen and have any suggestions?  I tried hot water, but it didn't work.   It is ancient, so it might just be time to buy some new ones.   Anyway, I decided to do a card with the sketch, but I probably should have looked at it again before I started my card.  I think it is still kinda close, but I'm not sure if my little envelope is close enough to the bottom.   I tried though...that's more than I've felt like doing for a while now.  

I was able to use a few new-to-me products and a much neglected one as well.   The scallop envelope die was one of the first I purchased, but I never seem to use it for much of anything.   I thought it would be cute to stick some of my new heart products in!   Thanks to all the wonderful sales of the past two months, I'm all set for Valentine's Day with new punches and I {heart} Hearts.  I also used my birthday present (the one I got myself), the Tasteful Trim die.   I love that thing already.   For my colors, I decided to play along with the colourQ challenge this week to use black, white, and one other color of our choice (red).   I even used my light tent that Jason got me for Christmas too!   I hope it will help my poor pictures, especially during the dreary winter days. 

I hope you like my card and will find time in the next week to play along!   Last week's challenge is still open as well, so you have lots of opportunities to create.  

Thanks to everyone who left comments and well wishes on yesterday's post.   Hugs back to you all.   

Before I go, I thought I'd share some of our baking.   I made some yummy cranberry orange scones and Jason makes homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.  

I used this recipe, but made my own orange glaze with orange juice and powdered sugar.  Yummy!  I'm addicted to anything cranberry/orange, so these were a perfect treat last week. 

I don't have the recipe for these as it is in a booklet that came with our bread machine.  I will just say they are delicious and leave it at that.   I'm sure I gained 5 pounds eating them!  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Eli's rose bush has been gorgeous for over a month now, so I thought I'd share a quick picture of one of the beautiful blooms we've had to enjoy. 

It feels like ages since my last post; I apologize for that.    This time of year is just so difficult for us and I haven't had the energy to do anything in my craft room.   Last week on my birthday,  my grandma passed away.   She was a second mom to me during my childhood, so having that happen on my birthday and so close to the holidays was pretty hard.   The airline prices and timeline of the funeral did not work out so that we were able to get arrangements made in time to make the journey to Kentucky, so that didn't help things either.   

We did survive Christmas, but that's about all I can say about that.   When you have dreams of having Christmases with your child and then lose them, the holidays are really never the same.   Add in being so far away from family and it is almost just another day.   Jason did get me a photo light tent with all the bells and whistles, so I have my fingers crossed for better photos once I get back to stamping.   

Today is actually the three year anniversary of the horrible night we had to rush to the emergency room with Eli and Thursday will be three years since we first heard the words spinal muscular atrophy and fatal.    If you don't see any new posts before the new year, just know that I'm struggling with a lot of memories and getting out of bed can be a challenge.   My hope is that 2012 will bring some good news and joy will again return to our home.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to the new year.

Lots of hugs,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday!

We are kicking off the holiday week with birthday celebrations!  Today is my wonderful husband Jason's birthday and tomorrow is mine.   While it sucks to have a December birthday, it is great to be married to someone who gets it.  I always get a REAL birthday present, not a combination birthday/Christmas present, dinner out, and some sort of yummy dessert.   

To make Jason's day start off special, I made this yummy oven omelet this morning.   I did add a bit of chopped onion and some fresh baby spinach to ours.  It was pretty darn good too! 

This week was really trying at work for Jason, so I wanted to make him a funny card.  Or at least one that would make him smile really big.  :)   We have an on-going Dr. Who joke about the Tardis, so I thought I'd try to make a Tardis.  (I don't watch the show, but I always seem to wake up and hear Tardis on the TV).  I am not a punch art person, nor do I draw or even write very well, so this was definitely a challenge!   It isn't the best card, but he smiled until his face hurt.   I'm calling that a success!   Me and the kitties got him the newest Call of Duty game too, so he should be all set to blow up things today!

Friday, December 16, 2011

FM 37: Distressed Labels

So here is the "Mashup" Challenge :
  1. Make a project featuring "Chipboard (Precut or Diecut )".
  2. Or Make a project using "Distressing (w/ ink, scissors or the Cutter Tool Kit)".
  3. Or "Mash it Up" and create a "Distressed Project featuring Chipboard"

For a distressed, vintage card, that picture sure is loud!   Yikes.   I hope you have your sunglasses handy.   I am accepting donations to the "Rita Needs a Photography Class" fund by the way.  :)   

This week at the Friday Mashup Heidi has a super fun challenge for everyone.    If you are like me and put your chipboard up for safekeeping and can't find it, you can just do a card using distressing.  If you are more organized and know where your chipboard is, you could mash it up and use chipboard and distressing.   Or just chipboard.  So many options, right?   I love these challenges!    

You are getting a lovely sneak peek at some upcoming products from the Occasions Mini and Sale-a-Bration.   I'll pause and give you time to gasp and maybe jump up and down a bit.   

All done?  So yeah, there's awesome new paper and some stamp sets that have matching Framelit dies!   This was my first time using them and well...  I LOVE THEM!   I think I got a bit carried away with my sponging and distressing; I guess I can always say I dropped it in a mud puddle or something.  :)   Distressing is a great way to get rid of those holiday frustrations, so I highly recommend it this week.  Tear, rip, sponge, get it, right?   :)   

I hope you'll find the time to come play along with us!

Stamps:  Apothecary Art (I always think of the Pottery Barn Apothecary Table episode of Friends)  :)
Ink:  Soft Suede, Poppy Parade, Pool Party, Lucky Limeade
Paper:  Poppy Parade, Pool Party, Lucky Limeade, Everyday Enchantment DSP (SAB), Whisper White
Tools/Accessories:  Big Shot, Labels Framelit dies, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, brayer, cutter kit, sponges, basic pearls

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Clearance Rack Blitz!

Oh my!   Just in time to treat YOURSELF for the holidays, Stampin' Up! has updated the Clearance Rack with over 200 new items!   I already placed my order this morning because as for any clearance sale, it is only while supplies last!    Be sure to visit my online store to shop today!  

Keep in mind:
Clearance Rack merchandise can only be ordered online through my store.
All punches are going to be the old whale tail style, not the newer style.
Non-clearance rack merchandise can also be added to orders.  
Qualifying orders of $150+ are eligible for hostess benefits.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FMS 15: Be My Valentine

Time for our last sketch of the year at Freshly Made Sketches!   Cindy designed our sketch this week and boy did she challenge us!    I am not good with tilted anything on cards, so it took me a bit of time to figure out what I wanted to make.   I am officially done thinking about Christmas cards, so I moved on to the next fun holiday, Valentine's Day!   Crazy, huh?  

It feels a bit plain to me, but I wasn't sure what else to do with it.  I wanted to add some embossing, but I wasn't sure it would look right on the pink panels.   Greeting Card Kids is seriously the most adorable stamp set ever.  I love it!   I wish we had a few sets of them covering every possible holiday and event.  :)    

I hope you'll play along with us this week before the craziness of the holidays sets in next week!  

Stamps:  Petite Pairs, Greeting Card Kids, I Heart Hearts
Ink:  Real Red, Pretty in Pink, Daffodil Delight, Blush Blossom (marker), Staz On Black
Paper:  Real Red, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, Brights and Subtles DSP stacks
Tools/Accessories:  Blender Pen, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, small heart punch, Pretty in Pink 1/8 taffeta ribbon (retired)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

PP76: Gold, Cherry, & Vanilla

It is time for the final Paper Players challenge of the year!  Ann is taking us out with a bang and a gorgeous clean-and-simple color combination.   It is perfect to sneak in one more Christmas card for the year!  

I HAD to use Bright Hopes again.  It has less than a month left as a current stamp set and I am going to miss it so, so much!   It is one of my all time favorite sets for sure!   I was excited to use my birthday present too!  I treated myself to the Tasteful Trim die with my birthday discount and I am so happy to finally own it!    I couldn't wait to use it, so it is an early birthday present of sorts.  :)   I love looking at creations with a lot of white space, so I tired to leave a bit more on my card this time.  I'm not sure that I'd call it successful, but I did try at least.   

I found this cool sketch at Card Patterns and wanted to use it for my card:

I hope you will join us in this final challenge for the year!  

Stamps:  Bright Hopes
Ink:  Versamark
Paper:  Brushed Gold, Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla
Tools/Accessories:   Big Shot, Tasteful Trim die, Scallop Circles #2 die, 3-inch circle die, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, Cherry Cobbler embossing powder, Cherry Cobbler seam binding, Champagne Shimmer Paint

Friday, December 9, 2011

FM36: Brrrr!

So here is the "Mashup" Challenge :
  1. Make a project featuring "Snowmen".
  2. Or Make a project using the colors "Blushing Bride, Baja Breeze & Basic Grey".
  3. Or "Mash it Up" and create a "Snowman project with the colors Blushing Bride, Baja Breeze & Basic Grey".
Baby, it IS cold outside!  Brrrr!!!  It has been in the 30s the last few nights and that is super cold for us Texans!  It is time for a new challenge at The Friday Mashup!  Kim is our hostess this week and challenged us with a set of fun colors and snowmen!   Guess who LOVES SNOWMEN???!!!!!    ME!!!!!!!!!!!    

As you can see, I cheated a bit and didn't mash it up this week.   I got a box full of new Stampin' Up! goodies on Tuesday and I just had to cut into my new paper!    Isn't it gorgeous?   Best of all?  It was free!   Gotta love Sale-a-bration, especially when it comes early for us demonstrators!  :)    I hope snowmen can be vintage 'cause mine is trying his best to be!   I think he's rockin' the look; do you?  

Stamps:  Snow Much Fun
Ink:  Soft Suede, Pool Party, Lucky Limeade, Poppy Parade, Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black, Staz On Black
Paper:  Lucky Limeade, Poppy Parade, Pool Party, Whisper White, Everyday Enchantment DSP (SAB)
Tools/Accessories:  Big Shot, Scallop Circles #2 die, 3 inch circle die, sponges, blender pen, Color Spritzer tool

I hope you'll find time to join us at The Friday Mashup this week!   How you can resist making a card with SNOWMEN?!  :)   

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FMS14: Gray Snowman

Time for another Freshly Made sketch!  Jen Timko is our hostess this week and challenged us with a card full of panels!  I am not a panel card kinda girl as I create to get away from too much thinking, but it is good to get those neurons firing sometimes.   I have a nice little drawing with some serious fractions on it on my desk after figuring this one out.  :)    I guess I am still okay at math after all these years.  

I know, snowmen AGAIN!  I can't stop using this set!  It is seriously the most awesome set and if you don't have it yet, GET IT!   For my card, I decided to forgo the square card and do a traditional A2 card.  I find that my square cards are collecting in my bin and never getting mailed out, so I really need to figure out the correct postage on them or stop making them.  I have been in a pretty gloomy mood lately, so I imagine that's why I picked these colors.  They kinda work though, right?  And I did add glitter!

I hope you'll come play along with us this week!

Stamps:  Snow Much Fun
Ink:  Basic Black, Baja Breeze, Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze, Staz On Black, Bashful Blue
Paper:  Pick Your Poison DSP, Basic Gray, Baja Breeze, Whisper White
Tools/Accessories: Big Shot, Northern Frost Decorative Strip die, Blender Pen, Dazzling Details, Basics Glimmer Brads

How on earth is that comfortable?   That boy is so silly!   Little sister is always by his side too!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

PP75: A Dinosaur Christmas

I have the honor of being the guest designer this month at The Paper Players.  I love spending time with my amazing friends over there; they are such a great group of women!   For the first December challenge, Nance asked us to create something for Christmas without using traditional holiday stamps or colors.   I was a bit stumped with this one and still dealing with a never-ending sinus headache, so my card is a bit silly.   I hope you'll find it fun though. I ended up really liking it and would love to make them as my personal card this year. It's just so different and I would think anyone receiving it would just have to smile! 

What do you think?  Too silly?  The more I look at him, the more I laugh!   I love him!   I decided to use both non-traditional colors and stamps for my card.  Maybe the Friday Mashup is rubbing off on me a bit?  :o)   I was trying to find a good dinosaur color combination and settled on Not Quite Navy (my favorite SU color), Pool Party, and So Saffron.  Dino looked a bit washed out in saffron, so I changed him up to More Mustard so you could see him better.  I probably could have left off the distressing, but I thought I'd add it in there since Ann kept hers clean this time.   Somebody had to use the 7-sided tool and sponges, right?  I added a bit of glitter to the stocking because even dinosaurs need a little bling at Christmas!  

I do want to say a HUGE thank you to my friend Brandi for reminding me about the hat from Crab & Company.   I was going to try to make one from the pennant set and punch and I have a feeling that would have made my headache much, much worse.  

I hope you enjoyed my card and will pull out YOUR non-Christmas stuff and create something fun with us! 

Stamps:  Dinoroar, Petite Pairs, Crab & Company (retired), Northern Hearts
Ink:  More Mustard, So Saffron, Not Quite Navy, Pool Party, Staz On black
Paper:  So Saffron, Not Quite Navy, Pool Party, Whisper White, retired designer paper
Tools/Accessories:  Cutter Kit, Dotted Scallop Ribbon border punch, sponges, Dazzling Details

Friday, December 2, 2011

FM35: Shake it!

So here is the "Mashup" Challenge :
  1. Make a project featuring "A Shaker Card".
  2. Or Make a project with a "Winter Theme".
  3. Or "Mash it Up" and create a " Winter Themed Shaker Card. "

Oh are going to have that song in your head all day!   I keep replaying the scene from Beetlejuice in my head as I sing it...   Anyway!  This week is my first turn to host a challenge at The Friday Mashup!  Woo Hoo!   I was a bit nervous about coming up with an idea, but I think it turned out to be a fun one!    I purchased a package of the Shaker Frames from Stampin' Up! ages ago, but never found the time to try them out.   By incorporating them into my challenge, I actually USED them!   It's nice to use the things you buy!  :o)  Here's what I came up with:  

I was inspired by my fellow Freshly Made Sketches design team member Jen Mitchell to pull out some of my retired designer paper and use it for a few Christmas cards.   This sheet was loose, so I'm not sure of the original name.   I just know it was gathering dust.  :)   My snowman is all snug in his shaker frame filled with mica flakes.    There was a bit of a trick to using the frames and the flakes, but I think I managed to pull it off okay.   I didn't end up screaming or throwing anything and that usually equals success in my world.   Now the photography?  Not so successful.  Whisper White and rhinestones never photograph well, so this card didn't stand a chance of looking good.   It is pretty cute in real life, so you'll just have to trust me on that!  

Be sure to come play along with us!   

Stamps:  Snow Much Fun 
Ink:  Real Red, Marina Mist, Staz On Black, Pumpkin Pie
Paper:  Real Red, Marina Mist, Whisper White, retired dsp
Tools/Accessories:  Circles # die, Window Sheets, 2 3/8 scallop circle punch, 1 3/4 circle punch, dotted scallop ribbon border punch, basic rhinestones, shaker frames, mica flakes

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh my! I stamped today!

Believe it or not, I actually stamped something today!   Nothing like stamp club tomorrow night to get me in my room creating. :)    I am usually not a last minute person, but I sure have been cutting it close lately.  I hate that because my creativity is not its best under pressure.    I have a nice pile of rejects on the corner of my desk and one more project left to design.   I did repurpose one of my previous designs for one of them, but this one is brand new, hot off the presses.   Isn't it pretty?   I don't know why I've been feeling vintage lately.  It is so NOT my style, but I keep wanting to use browns and pinks and sponge everything!   This was my first time using one of the stencils from Stampin' Up! and I have to say, I'm a bit in love.  

Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Ink:  Soft Suede, Early Espresso
Paper:  Early Espresso, First Edition DSP, Blushing Bride, Very Vanilla
Tools/Accessories:  Kind Thoughts stencil, sponge daubers, Fun Flowers die, 3/4 circle punch, Antique Brads, Modern Label punch, Word Window punch, basic pearls

Wish me luck getting that last project finished and the house clean!  I think I have my first official cold of the winter and I just want to snuggle in bed with the kitties.