Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mixing it Up with Avery and Ellen

Entering the Ellen Hutson Mix It Up challenge at the last minute.  I came in to organize my desk last night and ended up playing around and making the image panel.  I used the Essentials by Ellen Bold Blooms and Avery Elle Butterflies and Wonky Stitched dies.  It's a happy card I think.  I haven't been in the best mood this week, so it was helpful to create with cheerful colors.  :) Now fingers crossed I get randomly picked for the prize as they have a new gardener lady stamp set that I NEED so bad. Because I don't have enough stamps already, right?


Laila had her five year checkup today.  Now did that happen???  Her doctor was even surprised that she was that old already.  She had gotten a lot taller since her four year.  She had quite a spurt in a year.  She gets mistaken for an older kid all the time because she's so tall. That is part of the reason we decided not to hold her back another year. I hope we made the right decision.  We'll see in couple weeks I guess.  Meet the Teacher is in a week! Yikes! 

I'm off to figure out dinner (no clue!) and play animals with Laila.  She got some of those sponges in a capsule that you put in water and watch them grow today for being so good at the doctor.  Now we are going to make up a game with all the animals and food they turned into.  No idea about that either, but she wants to play, so...

Hope you are having a good week!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Stampin' Up! Dragonfly Dreams Inspiration

Splitcoast has weekly challenges, a different one every day.  I saw the Inspiration challenge on Saturday and thought I'd play along. I found this pillow and used it for my inspiration.  There's a lot of stamp sets going on here.  Stampin' Up! Best Thoughts, Dragonfly Dreams, and French Foliage, plus a Stampers Anonymous set called Papillon. It was fun to try to make and I think I need to remember to do that challenge every week if I can. :)

When we went shopping last week for school clothes Laila found one of her favorites, THE PIGEON!  She loves the Mo Willems books so much, so I had to get it for her. :) I can't believe how well she's reading. She read me a huge book of fairy tales yesterday.

And thank you guys who commented about keeping the blog going. I have a month or so before I have to pay Go Daddy again, so that gives me some time to see how things go once Laila starts school. My garden needs a lot of work after the summer heat, so that might keep me busy.  Plus I am determined to donate like half of our house.  The clutter is making my mental health issues much worse.  I can't wait to get stuff out of here and the rest organized.

And before I go, I thought I'd share a Gulf Fritillary butterfly.  We have so many caterpillars for this guy!  I only have a few in my enclosures because they make their chrysalises in places that make me have to move them and I'm afraid of hurting one.  We also have close to 20 Monarch caterpillars who are almost all in their chrysalis, plus about 5 Eastern Black Swallowtails who are still eating away. They are my favorite butterfly and I deal with the awful smell of dill on my hands to feed them. (I hate dill and all pickles!)  It's been a lot of work, but we love raising and releasing them.

I hope your Monday is going well.  Little Lady was on my shoulders kneading my arms to let me know she needed attention at 5:15 today.  I've had two coffees and am hanging in there.  Maybe I'll sleep well tonight after being up so early. :)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

MFT Color Challenge 75

I loved the colors of the MFT Card Challenge 75, so I thought I'd try to make a card for my mom.  She's been so busy lately with my dad's illnesses and my brother's home buying and has been neglecting herself.  I keep telling her to slow down and take some time for herself as well.  She doesn't listen very well.  lol  If you've followed my blog, you know my mom loves quilting.  I have several quilt dies to make cards for her. This is the MFT Diagonal Quilt die and a set I picked up in their big sale, Let's Get Cozy.  They work so perfectly together! 

Before I end, I just wanted to say thank you for all who visit and leave comments.  I've fallen out of the blogging world since I've had Laila and haven't been that good at visiting and commenting on the blogs I used to follow.  I'm thinking that next month may be the end of blogging for me and I'll just go back to uploading cards to Splitcoast or on Flickr.  It seems silly and selfish to keep trying to do this when I don't have time to visit and participate with other bloggers.  

And finally, I'll share my photography helper.  :) 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Stampin' Up! Swallowtail

Hey! I'm back. :) Believe it or not, I managed to finish all 35 of the Dare to Get Dirty challenges.  I didn't think I would as I ran out of steam on Sunday, but I jumped back in on Monday and Tuesday and finished.  It was work, but yay! Now I have to send out all the birthday cards that I missed while I was stamping. Oops!

I love this giant Swallowtail stamp.  I didn't buy it when it was current in the catalog, but I think a nice friend might have gifted it to me.  I can't remember who though. I swear I struggle with memory, sometimes to the point that I almost make a doctor's appointment for it.  Anyway...  I used just the regular distress inks and painted them on with my fingers.  I added water to the paper, pressed the ink pads on my craft mat, spritzed those, and then painted away.  My fingers were only red for four days or so after. Ha! I did dry it at that point and then lay it on the leftover inks to give it more of the water splattery look.  Now I'm making up words...

Wednesday evening Laila went out to play and I noticed she was awfully quiet and not running in and out like she usually does.  I walked out and found her like this, sitting in the middle of mud.  She was having a blast.  I let her play until time for pajamas and then shooed her into the shower to wash that off.  I'm sure my washing machine is now full of sand from washing those clothes.  I debated about just throwing them away because they were gross! Today we went swimming with a friend.  She had so much fun! Jason ended up signing her up for weekly swim classes, so fingers crossed she cooperates and has fun. We start next Friday.

I'm off to finish listing some stuff on eBay and cleaning my room.  I'm hoping to have a giveaway on my blog soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches 300

Can you believe that we've now had 300 sketches at Freshly Made Sketches and been going for 6 years? Crazy!  I have struggled to remain a part of the team lately, but my amazing teammates keep me around anyway.  It's such a supportive group and I'm thankful that Lesley thought enough of me and my cards to ask me to be on the team.   I hope you'll come play along with us this week.  We will have the winners as usual, but one random participant will win all the cards made by the team.  I know I'd love to have them, so come play!

I love this big poinsettia stamp from Stampin' Up! and it seemed perfect for the sketch.  The sentiment is from another set that I know both Jen Timko and I love, Bright Hopes.  I hope my flower looks okay.  My lightest marker ran out and I had to try and finish with it barely working.  I need to get a refill quickly as it's one of my most used ones.  

I'm off to have coffee and wake up.  I hope to see you in the gallery!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

...and more Dirty Cards

You guys!  I am still stamping, but I'm tired!  I keep telling myself I don't have to finish them all, but then I find myself making a list of what I need to work on.  lol  I have about six more left, so Jason swears I can do it.  We'll see. :)  This card was a fun one.  I made background with Distress Oxides that I didn't need, so I die cut this pretty Stampin' Up! butterfly from it.  I kept the background simple so it would be the focus.  The embossing paste adds interest without taking away from the pretty colors of the oxides.

It's a MONARCH!  lol I got a newsletter from Inspired by Stamping and they send out digital freebies on it.  One month is was this one and I was so excited.  I finally got it printed up and used it for a challenge.  We are still raising and releasing them.  We had a lull, but the mommas have been in the garden like crazy again lately.  Most of our releases have been female as well, so maybe they'll come back.  

I didn't love this one. I fussed over it, but I couldn't get it to turn out like I'd imagined.  The background is Distress Oxides and the arrows are from my Cameo.  

I figured it was a good time to start teacher cards.  Simple, but I like it. I need more stamps for teachers as these are the only two I have!

And finally, one of my favorites.  I made the background with shaving cream, reinkers, and a stencil.  So fun! If you haven't tried that technique. go to Splitcoast and check out the tutorial.

I'm hopping off to go get ready for Game of Thrones!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dirty and Dirtier

Not going to lie, I'm about all stamped out.  I have eleven more challenges to go to finish them, but I just don't see it happening.  I guess I forgot how many there were in such a short time when I decided to attempt them all.  I have a few more ideas and some in progress, but it ends Wednesday and I am a slow creator.  Very slow.  lol  One good thing about the challenges is that I'm really using some of my stuff.  I've probably used my Cameo more this week than EVER!  I used it here for the mermaid.  I made her background using Brusho and the cling wrap technique.  So fun!  I think the cling wrap has found a new home.  I'll have to get a new one for the kitchen. :) 

I found this coffee die on clearance a while back and had to have it.  Had I used it? Of course not.  I got a new stencil and thought it might be fun to pair them up.  The background is just distress oxide in Vintage Photo with a wet stencil laid on top.  So easy with cool results! 

During this time around Eli's birthday I always go through weeks where my sleep sucks.  I have been up at 3 and 4am some nights.  Yesterday I got up around 5 and came in to create.  I made this background then and BEFORE coffee.  It turned out kinda cute, so I need to try again after I'm caffeinated and fully awake. It was fun! 

And finally...  the Cameo came in handy again. I had a galaxy background in my stash that needed using and thought it might be fun to cut the saying out of it.  I'll stash it away for Laila's backpack. :)

I'm off to find dinner and maybe work on sketching ideas for a couple more cards.  Eleven is intimidating, but I'm stubborn.  But also tired, so we shall see who wins out. My mojo might have the final say.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dare to Get Dirty continuted

A little blast from the past here.  I love cone flowers.  I have them in my garden and I end up with a ton of pictures of them when we go to the arboretum.  I missed getting this set when it was current, but a sweet friend sent me hers because she knew how much I love the flowers.  I thought the silhouette of them would look pretty on a yellow and orange background.  And, remember Tiny Tags? Now that was another favorite of mine and I added some of those too.  That's one set and punch I'll keep for sure.

The other night before I went to bed I made a few backgrounds and left them to dry.  This was one of them.  I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up and saw how it turned out.  Hopefully it reminds you of a beach?  lol  That big huge acrylic block from Stampin' Up! comes in handy for backgrounds sometimes. I tapped on two blues and two browns of distress ink, spritzed it, and laid it on watercolor paper to try.  Doesn't get much easier than that!

Oh look! More cone flowers.  lol  Power Poppy had this beautiful digital stamp, so of course I needed it.  Since I had Tiny Tags on my desk, I used the friends stamp to add a little sentiment. I am really liking digital stamps lately, but my printer gets a bit grumpy about it.  I need to make sure the next one we get has an option to feed the paper differently.

We went school clothes and shoe shopping today.  I can't believe it's so close!  It does start later here on the 28th, so a little while longer at least.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Dare to Get Dirty Day Something or Other

I'm back!  This card here totally derailed my creativity.  I struggled forever to find a layout that worked and tore it apart several times.  I had to color the girl a couple times.  It almost made me give on the challenges, but I'm back in the game now.  :)  I love this sweet little image.  Perfect get well card for a tea lover.

I've been trying to play with my watercolors a bit more, so this one is pretty simple.  A watercolor wash and then the die cut and sentiment.  I decided to add some sequins because I have so many!

I woke up at 5am today and couldn't go back to sleep. I figured I'd come color a bit.  I ended up with this card.  I love these little critters and it's been ages since I'd used them.  I don't have a lot of birthday cards for kids, so this will be gladly added to my stash. 

And finally this guy.  I don't have a clue about steampunk, but I found this image and thought it would be the closest to my style that I'd find.  It was fun and HARD to color, but I did it!  Whew!

I'm off to shower and then head out to the doctor.  It's a rainy blah day, so maybe I'll get more cards made when I get back.  :) 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dare to Get Dirty Day 2 cont.

More fall colors.  :)  I tried a new technique using tissue paper and distress inks.  It was fun and the result is pretty neat.  I need to try it again with some brighter colors.  I think yellows would be pretty, maybe some blues?  If you want to try it, cut out some tissue, spread some distress inks on a craft mat, spritz with water, lay the tissue over it and let it absorb the colors, and then carefully pick up the tissue and lay it on a paper towel to try.  It works beautifully with Stampin' Up! inks, so I might give those a go!

Finally a simple card.  I think bees and hexagons make a cute card.  Plus yellow and black are a favorite color combination of mine.  I got a new little bug and insect set to make notes for Laila, so I borrowed the cute little bees for this one.  

And finally a little Christmas card.  I figured I should get at least one Christmas in July card made before we start a new month.  Not much stamping here.  I just added a little of the Stampin' Up! Dictionary background stamp on the birch trees.  It adds a little interest, but doesn't take over the card.  I'm hoping my cardboard deer doesn't look like he's been flame broiled at Burger King.  lol 

That's it for today. I didn't manage to get any of the challenges for today done, so now I'm five behind.  Oh well.  I like to try to do them all, but life gets in the way sometimes.  This is one of the rough weeks of the year for me with Eli's birthday coming up on Wednesday, so I try to distract myself by creating.  I hope you're not getting tired of all the posts.  

Have a nice week.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

DTGD Day 2

A bonus second post today!  I've been working away as much as I can today.  I have three more finished and three more to go to be caught up.  I don't know if it will happen. lol I'm getting tired.  I wish it didn't take me so long to make them.  I get caught up and it gets out of hand.  I don't even know how long this one took.  Have you tried the cling wrap background?  I thought it was easy and came out really neat.  It was a perfect under the sea background.  I love trying new techniques, especially the ones that work. :)  I'm doing good on my plan to use my Cameo more.  The seaweed was done with that.  I need to buy less dies, so that should help.

This was one of those throw things at it and hope it comes out looking okay kind of cards.  I can't really do the collage look very well, but I love trying it.  The background is made with Brusho.  I love the Stampin' Up! Butterfly dies.  Laila has already asked me to make a Monarch with it after she saw this one.  :)

This one is super simple.  That image is so pretty that I wanted it to be the focus.  I love trying to color it.  It is a nice test of using neutrals and coloring apples.  Plus, HEDGEHOGS!  Who doesn't love those!

Now I have to take a break and run back to the store.  We decided to have quesadillas tonight, so we need a rotisserie chicken.  At least it's only one thing to go get and there's tons of choices of where to go. 

Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow for more cards! 

Dare to Get Dirty Day 1 Continued

I managed to get four cards and a background for the fifth completed yesterday.  I swear it's impossible to stamp without interruptions, so I'm proud that I was able to knock out that many.  Why do husbands need you to come look at stuff when you're busy crafting?  I swear it's ONLY when I'm stamping.  There's nothing that needs looked at any other time.  lol  Crazy! Anyway, I thought this card was kinda fun. The paper seemed to go well with the sentiment.  I kept it black and white to match that. I used the Geek is Chic set from My Favorite Things, as well as their Blueprints 18 that I scored in the retirement sale last week.  It's been on my wishlist for ages, so I had to get it while I could.  :)

This was my card I made after everyone was in bed last night.  It was way too messy to attempt with a kid and kitten constantly invading my room.  I don't usually like heat embossing because I make a mess and it always looks bad.  I think this one turned out okay.  The distress inks distract from any bad embossing. ;)  It's made with the Flora background and Sketch Ranunculus sets from Simon Says Stamp.

I'm off to watch some morning shows and try to do a bit of creating before laundry.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

DTGD Day 1

Happy Saturday! I hope you are finding some time to get crafty today.  If you are a member over at Splitcoast, the Dare to Get Dirty challenges start today.  I've been working on a couple this morning and thought I'd share them.  This first one is for a fun challenge from Lydia.  She always has fun ones that push me to try something hard.  I think the result is fun, so yay!

The second challenge was from Dina and I enjoyed creating for it as well.  I feel like we need more rainbows and sunshine in our world right now, so I may make up a few of these to send out.  It was a pretty simple one, so that shouldn't be too hard.

That's it for now. I'm going to go grab lunch and then come back to work on the next challenges.  I found a good comedy to keep me company.  There's nothing better than creating and laughing!

Friday, July 28, 2017

PTI Make It Monday Color Blocking

Still enjoying Fall in my stamp room. :)  I saw the PTI Make It Monday challenge to do some color blocking and thought it might be fun to use this pretty mum set.  I probably should have used some different colors to make the middle layer of color stand out better, but I like how it turned out anyway.  I do want to try it again with one of the different techniques they shared.

August is my busiest birthday card month, so I need to get some made! My best friend from grad school is my next one, so I'm working on a cute science themed card for her right now. I hope it turns out okay.

Happy Friday!  Enjoy your weekend.

Papertrey Ink Mum's the Word
Inks: PTI Terracotta Tile, Canyon Clay, Cocoa Bean
Gansai Tambi Watercolors
Canson Watercolor Paper
Stampin' Up! Early Espresso cardstock

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SSS Flowers on My Mind

Over the weekend I came in my room to stamp and felt stuck.  I decided to pull out a card kit from Simon Says Stamp and try to recreate one of the samples.  Shari Carroll made an amazing card on the reveal post so I decided to try it.  Mine isn't half as awesome as hers, but it was fun to work on it.  I appreciate her ability to layer and do a collage type design.  I learned that I need a medium gray ink pad though.  My SU Basic Gray crapped out and they don't make it anymore.  Hopefully I can find something similar as I love that color as use it a lot.

I'm not feeling creative today either as I have a headache, but I'm heading to my desk to try it. I might have to have another sample recreating. :)  There's actually a lot of learning involved in that, so I might need to do it more often.

I hope you are having a great week!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Hip for Summer Halloween

Halloween again. :)  I believe this is the last week of Sizzix's Hip for Summer promotion, so I wanted to get another entry in.  I thought the ostrich would be fun as a witch and I think she is.  I had fun using some different supplies and techniques to create it.  Also a lot of cutting. lol

Little Lady is doing great.  Well, if by great I mean keeping me awake at night I guess.  lol She gets a super playful spell right as it's time for bed.  Then at 3am she comes and lays with me.  That would be awesome, but it's right on my face!  We work through it and then I get snuggles until 6 or 7 when she's up and ready for another round of crazy.  Good thing she's cute.  :)

Friday, July 21, 2017

MFT Card Challenges 342

Laila is already talking about Halloween, so I thought I'd get ahead of the game and make her a card.  I hope to sneak it in her backpack or lunchbox. :) I used the new sketch at MFT Card Challenges and a cute MFT Pure Innocence girl.  I got brave and used my neglected Cameo for the web and bats.  The background is Distress Oxide inks in Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, and Wilted Violet.

Sketch Challenge 342 #mftstamps

For the past two weeks, Laila has been with a new counselor at her social skills group.  She has been awesome and so helpful with suggestions to try at home.  It seems to be working pretty good, so I'm happy for that.  It's still far from perfect, but we'll take any improvement.  They do a lot of practice like transitions, standing in line, sitting and going work at a table, sharing...all good things that will help her transition to school.  I can't believe it is only five weeks until she'll be a kindergartner. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Freshly Made Coffee

Back today with Freshly Made Sketches and that technique I promised you.  :)  I did struggle with this week's sketch because tilted panels make me a bit nuts. lol I tried a Christmas card, but I did the "shape" first and it was most of the card front once I put it together.  Then I saw the backgrounds I'd made last week and thought I'd try one of those.  It is made using a technique called Shaving Cream Stenciling.   I know we used shaving cream back when I first started stamping, but this was a fun new take on it.  I forget what colors I used now, but I know Bermuda Bay and Lucky Limeade were two of them. I'm also adding it to Simon Says Stamp Work It Wednesday.  I love this coffee set by them.


I hope you'll take time to come play along with us!  And go try that technique! It's awesome!  I might have to do more today with my new plaid stencil I used on yesterday's card.  

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stampin' Up! Fall Leaf

I think I got stuck in Fall mode. lol I won a prize in the Coffee Lovers Hop from The Heart Desires and I got this awesome plaid stencil and Spiced Marmalade Distress Oxide ink.  I played around with a fun water stamping technique I saw on Jennifer McGuire's blog and man is it fun!  I am so excited for cooler weather.  SO READY for it. I'm about to have to pull a lot of struggling plants from my garden because they hate this weather.  As do I.

Come back tomorrow for a new Freshly Made Sketches sketch AND another new to me technique that was also super awesome to do!

Stamps: Stampin' Up! Truly Grateful, SU Wonderfall
Ink: Distress Oxides Spiced Marmalade, Fossilized Amber, Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso Distress Ink, Stampin' Up! Chocolate Chip
Stencil: Carta Bella Plaid #1

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hip for Summer

Every now and then I see a stamp set and it makes me laugh.  The Hipster set from Stamps Anonymous was one of those.  I used it here on a monochromatic card and I love how it turned out.  It's one of my most favorite cards I've made in a while.  Sizzix has a fun challenge going on all summer using it, so check that out on their blog if you have the set.

Now I'm off to finish up some chores so I can be ready for Game of Thrones! Anyone else excited about it?