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Friends are like pearls…

Friends are like pearls… published on 3 Comments on Friends are like pearls…

I was so fortunate to stamp with a dear friend of mine while I created today’s card.  It was all the more special because she has been very busy lately and I have missed seeing her!  She and I have a tendency to love the same colors and papers and we were both working with Deck the Halls today.  This seemed the right card to post for the Our Creative Corner Challenge this week “An Attitude of Gratitude”.  I am so lucky to have a friend like her and enjoyed the time stamping tremendously!!

There is another challenge today from Splitcoaststampers, their Inspiration Challenge IC257.  It is based on the work of Miyuki Sakai which is stunning (I did have to reduce the size of the page to see everything – bottom right corner of your screen).  Here is the picture I loved:

I love the holiday feel of it and the little flowers trailing off reminded me of pearls.  Then it hit me that good friends are like pearls.  They are beautiful when new but get even more fabulous with time.  They are precious and timeless!  How lucky I am to have a number of friends like this in my life!!

My card started with cutting out the bells and ribbon from the Deck the Halls DSP.  I used last week’s sketch from Stampin’ 411.  I didn’t meet their deadline but I still wanted to use the sketch.  I put the cut out paper on the flip side word paper and love the effect.  I added Basic Pearls to the bells and love the result.  After I tied the bow, it was missing something so I added some additional pearls to the center.  Here is the final result:

I am just in love with this DSP.  You should see the cards my friend made…lovely!!  Well, I hope you have a great weekend.  I’m off to enjoy the VA fall weather. 

Stamp:  None outside; Paper:  Deck the Halls DSP, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Naturals Ivory (inside); Ink: None outside; Accessories:  Basic Pearls, Espresso Satin Ribbon, Dimensionals, Thread (to cinch bow)

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Thinking of Saffron and Suede

Thinking of Saffron and Suede published on 11 Comments on Thinking of Saffron and Suede

Oh yes, my friends, So Saffron and Soft Suede are gorgeous together!!  I wanted a change of pace from the Christmas card mania I have been living in and needed a “thinking of you” card.  Actually, my mom was here visiting and she asked to take some cards home.  Hmmm…an excuse to stamp with my mom…awesome!!  She did attend my Christmas card class too but this stamping was just for her.  I pulled up the inspiration challenge from Our Creative Corner this week and saw this lovely picture:

Beautiful, isn’t it?  I also used the Mojo Monday Sketch 163.  I haven’t done one of those in forever and this is a great one!  My new Deck the Halls paper was calling out to be used for a non-Christmas card and my Elements of Style set seemed perfect for the inspiration picture.  Take a look:

I stamped the “toile” image on Very Vanilla and did some light coloring with Saffron and Suede ink.  I sponged the DSP and the stamped pieces with Soft Suede and pulled the words from my Silhouette Sentiments Hostess set.  The Victoria Crochet Trim was a natural fit for this look and I used an Antique Brad to cinch the bow together.  This card is perfect for my mom!

Tomorrow I will post another card that we stamped.  Thanks for joining me today.  Have a great day!

Stamps:  Elements of Style, Silhouette Sentiments; Paper:  Deck the Halls DSP, So Saffron, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla; Ink:  Soft Suede, So Saffron; Accessories:  Victoria Crochet Trim, Antique Brad, Dimensionals, Sponges

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Day of Gratitude

Day of Gratitude published on 7 Comments on Day of Gratitude

This is, in fact, the name of a new stamp but the phrase means so much more.  Gratitude is an attitude!  I know that I run through my life so quickly sometimes that I forget to say thank you to the many people who bless my life.  Something about the change to fall weather reminds me of all the things for which I am thankful.  Today, I am infinitely thankful for my weekend.  I was so lucky to attend Stampin’ Up’s Regional in Baltimore on Saturday and have an entire day of stamping, fun, business training and swaps.  I know…that is a lot to be thankful for!  Now consider the fact that I got to be with my wonderful upline Brandi and I have even more to be happy about.  But the most amazing thing is what happened for me to have this opportunity.  My husband is in the Air National Guard and travel is the nature of his life.  Even with the best laid plans, many times he simply must be gone when we thought he could be home.  Last weekend was one of those times.  I had never been to an official Stampin’ Up function and could not miss the opportunity to go to a Regional so close to home.  I signed up knowing the risk that he wouldn’t be here.  Sure enough, that is what happened.  A dear friend and a wonderful sister-in-law stepped up to watch my boys so that I could take this time for myself.  How can I even express my gratitude to them??!!  Both boys had a fantastic weekend and I was able to enjoy my time knowing what good hands they were in.

Fortunately, part of the package of goodies for Regionals was the Day of Gratitude stamp set from the Holiday Mini.  The entire set is so beautiful and the projects on Saturday that used it were so much fun to create.  There is nothing more inspirational to my stamping than a new set so of course I needed to use it right away.  Even better is that the set expresses exactly how I am feeling.  Here is one of the cards for my gracious helpers this weekend:

This card uses a few challenges.  The first is the So Shelli Challenge (from Shelli Gardner) to create a project using Fabulous Fall as the motivation.  The Our Creative Corner challenge this week uses these colors:

They pretty much say Fabulous Fall, don’t you think?  The sketch is from the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge and was so fun to use.

I hope you have a wonderful week and, just like the stamp says, your common days are transformed into Thanksgivings. 

Stamp:  Day of Gratitude (Holiday Mini); Paper:  Cajun Craze (smooth and textured), More Mustard, Old Olive, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla; Ink:  Cajun Craze, More Mustard, Old Olive, Early Espresso; Accessories:  Neutrals Designer Buttons, Dimensionals, Thread (dyed using Early Espresso marker)

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Christmas is in the air!

Christmas is in the air! published on No Comments on Christmas is in the air!

It may be the end of August but Christmas is in the air around my house.  I continue to work towards making cards for my Operation Write Home challenge.  Only two more weeks until the big “stamp-a-palooza” known as an Open House.  Today I am posting two more cards made for my donation box.  But first, as promised in the Stampin’ Addicts Blog Hop post, I have some more pictures of the candle I made using Rejoicing in Christmas.  The picture shown over the weekend shows the subtlety of the colors but didn’t quite show the shine on the candle.  As I mentioned in that write-up, I watercolored the ink onto the tissue paper and then applied Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint on top.  One of the unexpected effects of this was that the Shimmer Paint took on a gold-leaf feel.  Here are some pictures that show this a little better:

Now on to my cards for today.    The first uses this week’s OCC Sketch Challenge 30 which is a super layout.  The start of this card was actully the tag.  As part of the “creative process” for the blog hop, this was a leftover piece.  Not one to waste a good scrap, I realized that it fit perfectly into the sketch.  I pulled out my friend Dasher again (really, I do have other sets but he works with so many things!).  The result is a card I really like and that isn’t too complicated to replicate.  The ribbon, I confess, is non-SU and was tied onto a gift box from Mother’s Day (perfume).  This nice piece of grosgrain was just waiting for the right card.  Here is the result:

The final card for today uses last week’s OWH Stars & Stamps Sketch Challenge 31.  This is one of those go-to layouts that will work time and time again.  They have a lot of super ideas over there, by the way, so check them out!  I pulled out some retired SU paper from last year, Christmas Cocoa DSP.  The snowflake paper immediately inspired another tone-on-tone card.  I sponged some Soft Suede on the Whisper White paper and then added a little Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint with a sponge dauber.  Dasher was out and I threw a little more ink on him.  While I certainly want each card for OWH to be special, I also need to make as many as I can.  For me that means staying with one “theme” per stampining session.  I am encouraging my participants to do the same so we can fill a nice big box for those heroes!!  Ok, the rest of this card explains itself so here it is:

Thanks for dropping by today.  Tomorrow I will have a birthday card (for a change of pace) and on Wednesday, some more details on my cracked glass card from the blog hop.  If you missed the hop, please go over to Stampin’ Addicts and take a look at all the wonderful projects from Stampin’ Up’s new Holiday Mini.


Stamp:  Rejoicing in Christmas; Ink:  Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Not Quite Navy, More Mustard; Paper:  Tissue; Accessories:  Blender pen, Aquapainter, Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint, Heat tool, Espresso Satin Ribbon

Card 1:

Stamp:  Dasher, All Holidays; Ink:  Soft Suede, Cherry Cobbler, Basic Black; Paper:  Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede, Naturals Ivory; Accessories:  Neutrals Designer Buttons, Ribbon, Shimmer paint (on tag with sponge dauber)

Card 2:

Stamp:  Dasher, Short & Sweet; Ink:  Soft Suede; Paper:  Christmas Cocoa DSP (ret), Soft Suede, Whisper White; Accessories:  Neutrals Designer Buttons

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Silhouette vases

Silhouette vases published on No Comments on Silhouette vases

This week I am meeting with my clubs for the first time this year and what better way to celebrate than use a new hostess set??!!  I love the new Silhouette Sentiments and have wanted to try punch vases for a while.  Michelle Zindorf is an extremely talented Stampin’ Up demonstrator who kindly shares many tutorials.  I used her Punched Vases Tutorial as inspiration for my vases.  I also loved the OCC Sketch 28 and used that layout.  I am so happy with the result!

As you can see, I used the sponging technique to give a shadow to the vases and then popped them up on dimensionals.  My Square Lattice Embossing Folder came out again…told you that you would see it alot!  The best part is that this is pretty easy to make and yet the details make it special. 

Now, I had an extra surpise today.  One of my new club members, Nancy, brought me a lovely bundle of cards for my Operation Write Home challenge.  Just take a look at these!

How can I thank her enough for all these lovely cards?!  Aren’t they pretty?  She has certainly put me well on my way towards filling up a box for the OWH project. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  Hope you have a great rest of your week!

Stamp:  Silhouette Sentiments (hostess level 1); Paper:  Always Artichoke, Not Quite Navy, Early Espresso, Whisper White; Ink:  Always Artichoke, Not Quite Navy; Accessories:  Small Oval Punch, Sponges, Espresso Satin Ribbon, Dimensionals

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He's back…with a challenge

He's back…with a challenge published on 7 Comments on He's back…with a challenge

Oh, my little friend Dasher is back!!!  He went into a rest period after his big trip with Santa last year but it was time to pull him out again.  I seriously LOVE this reindeer!!  Now, rest assured, he is not back in this August heat without a really good reason…actually two reasons.  First, I have issued a Christmas card challenge to my steady group of stampers.  No excuses, no procrastinating, now is the time to start with the Christmas cards.  I asked them to figure out how many people they estimate to be on their nice list (you know, deserving of your finest card making nice).  Take that number and divide it by four, then make that many cards a month between now and November.  No muss, no fuss, and your cards are done before the true holiday panic sets in.

As of today I am putting out another challenge, or at least drive, request.  In one month, we will celebrate Patriot Day (Sep. 11th).  As a United Airlines pilot and a former Air Force pilot, I find this day particularly sad.  I would like, instead, to make it a day of thanks for those serving in our Armed Forces.  If you are not familiar with Operation Write Home, click on over there right now and then come back for my challenge. 

I am looking to join in with them to celebrate their Birthday Bash.  I’m asking my stampers to donate as many cards as possible to the cause (some Christmas and some all occasion) and I will end my month with an Open House on Sep. 10th.  If you live in Northern VA and would like to donate cards, please let me know and I will get you the specifics.  Operation Write Home does have some pretty specific rules about glitter (NONE) for the safety of our troops, so please nothing sparkly that can rub off in any way.

Ok, so now that I have TWO card challenges in place, I needed to get going!  I found the sketch over at Splitcoast today (SC293) really helpful to get me moving.  Additionally, I wanted to add some embossing for the Our Creative Corner challenge – It’s Embossable.  Naturally I pulled out my new Square Lattice embossing folder…yea!  As I stated above, there is no glitter allowed on the OWH cards but a little shimmer is always a good thing.  I started with a Naturals Ivory panel, sponged it with Soft Suede and then applied Champagne Shimmer Paint with a sponge dauber.  A little mist of Smooch Spritz and I was ready to stamp on Dasher (p. 20 IBC) and the words from A Wish for Peace (p.38 IBC).  I inked up “A wish for peace” because it seems particularly appropriate for my OWH kick-off.  The Cherry Cobbler embossed panel really added the dimension I wanted for this and the Early Espresso satin ribbon finished off the card.  I just wish you could see the shimmer on little Dasher!

Now, you will notice that there are two cards.  Part of my OWH request was that every time a card gets stamped, just make two.  Yep, design once, stamp twice!!  Easy!  Yes, I know where is he??!!!!  Wait no more…

You can click on the photo to see it bigger if you’d like.  Now aren’t you glad to see this fellow again??  Both of these are going into my OWH stack and I will take a picture on Sep. 11th with the final result. 

I hope that this motivates you to donate some cards too.  There are shipping details and lots of card ideas at the OWH site.  Thanks for dropping in today.  Happy stamping!!

Stamps:  A Wish for Peace, Dasher; Paper:  Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Naturals Ivory; Ink:  Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede, Early Espresso; Accessories:  Champagne Shimmer Paint, Big Shot, Square Lattice embossing folder, Espresso Satin Ribbon, Dimensionals

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Concord Toile

Concord Toile published on 20 Comments on Concord Toile

Thanks to the team over at Pals Paper Arts for making my card an Artist Pick this week!  I am so thrilled!

I have to admit that the mojo went missing this morning.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that my kids were running around and asking all kinds of questions but, hey…that’s what they are supposed to do, right?  I tried watercoloring my Elements of Style, embossing the watercolored images, re-watercoloring, sponging…you get the picture.  Suffice it to say, there was no image worth saving.  That is when I simplified.  If watercoloring wasn’t going to work today, it was time to skip it!  The big flower stem in the set looks like toile to me and then it hit me.  Pals Paper Arts has a monochromatic challenge and the color is PURPLE.  Ummm, ok.  Well, I have to admit that purple is not a go to color for me.  The toile idea and the purple did seem to work though.  With all my reservations about purple, the new Concord Crush really is an appealing color.  It is so rich and almost dark enough to have a neutrals feel.  The OCC Sketch Blog has a great new layout this morning, too:

After the first failures, I was ready to try it again!  As soon as I stamped that flower in the Concord Crush, I knew this was going to work!  I stamped it on the Concord paper with Craft White and then popped out some butterflies with my Beautiful Wings embosslit.  Seems my Big Shot has been getting more of a workout lately! 

With the elegance of the toile look, I added some White Organza ribbon.  Finally, I wanted to dress up the butterfly so I got the new Basic Pearl Jewels out.  These little things are so very cool!  Pull them off, stick them on, instant elegance!!  Here is the final result:

And here is a close-up of the butterfly:

Details on the butterfly:  I attached the Concord little butterfly to the toile big one with a little Dotto along the midde.  I cinched the ribbon with some thread and then tied the butterfly onto the ribbon.  My original intention was to leave thread antennae so I had a knot at the top of the butterfly.  Once I started putting on the pearls, I realized that the thread wasn’t right and trimmed it down.  I simply attached the big pearl to the knot…makes it look like I planned it but lucky is better than good sometimes!

The best part about this card is that I have a dear friend who loves purple and has a “significant” birthday coming up.  Shhh, don’t tell her that this is her card!!  Thanks so much for stopping in today! 

Stamp:  Elements of Style; Paper:  Concord Crush, Whisper White; Ink:  Concord Crush, White Craft;  Accessories:  Big Shot, Beautiful Wings Embosslit, White Organza Ribbon, Basic Pearl Jewels

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Happy Birthday, Brandi!

Happy Birthday, Brandi! published on 2 Comments on Happy Birthday, Brandi!

My fabulous upline, Brandi, has a birthday coming up!  Yea!  Of course I needed to make a card using my latest products.  I really wanted to make another card using Friends Never Fade and Greenhouse Gala DSP, but this time using a darker color palette.  I found this great layout over at the OCC Sketch Blog:

I knew it was just right!  For the small rectangle, I used a piece of the DSP that has Chocolate Chip as the main color.  I wanted the darker piece so that I could use my cool new 1/8″ Daffodil Delight Taffeta Ribbon.  It is really fun ribbon!  I have to say that I have been leaning towards wider and wider ribbon the longer I have stamped so this was kind of a gamble (or so I thought) to buy.  No fear, it is awesome to work with and, frankly, works in places that wide ribbon won’t.  I colored directly on the flower stamp with Daffodil Delight, Baja Breeze, Real Red and Early Espresso markers.  The words are from the Well Scripted set (ret).  Here is the result:

The little bow was inspired by Kerin Sylvester‘s card for this week’s Stampin’ 411 sketch challenge.  I used Early Espresso paper for the layering and it really goes beautifully with this DSP!  I find it funny how the addition of some new colors can change how I feel about the existing ones.  Real Red has generally not been my “go-to” red but somehow it feels updated when added to the Daffodil, Baja Breeze and Espresso.

Brandi, I hope you have a wonderful birthday!  Thanks so much for being my upline and inspiring me to become a Stampin’ Up demonstrator!!

Stamps:  Friends Never Fade, Well Scripted; Paper:  Greenhouse Gala DSP, Daffodil Delight, Baja Breeze, Early Espresso; Ink:  Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Baja Breeze, Early Espresso; Accessories:  1/8″ Daffodil Taffeta Ribbon

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Almost time to say goodbye…

Almost time to say goodbye… published on No Comments on Almost time to say goodbye…

to Almost Amethyst!  I must admit that I haven’t been a big user of this purple but the Tea Party DSP has given me a new appreciation for this shade.  Yesterday over at Stampin’ Celebration, they posted this fabulous inspiration:

Beautiful, isn’t it??!!  As previously stated, I don’t have a lot of purple but Tea Party seemed to fit the bill nicely with the Saffron and Celery that are also in the paper.  I saw the newest sketch from the OCC Sketch Blog, their OCCSC16.  Love this one!! 

The big flowers on the DSP and the sketch seemed to be made for each other.  I cut out a couple of the flowers and pulled out my lovely Celery satin ribbon.  The scallop border will be available again soon (I got it FREE during Sale-a-bration!!) and I really like the lacy look it gives.  Here is the end result:

If your computer is like mine, the Amethyst looks a bit blue but I promise it really is purple!!  Something about the afternoon lighting in my house, I guess.  All the work on this card was really done by the DSP.  I put a matching strip at the bottom of the inside and cut out another flower to put in there.  Thanks for taking a look today (and don’t forget to give these challenges a try!).  Have a great weekend!

Stamp:  Short & Sweet; Paper:  Tea Party DSP, So Saffron, Certainly Celery; Ink:  Almost Amethyst; Accessories:  Celery Satin Ribbon, Scallop Border Punch, Dimensionals

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Masculine Sage?

Masculine Sage? published on 7 Comments on Masculine Sage?

I tried to combine a few challenges today and the first was from Our Creative Corner.  The challenge was to make a masculine birthday card.  I also used the latest sketch challenge from Stampin’ Royalty, their challenge #20.  Finally, I used the colors from Makeesha over at Inkspirations.  Take a look at the colors and the sketch!

The colors pretty much “required” me to use the Nouveau Chic DSP.  Now that Sage is retiring, I am using up my stock. 

Without further discussion, here is my card (yes, the image panel does look crooked…I fixed it but didn’t have time to take a new picture):

I started with Oh, So Lovely (Ret) and tried to make it more masculine.  The paper certainly did the job but I’m not so sure the image is “manly”.  Oh well, challenges are jumping off points and I gave it the college try!  I have really enjoyed this DSP…just think, when I first ordered it I thought it would be “out of the box” for me!  I continue to find that the DSP’s from Stampin’ Up always exceed any expectation that I have!!  I did a little sponging  but otherwise the card is pretty straightforward.  I don’t have a particular need for this card but it is always so nice to have some in the “stash” ready to go!  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day!

Stamps:  Oh, So Lovely (ret), Short & Sweet; Paper:  Nouveau Chic DSP, Sage Shadow, Basic Gray, Very Vanilla; Ink:  Sage Shadow, Basic Gray, Apricot Appeal, Going Gray; Accessories:  Gray Corduroy button, thread (dyed Sage with the Marker), Blender Pen, Sponges

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