Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cleon and Janie

Hi All,

Sorry I haven't been around for a bit.  It's been crazy hectic at work besides being hit by winter storm Cleon!  I was born in the Chicago area, so I know about snow - not so much about ice.  Besides, Texas doesn't have the resources to clear the roads that they do up north.  This is what my street looked like.  And the second picture is an example of what the grocery store shelves looked like.  There appears to have been a run on eggs!  Our offices were closed but our due dates remained.  So I braved the elements and drove in to work.  The news reports called it cobblestone ice.  What I saw was at best, washboard ice and in some places, 6 - 8 inch waves of ice.  But I made it to the office and back home again without incident.

Today is my friend Janie's birthday.  I did get a little crafting time in to make her this card.  I hope she likes it.  Almost everything is by Anna Griffin.  The paper is from the Fleur Rouge collection.  The cream card base is Close To My Heart's Colonial White cardstock.  I roughed up the edges with Tim Holtz's distressing tool and added a couple of pearls.  What do you think?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy December, 2013!

Happy December to you all.  I always wonder where Fall disappears to.  This year is no different.  Although it is still technically Fall, everything seems to be focused on Christmas.  Before I slide into Christmas, I wanted to share with you a photo of my beloved pecan tree.  It's a huge tree that sits in my front yard.  Every year, it puts on a spectacular show of color just before closing down for the winter.  It's show was especially beautiful this year.

Seeing these colors and the beautiful glow given off makes me wonder what the world would like if God had chosen a different color palette for nature.  What if the sky was green?   Just one of the strange thoughts that pass through my mind! 
I think one of reasons Fall is so fleeting, is the early due dates put on us for Christmas.  The cut-off for Operation Write Home Christmas cards was Oct. 31st!  My holiday auction cards are due tomorrow.  Even the Salvation Army Angel Tree gifts are due by tomorrow - December 2nd!  I even saw a Facebook post with suggestions for "last minute stocking stuffers."  While I can understand the reasons for most of these due dates, the rest just make me feel rushed.  I want to savor the holiday season.  What are your thoughts on the matter?
I spent some time going through last year's Anna Griffin Ultimate Christmas Cardmaking Kit.  I got it in one of Anna's great Super Sales.  Which, btw, there's another one tomorrow - December 2nd.  If you're an Anna fan, these sales shouldn't be missed.  But I digress.  Last year's kit was not very aptly named.  I believe this year's kit is far better.  But I did manage to eek out three cards.  They're more retro than elegant.  But I think they're cute.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Lots to Share - 88 Years Young + More Christmas

How has your week been?  Mine's been a busy week.  On Wednesday, my mother turned 88 years young.  I had asked family and friends as well as folks from work to give my mom a birthday card in the hopes of raising 88 cards.  My mom was elated with her cards.  Friends of friends from various parts of the country sent cards.  We both got pretty emotional.  My mom has macular degeneration so she wasn't able to read the cards.  She'd open one.  I'd read it and then I'd stand it up around her.  By the time we got done, she was in a sea of cards and was quite overwhelmed that so many people who didn't even know her took the time to send her a birthday greeting.  I snapped this picture as it all began to set in.  Thank you to all of you who helped make this birthday a special one for my mom.

I'm also trying to get all my cards together for the charity donations.  My cards for the Caring Hearts Card Drive were mailed Monday.  I finished all the cards for the Michaels Cares charity auction.  I thought my Frosted set of six cards needed a container of some sort.  So I fired up my Cricut and created this little holder and bow with the Close To My Heart Artiste cartridge (my favorite cartridge).  I think it adds a nice touch.

I never go to the mall on Black Friday.  I'm allergic to crowds!  But Michaels had a great sale which started Thanksgiving Day at 4pm.  We had finished our Thanksgiving Brunch and gone for a little drive when we just happened to be near Michaels just before 4!  Amazing how that worked out.  There were several cars but it didn't appear to be too crowded.  So in I went.  I had been wanting the Sizzix / Tim Holtz Victorian Carolers die for some time.  I got it for a great price and just had to use it.  What do you think?  I'm really happy with how it came out.
Supplies Used:
Card Base - CTMH Colonial White
Candy Cane and Music Paper - Melissa Francis
Holly and Sentiment - Anna Griffin
Carolers - Sizzix / Tim Holtz Victorian Carolers Die
Distressing - Silver Cat's Eye Pigment Ink

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Operation Write Home Card Sketch #199 - TV Time!

Today's Operation Write Home's Card Sketch Challenge #199 inspired me to use my new The Stamps of Life stamp set named TV2Stamp.  I also bought the matching dies and have been "dying" to use them!  I took great liberties with this sketch to get the two to work together.  It's a totally different style for me but I like it.  How about you?

Supplies Used:
White Cardstock - Close To My Heart
Washi Tape - Unknown
Heidi Swapp Adhesive Tape (Black and White)
Black Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Red Ink - Close To My Heart Ruby Red
Other - Pop Dots, Stampin' Up Bling

Close To My Heart Frosted Cardmaking Kit

Got my Frosted Cardmaking Kit from Close to My Heart this week.  I really LOVE the stamp set that only comes as part of this kit.  I love the images and sentiments and the fact that there are two large sentiments included.  That allows you to stamp another sentiment on the inside.  Of course, I had to embellish my cards a little bit more than the instructions called for.  My Sakura Sardust pen came in so handy for a little extra bling.  (If you're not familiar with this pen, check out the "My Favorite Things" page of my blog.)  The kit makes five of each card - 15 cards in total.  CTMH did include a little extra in case of boo-boos.  I had a few of those so I sure appreciated the extras.   Which one is your favorite?  I think I'm partial to the third one with the pine trees.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Operation Write Home - Midweek Throwdown + My First Step Cards

OWH Midweek Throwdown

This is my first Midweek Throwdown challenge for Operation Write Home (OWH).  Weekends are usually my challenge days.  But this week's throwdown featured dry embossing.  I love dry embossing!  I think it's the best way to give your project some "wow" without having to be a creative genius.  I dry embossed the black paper and then decided to try to give it a chalkboard effect - not sure I pulled it off.  What do you think?

Supplies used:
Vintage Valentine Paper - The Paper Studio
Cardstock - Stampin' Up
Embossing Folder - Anna Griffin
Twine - Close To My Heart
Heart Stamp - CTMH Lifting Spirits Stamp Set
Other -Ranger White Pen, SU Tiny Scallop Trimmer Blade, Marvy Scalloped Square Punch
My First Step Cards
I follow a very talented Close To My Heart Independent Consultant named Brenda Rose.  A few weeks ago, she offered one of her card kits for mail order.  I wanted to learn how to make step cards so I quickly ordered.  Brenda did a fabulous job designing these cards.  I put the two Thanksgiving cards together last weekend.  I really love how they turned out and was surprised at how easy they were to make.  Of course, Brenda did all the hard work!  Aren't these great? 

I wanted to update this post to include the two Christmas cards included in Brenda's kit.  These are just as gorgeous and use CTMH's Frosted paper collection.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Operation Write Home Sketch Challenge #197 - CTMH Love

Happy Sunday All!  I've taken a little break from my Anna Griffin Christmas cards to participate in this week's Operation Write Home (OWH) Sketch Challenge #197.  The Christmas card deadline has passed at OWH.  We're now onto Valentine's Day!  I'm not really feeling Valentine's Day yet, so Close To My Heart's Scandinavian Wishes was a good compromise.  It's actually a Christmas set but the heart, love and row of flowers stamps worked well for the love theme.  I love folk art so I'm pleased with the results.  What do you think?

Supplies Used:
Stamps:  Scandinavian Wishes from CTMH
Paper:  American Crafts - Love Take A Chance Collection
Card Base:  CTMH
Inks:  Stampin' Up
Other:  WRMK Corner Chomper, ATG Gun
I love your comments!