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!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Anna Griffin Holiday Trimmings!

I am really loving the Anna Griffin Holiday Trimmings Cardmaking Kit.  Anna outdid herself with her designs on this one. 
As there is enough product to make 60 cards in this kit, I decided to just make this post a compilation of the cards as I make them.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm making these for a charity auction.  I'll bundle them in sets of four cards.  The initial cards follow very closely to the sample designs included with the kit.  I've added some embossing, bling, distressing and corner punching but these cards are pretty much all Anna - assembled by me. 
If you click on a photo, you will be taken to a better view of each card.  I hope you enjoy them!



Green and Purple Birthday Card

Hello Everyone!

This card was requested by a co-worker for his wife.  He wanted a purple and green birthday card with flowers.  I had a heck of a time photographing it.  But here it is.  What do you think?  Everything is Anna Griffin except the ribbon and the Stampendous Diamond Dot stickers.  I also distressed a bit with bronze pan pastels. The jury is still out on whether I like these pastels.  I'm pleased with the card and hope my co-worker's wife will be too.

I love comments.  Please take a moment and let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Holiday Trimmings Card + A Handy Idea

Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I'm a big fan of Anna Griffin and her paper crafting products.  I've been building stockpiles of her paper for about 15 years or more.  I remember meeting Anna in person at one of the Recollections stores near Dallas shortly before the debut of her first TSV on QVC.  The Recollections stores have been closed for about six years now and Anna has moved over to HSN.  But I keep building up my supply. 

I come from a very small family.  There isn't a great need to create cards for a family of two!  But I did find an outlet this year for my cards - actually I found two.  The first is Operation Write Home (OWH).  OWH gathers cards made by volunteers and sends them to Americans serving overseas.  They are not cards made for the soldiers, but are cards for the soldiers to use to send home.  Of course, you can send cards to the soldiers as well.   Cards made in the Anna Griffin style are generally too thick for OWH.   But I often use her papers without all the layered embellishments for my OWH cards.

The other outlet has been Michaels Cares.  I work at Michaels Corporate Offices.  Michaels began a charity that provides aid to employees in need.  Last April was a fundraising month for Michaels Cares.  Everyone was doing bake sales and other events.  I don't bake - but I could cook up a few cards.  I ended up making 30 cards and raising $195 for Michaels Cares.  Most of the feminine cards were made with Anna Griffin papers.

I guess I should get to the point of this post!  I bought the gorgeous Anna Griffin Holiday Trimmings card kit from HSN last September.  My intent is to make a few sets of cards to be sold in the Michaels holiday auction benefitting Michaels Cares.  This is my first card from this gorgeous card kit.  The kit makes 60 cards so you've been warned!!

I followed one of the samples provided pretty closely for this card.  I did add a few things.  First, I cut the corners of the green layer with my SU reverse corner punch (not really sure what it's called).  I then added some of the Stampendous Diamond Dots that I've had for years.  I also embossed the green layer and added a bit of gold pan pastels over the card base and embossing.  I hope you like it.

I next wanted to pass on a good idea.  I don't take any credit for it.  I put together two different ideas I had seen on YouTube.  The first was to use junk mail to make envelopes with my Envelope Punch.  The second was to attach a 6x6 envelope to the back of the 6x6 paper pads to hold paper scraps.  Last night I decided to use junk mail envelopes in the back of my 6x6 pads.  I'm always losing the scraps.  And a scrap box becomes too unwieldy.  I think this idea may work.  Plus it's a use for the tons of junk mail that accumulate!  This picture isn't too great, but it shows the back of one of my My Mind's Eye pads with the envelope adhered to the inside of the back cover.  I've put all the scraps from this pad inside the envelope.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our Daily Bread Designs October Challenge and Critters at the Dog Park!

I'm trying all kinds of new challenges this month.  Another new one is the Our Daily Bread Designs (ODBD) monthly challenge.  October's challenge was to make the sentiment the main focus of the card.  I saw the sentiment I used on this card during the Operation Write Home World Cardmaking Day blog hop and had to get it.  It's by Stampabilities and is called Patriotic Subway Art.  I hope you like it. 
Just about everything on this card is from Stampin' Up.  This is somewhat strange as I'm a Close To My Heart demonstrator!  But that's okay.  I used Real Red and Not Quite Navy markers and paper.  The twine is also SU.  I embossed the navy cardstock with a Cuttlebug embossing folder and lightly sanded it.
I've been on an animal card making whirl this week.  I've had the Lawn Fawn Critters at the Dog Park for quite awhile.  Yesterday was the day to finally use it.  I'll tell you.  This card almost made me give up card making.  It's not that it was particularly difficult.  It's just that everything that could go wrong went wrong.  I had trouble with the brown dog die lining up with the stamped image. The "grass" gave me fits.  The sentiment didn't show up on the green paper.  That's why I added the banner.  I ruined several banners - once because of ink on my finger, another because I had the exclamation point upside down.  And on and on.  I'm so glad I really like the final product.  Yikes!

Cardstock:  Stampin' Up
Designer Paper :  My Mind's Eye Hootenanny from Michaels
Embossing Folder:  Stampin' Up
Coloring:  Copics
Thanks so much for stopping by.  I really appreciate your comments.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Being Deployed and Freddie Misses You!

I have two cards today - again very different in design.  The first is a very special card for me.  A co-worker asked me to make a cards for her son.  He is being deployed in a few days to Korea.  I quickly accepted even though she needed it the next morning!  She had already purchased the stickers and the green cardstock.  So this is what developed:

Supplies -
Stickers - K&Company
Green Cardstock - Unknown
Navy Cardstock - Bazzill
Gold Mirror Paper - Anna Griffin
Embossing Folder - Cuttlebug
I also made a card for my first CAS(E) this Sketch challenge. This sketch is challenge #50.

Meet Freddie!  He and I have spent so much time together getting his coloring just right, that I had to name him.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to give him away!! (Freddie will eventually make his way to Operation Write Home.)

 I've learned that CAS doesn't mean quick.  If you've followed my posts, you know I consider myself the Queen of Slow Card Making.  I maintained my crown with this card.  But I do like it. 

Supplies -
Freddie the Pug - Paper Smooches
Coloring - Copic Markers
Dies - Spellbinders
White Cardstock - Bazzill Smooth
Designer Paper - My Mind's Eye Hootenanny
Sentiment - Hero Arts
Black Ink - Momento Tuxedo Black
Other Supplies - CTMH Liquid Glass, SU Dimensionals, Glue Dots

Thanks for stopping by.  Please leave a comment if you can.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Double Challenge - Foxy Hello

I entered my first Mojo Monday sketch challenge this week.  It took me all the way through Wednesday to get my mojo going!  I really like sketch #315.  Wow, how did I miss the first 314 sketches?
I'm also entering this card in Operation Write Home's Design Bootcamp.  This month's topic is balance.  I believe my version of the sketch qualifies as asymmetrical balance.  Am I right, Paula?
My card doesn't match my vision, but I think it came out cute.  The image and sentiment are from Papertrey Ink's Foxy Hello.  I colored the fox with my Copics.  The paper is from my stash and is ancient (the plaid paper is Daisy D's - remember that brand?).  The ribbon is Verve.  I used my Spellbinder's scalloped rectangle die as well as the Papertrey Fox die.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Operation Write Home Sketch Challenge #194 and Gettin' Blingy

Operation Write Home posted the Sunday challenge on Saturday this week.  That's fine with me!  The weather here is rainy - perfect for making cards.  It was a hectic week at work as well.  Crafting serves as a stress buster for me.  So I have two projects for you today.

The week's sketch has lots of layers, which I love.  I had to alter it a bit but am really pleased with how my card came out.  What do you think?

Supply List:
Patterned Paper:  Heidi Swapp Vintage Chic
Card Base:  CTMH Colonial White
Hand Die Cut:  Anna Griffin
Sentimet:  Hero Arts OWH Fundraiser Set
Gettin' Blingy 
I bought the Close To My Heart (CTMH) Base and Bling fabric necklace kit a few weeks ago.  Last night I decided to give it a go.  (I was really stressed!)  I was surprised at how easy it was to put together.  The hardest part was freehand cutting 1" circles from the fabric provided.  A paper punch didn't work with the fabric.  The kit is only $14.95.  I think it's a great buy for the results you can achieve with it.  I had lots of extra fabric and a few pieces of bling.  Do you like it?