Friday, November 29, 2013

Peace on Earth....retro sketches #91, Uniko Studio Challenge No. 5 - Christmas or Winter Holiday Theme

Another zip in and out, before a link closes. By now, I should have dates/times figured out rather than last minute hand ins. Perhaps all those years of being a teacher, dealing with assignments handed in late, often with quite clever rationals rubbed off on me more than I realized...

A few weeks back, a wonderful, delightful win came my way: Uniko Studio's Peace on Earth set. Please, please, plan a visit over at Beverley's site: you'll come away with new inspiration and a deep desire to welcome her stamps and dies into your collection. Trust me: you will, and you will be delighted. Major delighted!

This is the debut of my set, with many more ideas sparked as I worked with the crisp, pretty images. The dove, the boughs and the sentiments: timeless....

Retro sketches #91 is my layout inspiration (adapted somewhat, as you'll see);

The three sets of images are on individual panels, with the center one popped up. 
More embossing practice, too, and the ink "fade" was my attempt to match the leaves in the 
pretty Bo Bunny Silver & Gold patterned paper.

I'm also sharing this at Uniko Studio Challenge #5: Christmas or Winter Holiday Theme.  Beverley: hope I did justice to your lovely Peace on Earth with this initial  use. It truly is beautiful...

Thank you so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Christmas Stars...Unscripted Sketches #232 and Just Add Ink: #193 Inspiration Challenge: Stars

Happy  Friday!  Hope everyone is having a fabulous day, spending time with family and friends as part of US Thanksgiving festivities, or enjoying the finale to what was most likely another hectic, past-by-quickly week, or taking full advantage of Black Friday sales, or a combination of all three.  I *may* have done a wee bit of purchasing earlier today ;-)...maybe…and the weekend is but young.  Mr. Visa appears far too ready for more outings, so who knows where our ventures may take us.  If  anyone has scoped out some amazing deals on inks, that include reasonable shipping rates, please let me know, as I may be interested, as in jumping up-and-down interested. Craft shopping: Too. Much. Fun. 

Anyway, 'tis Friday, everyone is busy, some links are about to close, I’ll be quick…

Earlier this week, I had a brilliant idea for this week’s Unscripted Sketches #232 challenge. 

Two goals were on my “to accomplish” radar: focusing on the sentiment, a technique that the oh-so-talented Kimberly has mastered wonderfully, and striving for clean, uncluttered images, with simple colours – white, kraft, gold, ivory.  Brilliant idea, uh huh, uh  huh, I liked it (my plan, that is).  Busted out my new Cuttlebug birch tree embossing folder, my WPlus9 snowflake and sentiment, white cardstock, a snippet of gold foil, and went to town. Oh, but that birch folder is so pretty, however…

Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my card, I looked, for the umpteenth time at the sketch, and that’s when I realized..oops, as in ooops x 1,000000!! Background was wrong! Trees = upright; sketch = diagonal lines. Gahhh…Here's my 'wrong' card - proof of how observant I'm not...

Brilliant idea, uh uh, uh uh… I blew it! back to the drawing board. And this time, the background does have diagonal lines…and an inlaid star because I found a delightful challenge where stars are this week's theme:  Just Add Ink #193: Inspiration Challenge.

  My card is camera is naughty...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

December Birthday...Verve November Diva Dare: Shape Up

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to my US visitors, and Happy Wednesday evening to everyone, in general.

Because I know so many of you are busy preparing for Thanksgiving celebrations, I'll pop in...and out...with a quick post and share.  Kind of a 'craft and dash'..

My mother-in-law's birthday is in December, so I decided to create a birthday card with some Christmas flavour, just to see...

This one is heading to Verve November Diva Dare: Shape Up challenge, where we're invited to create a card using a "common" shape: squares, circles, hearts, stars...So many possibilities, and if you check out the entries, as well as the Diva's cards shared over the past several days, you will be 'wow-ed,' guaranteed!.

My sketch inspiration is from Mojo Monday #320, that I missed playing with when it was 'live' but that's okay: it's timeless.

Verve hearts, banner and sentiment...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visits and comments brighten my day!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bells and Joy...CASE Study #167

My previous post of my niece's Advent Calendar has me plumb out of steam, so you're in for a treat: short and sweet.

Over at CASE Study #167, you'll find a stunning card by Keisha Campbell:
The flowers against the chevron background: gorgeous contrast! In keeping with my Christmas cards only theme, I've 'tried' something chevrons or flowers, but sprigs of holly and a bell...

Ta dahhh...see, I followed through in exercising brevity!

Thanks for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Advent *Calendar* for my niece...Cut-it-Up Challenge Blog #32: Countdown, Simon Says Monday Challenge: Countdown.

Hello, and wishes for a most wonderful Tuesday to everyone.

My niece's Advent *Calendar* is finished, except for one item, that I'll explain later.  While my project is a countdown calendar, it's far from being a 'calendar' in size.  Just call me "Aunty Overboard"...

Here are the details:
  • each 'day' is cut from red or green or white cardstock, using Lil 'Inkers rectangle mats.  They're like little postcards...
  • numbers are Paper Smooches digit diecuts, from AC gold foil paper
  • images are a smattering from my collection: Newton's Mischief, Inkadinkado, MCT, TAWS and others...a bunch of NBUS that finally had a chance to play. Every 'day' has some glitter on the image, because Miss Three Years Old loves sprinkles that sparkle.
  • on the back of each day's mini- card (which I didn't photograph, because, as you can see my lighting was not cooperating!! Grrr...) I adhered a mini-kraft bag, which includes a little note for the day's activities (along with "Aunty C loves you") as well as a few coins.  Part of making the calendar is for her to collect the money, and put it in a special envelope - the item I have yet to make - that she'll put in the Children's Offering at church on Christmas Day.  She was fabulous in doing this with last year's Advent calendar, so this year, because she understands the concept of 'helping those in need' better, will be doubly heart-warming.
'Nuff's my *Calendar* (and again, apologies for the picture quality...the white really is white!!).

Oh yes, I'm entering this into the countdown challenges at Cut-it-Up Challenge Blog and Simon Says Monday Challenge.

Taking a photo of the entire production was a challenge - best I could do was standing on a chair, looking down...

Anyway, I hope Ms. T likes it.  Next on the schedule is my nephew's...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments brighten my day!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Signature Collection...Clearly Besotted challenge #6: Christmas

At some point this fall, I discovered, and subsequently was totally smitten by, the blog and products over at Clearly Besotted Stamps.  Magic happens when Stephanie creates cards. Magic.  Over the course of the past short while, having tossed 'exercising restraint' to the wind (one needs to listen to the voice of *want and need*), I've welcomed some CB products into my home.

One combination that I delighted in was the Signature Christmas Addition stamps and dies (should have bought the full Signature stamp collection, too. Silly me. Oh well, looks like I'll need to shop again.).

Even though they're 'last year's' models, they are 1,000% timeless, with their beautiful wreath, ornament, tree and bow images, and the small, yet delicately scripted 'Merry, & Bright" sentiment.  The Christmas challenge (I'll wait while you check out Stephanie's and the DTs samples. Delicious eye-candy, every one!).was the perfect opportunity to bring my small collection to the stage. This is a debut, and already I have ideas of how to renovate and re-create.

Here are my little 3 X 4 cards, with their accompanying envelopes which, yes, I know, bear a remarkable resemblance to their soon-to-be contents.  Sweet dies and stamps like these: they're just tooooo hard to put down!  My big wish for Santa: more inks, because my palette of, colours...doesn't provide for 'coordination' opportunities.  So,  yes, you'll see shades of red and green that don't quite match those in the patterned papers, but...I've tried to come as close as possible. Ink challenged = me!  That aside, these dies and stamps are superb; hope I've done them justice...

Here are the three cards...

Here they are with their matching envelopes:

The envelopes are a MCT die.

Apologies for the poor photography: my camera needs a new operator!! In real life, these are quite cute, and yes, they all have a wee bit of glitter...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Case of a Case: Hope and Joy...WPlus( Monday Mood Board #23, 4 Crafty Chicks #169: Anything Goes

Happy Sunday afternoon - I'm back from the craft fair, and I'll share more of my findings - the gift I found for my 1 1/2 year old nephew in particular - a bit later. For now...

Grey Cup Sunday in our *neck of the woods* today. I can't claim to be devoted to watching games during the season, but when this championship rolls around, I definitely join the cheering squad. No Alberta team (much to my mom's dismay: she is a football fan) in the grand finale, so I'm not sure who to root for: the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, representing the west, where I live, or the Hamilton Tiger Cats, from the east, just because.  Once my husband comes home from the biathlon competitions, I'll make my decision, because an ice cream bet is on the line.

The so talented Meredith, over at A Delightful Waste of Time blog (love that name!) is the November guest designer for WPlus9, and she has been sharing some incredibly beautiful cards, filled with all manner of inspiration! Early in the month, I asked if she'd consider making a card or two using some older WPlus9 sets, specifically, the Seasonal Sentiments "Peace-Hope-Joy" dies, since they're in my collection.  I sent her a photo of one of 'attempts' - a pretty clear sign that, yep, I desperately needed help!  Imagine my delight, and surprise, when this week, she answered my request with a most fabulous post, and a case - yes, a case! - of the card I shared.
Here's mine:
                                      and Meredith's:

Her card is pretty++++ So, using her case of my card, I decided to case her's: a case of a case, cased (or something along those lines...).

I used the Monday Mood Board as inspiration,
which I had some concerns about entering, initially, because...well, it's the whole Christmas cards only diet I'm sticking to, and these colours posed a challenge in that realm.  The 'insight" moment came when I spotted some coral, green  red  patterned papers in the Studio Calico Wonderland pad I have. Perfect! I'm also entering at 4 Crafty Chicks #169: Anything Goes.

I made a second card, simply because the Silver Bells die + stamps are so wonderful:

Here they are together...some old WPlus9 and some new...LOVE my WPlus9!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Sleigh Parking Only...Freshly Made Sketches #113

Hello again,
I've a bit of time before my I head off on my craft-fair expedition mentioned in my previous post, so I'm taking the opportunity to share my card for Freshly Made Sketches #113.
So many possibilities with this sketch, as you can see by the field of pretty entries already posted.

The Freshly Squeezed Stamp set, Hello December, came to live at my house a couple weeks back: such a fun set!
Today, the Sleigh Parking Only stamp is on stage...and I embossed it! Amazing!! (The sheen is hard to see in the photo...)

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Silver and Gold...Seize the Sketch #8

Hello ~ hope your Sunday is off to a bright start!

A quick post before I venture off into the cold, heading to a craft fair in our little mountain town. We've lived here for oh, seven years, and this is the first I've even heard about the fair, never mind the fact that it's held in the school where I work. Apparently I have a  serious case of 'blissfully oblivious'. I wonder what else I've been missing...sheesh!  Our librarian made some stunning stained glass pieces of the show, which is how I came to hear about it, and upon further queries (thereby confirming how out-of-tune I am!), found out that the organizers are quite 'selective' about who they allow into the fair.  Of course, that caught my curiosity immediately - not only do I want to see who the featured artists/crafters are selling their wares, but I'm also on a scouting mission. As far as I know, I'm on my ownsome in card-making here, so my little journey will prove illuminating, one way or another.  Hmmm...maybe, if no home-made cards are featured, I could (provided I get my act together) get a table for next year.  Possibilities...

Anyway...Bo Bunny's Silver and Gold patterned paper, part of my Christmas paper collection, is gorgeous. See:

Yes, I am hoarding it, but when my Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas dies and Signature Additions stamps arrived, as did a Memory Box tiny ribbon die, I saw the makings of a pretty match.

Simple card, using Seize the Sketch #8 as layout inspiration, 

the  CB ornament die, cut from silver foil, with the Merry and Bright sentiment silver embossed, and a tiny ribbon cut from gold foil.  My photo doesn't do justice to the lovely paper pattern and the fine lines of the dies, but...they are a pretty combination for a 'first try.' 

Since I have your attention...One of my Christmas gifts for my sweet three-year old niece is a subscription to a kids' magazine, called Chirp (the 'younger' version of Chickadee).  She likes receiving mail *just for her* so I figured this, as well as my monthly cards, would see two things heading her way). A couple weeks ago, while I was on the phone, waiting to place my order, I went on a wee journey of the site, and discovered a Holiday Greeting Card contest.  Kids, under age 14, are invited to draw a picture conveying their rendition of "A Joyous Celebration," with the winner's picture printed as an official 2014 UNICEF holiday greeting card. Cool, right!

Well, like any Aunty who thinks her niece is brilliant, and an 'artist-in-the-making," (and who herself, is a card-maker) I fired the link off to my brother and sister-in-law.  I received a copy of Ms. T's picture to be entered, yesterday...

I see a purple sun, because that's her favourite colour, with rays, some blue puddles and a most colourful rainbow . Check out those arcs - and she knows the colours of the rainbow. I was 'planning' to teach her the Roy G. Biv last summer, but she already knew!  She 'sang' the colours to me!! Call me biased, but I think she's conveyed "A Joyous Celebration" pretty well. She is 3... The pink paper: that's an Aunty C hand-me-down for the 'stash' I'm building for her (she has a lot of stuff in her stash...)

Can I call 'winner' on this??  Oh yes, I also suggested that her folks carry on with her "math" lessons (that I started, or rather, that she started, when I last visited), because (bear in mind, the contest is for 14 and under) "To claim the prize the entrant must correctly answer a time-limited mathematical skill-testing question."  Hahahahaha... if they ask her simple addition and subtraction (yes, I'm promoting her as a winner - it's an Aunty thing), all will be well.  Multiplying and dividing...maybe when she's four...  

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments add sparkle to my day!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bells, Bells,...retro sketches #90, CASology #71: Bells

Did  your week zip past as quickly as mine did? I'm combing my memory for highlights, but I'm coming up empty. The weather has swung like a pendulum: freezing, snowy, dangerous driving conditions early in the week, with today, and the weekend forecast, looking downright balmy.  Well, almost...we have snow which, for the opening biathlon competitions of the season is a good thing. My husband is involved as an executive director for the sport, but isn't a biathlete himself.  (Thank heavens - the bike racing is enough!). This means he'll be 'working,' and I'll know what I'll be doing :-)

Two of my evenings were dedicated to tasks non-card-making, and subsequently lead me into a bit of a dither. If anyone claims card-making is "not" addicting, I will certainly present evidence to the contrary! I need my crafty-time, otherwise...not. a. pretty. sight.

During the other two evenings, I managed some therapy time with my papers, dies and stamp.  Two card for this evening's post share  a common theme: bells. A   new set of stamps and dies from WPlus9 on the countertop (aka: my craft zone) and this week's CASology bell inspiration,
well...I couldn't help myself.  These bells are just so darn cute (and if only I had more inks to use, I'd be so much happier about doing them justice. Alas, limited stash means, for this duo, you'll see red bells only. I'm aiming for silver next week...I hope!).

My first card was inspired by this one (totally adorable. Now I'm thinking I should subscribe to the SSS kits) from the amazingly talented Shari Carroll, and  is off to CAS-ology only:

My second card joins its partner at CAS-olgy, and is also off to Retrosketches #80

Vellum and I - we don't work so well together (many of the entries feature this element beautifully) 
so I slightly adapted the sketch, opting to pair  last season's WPlus9 word and snowflake die with 
new Silver Bells sets.  
Note:  So honoured to receive a Shout out at Retro Sketches for this card.  Thank you!!

More "pretty" from the Silver Bells set to come...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments add sparkle to my day!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dear Santa (X 2)....CAS(E) this Sketch #54, Just Us Girls #215, Pixie's Snippets Playground, Less is More


A brief zip back in to share two cards sharing similar elements.  When I saw this week's CAS(E) this Sketch #54,

 and embarked on a variety of 'starts' (and subsequent recycles/re-uses), I remembered my mini folder dies. Play time!

First card is for the following challenges: CAS(E) this Sketch #54, Pixie's Snippets Playground: Week 99 (such a delightful place!), Less is More: Use Designer Paper in a CAS Way (I entering a 'cas' challenge.  I hope I'm not too far off base - if I am, just let me know and I'll scoot away) and Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for November: Anything Goes.

The second card is for the same challenges, with the addition of Just Us Girls #215, colour challenge of red, kraft, white and brown. 

The brown is on the 'inside" of the folder; hopefully, you can see the tab...

Here they are side-by-each:

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Penguins and Polka-dots...TAWS BE Inspired #41

Wednesday, already, and once again I've fallen behind-the-times in posting. Perhaps one of my New Year's resolution should be: make card. Post. Immediately.  It's a thought...

As is obvious, I'm on the Christmas card only diet for the next while. Sticking with it, because, venturing off right about now would have me a) fretting over not giving my Christmas stash items enough play-time before Dec. 26 comes around and b) experiencing a rapid onset of, as Darnell coined so well in her post today, splitzophrenia.  We (See, the signs are already visible!!) I don't want Mr. Mojo becoming Mr. Nojo...or Mr. WhattheheckJo anytime soon, so Christmas it is.

Inevitably, over the next while, I'll decide to enter challenges that are not 'necessarily' Christmas-themed, because that's how I'm wired. I could just by-pass said challenges, but noooooo...sometimes the opportunity  for mental gymnastics just needs to be heeded.  And so goes my entry for TAWS BE Inspired #41, with this lovely image of polka-dot dishes which, by the way, would be more than welcome in my kitchen cabinets. More. Than. (Ours...not so pretty. Functional. Not pretty.  They were my husband's from his *BC* (before Carol) days.  I think he likes them.. 'Nuff said. Guess what's on my Christmas list. Yep).

I have several TAWS stamps sets, because they are so darn adorable, however, only one set is Christmas-y: No Peeking. So, I paired up a TAWS image with a bunch o'dots...and here's my card.  

Isn't this penguin a cutie?  I popped him on a cardstock circle, jazzed up his heart with stickles, nestled him among some polka-dotted Bo Bunny paper and embossed his little 'no peeking' bubble.  Hope my 'take' did him justice, because he really is a sweetie!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

#Christmas...Freshly Made Sketches #112

Hello again,

In my previous post, I shared two tag cards. Two out of the three that can be made with one sheet of card stock. A poor single tag remained, sitting alone, neglected, when a sudden *flash* of inspiration hit.

This week's Freshly Made Sketches #112 is clever,
but all week, no pings (as Happy Dance Bev, would say), no hamsters running about with ideas (as Darnell oft claims), no nothing. Until I spotted my "need to use you soon" set of Freshly Squeezed Stamps - Hello, December - that I recently had the delight of winning.
That set and I: we had a mini-mind meld.  And the tag was lonely no more...

Isn't this paper funky? BoBunny Christmas pad...

Yes, my embossing needs work, but I hope I've conveyed that this set is a whole lot of fun! Ideas for
using the other images are pinging and ponging even as I write. Glad they've had a
debut; next time, their showcase will be even better!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!