Tuesday, December 24, 2013

For my niece, TAG! I'm *IT*!! Round 8, and for mom and dad...Merry Monday: Use an Animal, The Pink Elephant #231: Anything Goes

Hello once again...

A while back, my dad asked if I would make a card for my niece, for him, to give to her. And not just 'any card'. No siree...he had a plan.  The plan was based on his observation that "she seems to have a liking for the Care Bear person."  Well, I'm not sure if he knew (at the time), that Care Bear 'person' is not a specific bear, but a whole 'sleuth' of them.  I looked that up: a group of bears is called a sloth or sleuth.  Where we live, so too do sleuths of bears. They are not 'care bear cute'; they are big and scary (my view), occasionally wandering a wee tooooo close to our town for my comfort, and their safety.  Bears: I like them best when they stay in the forest, out of sight, away from me.  Don't even get me started on cougars.  Care Bears, however, are a completely different story...

I searched far and wide for Care Bear stamps; no luck.  Next direction, internet search. I googled Care Bears Christmas colouring pages (and coloring pages, just in case the "Canadian" spelling was a throw-off), and while I found plenty of sweet images, one truly Christmas-themed didn't appear in my view.  So, being that I'd accepted the task, that Pa was counting on me and that, actually, his image choice was perfect for Ms. T...I adapted.  The image I chose is intended for a birthday, as the Care Bear had a cupcake on its tummy, however, with some Christmas colours, the addition of  snowflakes and great big heart (a bit too big given the size the bear, but from what I've learned from the Grinch, 'big heartedness' is a positive. Besides, it's sparkly and she'll like that), I think I've made it sufficiently Christmas-y.

Animal on the card fits the current Merry Monday challenge,

so I'm heading there, as well as to The Pink Elephant #231: Anything Goes.

Hope Pa approves...

If you have another minute, (thank you...I know you're busy!), here's the card/envelope for my mom and dad, 

and Round 8 of my tags.  I went with a 'little'' canvas this time. It's simple math: the shorter the time, the smaller the tags (but still a bit of time involved in assembling the the bell arrangements. LOVE this WPlus9 die/stamp combination)

Just as a side note:  the letters *from* Santa that I sent to the kids arrived. Yayyy...

To all my wonderful blog friends: I wish you the merriest Merry Christmas ever!  May Christmas Day see you surrounded by family and friends, enjoying gifts of time, peace,  joy and LOVE!  Rest, relax, rejuvenate, indulge, enjoy...all things good and wonderful, may they come your way!!!

All of you have brought me untold joy over these past few months: thank you so much! 

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

TAG!! I'm *IT*!! Round 7...CAS(E) this Sketch #58, The Pink Elephant 231: Anything Goes

Happy Christmas Eve!!  We're heading to visit my family in about seven hours (who's counting...pick me!!), and I still have oodles to do!  Another set of tags to make (or at least get ready for assembling at my parents'), packing, putting together the *mobile crafting unit*, cleaning (gahhh...need a tidy home before we leave. It's a 'must'), a card for my brother and sister-in-law.  I'll be ready to snuggle into my passenger seat in the car and have a rest!  We're planning to take my mom to the Christmas Eve celebration at 8 tonight, and that alone, has me excited!!  Fingers crossed roads will be decent and all preparations will go well beforehand!

So, quick post (or two) to share my latest creations.  Here are my Round 7 tags - simple, but a chance to bring out my Signature Additions Clearly Besotted dies once again, along with some PS sentiments and Lil Inkers stitched rectangles.  Inspiration drawn from CAS(E) this Sketch #58 

 The Pink Elephant has an Anything Goes challenge (yayy....), so I'll enter there, as well.

Two on stage...

and here's the rest of the crew...

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

Sunday, December 22, 2013

TAG! I"m *IT*!! Round 7...CASology Week 75: Knitting, Merry Monday #88 (use an animal)

Whoosh..back again!

Part 1 of my 'post story'...
Last week, I was, once again, dazzled and delighted by another stunning card created by the ever-so-talented Cindy Lovell, which she submitted to retrosketches.  Of course, I was *compelled* to go on a case-venture, because her card  is soooo striking (mine, not so much) and uses some products that I have in my collection.  Here's Cindy's card and my little interpretation below.

See...isn't Cindy's card amazing!!

And here's my rather busy little concoction...

Part 2 of my "post story"

While I was die-cutting and pasting away (maintaining my Christmas card only diet, of course), humming along with Christmas carols, an idea pinged...and quickly became the design template for Round 6 of my 90 tags venture.  The photobooth die started it all. Actually, Cindy started  it all, so THANK YOU Cindy for sparking inspiration for these tags.

The first three are heading to CASology Week 75,

and the next 7 are off to Merry Monday #88

Yes, indeed, clearly besotted with Clearly Besotted!!

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

Be Jolly...Seize the Sketch #10, Freshly Made Sketches #117

Good Morning...and oh, how the excitement is building! Nowhere near ready to travel, but that's okay...I have tomorrow and Tuesday morning to figure it all out!

Because everyone is busy x 1,000,000, I'm aiming for *cas* posts, as I have several in the works to catch up on what I've made.  One thing that will become abundantly obvious: that I'm clearly besotted with my most recent Clearly Besotted stamps and dies welcomed into my collection.  You'll soon see why (Hint: stinkin' cute!!!).

My husband is meeting two of the Cycling Association gals tomorrow morning for a "Merry Christmas & Thank You" breakfast (he's a very nice President of the Association!). One is on the Racing Committee; the other is the Road, Track and Cyclo-cross Event coordinator, soon to be departing - Jan 2 - for a six month leave of absence to...are you ready...organize and participate in guided cycling tours in Africa!!  Her spirit of adventure, and especially, her gumption in exploring things 'out of the ordinary', continually amaze me! She'll be back in June, with stories to tell, for sure!!  Anyway, I decided that a couple of cards should tag along for the breakfast date. The girls are a ton of fun, so I made them each a fun 'mini-ish' card and matching envelope.  The cards are headed for Seize the Sketch #10

and the envelopes are going to Freshly Made Sketches #117

Here they are..the debut of my Clearly Besotted reindeer and snowman...

Told you...stinkin' cute images.  A-DOR-A-BLE!! 

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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Birthday Blog Hop THANKS!!...Paper Smooches: Anything Goes

 Hello – only three more sleeps before we head north to celebrate with my family, and I think the excitement (and pressure – still cards and tags to make!) has me in a flap!  I made some tags, a couple cards, hiked up to husband’s office (he’s in a bit of ‘forced work-aholicism’ these days with biathlon events back-to-back-to-back),  went to Canadian Tire where I scored a super sale on a much needed flat iron for my wacky hair (the other one blew its fuse on Friday…at least it timed its expiry to coincide with a sale) as well as some little storage bins (we’re spilling out all over with my crafty stuff!), made an ‘effort’ at a couple more tags and then. ..hello!!  I realized that the PS challenge is near to closing!  So, here I am…and I’m shifting back, briefly, to the most wonderful birthday celebration I was treated to on Monday. 

In addition to the blog hop (spectacular x 10000!!), my family had a couple surprises for me, too.  Chats with my mom and sister were wonderful, and the Skype call with my niece and nephew: fabulous!   Ms. Niece sang Happy Birthday and Jingle Bells (she’s certainly not shy!), showed me her ‘jump off the stairs and pirouette’ (sort of) new learning from gymnastics, and decided that I *had* to see the shoe wardrobe for one of her doll sets.  Mr.  Nephew, to my extreme delight, when he saw me,  jumped up and down, shouted” Aunty, Aunty” (I listened very closely, and he distinctly said “AunTy”, not AnDy, which he’s been able to say for a while now…hmmm!!), then ran up to the screen and gave me a big smooch!  Heart melted!  Of course, my niece joined in…I can only imagine the lip prints on their iPad.   Excited to see them SOON!!

And then, there’s my dad…oh, he’s so funny sometimes and quite clever!!  He made me  a ‘card of cards’, using images of cards I’ve made as his ‘design’ template.  Judging by the selections, I think he just might read my blog on occasion!!  Inside was one of his poems, which I’m sharing here.  He’s spot on with capturing the ‘essence’ of what making cards is all about – and last I checked, I’ve never seen a poem with this as a topic (trust me: as a former English teacher a whole lotta poems have crossed my path).  Yes, it’s quirky, but it’s also awesome, because my dad made it for me…and I’m ‘spreading the love’ to all of you, passionate as I am about our craft:

This birthday card of cards is just for you,
to show some things that you have done and like to do!

The making of a card starts a threefold expansion of joy:
first to the creator who decides on the theme to employ;
next to the sender who passes the card on to another;
then to the receiver who can enjoy its fond wishes forever!

A card can show many things, places or seasons.
They are given to others on special occasions or for no reasons,
just as a reminder that you are thinking of them and do care
about what they do and the good will you want to share.

We hope this card is one you can enjoy and remember
it is part of our best wishes on your birthday this December!

I think it’s sweet!

My card today, heading for the PS Anything Goes Challenge

is for all of you - my crafting family and my family family – who made my birthday something truly out of this world!  Yes, I’m still basking in the glow…(and I managed best I could to stay on my Christmas-themed only diet...)

It's simple, but it comes from the heart!  
Thank you, Bev, Ardyth, Anita, Geri, Kimberly, Shannon, Darnell, (sidenote: check out Darnell's baking blog: hilarious!!), Barb, Amy, Dana, Cindy, Savannah, Greta, and Kylie!!

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

NOTE:  So delighted to be selected as a Featured Player over at PS! Thank you!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry and Bright Card and TAG! I'm *IT*!! Round 6...CAS(#) this Sketch #57

I have so much to be thankful for this week - especially the AWESOME surprise birthday party held on Monday, planned by the incredibly sweet, darling, amazing Bev and the group of fabulous, wonderful guests who joined. I'm still in (and will be for quite a while to come) awe at how special the event was!  Never has my birthday been celebrated in such a most unexpected, beautiful, thoughtful and heart-warming way!  A proper *thank you* post is in the works!  I shared the links with my dad and mom, and both were soooo impressed.  My dad, as I've mentioned, isn't much of a talker, but he sent me an message, making abundantly clear that he thought your words and cards were top-notch!  As for mom, tickled pink she was, as was my husband!  Your kindness has had a ripple effect and I know that your goodness will be rewarded. I treasure all of you, more than you can possibly know!

Right now, I'm in a bit of a dither, trying to create a few cards for my family (and to those of you who have sent me oh-so-beautiful cards - have I mentioned how blessed I am?? - I am so grateful! I likely won't get Christmas ones to you, but one of my resolutions is to send cards in the New Year more often.  So stay tuned...I have your addresses :-) ) make 40 more tags, continue with the thesis proofreading project,  get through a few more days of work, help my husband with a biathlon event on Saturday, carry on with cards, over Sunday and Monday, and then...travel time!! Woo hoooo...Much to do, much busy-ness...

For now, here's my card for CAS(E) this Sketch #57

A less wide background, methinks, would be an improvement...

NOTE: So delighted that my card was selected for an honourable mention at CAS(E) this Sketch. Sparkles added to my day!!!

Because I rather liked the 'concept' of what I did, it spilled over into Round 6 of tags.  They were a production (hot glue gun required!), but such a great  opportunity to play with some new goodies....

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

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas Snowflake and Hearts....Freshly Made Sketches

Good Monday Morning!!

The weekend passed in a blur, with nearly all of Saturday spent proofreading a thesis (trust me, not mine!) that was quite fascinating and yesterday, crafting, while listening to Christmas Carols.  Michael Buble, specifically and oh my, wonderful!  In the midst of seeming 'everything' I did, I still feel as though I accomplished very little!  Ever experience that?  I still have cards for family to make, and tags; however, Round 5 are nearly done! Assembly line assembling planned for later.

My morning's first realization: I didn't post my Freshly Made Sketches card! Before the link closes (even before I pour a cup of coffee!), and before I head to work - in the rain (crazy weather!) and chinook wind - I'd best do so.  I'll also add that I was completely, totally and 100% inspired by Cindy Lovell's stunning card shared in the DT gallery.  Her work is amazing.  Absolutely amazing!!

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

Friday, December 13, 2013

Snowy Day Tags...Inky Paws #5, Simon Says: Let it Snow, CAS-ual Fridays #123: Let it Snow

Hello!  Friday...yayyy!!  One more weekend, five days and Christmas-New Year's break begins, for a full two weeks. Yes, feel free to imagine how happy-dancing excited I am! Between now and then, though, the plate is full, with my #1 priority the thesis I'm editing and proofreading; my completion goal is Sunday.  After that, I *need* to craft!  Can you believe that despite the numerous cards I've made, I've not sent a single one. Not one (at this rate, I may need to send Happy New Year's cards instead...hmmm, I do have some New Years products requiring attention)!

My stash has been de-stashed, and that's happy news. The cards I passed along to my mom for her Christmas Bazaar sold. All sold - and according to mom's report, the majority were bought by a young guy, who just 'happened' to be in the market for home-made cards. I'm so delighted that mine appealed to him. The more recent cards found a home with our school's librarian, who makes the most lovely stained glass pieces of art.  We negotiated an exchange: my cards, her glass.  Once I decide on which piece I want - gift for my sister, I think - I'll share here.  A win-win arrangement, all around.

For now, a quick share of two tags that I'm 'testing out' for another round of 10, for the 90 tags I'm making.  Inky Paws #5

sparked the layout, and of course, my image choices, from the super cute Snow Day set.  I'm also entering the "let it snow' challenges at CAS-ual Fridays #123 and Simon Says Wednesday Challenge.

Here's my  *snowshoe* hare and  toque-and-scarf sporting penguin, water-coloured with distress markers...

Aren't these images super sweet?  I think my decision is made: going for a set of 10!

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

TAG! I'm *IT*!! Round 4...Wanna Sketch #11

Hello once again!

Very (I mean it!) very quick post.  My husband's on his way home - finally - after yet another long day at the range; biathlon range, that is.  He's starving; I'm starving, so...in the few minutes before the door opens, I'm sharing Round 4 of the 90 tags I'm making for my sister-in-law.  Small rectangles, WPlus9 Silver Bells stamps and dies, red,silver, green and brown ink,and the layout inspired by Lisa's Wanna Sketch #11....in 'miniature'....

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

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Trees, please...CAS-ual Fridays #122, Mojo Monday #323, Retro Sketches #93


Well, I’ve entered a flurry of ‘busy’ for the next short while – not card-making or Christmas related (I know…hard to believe!) -  and as a result, my card-posting is all a-jumble.  Umm, actually  it’s always in a jumble...

 A couple months back, I introduced myself to the lady who was substituting for the school’s librarian, and discovered that she had recently created a little ‘transcription and editing’ business for herself.  We chatted about that for a bit, and I left, letting her know that should the demands on her time require an ‘extra set of eyes,’ I’d certainly be willing to help.  Two days later, she called, and I had my first stint: proofreading and editing a research paper on bridge girders.  Truly, it was quite interesting!  Shortly after, I had another; this time dealing with concrete polymers. And again, I learned something I’d never thought about (and it’s a good thing others do!): concrete stability/instability, and why ‘this’ mixed with ‘that’ is perhaps not in a structure’s’ best interests.  Over the weekend, yet another opportunity came my way: a thesis.  A 323 page thesis, to be precise, addressing the topic of biomedical communication.  Vastly new territory for me – and quite intriguing, from the synopsis the student provided – so, I dived in and told her that yes, I was most interested.  The thesis wasn’t quite at the ‘final draft’ stage when we first chatted, but today, a whole bunch of pages landed in my inbox, and more arrived as the day progressed.  I spent a significant chunk of time, delving into her research,  and wow: impressive!  Hopefully, my editing will see her paper polished and tuned well, ready for submission next week.  I fully understand that you’re likely shaking your head in disbelief, as the writing on my blog  doesn’t showcase particularly strong writing/grammar skills, but I do enjoy editing - just not my own stuff.  I must say, though, if I see one more  et al. today, I may go a wee bit bananas….

Anyway, time to post cards.  This go-round, the focus is on ‘trees,’ or rather, "out on a limb" (hmmm...fitting considering my latest endeavour) the current challenge at CAS-ual Fridays

Two cards, same stamp, and two different layouts.

The first uses the sketch from Mojo Monday 323,minus the twine parts, as I'm all thumbs when it comes to anything string or ribbon like.

The second card's sketch is from Retro Sketches #93 - which I admit to a) modifying a bit and b) getting carried away with, a bit, as you'll see in future posts.

(I'll pre-apologize for the bad lighting; we're down to just under 8 hours of daylight...)

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

Monday, December 9, 2013

TAG! I'm *IT*!! Round 3...Curtain Call: Christmas Countdown, Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge #102

Two more weeks before our Christmas-New Year break begins and I am soooo counting down the days (12 to go...)!  Between now and then, my husband will be working full-tilt, with no weekend breaks in sight until the one following Christmas.  He may have a day or two off during the week, but even that time will be filled with wrapping up the first semester of his Leadership course.  Busy man, indeed. In the meantime, yours truly will carry on doing what I can to cover the bases for him at home and, of course, carrying on crafting.  I'm waiting, in what is now unbridled anticipation, for some Black Friday purchases to arrive in my mail box.  Excited...new goodies (on top of some "old" new goodies that are still in their packaging)!  I think that's why I'm sort of 'stalling' in my tag-creating enterprise...waiting for new-comers to make their arrival.  Did I mention: my sister-in-law's original request for 70 tags is now up to 90... LOVE it!!  As of today, I have 40 done...only 50 more to go (which is great, because now I can decide on 5 more 'different' sets to make...need to keep the mass producing interesting).

So, with that little 'countdown' info as a preamble, I'm sharing Round 3 of my tags, focused on my favourite Christmas word:  Joy.  They're heading off to Curtain Call: Christmas Countdown 

and, because they were all made with snippets of this and that, to Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge #102.

Here they are:  my little tags that I hope will bring Joy to sister-in-law's staff and volunteers:

Aren't the little bears on these last two cutie-patooties! 

Round #4 is done, so I'll be posting them soon. Today's goal is to decide what Round 5 will be.  So many possibilities. Hope that some happy mail arrived!

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

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A First Chalkboard...Merry Monday #86, Freshly Made Sketches #115

Hello!  Hope you have some craft time in the midst of the hustle and bustle. My post will be quick: our furnace - coming on rather frequently of late - seems to interfere with our internet connection, so 'sporadic' is happening. Silliness...

My husband is off to work this crisp, sunny Sunday, helping with timing preparations for an International Paralympic Cross-country Skiing and Biathlon Competition set to run during most of the week, where over 120 athletes from all over the world will be competing. It's quite the hoopla, as the races serve as qualifying events for Paralympics to be held in Sochi, in March.  Fortunately, temperatures are set to warm slightly, which is a very good thing. Have you seen what those skiers wear?  Yikes! Not enough layers, people...not enough!!

Brisk out today, but the skies are blue...here's a glimpse  of what I see out my kitchen patio windows (which, by the way, are single-pane glass. Seriously. I'm not sure what the builders were thinking...Drapes to cut the draft are on my Christmas list.).  The mountains are so spectacular....

Anyway, I'm here to share my first ever attempt at the chalkboard technique, which was this week's Merry Monday challenge.  
The amazing Darnell is the guest designer, and with her card as inspiration - and as much as I was reluctant to try - I decided - last moment - to give it a go.  More practice needed, but at least I can say 'trend tried'.  My layout comes from Freshly Made Sketches #115:

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

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Merry Christmas and Holiday Cheer...Paper Smooches Anything Goes, Deconstructed Sketch #129, Seize the Sketch #9, Virtual Smooches

Hello ~ Hope this Saturday finds you well, and enjoying the rather delightful *chaos* that comes with Christmas drawing closer.

Today, my husband and I donned our respective down-coats and other frigid weather apparel, scuttled into the car (poor thing, left outside, exposed to the elements), and went on a brief shopping trip. I've capitulated to the reality that dressing for the temperatures is not going to involve anything even close to stylish, fashionable or  trendy (not that I dress accordingly anyway!), so I treated myself to a new pair of Mark's Work Wearhouse T-Max socks.  They are toasty, plus and plushy, plus...like little, cosy, poofy pillows for your feet.  My husband thinks I'm goofy, with my childish delight in  my pink+purple striped socks, and now, my black and grey ones.  Yes. He's right, but given how squishy warm they are, I'm okay with that. Love 'em...

I nearly forgot that the Paper Smooches challenges - this week's SPARKS  is Anything Goes - close on Saturdays, so a la my usual nearly last minute style, here I am...with two.  I don't have any Christmas-specific PS products, aside from the Christmas Sentiment sampler, so adapting, adapting...

First card is heading to PS, with a layout inspired by Deconstructed Sketch #129:

and the 'note book die extension' tips from the ever charming, ever creative Savannah, at Virtual Smooches.

PS Note book and digits die, and Christmas Sentiment Sampler

My second card was also inspired by Savannah Virtual Smooches, where this week, she used the Loopy Leaf die for place setting wreaths. Tooooo cute...so I took out my LL die, and played along, too.  The layout comes from Seize the Sketch #9 (one I'm keeping for down the road...possibilities galore!).

Loopy Leaf die "holly," heart from the Wedding Shower dies, and a Christmas 
Sampler sentiment

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

Note:  So excited that my first card was a PS 'find,' and is showcased on the PS site.  Wow X Wow!! Thanks, Kim!!!