Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween (X 2)...retrosketches #87; Inky Paws Challenge #4; Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes, Just B Creative Linky Party

Happy Halloween Eve!  I'm sn*eek*ing in with the finale of my "Halloween cards only" diet.  While I'm a bit sad that my spooky goodies will be heading to the 'put away' bin soon - we've shared fabulous time together -  it's time to move on!  After this *diet* I'm ready to go hog-wild planning Christmas cards/projects, with some sprinklings of "other" occasions mixed in.  Variety is the spice, right?  So excited to dive in to my Christmas patterned paper pads...yummy, plus.  Ooops, I'm wandering - as always - off topic.  The diet's still the focus, so...

My first card is off to Newton's Nook Inky Paws Challenge #4 for the sketch and image inspiration,
as well as to Simon Says Wednesday Challenges: Anything Goes, and a new discovery (thanks to Susie, who has such darling cards and projects on her site) over at Just B Creative Crazy: October Just Because Linky Party.

I thought the little bats on the paper would pair well with Vampire Bunny; and sorry, 
bow-tying is out of my league, so I went with a flourish...

My finale card (I'm almost feeling teary with yet another 'occasion' coming and going...whooooshhh) is heading to Retrosketches #87
as well as the Simon and Just B Creative Challenges.

That's it...'bye Boo Crew! See you next year!!  (Shhhh....I have some Newton's Holiday Mischief waiting for a turn on the stage, so it's a bittersweet turn-about!)  

Thank you ever so much for all your support on my "Halloween cards only" diet! Your warm comments of encouragement have made this first time experience beyond fabulous!  Tonight's project is deciding who - education assistants, the librarian (she makes amazing glass art!) and a smattering of teachers - will get which card - and adding a little treat, just for good measure!  Really, I am such a kid sometimes...

Thanks for dropping by! Your visit is welcome and your comments appreciated!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10 Days to Halloween Countdown Calendar...Cut it Up Challenge #30:Halloween, Simon Says Monday Challenge: Anything Goes, Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Halloween

My niece is just over 3 ½ years old; my nephew just over 1 ½. They are the lights of my life and they are my ‘reasons’ for a good majority of my craft purchases.  Link an “I *need* this…for the kids”, a couple of battings of the eyelashes, along with “see how cuuuuute it is”  – and my husband gives the nodded go ahead to shop. He’s so sweet…and soooo enabling!!

With my niece now old enough to understand – sort of – the concepts of calendars and countdowns (we did some ‘mini’ math adding and subtracting during our last visit, using teddy graham cookies. In my defense, especially as a former teacher, I did not start this ‘education-y’ type stuff!!  She did!), I decided that a 10 Day Countdown to Halloween calendar was a must do.  It was a wonderful chance to showcase my purchases/wins (so fortunate - especially a thank you to Jen at Newton's Nook Designs for Boo Crew!); to play with some products that have been a bit neglected of late; and especially, to make something for my girl!!

Because I wanted this to be a countdown, I wielded my “Aunty C” influence as best I could. I suggested to my sister-in-law that she, or my brother, give Tessa one little calendar piece a day, 'adding' to the completed project, rather than giving her the whole production at once. I recall last year's Advent calendar I made for her:  she wanted to open all the little envelopes the first day!  I know, I know… once I pass my creations over, what happens is out of my hands, but my sister-in-law  liked the plan, especially since a wee chocolate is attached to the back of each little “day”.   A chocolate a day (shared with her brother) is a good thing, because left to her own devices,  Ms. Niece would embrace a full chocolate only diet quite happily (with some pizza and carrots for variety)!

The  countdown on Oct. 21st; on Sunday, when we chatted on the phone, she was telling me allll about the numbers  she’d received so far:  “today was 6 days to go, and tomorrow is five days to go.”  She gets it!! Hopefully, I’ll get some photos of her with her ‘finished’ calendar.  Can’t wait to make her and my nephew each their own  Advent calendar…after I’m done my *Halloween cards only* diet J

Here’s the calendar:  simple and, I hope, cute!!   I’m sharing this over at Cut It Up Challenge #30: Halloween, and Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Halloween, and Simon Says Monday Challenge: Anything Goes 

I know...butterflies (on the Day 1 "card") for Halloween is weird, but she likes butterflies...

Here's a couple of close-ups

 And here's the whole thing...(candies are on the back, along with a coin for her "kids who need help" fund we started with her....

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments are always welcome!

Happy Halloween once again...MFTWSC #147

My Halloween cards only diet continues for another day or so - need to make sure my spooky-themed products get their pre-October 31st moment on stage.  Quick share this morning with my entry into MFTWSC #147,

Goal for "soon" - improve photo quality, or at least remember to take pictures in daylight. 
Sheesh! My ghost is white!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments are always welcome!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ink Splash Halloween...Little Tangles Challenge #23 - Sketch

Cold, snowy, brrrr-day...perfect recipe for card-making, hibernating, cookie-baking and all things inside, toasty warm.  I just finished creating my entry for the Little Tangles: Challenge 23, (such a wonderful sketch from June)

which I wasn't sure I'd do, given the *Halloween cards only diet* that I''m currently on and the Neat and Tangles stamps - primarily birthday/inspiration - that I have (fabulous stamps! Seriously fabulous!!).  But then, with the help of the inspiration card here - the sparks ignited.  I inked up my Ink Splash stamps, which were NBUS for me, but not my niece, who had a great time last weekend making splashes and splotches with them. I admit to a near "gahhhh" moment, when she announced, "I'm making new colours, Aunty C" and, turning to look, she was pressing one dewdrop into another, then another, then another...Eeek, until it occurred to me that a) I brought those inks for *her* to play with and b) I don't really like them that much, anyway. Actually, her 'fresh palette' was rather pretty...

(ETA:  So honoured and excited that my little creation was selected as Top Tangle! THANK YOU so much!)

Just had a call from my husband, in Ottawa, who instructed me to check out Canadian Cycling magazine, and guess what I found there....ta dahhh...Here's he is (sporting his new glasses and spiky hair...whatever), receiving an award to celebrate the Tour of Alberta, held in September.  He's rather a cutie; glad I married him ;-)

Off to deal with a couple chores...I'll likely be back. Still need to share my 10 Days to Halloween Countdown calendar...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments are welcome and appreciated!

Spooky and Scary...Seize the Sketch #6, Freshly Made Sketches #109, Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Halloween

Another "on my ownsome" weekend, as my husband flew to Ottawa early Friday morning for meetings with the Canadian Cycling Association, where all things 'bike' are on the agenda. I, left behind, had my own bike-festivities - drove into the 'big city' early yesterday morning, where I was the chief official at the ever-so-fun Beans and Barley Cyclocross Event.  The turnout was amazing, with close to 200 riders, the weather was outstanding, and the competition entertaining. Two highlights: riders (except for the elite category) were allowed to wear Halloween costumes (as long as we could see their numbers), and the best, by far, was one of the gals who rode a full-body - head included - gingerbread suit. Talk about getting into the spirit!
The second highlight was the little kids' race, where a field of 30 wee ones - some on mini mountain bikes, others on runbikes (they are awesome, those bikes - teaches  kids balance like nothing else and the kids love them - they can roar around like you wouldn't believe, using their little legs for power).  A most fabulous time, although the combination of driving to-and-from the city (over an hour each way), long day, fresh air, and being 'on the alert' for the races' duration, saw me coming home in pretty much a state of "hello, what's my name again?"  It was a good tired, though, and the outing to see my 'bike people' was such a perk.

As lovely as yesterday's weather was, the diametric opposite is forecast today. Right now, the snowflakes are swirling about, with a predicated accumulation of 10 - 15 cm; and that's on top of the rain (freezing inevitable) that's also fallen. Snowfall warning in effect, is the official report.  Hopefully, my husband's flights won't be affected, although he's not coming home until tomorrow.  Hopefully, my car doors won't be frozen shut or the drive to work overly sketchy. Hmmm...maybe a walking day, although I'd have to leave really early....possibilities!

Anyway, two cards to share today, sticking as I am with my Halloween diet that I mentioned in my previous post.
First one is for Seize the Sketch  #6  and yes, I made some modifications...

The second is for Freshly Made Sketches #109, with yep, a bit of 'interpretation"

(apologies for the photos; with the cloudy, gloomy skies, the lights-on-day is a given)
Halloween theme means another zip over to Simon Says Wednesday Challenge

Snow, rain, cold...whatever will I do today....:-)

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments are always welcome and appreciated!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feathers + Fur Halloween Cuties... Paper Smooches SPARKS, Simon Says Wednesday Challenge, Unscripted Sketches #227, Retro sketches #86

I've put myself on a very stringent diet plan: Halloween cards for the next couple of days. Only ONE choice on the menu!  As much as allllll my Christmas products (especially the papers, oh my goodness, the papers...) are calling me, I will. not. listen.  Halloween. That's it. No sampling; no tempting treats (well, maybe some sorting of said papers, and gazing at the patterns!); no deviating. With only seven days to go before the 31st, I need to maximize my Halloween stamps and papers. So that's the deal; done and settled!

Two cards to share today - quickly, because the entry time lines are drawing near.

First is my "feather' cutie pie card, heading off to Paper Smooches SPARKS: Cool Shades challenge for the colour inspiration (which I stretched just a weeeeee little bit)

along with Retrosketches #86 for the sketch piece:
Here's my PS Chubby Chums little owl, making its debut and wearing its "Halloween" purple and orange feathers costume..

I know it's quite a departure from the stunning entries already posted, but...sticking to my Halloween meal plan.  The little wink of teal sequin - hope that fulfills the Cool Shades requirement.

(My little owl was awarded Feature Player status over on the PS blog; I'm sooooo honoured:

Second card, is one of the cutest doxxie's EVER - from Newton's Nook Designs Boo Crew  - sporting her princess crown and tutu over at Unscripted Sketches #227:

Check out Bev's little dachshund here. Sweet or what??

Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Halloween  - both headed that way, too.

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blue Pumpkin...Curtain Call: Gorgeous Gourds, STAMPlorations #1

A few days back - actually on my brother's 40th birthday (which he managed to evade celebrating with us, as he went off on a boy-bonding excursion with his buddies, to Moab - the ever thoughtful, warm, delightful Happy Dance Bev shared a charming snowman card for a new challenge blog she's discovered: STAMPloraitons.  Sauntering over to take a look, I found this wonderful sketch:
I fully intended to play along much earlier than I did (which is mere hours before the link closes), but play I did, using the lovely Gorgeous Gourds over at Curtain Call as my image inspiration.

No surprise that waiting until last minute comes along with a few bumps in the process - like poor lighting for photographing, as well as using new products that maybe should be tested out further in advance (the watercolour paper is my 'bone of contention' here - should have stayed with my old tried and true stuff), but I'm okay-ish with my little 'out of the box' creation.  In real life, my background papers actually are white, my pumpkin  is a richer, prettier shade of "tumbled glass" with leaves of "peeled paint" and the sequins aren't quite as sparkly as they appear (then again, why I used sequins with watercolour/distress inks is just plain odd!).  Anyway, it's a bit cute, a bit whimsical and a bit different...

Since you've stopped by, I'll invite you to a 'no more talking from me' showcase of my gallery of baby cards I made last week for my sister-in-law's mom.  A lot of newborns arriving in her circle of friends and family in the next short while (she's already asked for four more!):

Inspiration for the chickie baby cards is here.

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

An *Owl-y* Trick or Treat....MFTWSC 146, Dynamic Duos #75, Simon Says: Halloween, The Pink Elephant #222

I'm in Halloween mode - full on, for the best of reasons: cute stuff, great challenges!  My little card here was   *intended* for a dual purpose initially: playing with my Newton's Nook Designs Boo Crew cuties once again (launching Round 2 of Halloween themed projects since all the others have found new homes!) and to enter MFCWSC #146.

The first part of the pairing = check; second part = X.  Missed the deadline.  BUT, a trip into Feedly (can I just say my Feedly is nearly exploding with card-inspired sites, to the exclusion of pretty much anything else. Is that a good thing? Or just another sign of my obsession taking over?) , and voila: three opportunities appeared:

Dynamic Duos #75: Deep Orange and Black, with the Dessert Option of Halloween,

Whoa...that's a lot of challenges for my little feathered Trick-or-Treater (and I hope I've met the criteria for all of them!)....

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


Back with a Christmas Pairing....Less is More #142: Trees, Festive Friday #19: Whimisical Theme

Hello!!  Hello??  *Waving wildly*  Any one out there??  Hope so, because oh my, I’ve missed my blog and especially, my wonderfully supportive blog friends!

*Just me:c*  has been quiet these past several days, however, idleness on the site is not reflected in idleness with card-making. Quite the contrary!  I’ve been crafting up a storm (okay, maybe wee turbulences is more apt) and the *make+post* equation has fallen in arrears.  In recognition of my ‘done but not shared’ infractions, I have dubbed myself the 'queen of tardy’ with a promise to rectify things asap.  So, here I am, with again a frenzy of posts to catch you up on my goings-and-craftings ons, along with fingers crossed that my delightful supporters will forgive my occasional ebbs and flows…

Over the past two weeks, we traveled to visit my family for Thanksgiving, returned home on the Monday, then headed back the following Friday, returning on Sunday.  The in-between days = one big batch of hectic!  Good hectic, though, because my spare time sole-focus was crafting:
  •       6  baby cards for my sister-in-law's mom (ordered Thanksgiving weekend, delivered the following;
  •          a Christmas card (I made two, just in case...) for the young girl my sister and her husband sponsor in Puerto Rico;
  •          the  10 Day Countdown to Halloween little calendar for Ms. Cutie-Pie Niece;
  •          2 Thank You cards requested by my husband and
  •          1 card to launch my second round of Halloween themed creations, because the first batch (the Boo Crew set, plus those with the stitches ghosts) are on their way to new homes (yayyyy!!! )

Whew...plenty of crafting (and maybe some shopping might have happened in the midst, too…J), and it’s time to share a little bit. 

This post’s feature: the Christmas cards I made for my sister, following her request to a “t”: cheery, flat, and not overly ‘commercial’ (as she’s sharing this with a family in need).  My first card was inspired by the new WPlus9: Pretty Patches Tree dies, and needing a *challenge* to help me out, off I ventured. Imagine my delight to find Less is More: Trees (first time entry) and Festive Friday: Create a Holiday Project with A Whimsical Theme 
to spark the muse.  I *think* my little trees in the first card are a touch whimsical, and I hope the Festive Friday crew think so, too… 

My second card, also heading to Festive Friday, showcases my first attempt at my new Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas dies and Signature Christmas Additions. 

 Oh my...two apologies with this one: the  green of the ornament doesn't match the green in the paper (which is soooo pretty!), and I didn't crop. you see a glimpse of my messy table, because if I try to crop now, blurry happens.  See what the result is when I'm lax in posting...out. of. practice.

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

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...My Creative Time: Designer Challenge ~ Pumpkin

Long weekend! Hoorayyy!   Canadian Thanksgiving: double hoorayyy!!!  We have an early start tomorrow - 5:00am - heading north, first to be officials at a bike race, then carrying on to my parents' place. I am stoked!  Haven't seen everyone since early September, when I dropped my husband off for the Tour of Alberta event. so I can only imagine how much my darling niece and nephew have grown!  One most excited Aunty C here!!  My mom will be serving Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, so we'll have a chance to see the whole clan, minus my brother, who's off on a 'boy-bonding' weekend with his buddies to Moab.   I'll miss seeing him - especially since my 'baby brother' turns 40 today (he's 14 years younger than I am, but as of today, we are one decade part, rather than the two decades yesterday) - but we're back again next weekend, so perhaps our paths will cross.

Packing awaits (layers of clothes, since I'm 100% positive the air will be crisp at the race we'll be at), so I'll quickly share the cards I made for my next-door-at-work Educational Assistants.  Thanksgiving theme paired with pumpkins, which means they're off to My Creative Time Designer Challenge.   Actually, nearly everything on my card is MCT...

Here is a set of two...

 a trio...

and all five together...

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!!!  

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

Oh yes: my trio of 'tween' cards from last weekend: thank you to everyone who commented! Talk about buoying my spirits!  And the 'positive energy' worked wonderfully: Marion loved all I gave them to her.  I'm tickled pink!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sideways *Spooky* ... Seize the Sketch #5, Curtain Call: Spooky Scene

Wednesday - and we're still snow free, although the first flakes are forecast for tomorrow.  Morning temperatures are already cooler, leaving frost on the windshield, resulting in early morning tricep/bicep exercise.  Frost on trees: ever so pretty.  Frost on windshield: blech.  Oh, to have a house with a garage...a craftroom,..a built-in vacuum (I happen to like vacuuming, but lugging around Mr. Kenmore, navigating corners, untangling hoses and cords, does become trying...) open concept floor layout in a three bedroom bungalow.  Ooops, digressed into my 'if I won a lottery' fantasy.  Anyway...

This week, as is the case for many of us, fall, Thanksgiving and Halloween, with measures of Christmas evident, are forefront on my crafting agenda. This post is another Halloween-themed featuring my little 'sideways' Spooky die and ghost, and a couple of jack o'lanterns, using Clearly Besotted dies (CB = awesome, fabuluous products, customer service, and inspiration!!) for Seize the Sketch #5

Simple, as is the sketch and oh so spooky, spooky, as is the inspiration photo:

We get maybe a handful of 'trick or treators' at our place (yet we buy candy enough for 50.  Husband - chocolate addict!!) so my Halloween card fascination is purely because Halloween 'stuff' is darling, inviting creativity.  Plus, it's yet another excuse to make cards for my niece and nephew.  Then again, *anything* is an excuse to create for them, or create, period.  Too much fun...

Thanks for dropping by; your visit and comments are welcomed and ever so appreciated!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

'Tween Birthday Card (X 3)...Reverse Confetti SKYTT, PS: SPARKS: Anything Goes, Seize the Birthday

Yesterday, we traveled to the ‘big city’ for - yep, bike races – and definitely one of the most fun, unique events of the cyclocross season.  “Dark Knight” is all about ‘different’ and a ‘wee’ bit (okay, make that a lots bit) zany.   Because it’s an evening race, we didn’t get home until after midnight (late supper. Very), so I missed making a card for WCMD, although I managed to squeeze in a few hops before we left.  Today, even though I’m tired (getting old…when I miss my regular bed-time, I’m a doofus X 1,000 the next day!), I had my own-some WCMD.  I *had* to, because…I have my first official ‘will you please make a card for me’ request!  

Last week, one of the sweetest, most dear Educational Assistants asked if I’d make a card for her grand-daughter, who is turning 13 on Oct. 12.  After chatting with Marion for a bit (at one point, the ’13, turning 31 comment’ spilled out), I realized that the mission I’d accepted was one not previously in my repertoire:  a card for a tween!!   Cards for little ones, I can do; cards for ‘grown ups’ – check on that, too (well, sort of a check…still have troubles with guy cards), but a tween?   Outside voice said “Absolutely, I’d be delighted to do this.”  Inside voice said ‘ STA-RESSSSS…what were you thinking! No ‘ tweenish girly girl’ stamps; no true tweenish girly girl papers; no experience with what makes a tween girl tick (even as a teacher, I met them in full-fledged ‘teenhood’…).   Once again, #inovermyhead.   Still, a challenge’s a challenge, so I donned my crafting cape and went to work…

For my first ‘tween attempt’ (you knew that  *more than one* would happen, especially when jitters are jingling…) card, I went with the Reverse Confetti Sketch For You ToTry,

 and dived in to my Paper Smooches stash, where this week is an Anything Goes challenge.

Just to be on the safe side – and to give Grandma Marion some options  -  I tried another, using the mini-folder die, along with some PS and TAWS goodies.  This one is off to Seize the Birthday….

and *blushing bright red with embarrassment, because I’m still not sure I’ve got this ‘tween’ thing right*, so is the third, which is actually a pocket/gift card, in the even a wee something needed a ‘tuck in-able spot’…

Crossing my fingers that Marion will like one of these three; and if, by some amazing happenstance more than one captures her interest, well – you’ll hear the distance echoes of my whooping and hollering with joy.

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments are most welcome!!