Saturday, May 31, 2014

Make Today Happy...Muse #69, STAMPlorations May challenge: Stamps and Flowers, Iron Craft Challenge Week, Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes

Happy Saturday!  A day of putzing about so far, with plenty of crafting time between running errands, doing laundry (well, 1/2 doing...haven't reached the dryer stage yet), making pizza dough, and going for a walk with my husband, who was riding his bike.   He's keeping his epic ride -give or take 6 hours (I know, I know...he's a crazy bike guy)  for tomorrow since the "mini" epic from yesterday burned out his legs. "Longer intervals" to blame. Yep, those longer intervals will get you every time.

Amazing happy mail arrived at my house this week: a whole bunch of FABULOUS stamps from STAMPlorations, and to say I'm excited to use them is a gargantuan understatement. Each set has like a zillion stamps *hand clapping wildly* and at the moment, I'm so overwhelmed I hardly know where to begin. Let's just say this: STAMPlorations stamps-stravaganzas are going to be happening...and here's a start.

My debut of three of my STAMPlorations stamps are heading to

Muse #69, where Cornelia's cool painted card piqued my attention...

Because I used a floral stamp strip, I'm also entering STAMPlorations May Challenge: Stamps and Flowers

Over at Chaitali's blog (she is so effervescent!), we  have a plethora  of Iron Craft themed challenges to choose from, based on the first series of guests she's interviewed (check these out: incredibly entertaining).  I selected Iron Craft Challenge Week: Inspiration 5, where the "happy" and colours from the Winnie and Walter set below are 'replicated' in my card.

Ready?  Now remember...this is an initial dabble with my new arrivals.  More practice required to do them full justice, and yes indeed, I'm up for 'more practice' with these gems.  Awesome stamps...simply awesome!!

Two photos - this first one shows the embossed happy...

Hmmm, now why did I stamp Make Today crooked?  Oh well, typical wonky me. I think I was influenced by another stamp in the collection: "Paint Outside the Lines".  Yes, that must be way, and yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...

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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Congratulations...Retrosketches #116, Butterfly Challenge #8: Bingo, Crafty Halenut's Patterned Paper Challenge for May

A quick *wave* and a hello this Friday evening...long enough to share a card for three challenges...

Retrosketches #116,

Butterfly Challenges #8: Bingo, where I've chosen die cuts, butterflies and designer paper.

and Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge.  If I hurry, I'll be entry #512...seriously!! Awesome participation!!

My background paper - so pretty, withe delicate floral and butterfly images - is a former 12 x 12 sheet that I bought on sale for under 25 cents, a while back.  I've been hoarding it, but when I opened my box to rummage around for some cardstock, it was sitting atop a piece of peach paper. Oh my...caught my eye and caused a *ping*.  I even embossed vellum for the first time!  Eeek...but we survived...

My husband's out on one of his three hour bike rides, so I've decided to do chores...  Hahahahahaha. NOT! I'm playing. And, the bike races we were scheduled to work this weekend wound up being cancelled, so, looks like I'll have some time at the kitchen counter to dabble away.  Cards, Sherlock Season 3, home-made pizza tomorrow (reminds me: dough creating required)...maybe I'll even get on my bike...

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

Ice Cream Birthday...Less Is More #173: Die Cut, City Crafter Challenge Blog #213 - Birthday Banners

Happy Friday!  A cas post before I head off to work (in the sunshine!!), to share a little card I made for two challenges AND for the stash of birthday cards my sister-in-law needs for the seemingly weekly birthday parties my niece and nephew attend.  My niece is learning to print (she's so doesn't matter if the letters are aligned to make long as they're 'somewhere' on the paper, that's what counts.) so this is big enough for her to put in both her friend's  name, as well as hers.  Last weekend, my brother had her practice writing 'Isabella', then once she'd done so, she was supposed to write it on a tag I'd made ages ago. We ran out of room after the ISA were done (tee heee...too cute); the 'bella' part we squished in where we could. She's getting better with 'trying' to make smaller letters, but what the hey...she's barely four.  The best part: she's interested in learning to write...yayyyy.  Actually, she did write words 'in a row' on the weekend - on my parents' driveway, with chalk - a big *Hi Uncle Andy* for my husband to see when he came back from working the bike races.  It was a 'big' message indeed, in both size and meaning.  Although she's sort of shy around him (just being goofy), she quite likes her Uncle Andy....

I'm entering my card into Less is More #173: Die Cut (I've used several on this little number, including doubles/triples of each to add dimension) and City Crafter Challenge Blog #213: Birthday Banners

Here it is....  

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy Birthday...STAMPlorations Bi-Weekly Sketch Challenge #12, Just Us Girls Challenge #242: Photo Inspiration

I'm back...

If you read my previous post (and thank you for doing so...I know I'm a chatterbox at times), you'll know how much I adore my niece and nephew.  Leaving them is not fun. Not even a little bit.  This time, the 'heading home good-byes' took place at the birthday party we were attending, as I had to be back at my mom's to meet up with my husband, who was working at a bike race.

My nephew, just turned two, is on stage with this highlight...

Me:  Okay, Mr. C... Aunty C  has to go now.
Mr. C:  Why? (and a cutie-patootie little sad face is now in my field of vision...sighh...).
Me:  Because I have to go back home...
Mr. C:  When I going to see you again, Aunty C? (okay, my heart is melting at this point. Little gaffer knows how to push the buttons...)
Me:  In two weeks, and then you'll be coming to Aunty C's house (more on that later).
Mr. C: No two weeks, Aunty C...two minutes (and with that he gave me a big hug...and headed off back to the crazy, zany birthday festivities).

Another tug of the heart-strings. It's neat that they don't quite have a concept of time at that age, but I do.  I want the two minutes version of seeing them again!!

My card is another 'must attempt the diagonals' creation, rather than run the other direction! Inspiration for the sketch is from STAMPlorations Bi-Weekly Sketch Challenge #12

My Beautiful Bloom is making another appearance, this time purple/pink embossed (I was trying out some old Versamark inks to see what happened if I added clear embossing powder). 

 In real life, it has a lovely shimmer....

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

Heartfelt Thanks...Clearly Besotted Challenge #11 - Colour Challenge, CAS(E) This Sketch #77

Hello...running late once again, trying to catch up with photographing and posting cards, and visiting your blogs. More hours - and organization - required.

Last weekend with my family, and nearly two full days' worth of time with my niece and nephew, was  nothing short of excellent.  My sister-in-law was at a conference, so my brother was more than willing to share the kiddos with my mom and I.  Both days involved attending birthday parties; one at Cafe o'Play (such a cool name), which is akin to an 'upscale' McDonald's playground.  We had the cafe to ourselves; kids cavorting about in the center play area or making crafts from foam bits and popsicle sticks (Ms. T made a monkey and lion..cute!), and adults standing watch, coffee in hand. The Sunday party, at Toy Hutch, involved 'bouncy' objects - a train and a castle.  Quite the productions, these parties, and certainly a far cry from what we had as kids! Imagine...birthday kids' friends and the younger siblings of the friends + sugary snacks + running wildly amuck and, get the drift! Sugar-rush zaniness...Hilarious!

As always, a highlight to share...

Saturday morning, a conversation with my niece...
Ms T:  Aunty C, I want to sing a song for you.
Me:  Absolutely. I'm ready...give 'er.
Ms T:  Daddy, put on my song, please.
(At this point, Daddy has the remote and is finding 'her' song.  I'm giving him the quizzical look - as often I do - wondering what he's up to. This is new territory...)
Me:  What song are you singing, my girl? (who is now poised in front of the TV, waiting for her song to cue up).
Ms. T:  "Let It Go"...
Me:  Ummm, "Let It Go"??? (Apparently I have no clue that this is from the movie, Frozen.  No clue...)

My brother has the song ready...and it plays...and my niece is singing along (she knows nearly all the words), while performing the actions of Elsa...and I start to tear up, close to crumpling into a sobbing mess, at how absolutely beyond comprehension adorable she is. Fully engaged...fully enthralled...fully showing signs of growing up.  If you haven't heard "Let It Go", here's a link.  Truly, even listening to it now, thinking about her singing...tears ready to spill.  Every time she sang it (about 100...*grin*) my response was the same. Touched.  Deeply.  (And then I had to explain 'fractals' to little physicist...)

The only thing that staved off a full-on tear-fest was my nephew who, minding his own business tinkering around with toys in the corner, was having his own solo performance, belting out "Zip-a-dee-do-dah, zip-a-dee-a...".

Yes, my, oh my, it was a WONDERFUL day!  And that, was just the beginning of the fun and frolick that unfolded.  Happy sighhh....

Anyway...I'm  here with a card for Clearly Besotted Challenge #11: Colour Challenge

Initially, I was aiming for the 'debossed' look from the PTI Make it Monday video (even though nary a PTI product resides in my house, I still enjoy the 'learning' opportunies). Alas, my attempts to line up the dies with the stamped images went woefully awry, so I executed Plan B. I decided to un-deboss, and made my pink butterfly a three-stacker, with the sentiment whispering across the lower wing. I'll try the debossing again, sometime.

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

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bloom, My Girl, Bloom...Inkspirational Challenge #57: Word Prompt, CASology #96: Flower

Hello - and Happy Saturday!

Today, I'm excited to share the debut of a new style of challenge over at Inkspirational Challenge #57 - a word prompt - and an invitation to create a card inspired by the word "Bloom."

You'll see some amazing cards created by the oh-so-creative team:
as well as our Guest Designer, Julie

When I saw the cue word, my thoughts went directly to the 'literal' definition of bloom, and a rummage through my flower stamps.  Before I settled on the what and the which ones though, something rather magical happened. 

A few weeks back, I was honored and delighted to be the winner of a gift package from the amazingly talented, incredibly creative Kylie, over at Studio 4490 (I'll wait while you go for a visit to see Kylie's out-of-this-world colouring and scene-creating skills. You'll be WOWed by her creations).  In a wonderful speedy-mail delivery, I received the two Kaisiercraft stamp sets (amongst other amazing treats!) and one of  them had 'exactly' what it turns out I was looking for...

Not only is the flowers set funky cute, but a close up reveals that the petals all have words of encouragement; words to inspire a person to 'bloom' - to grow, to learn, to laugh, to explore, to experience the richness of life...

In a flash, I knew exactly who I wanted to make cards for....

Those of you who've followed my card-making journey know that one of the lights of my life is my niece, who just turned four years old.  She is a whirly, twirly, giggly, wiggly, sweet, cute little gem ( yes, yes, I am a biased Aunty C), who is such a gift to all of us.  

At four, she's growing and learning by leaps and bounds. She's discovering the world is a 'big' place, that is sometimes inviting  and welcoming, and sometimes not.  She's discovering that sometimes, she has to 'take responsibility' for how her days play out. She's discovering her place and her space.  She's 'blooming'!

I know she'll learn to read the words on *her* special flowers.  And I hope beyond hope she will have every opportunity to bloom every single day.  My girl, Aunty C, loves you!!  May you always "Be You"!!

The yellow flower reads:  laugh, giggle, play, smile, twirl.  
The blue flower reads: learn, explore, experience, discover, journey, wonder

We're visiting my family this weekend...I'm excited to give her these cards today!!

Please check out the DT cards, then come over to Inkspirational Challenges with your 'bloom'-themed creations.  Looking forward to seeing how you've been inspired!

I'm also sharing over at CASology #96: Flower

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Butterfly Birthday...CAS(E) this Sketch #76, Colour Q #242, Paper Crafting #10: My Favourites


I'm waiting for my husband to come home  so we can zip outside for a walk (me) and bike ride (him), together.  I know that sounds silly, but when I get into 'power walk' mode, he can't keep up walking, and when I ride my bike, I can't keep up with him, riding. The 'compromise' is that a couple times a week (we try), I walk and he rides alongside on his mountain bike.  Sometimes I try to jog...hahahahaha...dang uphills get me every time; although I do manage kinda-sorta okay on the downhills.  And yes, people do give us strange looks. Oh well, 'togetherness' and all that jazz, right.  Other evenings,  he goes for his long- haul bike rides and I long-haul craft.  Balance...

Before I put on my running shoes (they are soooo tame compared to the vibrant pair below.  Maybe if I wore those I'd be faster...), I'll share my card for the challenges over at CAS(E) this Sketch #76 (such awesome entries!!)

My colours aren't exactly those on this lovely palette, but I replicated as best I could, with pink and turquoise butterflies (yes...more butterflies..and *maybe* new ones arrived yesterday. Excited to give them a play), a white 'frame', and a yellow and green stamped background. 

Since butterfly stamps and dies are my 'current' favourite products, I'm also linking to Paper Crafting Challenge #10: My Favourites 

Pose 1

  Pose 2...

Door's opening, so I'd best get ready...

NOTE:  So honoured with double blessings with this card (and ever so many marvelous comments!!)

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tall Flower Thank You...CASE Study #191


My card today is nothing spectacular - my one and only tall flower stamp, embossed in gold, water-coloured (inside the lines...) with a lovely font thank you, also embossed in gold.  No bits of bling or added sparkle (though I was tempted)...just a simple card.

What IS spectacular, however, is the card that inspired me to create...a card by the incredibly talented, incredibly sweet, incredibly inspiring Wida, whose masterpiece is showcased as the muse for the current (and nearly closing) CASE Study Challenge #191. At this point in my post, I would share an image of the card and I will...except THIS card image comes from MY house, where Wida's gorgeous card resides!

Yes, yes, you read that right; I am the proud, honoured, thrilled and all-around ecstatic owner of this exquisite card!  A couple months ago, I received a most sparkling, uplifting message from Wida, who wanted to share a RAK with me. Shock, delight, surprise...I was beside myself that somehow I had earned such an honour from someone I admire so greatly. When the delightful package of goodies arrived - the Penny Black Hello and Frame die you've seen me use, as well as a pad of Amy Tangerine paper (currently being hoarded) - they were accompanied by Wida's card.  I opened it, and immediately fell into a swoon.  To say I'm smitten is an understatement.

So, without further ado, I present Wida's elegant creation...from my home to all of yours... beautiful....

Thank you, Wida, for this gem.  To alllll of you - those who've I've been  honoured to receive cards from (every one a treasure), and those who leave comments of such warmth and encouragement - THANK YOU!  My card, as I mentioned, is simple.  I wish I could give a rose to each of you, but since I can't, I hope this one will do...

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

Time Flies; Love Lasts...Time Out Challenge #5, CAS-ual Fridays #131: Three Thirds

 Hello once again,

What a wonderful Victoria Day Monday I, crafting, more cleaning, more crafting and the bonus:  a revamped entry way that has me smiling!  Amazing what a wall shelf and wall hooks can do to make teensy space less cramped.  Next, some new floor mats...

Two cards to share before I head to work, based on the charming theme over at TIME OUT Challenge #5: Time Flies; Love Lasts , where we're invited to use the entire phrase, parts of the phrase, or individual words.  Of course, the temptation to use one - or several *grin*  - of my amazing butterfly stamps and dies was high, but Mr. Mojo decided to be innovative.  Sort of.  Besides, I have other things stamps/dies needing attention, sooooo

My first card focuses on the word "time", as well as the 'concept' of love lasting, with the phrase "Once upon a time" on my sweet little typewriter stamp. Inside, reads "they lived happily ever after."  It's a mini card...yayyy for the minis!

For my second card, I pulled out my paper airplane and XOXO dies, along with some stars and mini heart, to convey the 'flies' and 'love' from the phrase.  I imagine this to be a 'missing you' or 'thinking of you' or 'love your forever' card...

I 'think' it fits the elements for CAS-UAL Fridays #131 - Three Thirds, so I'm entering it there, as well.

Hmmm...another idea for TIME OUT just pinged...I may be back later...

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hello...Freshly Made Sketches #136, Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Die Crazy

Hello...and I'm overjoyed that we have a long weekend? Yayy...home today, four days of work, then off to see my family on Friday (my husband will be an official at the season's first road bike races)!  Stoked x a zillion!!

Once again, the card-making frenzy bug has bitten me.  Perhaps it's the rain. I have a couple that are post-worthy, four that didn't make the cut for entering into challenges (I think I'll have a *meh* post later for those cards, mainly as a reminder of what 'didn't' work) and graduation cards that are in the thinking stage.  I've been asked to make six for the daughter of one of our Education Assistants.  I want those to be extra sweet, but simple as well...pondering, pondering...

We escaped to the 'big city' for a while yesterday -destination IKEA, primarily - in an effort to find products to de-clutter and re-organize our very cluttered, disorganized entry way.  No closet by the door (seriously, who designs like that...seriously, who 'buys' places like this. and the one in the hallway, by the kitchen (???) is the size of a postage stamp.  At present, we have a coat rack and a square three-tiered table and a mat for shoes (10% my shoes, 90% my husband's),   Because there's a short wall separating the entrance from the living room, the space is quite squishy. Oh, for an open concept house...Anyway, we bought a wall shelf and coat hooks; the table will be moved, the coat rack may/may not stay, and I'll be, hopefully, much more pleased with the design. Plus, more room means that when my husband takes his bike outside, the wall will be sighing in relief; no more wheel smacks or handle bar bumps. Perhaps...

Anyway, squeezing in last moment with a card for Freshly Made Sketches #136

My rolled flower dies have finally come out to did my 'grunge-ish' paper...

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

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Sandie!!...STAMPlorations, Addicted to CAS #38: Off the Edge, Simon Says Wednesday: Die Crazy

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Saannnndddiiiee…
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuu!!

Surprise!!!   Two wonderful people, Nonni and Lynn, have organized a birthday linky party for Sandie, of London Days, and I'm so excited to be joining in!  

You, Sandie are ever so deserving of this celebration!  Even though I've *known* you for a fairly short time, I know that you are amazing in every way. Your talent and creativity in transforming 'simple and clean' images to works of art is outstanding.  All of us participating in this wonderful, well-deserved Nonni-and-Lynn-orchestrated celebration of 'you' have shared our love for your cards over...and over...and over. And oh, my, but you have the the warmest of hearts!  Your comments on my cards, and those I've seen on other's sites, are sources of motivation, inspiration, and encouragement.  You are truly a gem!   Indeed, because of you, I am a full-on STAMPlorations fan and an Inkspirational design team member. 

As much as I wanted to, my capacity to case one of your amazing cards would be, well...impossible.  Instead, I decided to make you a card flavoured with my 'current' obsession...yes, a shaker card (again!!)...

I'm sharing Sandie's card in the following challenges:

Here it is....first a view in an attempt to show the sparkle of the butterfly (and apparently, with the unintended reflection from the window...)

Below is the 'basic' version...

Thank you, Sandie, for being a friend; thank for your sharing your gifts, talents and inspiration with us, and especially, thank you for letting me know that somewhere in my posts and cards, a little 'sparkle' can be found.  

Hope your special day is nothing short of fabulous!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WOW!!...CAS(E) this Sketch #75, Addicted to CAS #38: Off the Edge, FUSION: Black, White & Yellow

A quick post to share yet another 'black, yellow and white' card and for a radical change: it isn't a shaker!! Do I hear cheering?  Applause? I still have a bunch of unopened sequins to use...just sayin'...

A simple card that features my fabulous Fabulous stamp, because I'm still crushing over that font, my Explosion stamp and embossing paste (aka, in my case,  polyfilla) stenciled stars.  Ummm, is embossing paste still in?  With all the lovely water-colouring on display, I suspect I'm about 16 trends behind. Oh well, I still have a tub of polyfilla and some heart stencils (of the trio on my Heidi Swapp sheet) to use, so though I may be lagging, I'll do my best to create 'fresh' designs with the oldies...

My inspirations came from:
N@ Ali's CAS(E) this Sketch #75

Addicted to Cas #38: Off the Edge (I felt a bit off the edge at work today...or maybe 'at' the edge..or "on" the of "those" days...)

Here we are: Fabulous: WOW...two versions, in the hopes that the 'stickly sparkle' can be seen.  I stamped the explosion burst once on the card base, then embossed, coloured and cut out a second one, to pop up.

The sun's shining, the clouds overhead are puffy marshmallows, the wind is...well, windy, and the temperature is pretty reasonably! I'm going for a walk, and my husband will come with me, on his bike...

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fabulous...Uniko Studio Challenge #9, STAMPlorations May Challenge: Stamps and Flowers, Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Spring Flowers

I'm back...with another shaker card.  The sequins were out; the Beautiful Bloom stamp and dies were out; the Fabulous stamp was vying for attention...had to pay attention.

I'm squeezing in quickly to the Uniko Studio Challenge #9, where our wonderfully creative hostess, Bev and her talenedt DT, have tempted us with a lovely palette of Spring colours:

Flowers and stamps means I'm also adding a second card to the May Challenge at STAMPlorations, which is a most welcoming, warm place to play,

Although we've had sunny skies for a couple of days, the 'greening up' of our area is taking its time, as well it should. Two years ago, we had a major snowstorm in June. Yes, you read that right:  June! Spring in Alberta is slow in coming, so until it does, I'll enjoy blooms of the paper variety...

NOTE:  Honoured and delighted to have my card selected as a Uniko Studio Challenge "showcase."  THANK YOU!!

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