December 30, 2013

The 12 Kits of Occasions--December 2013

Hi there!  Sorry I've been even quieter than usual lately, but this month has been especially hectic for my family.  My husband and I sold his mother's home of 42 years and bought her a new one closer to us, and we had less than a week to clean it out.  It was incredibly stressful getting everything lined up to happen in time, but somehow we finished up just a few days before Christmas.  We're looking forward to getting my MIL moved into her new place soon and settling back into our normal routines.  :)

Believe it or not, we've come to the end of another month, and with it another round of The 12 Kits of Occasions.  This month's hostess is Jessica, and she sent us a Christmas-themed kit full of the most darling images and supplies.  I knew I'd only be able to scratch the surface of this fantastic kit in the limited time I had this month, so I pulled out my very favorite items and went to work.

The first card I made used the cute rabbit on a sled from Lawn Fawn.  I colored him with Copics and added a trail of gems behind him to give a sense of movement.

My second card uses more Lawn Fawn images and sentiments with a fun chevron embossed background.

My last card uses die cut poinsettia flowers from Paper Smooches with a pretty script sentiment from Mama Elephant.

I can't wait to see what the other ladies made!

Stop by The 12 Kits blog to see the full list of supplies, plus you can find out the winner of our recent Guest Designer contest!

Don't forget to leave a comment here and on the rest of the designer's blogs for a chance to win a fabulous giveaway, courtesy of Jessica.  Stop by the 12 Kits blog for more details.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

December 15, 2013

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge--Sweet Snowflakes

We have some sweet inspiration for you this week at the Curtain Call, as well as a wonderful sponsor and a couple of special guest designers.

photo credit:

Our generous sponsor for the Sweet Snowflakes challenge is Uniko Studio, and they are offering a gift certificate to the LEAD for this week's challenge.

The Curtain Call Crew was fortunate enough to get to work with Uniko Studio's Stunning Snowflakes stamp set.  This is my first set from Uniko Studio, and I was impressed with the high quality of the stamps themselves as well as the sturdy DVD case they came in.  Many thanks to Beverley for sharing this set with us!

I pulled the aqua, kraft, and white from the photo for my card.  The kraft card base is stamped with the smaller snowflakes in white ink, with some dots of white gel pen in the empty spaces.

For the white panel, I die cut the bottom edge before stamping the sentiment, then added the trio of snowflakes in Pool Party ink.  After adding some texture to the panel with an impression plate, I stitched from each snowflake to the top edge, pulling the threads through to the front above the biggest snowflake to tie a tiny bow.

Cardstock:  WPlus9 (Kraft, White), Stampin' Up! (Pool Party)
Stamps:  Uniko Studio (Stunning Snowflakes)
Ink:  WPlus9 (White), Stampin' Up! (Pool Party, Chocolate Chip), white gel pen
Tools:  My Favorite Things (Die-namics LJD Bracket Edge Duo), Papertrey Ink (Linen & Canvas impression plate)
Other:  thread, gems

As promised, we have two fabulous guest designers in addition to the Curtain Call Crew sharing inspiration today:

Beverley Brown, Uniko Studio

December 5, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Tags with Tracey McNeely

I'm feeling very honored today to be taking part in a fun event with my friend, Tracey McNeely.  This is the third year for her popular "25 Days of Christmas Tags", and this year is even more special because she has invited guest designers to join her each day of the month.

I'm sure Tracey needs no introduction for most of you, but not only is she one of my teammates in The 12 Kits of Occasions and at the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge, she is also one my favorite designers.  I am always drawn to Tracey's ultra-CAS, fresh designs and her beautifully balanced use of color.  But more than that, she is one of the sweetest people I know in blogland, and she always leaves the most genuine and encouraging comments on my posts.

For my tag, I had actually planned to use the more recent holiday set from WPlus9, Merry & Bright.  Then I looked back at Tracey's previous tag posts and saw that Kara had used it for her gorgeous design.  There's no way I'm competing with that beauty, so I pulled out one of last year's Christmas sets, Iconic Christmas.

The tag and frame, patterned paper strip, twine, and gems are leftover supplies from The 12 Kits for November.  I stamped the tree on the solid tag, then layered the frame, silhouette image, and paper strip on top with foam tape.  The sentiment is from WPlus9's Silver Bells.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (White)
Patterned paper:  Echo Park (Tis the Season)
Stamps:  WPlus9 (Iconic Christmas, Silver Bells)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Garden Green), Memento (Tuxedo Black), Sakura (silver gel pen)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Tag Sale #8), WPlus9 (Iconic Christmas die set)
Other:  rhinestones, baker's twine

I can't wait to see the tag Tracey created for today, and rumor has it there's a prize up for grabs at the end of the month.  Stop by her blog, In My Creative Opinion, to get the details!

Thanks to Tracey for letting me join her today.  And thanks to you for stopping by!

December 1, 2013

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge--Christmas Countdown

It's the beginning of a new month, and the beginning of a new challenge at the Curtain Call.  This week's theme is Christmas Countdown:

We have another fantastic sponsor for our challenge:  Sweet Stamp Shop.  They were "sweet" enough to provide the Curtain Call Crew with a stamp set of their choice, and they are offering a $15 gift certificate to the Sweet Stamp Shop store to the LEAD for this challenge!

My interpretation of the challenge was very literal.  As soon as I saw the Alpha Tabs stamp set, I knew I wanted to create my own Christmas countdown in card form.  I stamped the "25" first, then filled in the numbers around it, using lightly drawn pencil lines as a guide.

There are even more projects to inspire you this week from the Curtain Call Crew:

I hope you'll play along with us this week!  Thanks for visiting today!

November 30, 2013

The 12 Kits of Occasions--November 2013

Hello, friends!  It's my favorite time of the month--time for the latest installment of the 12 Kits of Occasions reveal!

Kelly is our hostess this month, and she sent us an incredible kit full of trendy chalkboard sentiments and iconic holiday images.  Be sure to head over to The 12 Kits blog to see the kit contents and get sneak peeks of projects from the rest of the crew!

I've made 4 cards so far with my kit, but I anticipate working more with it over the next couple of weeks once I'm done teaching.  :)

My first card uses one of the fantastic chalkboard greetings with holly leaf accents and a debossed music score in the background.

The next card might be my favorite.  I simply stitched some of the patterned papers along an angle and added one of the tags from the kit, tying it with gorgeous red ribbon.

This was actually the first card I made, on which I hung the ornaments from the top of the card using silver embroidery thread.  I'm not exactly sure where I was going with the label frame behind the ornaments, but I guess it works!

For my last card, I stitched some papers at an angle again and placed the die cut tree at the intersection.  I used the pretty, silver sheer ribbon to add some interest at the bottom.

In addition to our amazing regular designers, we have a special guest this month, so be sure to stop by The 12 Kits blog to find out who it is.  There is also a prize up for grabs this month, so head over to check out the details!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

November 15, 2013

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge--CAS-ual Christmas

Ready for a new Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge?  We have another wonderful sponsor and a beautiful image to work with for this week's theme:  CAS-ual Christmas.

We're fortunate to have one of the best stamp companies sponsoring us this week:  CAS-ual Fridays Stamps!  I was lucky enough to design with many of Michele's stamps when I was a member of the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge Design Team, and I still love the graphic illustrations and beautiful fonts of these versatile sets.

The Curtain Call Crew got to choose a CFS holiday set to work with for this challenge, and I chose Christmas Carols:

Doesn't the holiday scene in the inspiration photo look cozy and relaxed?  I love the rustic touches of burlap and the unexpected use of cool blue, so I included those elements in my design.

To create the tree as the focal image, I repeatedly stamped the four-petal flowers and decorated the centers with silver pearls.  I stamped one of the sentiments in Early Espresso right on top.

I finished my clean and simple design with a stitched border and a strip of burlap ribbon for texture.

Cardstock:  Stampin' Up! (Baja Breeze), WPlus9 (Oatmeal)
Stamps:  CAS-ual Fridays Stamps (Christmas Carols)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Old Olive, Baja Breeze, Early Espresso)
Tool:  corner rounder
Other:  Michaels (pearls), thread, burlap ribbon

Don't forget to stop by the Curtain Call Challenge blog to see the rest of the Design Team samples and link up your creation.  This week's LEAD will receive a CAS-ual Fridays stamp or die set of their choice!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Have a great start to your weekend!

November 9, 2013

Moxie Fab Thanks Blog Hop!

Today I'm participating in a very special (and enormous) blog hop for the one and only Cath Edvalson!  

You should have arrived here from Leigh Penner's blog, but you can find the full list of participants at the Moxie Fab World blog.

Like many of you, I was saddened when I found out that Cath would be saying goodbye to the Moxie Fab World and Paper Crafts magazine.  Cath has been such an incredible source of inspiration to those of us in the world of paper crafting, it's hard to imagine what it will be like in the blogosphere without her daily posts.  Not only did she make the Moxie Fab World the go-to source for everything trendy and beautiful, but her posts were always engaging, enlightening, and written in a friendly voice that made it feel like we were having a chat.

Cath, thank you for showing us that it really is a Moxie Fab World!  You will be missed!

My card for Cath is simple to keep the focus on the message.  I used an inset die cut "thanks" and the coordinating stamp from Simon Says Stamp, Echo Park paper, and Studio Calico wood veneer stars.

Cardstock:  WPlus9 (White)
Patterned paper:  Echo Park (A Perfect Summer)
Stamps:  Simon Says Stamp (STAMPtember Stamps Thanks)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Island Indigo)
Tools:  Simon Says Stamp (STAMPtember Thanks Craft Die), Papertrey Ink (Linen & Canvas impression plate)
Other:  Studio Calico (wood veneer stars)

To continue on the hop, your next stop is Heidi Van Laar.

Thanks again to Cath, and thank you for stopping by today!

November 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Tracey!

Hello, friends!  I have an extra special post today to celebrate the birthday of a talented designer and all-around fabulous lady, Tracey McNeely!

Lots of people want to wish Tracey a happy birthday, so our friend and fellow 12 Kits of Occasions designer, Joyce, is hosting a Linky party over on her blog.  Feel free to join in with your birthday wishes for Tracey by linking up there!

I hope Tracey doesn't think my card for her is too masculine.  :)  I wanted to incorporate an autumn theme and keep the design very clean and graphic, as Tracey's own designs tend to have lots of white space and perfect stamping.

My favorite part of this card is the stitching for the leaf veins, which adds just the right amount of texture to otherwise flat images.

Cardstock:  Stampin' Up! (Baja Breeze), Papertrey Ink (Vintage Cream),  A Muse Studio (woodgrain)
Stamps:  Paper Smooches (Leafy Greens), Clearly Besotted (Tag Along)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Baja Breeze, So Saffron, Peach Parfait, Chocolate Chip)
Other:  sequins, thread

I hope you have a wonderful birthday full of all of your favorite things, Tracey!  Enjoy your virtual party!

November 1, 2013

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge--Welcome Home

Wow, how did it get to be November?!  The weeks are just flying by, and it's already time for a new challenge at the Curtain Call.  Check out our lovely inspiration photo:

Our sponsor for this challenge is Paper Issues, and they are offering a $20 gift certificate to the LEAD for the Welcome Home challenge.  Thank you, Paper Issues!

I was drawn to the soft blue, weathered wooden door in the background and the placement of the wreath off the edge of the photo.

To create this card, I first stamped the woodgrain pattern with white ink onto blue cardstock.  I ran my finger over the ink while it was still wet to soften it and remove any excess ink.

I don't have a wreath stamp large enough for the design I had in mind, so I created one using the single pine bough stamp from WPlus9's Merry & Bright.  I traced a circle in pencil where I wanted the wreath to go, then stamped the pine sprig repeatedly along that line.

The pine cone stamp is also from Merry & Bright.  The berries, sentiment, and ribbon are from WPlus9's Silver Bells.

Cardstock:  WPlus9 (Lake House, White)
Stamps:  WPlus9 (Merry & Bright, Silver Bells, Woodgrain Silhouettes)
Ink:  WPlus9 (White), Stampin' Up! (Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Raspberry Ripple)
Tools:  WPlus9 (Silver Bells companion dies), corner rounder
Other:  Zig (Wink of Stella glitter brush)

I'm sorry if the colors seem a little washed out in my photos.  My computer is one that was issued by the college where I work, and it was recently upgraded to a newer version.  Unfortunately, the screen resolution is not as good and I will have to get used to editing my photos on it.

There's more inspiration from the talented Curtain Call Crew to help you get started!  I look forward to seeing all of the beautiful entries in the gallery this week.

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you have a wonderful start to your weekend.

October 30, 2013

The 12 Kits of Occasions--October 2013

Autumn Blessings card

Hello!  It's time another edition of The 12 Kits of Occasions.  You can read all about the 12 Kits on the group blog if you haven't already.

Our hostess this month is Kara, and she sent us a fantastic kit full of Autumn and Thanksgiving themed supplies.  Here's a peek at the goodies:

As always, you can check out the full supply list at The 12 Kits of Occasions blog.

It's been a rough month at my house, but I managed to sneak in some time to make two cards and a set of 4 place cards.  There are plenty of supplies to play with later, and I will look forward to CASEing the rest of the girls with what's left.

Blessed card

Autumn leaf place cards

Sorry to post and run, friends, but I still need to prep for my class tomorrow and get through a pile of grading!

I hope you're having a great week.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

October 21, 2013

Paper Smooches--Let's Chill

Last week's Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge was a a fun sketch, and although the challenge ended yesterday, I thought I'd share my take on it anyway.  I forgot to include the scattered star element and really couldn't make it work once my card was done, so it's just as well that I didn't link it up.  :)

I got the Memory Box Pine Border Background Die recently, and I had Paper Smooches' Swanky Snowdudes in mind when I ordered it.  Don't they work perfectly together?  I cut the pine border from chartreuse felt and added tiny clear gems to make the trees look festive.

I cut the snowy hills by hand and layered them, brushing clear glitter along the top edges.  The snowdude was also cut by hand and popped up with foam tape.

Cardstock:  Stampin' Up! (Pool Party), WPlus9 (White)
Stamps:  Paper Smooches (Swanky Snowdudes)
Ink:  Memento (Tuxedo Black), Copic markers
Tools:  Memory Box (Pine Border Background die), Sizzix (snowflake embossing folder)
Other:  Papertrey Ink (felt), Zig (Wink of Stella clear glitter brush), clear rhinestones

We're enjoying some beautiful fall weather here at the moment, but I know those chilly winter days will be here before we know it.

Thanks for visiting today!

October 19, 2013

Clearly Besotted Challenge #5

Happy weekend!  We've had family in town all week, but I managed to sneak into my craft room for some stamping time.  I wanted to play along with the Clearly Besotted Challenge, which has a gorgeous autumn color palette this month.

Source:  Design Seeds
My card doesn't exactly have an autumn theme, but I loved these colors and thought they would work beautifully for a fall wedding card.  I was fortunate enough to receive the Blooming Marvellous stamp set for a DT assignment, but I hadn't had a chance to use the rose image yet.  I stamped it in shades of yellow and peach along the edge of an ivory panel.

The sentiment is also from Blooming Marvellous, and I added the little row of x's from Basic Banners.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Vintage Cream, Smokey Shadow)
Stamps:  Clearly Besotted (Blooming Marvellous, Basic Banners)
Ink:  Hero Arts (Fresh Peach, Soft Cantaloupe), Stampin' Up! (So Saffron, Basic Gray)
Other:  pearls, thread

We're off to enjoy the beautiful weather today.  I hope you have some fun and/or relaxing plans for your weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!

October 17, 2013


Hi there!

I'm just popping in to share a little card I made for my brother's birthday, which then sat on my desk for days before getting in the mail terribly late.  Oops.

I couldn't resist the Free Spirits stamp set from Paper Smooches--perfect for many of the hard-to-create-for men in my life.  I just lined up the drink glasses, colored them with Copics, and added some of the cute accents from the set.

Some dots added with a white pen to make the drink bubbly, a simple "cheers" sentiment, and a couple of lines I drew with a black pen are the finishing touches.

Cardstock:  WPlus9 Design Studio (White)
Patterned paper:  Echo Park (stripes), Stampin' Up! (orange)
Stamps:  Paper Smooches (Free Spirits)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Tangerine Tango, Old Olive, Chocolate Chip), Hero Arts (Ocean), Memento (Tuxedo Black), Copic markers, white gel pen
Tool:  corner rounder

I'm slowly trying to get caught up with all of you out in blog land.  My family recently experienced a couple of health emergencies which threw our lives into chaos for a few weeks, but the worst seems to be behind us.  I appreciate all of you who continue to stop by and leave such sweet comments, despite my irregular and infrequent posts!

Thanks for visiting today!

October 15, 2013

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge--Gorgeous Gourds

Hello there, friends!  Are you ready for another Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge?  We have another wonderful sponsor and a lovely photo to inspire you.  First the photo:

Now the sponsor:  Paper Sweeties makes some of the most darling stamps as well as a beautiful selection of hand-dyed seam binding.  Paper Sweeties owner/designer, Debbie Marcinkiewicz, was kind enough to provide the Curtain Call Crew with digital images or a discount at the Paper Sweeties store, and she is generously offering a $20 gift certificate to the LEAD in this week's challenge.  Thank you, Debbie!

For my card, I chose to work with digital images from Sweeties Wagon.  (Note:  Paper Sweeties does not offer digital images in the store, only high quality clear stamps).

I was really drawn to those beautiful blue pumpkins, but I also pulled the yellow and chocolate brown colors from the striped pillow in the background.  I repeatedly "stamped" the digital image of the two pumpkins across the card front and colored them with Copics (you could easily use masking with the clear stamps to create the same effect).

I used a strip of woodgrain paper I've been hoarding forever from my friend Suzanne, then added some solid cream twine and a button.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Vintage Cream)
Patterned paper:  A Muse Studio (woodgrain)
Stamps:  Paper Sweeties (Sweeties Wagon)
Ink:  Copic markers
Tool:  corner rounder
Other:  The Twinery (Natural Solid twine), button

How will those gorgeous gourds inspire you this week?  I can't wait to see!  Stop by to check out the rest of the Crew's creations and link up your entry for a chance to win some Paper Sweeties stamps of your own.

Thanks for visiting!

October 1, 2013

Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge--Spooky Scene

Believe it or not, folks, it is officially October!  This is my favorite month of the year, so I'm ready to ring it in with a new Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge.  Our theme this time is Spooky Scene:

We have another fabulous sponsor this month.  Danielle Walls, owner of Neat & Tangled, provided all of the designers with one of her darling Halloween themed stamp sets for this challenge.  She is also offering up any stamp set in the Neat & Tangled shop to this week's LEAD!  
I chose to work with the Graveyard Shift stamp set, and I couldn't resist this cute little spider.  I stamped his web repeatedly on white cardstock, then placed it behind a die cut window in black cardstock.

After adding the sentiment banner, strip of purple patterned paper, and popped up spider, the card front felt like it needed something more.  So I stamped and heat embossed the web image several times in the bottom corner and added a sprinkling of purple sequins.

Cardstock:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Black, White), Papertrey Ink (Orange Zest)
Patterned paper:  Pebbles (Trick or Treat)
Stamps:  Neat & Tangled (Graveyard Shift)
Ink:  Memento (Tuxedo Black), Versamark
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Mat Stack 3, Double Ended Banner dies)
Other:  Filigree (white embossing powder), Factory Direct Crafts (sequins), Zig (Wink of Stella glitter brush)

The Curtain Call Crew has even more spooky inspiration for you this week!  Be sure to see their designs over on the Curtain Call Challenge blog, where you can also link up your take on this week's inspiration.

Many thanks for your visit today!  Happy October!
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