Hello!  I realize it seems strange to be talking about Christmas on the day before Easter, but really, is it wrong to be in the Christmas spirit of giving and love all year round?  I think not.

Since it’s the fifth Saturday of the month, this week’s theme at 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown is “Anything BUT a Card, ATC or Tag Goes”.  This is your chance to create a 3-D project that can be used as a Christmas decoration or a Christmas gift.  Share it over on the 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown site by 1:00 pm eastern time Friday, April 5.

I have to admit that I tend to have a difficult time coming up with ideas for 3-D projects.  I’m so much more of a card maker than a project maker (does that make sense?).  I finally decided to try my hand at making a Christmas ornament.  Well, more like decorating a Christmas ornament.  I’d bought some glass ornaments on clearance at Michael’s after Christmas several years ago and tucked them away, thinking I’d do something with them, but never really knowing exactly what.  So I figured this was as good a time as any to try to work something out with them.  I browsed the internet looking for ideas.  This one seemed easy enough so I thought I’d give it a go.  Stuffing an ornament with strips of paper didn’t seem too difficult.

I originally thought I’d use designer paper for the strips of paper.  But I couldn’t decide which designer paper I wanted to use.  In searching around, I rediscovered this red and green paper that I’d bought years ago.  It’s actually copy paper weight, not cardstock nor designer paper.  But I figured I’d try out this ornament project with it.  I do think using the lightweight paper was a better idea than using designer paper would have been.  Because it’s thinner, it bends more easily to slip inside the ornament than designer paper would.  However, there were two small problems I encountered.  I knew I had to keep the strips pretty narrow so they’d fit inside the ornament, but I had no idea what length to make them.  I settled on 5.5″ long since that’s half the length of the sheet of paper.  For the size of this ornament (approximately 2″ tall), that turned out to be a good length.  The other problem was the shape of the ornament.  Mine is a cube shape.  I think the strips would have stayed against the side of the ornament better with a round ornament, like the directions show.  But I guess mine turned out all right.




I didn’t count how many strips of paper I used, but it was an equal number of red and green.  I just stuffed them in there until the ornament looked pretty full.  Some of them started bunching up inside instead of molding to the sides of the ornament.  But I like that the ornament isn’t solidly covered with the strips.  This way some of the lights from the tree may be able to shine through.

I debated adding a ribbon bow to the top of the ornament.  I decided against it because I couldn’t decide whether white or ivory would look better, and mainly because I stink at tying bows so that they look pretty.

So anyway, there it is.  Now it’s your turn to visit the rest of the design teams’ blogs and see what fantastic “anything but a card” things they have made.  Then share your own project with us – we’d love to see what you create!

Glass ornament: Michael’s
Paper: Array

I almost titled this post “stripping for Dad” but decided that was a bit too provocative!  ha ha ha

The title comes from the current Cards in Envy challenge to create a card using strips of paper rather than using ribbon as an embellishment.  I kept my card pretty simple, without embellishing the strips.  The layout was inspired by OWH Sketch #89, but I used a circle for my focal point.  I had this image already stamped and cut into the circular shape, and decided I’d go ahead and use that even though it wasn’t exactly what the sketch called for.  I also shifted the circle over to the left to accommodate the sentiment.


And there’s another card that’s on its way to Operation Write Home, to be ready for one of our heroes to send home to his or her dad for Father’s Day.

Stamps: Seaside Sketches (Stampin’ Up); Masculine Messages (Gina K. Designs)
Cardstock: Marina Mist (SU); white (Papertrey Ink); designer paper from “Memoirs” 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Inque Boutique)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: standard circle Nestabilities die (Spellbinders)

It’s Friday!  Welcome to another Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge.  This week we’re challenging our participants to create a project inspired by Spring.  You can make a card, layout, or 3-D item, so long as you use a digital image for your main focal point.  Although you aren’t required to use a Sweet ‘n Sassy digital image, we especially love it when our challenge players do use them.  Be sure to link your work at the Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge site by Thursday, April 4.

I have to admit I had a hard time feeling the Spring season this week.  Sunday and Monday we received about 5 inches of snow.  It’s all melted now, but the temperatures are still cooler than normal for this time of year here in the Shenandoah Valley.  Although my daffodils and tulips are sprouting, nothing has bloomed yet and I haven’t even seen any blossoms at all on my mini daffodils.

So, to make up for the lack of flowers outside, I created a card with some spring flowers.  I actually printed this border of flowers a few weeks ago, when I was working on challenge #96.  But I printed it too large to work on that card.  So I set this aside until now.  This time I’ve used it with a slight modification of OWH Stars & Stamps sketch #10 .  I was in one of my KISS moods so I decided to use a monochromatic color scheme.  (KISS = Keep It Simple, Stamper)  The sentiment comes from a set called Masculine Birthday Greetings, but I think this font works well on more feminine cards, too.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Be sure to check out the other design team members’ work for more inspiration.

Digital Images:  Tulip Block, Daffodil Block, Lily Block, Masculine Birthday Greetings (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Cardstock:  Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs); So Saffron, Tea Party designer paper (Stampin’ Up)
Ink:  printer ink
Other:  markers (Copic)

The girls over at Dynamic Duos gave a very spring-y, feminine monochromatic color combo for this week’s challenge.  So it seemed fitting that I use a spring-y image to create a feminine card.  I considered using some of my Prima flowers for it, but none of them matched my cardstock as well as I would have liked.  So in the end I decided to go old school and color in the stamped flowers and leaves with ink using my blender pens.  That’s a technique I haven’t used in quite some time.  I’d forgotten how much I like the color variance that can be achieved this way.

And there’s another card that’s now on its way to Operation Write Home.

Stamps: Artfully Asian (Stampin’ Up); It’s Good to be Queen (Lizzie Anne Designs)
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Kraft, Regal Rose, Very Vanilla (SU)
Ink: Crumb Cake, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose (SU)
Other: blender pens, ticket corner punch (SU); pearls (KaiserCraft)

If you’ve kept up with my blog for a while, you should have learned two things about my crafting habits by now:  1) I love participating in a variety of card making challenges, and 2) I enjoy making cards for Operation Write Home.  These two things mesh together quite well because most of the cards I create for the challenges end up being sent to OWH.  (I do keep some for personal use.)

So as I was working on cards to fill up the box I sent to OWH this week, I came across this week’s CAS-ual Fridays challenge.  This time they are asking the challenge participants to create a card using no stamps.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  I needed some thank you, birthday and thinking of you cards for OWH.  So I decided I’d try to create a no stamps card for one of those categories.

I looked through my rub-ons, but wasn’t liking anything that I was coming up with along that line.  Then I thought about using some of my dies.  Bingo!  I remembered one of my sets of Cuttlebug alphabets contained the word “thanks”.  So I pulled it off the shelf and chose to use that along with the vase and floral images in that set.  Picking the colors didn’t take long; I had actually used these colors together on a card about 5 years ago. (And as I’m typing this post, I realize that all of the SU colors are retired.)  Once I figured out how to fit everything on the card front (the vase and flower ended up taller than I realized at first, so I snipped a bit off of the flower stem) and ran it through my Xyron, I had a reasonably quick one-layer card.

See the dot in the center of the flower?  That’s actually the scrap punched out by the letter “a”.  I like when I can use little pieces parts like that!  🙂

So, that’s another card for my latest shipment to OWH.  I’ll have another one to share later today.

Cardstock: Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); Cool Caribbean, Cameo Coral, Blush Blossom, Mellow Moss (Stampin’ Up)
Other: “Olivia” Cuttlebug alphabet dies (ProvoCraft); corner rounder (EK Success)

The most recent Lawnscaping challenge is to use stitching on your project.  I do love the look of stitching on cards, but I was having a hard time figuring out which of my Lawn Fawn stamps to incorporate with it.

I finally decided to use stitching to show the path of a butterfly’s flight.  The butterfly is actually left over from a project I did several months ago, so it was nice putting it to use.  I had stamped it on a scrap piece of cardstock and used reinkers to watercolor it.  Today I cut it out and adhered it to the card.  (Before I glued it to the card, I stamped it on the background so I wouldn’t have to try to cut around the feet and antennae.)  I added a few die cut clouds and a sentiment.  I lightly drew in the butterfly flight trail, punched holes along it, erased my pencil marks, and then backstitched with embroidery floss.  I attached the panel to the card base with dimensional adhesive to accommodate the bulk added by the floss.



Once I figured out what I wanted to do, the card actually came together very easily!  Sometimes I just need to get jumper cables for my brain, I think.  LOL!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps: Flutter By, Happy Everything (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs); Bashful Blue (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: Daffodil Delight and Rose Red ink refills, dimensionals (SU); clouds dies (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps); white embroidery floss (DMC)

CAS – Colours and Sketches presented a color challenge over the last week, and here’s the card I finally got around to making for it.  Once again, I’ve used the layout from Inkspirational challenge #12.  This time I added a mat behind the focal panel.

This card is going to Operation Write Home.  I like that the colors are neutral enough that this card could be sent to either a man or a woman.

Thanks for stopping by today!

All supplies are from Stampin’ Up unless otherwise noted:
Stamps: Branch Out, Three Little Words
Cardstock: Real Red; Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Soft Suede, River Rock, Real Red
Other: petite oval Nestabilities die (Spellbinders)

This week the girls over at Inkspirational have provided a card to “CASE” as the inspiration piece.  Over the years I’ve come across several different definitions for “CASE”, but my favorite is “Copy And Selectively Edit” – which means, to me, to copy some of the elements of the original piece but change some of the other things.

I really liked the clean, simple layout of the card provided in the Inkspirational prompt.  I actually made several cards with it because it was a fantastic way to get some last minute cards made for the box I’m sending to Operation Write Home.  I discovered that using this layout, I can quickly create three cards from just two sheets of cardstock (plus a few scraps for the sentiment panels).  For the sake of brevity, though, I’m sharing only two of the cards in this blog post.

First is a card that follows the prompt card pretty closely.  I’ve used different stamps and colors, and my sentiment panel is an oval rather than a circle, and I didn’t use textured cardstock for the card base.  But otherwise you can definitely tell that the original card provided inspiration for mine.

For my second card, I used a different ink color, and I turned the layout on its side:



When I started to attach the image panels to the card bases, I felt like they disappeared into the bases.  I added some sponging to the edges of the image panel on one card (not shown here) but wasn’t really loving the look when the card was all put together.  So for the two cards shown here, I used the scrap pieces of cardstock from cutting down the image panels to create a shim to put underneath each corner of the image panel.  This raises the image panel up off the card a bit and gives it a bit more definition, but not so much as using dimensional adhesive would.

But now I’d better get back to finishing up that box of cards for OWH.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies for the Father’s Day card:
Stamps: Lovely As a Tree (Stampin’ Up); Dream Big (Lizzie Anne Designs)
Cardstock: Naturals White (SU)
Ink: True Thyme (SU)
Other: petite ovals Nestabilities die (Spellbinders)

Supplies for the Thank You card:
Stamps: Lovely As a Tree (Stampin’ Up); Year Round Sentiments (Hero Arts)
Cardstock: Naturals White (SU)
Ink: Soft Suede (SU)
Other: petite ovals Nestabilities die (Spellbinders)

... and the winner is ...

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Mar 262013

Congratulations to Sharon S., who commented on my OWH Sketch 165 post.  She’s the winner of my 2500 comments blog candy!  I’ll be sending an email to the address she provided when she left her comment.

Thank you to everyone who visits my blog.  I do read and appreciate all comments that are given. Whether or not you leave a comment when you’re here, I’m glad you take the time to see my work.


I’m honored and excited to be this week’s sample maker for the Operation Write Home Stars and Stamps Sketch Challenge! If you haven’t joined in the OWH/Our Daily Bread Designs challenge for the month of March yet, this sketch is perfect for it.

I’ve made two sample cards with this sketch.  On the first card, I’ve created an extra layer so that the ribbon could be wrapped around to the back of it.  I chose to use a simple knot bow to help keep the card USPS-machine-friendly. But other than that, I followed the sketch pretty closely.  It felt good to use two of my older designer papers for this card. The sentiment is from one of the OWH/Hero Arts clear stamp sets.

The second card is a one-layer card.  I decided to use a border stamp to create the scalloped elements.  I will admit that even after 10 years of stamping regularly, I still get nervous about stamping on one-layer cards!  I added another border stamp, which looks a lot like faux stitching, between the scalloped borders.  I stamped that in silver, and the ink glared a little on the right side of the photo.  Sorry about that.  I didn’t have anything handy to use as a stamp positioner imaging sheet for the border stamps, so I had to just eyeball getting them straight. The stitching one is a little bit off but I guess that just adds to the handmade feel of the card. Instead of a ribbon and bow, I used a scrap strip of silver metallic paper for the vertical stripe part of the sketch.  I created a faux prize blue ribbon to take the place of the bow.  Even though it’s attached with dimensional adhesive, it still lies flatter than a ribbon bow would.  To accommodate the length of the “blue ribbon”, I moved the horizontal elements up higher on the card, keeping in mind the The Rule of Thirds as discussed in March OWH Design Bootcamp segment.   The deadline for sending Father’s Day cards to the OWH shippers is coming up on April 30, so I’m starting to get some cards made to be prepared for that.

Here’s what the actual sketch looks like:

So now it’s your turn! I’d love to see what you can make with this sketch. Be sure to link your creations on the OWH Stars and Stamps blog. Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies for the Thinking of You card:
Stamps: Year Round Sentiments (Hero Arts)
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Petal Patch designer series papers (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Chocolate Chip (SU)
Other: Certainly Celery twill ribbon (SU); scalloped border die (Papertrey Ink)

Supplies for the Dad card:
Stamps: Quinn’s ABCs (Lawn Fawn); Riveting (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs); Brilliant Blue, Brushed Silver (SU)
Ink: Brilliant Blue (SU); silver (ColorBox)
Other: standard circle and big scalloped circle Nestabilities dies (Spellbinders)

Hello there!  Welcome to the weekend!  It’s the fourth Saturday of the month, which means that this week’s challenge at 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown will feature an embellishment or a technique.  Louise, our challenge hostess, has chosen to showcase ribbons and bows as embellishments.

I decided to ruffle some seam binding for my ribbon embellishment.  I hadn’t done that for a while.  I have to confess that I got kind of stuck on the ribbon idea and forgot about including a bow.  Oopsie!  This is just a simple card, really, that lets the designer paper do a lot of the work.  The poinsettia print is from the Basic Grey “Nordic Holiday” paper pad, which just happens to be one of the items I’ll be giving as blog candy… see the post on my home page here for more details on that.  The layout is one of the OWH Stars and Stamps sketches that I’d missed out on back when it was introduced.


Go hop over to the 52{C}CT blog to see what the rest of the design team has created.  Then get your creative gears going and make a Christmas card featuring a ribbon and a bow and share it with us using the linky tool provided at the 52{C}CT site.  We’d love to see what you create!

Stamps: Happiest of Holidays (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Naturals White, Kraft, Cherry Cobbler (SU); designer paper from Nordic Holiday 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Cherry Cobbler (SU)
Other: Cherry Cobbler seam binding (SU)

Hello! Happy Friday! Are you ready for another Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge?

This week’s challenge is Happy Birthday, Fellas. Make a birthday card for a guy of any age from 1 to 101! Just be sure you use at least one digital image for the focal point of your card. You’re not required to use a Sweet ‘n Sassy digital image, but we do love it when our participants use them.

I noticed I’d had this image for a while and hadn’t used it yet, so I figured this challenge was a perfect opportunity to change that. Tank the cat is in a party mood with his hat and his horn. The “Celebrate!” sentiment comes with the image. However, I’ve used my photo editing program to separate the two so I can print them individually. The designer papers are actually from a set of digital designs, too, but the company that created them is no longer in business. I’ve been trying to play catchup on some of the OWH Stars and Stamps sketches that I’ve missed. Today’s card uses sketch #150.

So, now it’s your turn to show us what you can create for a guy! Link your project at the Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge site by midnight eastern time Thursday, March 28. Remember that for every project you submit throughout the month of March, you will get one entry to be eligible for winning 3 digital images of your choice from the Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps store! Be sure to play along every week, and to go visit the rest of the design teams’ blogs for more inspiration. Thanks for stopping by today!

Digital Image and sentiment: Celebrate (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); Naturals Ivory (Stampin’ Up); Vintage Birthday digital designer paper (Lizzie Anne Designs)
Ink: printer ink
Other: markers (Copic); petite oval Nestabilities die (Spellbinders)

Here’s a very quick and easy one-layer card I made with this week’s Dynamic Duos colors of soft yellow and black.  I masked a panel with sticky notes and sponged So Saffron ink to define it.  Then I stamped the image and the sentiment. And in just a few minutes, I had another card to add to my Operation Write Home stash.

Dynamic Duos offered a “dessert option” of adding ribbon, but I felt that would interfere with the simplicity of this design.

This week’s ABC Challenge is “Bring on the Flowers”.  I know some people would debate whether dandelions are flowers or weeds, LOL, but I’ll side with the “flowers” side of that issue and enter this card for the challenge.

Thanks for stopping by today!  It’s Thursday… the weekend is almost here, hooray!  😉

Stamps: Make a Wish (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps); Year Round Sentiments (Hero Arts)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: So Saffron (Stampin’ Up); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: sponge

blog candy giveaway!

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Mar 202013

I have some fun stuff to talk about today!  My WordPress dashboard provides me with various statistics on my blog, and I’m getting very close to having 2500 viewer comments!  Wow!  So as a thank you to the people who read my blog and take the time to comment, I’ve decided to give some crafting goodies to the person who leaves comment #2500.

One lucky person will receive the brand-new, never used items shown in the photo above:

  • 1 Basic Grey “Nordic Holiday” 6″ x 6″ paper pad
  • 1 package of Basic Grey buttons and brads that coordinate with the Nordic Holiday paper pad
  • 1 package of Basic Grey undressed Mini Monos chipboard stickers – this is a full set of the letters of the alphabet, including extra vowels and commonly used letters, numbers, and various punctuation symbols.  These are pretty big – the letter “e” shown in the photo measures 1 3/8″ tall.
  • 1 stamp set: Wendy Uppercase Alphabet by My Favorite Things.  The letters are approximately 3/8″ tall.

I have another Nordic Holiday paper pad for my own use, and papers from it are shown on these two cards.  Please note that these cards are NOT part of the blog candy giveaway.


All you have to do to win is be the person who leaves comment #2500!  However, to keep things fair, I do have to impose a few rules:

  • Limit of TWO comments per person, please, until the winner is announced.  Comments must be left on two different blog posts.  (After I announce the winner, you are more than welcome to comment all you want!  :D )
  • Comments must be left on blog posts going forward from this one.  Any comments left on this post, and any new comments on previous posts, will be subtracted from the overall post count and will not count toward the 2500 number.  This post is being “stickied” to the top of my blog’s home page until the winner is announced, so new posts will appear below it… check the date in the top left corner of each post!
  • Spammers are NOT eligible to win this prize.  Spam Karma (the spam blocking program I use) and I will determine whether or not a comment is legitimate.

Does that sound good to you?  :) If it does, be sure to leave your email address in the comment form so I will have a way to contact you if you’re the winner!  Good luck, everyone!

Hi!  I have two cards to share with you today, so I’ll just cut the chitchat and get right to them.

First is a “mom” themed card I made for Operation Write Home.  I figured this sentiment would work for Mother’s Day or for any time one of our heroes wants to send a note to his or her mother.  I used OWH Stars and Stamps sketch #164 for the layout, but turned it on its side and added an extra panel for the sentiment. This is a great sketch for showing off some designer paper.


My second card is also for Operation Write Home.  This time I’m giving someone’s dad the opportunity to receive a card.  The layout started out as the CAS – Colours and Sketches challenge #16 layout, but I stretched it into a rectangle and turned it on its side.  This layout had me stumped for a while.  Finally I realized how closely this image stamp matches my washi tape and decided to combine them into a card.

So there they are – two more cards for the box I’m sending out to OWH early next week.  Remember, if you’re creating cards for OWH, the deadline for your shipper to receive Mother’s Day cards is March 31.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies for the Mom card:
Stamps: It’s Good to be Queen (Lizzie Anne Designs)
Cardstock: Poppy Parade, Whisper White (Stampin’ Up); designer paper from Nordic Holiday 6″ x 6″ paper pad
Ink: Poppy Parade (SU)
Other: half pearls (KaiserCraft)

Supplies for the Father’s Day card:
Stamps: All I Have Seen, All Year Cheer II (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Basic Black (SU); Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Mellow Moss (SU); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: washi tape (We R Memory Keepers)

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