Hi there!  We have a fifth Saturday in the month of August, which means that at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, we have a “Pick a Previous” challenge this week.  This time we’re asking our participants to choose a previous 52CCT sketch from our sketch archives and use that to create a Christmas or wintry card.

I’ve chosen to revisit the sketch from August 2014.  I used some scraps of designer paper for the banners and coordinated the solid color cardstocks with the scraps.  I added a few rhinestones for sparkle.  It’s really a rather straightforward card, so there’s not much else for me to do but go ahead and share it:

52CCT 08-29-2015

Which sketch will you pick?  There are over 30 from which to choose, so have fun deciding!  Then be sure to share your card with us at the 52CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, September 4.  Thanks for stopping by today!

All supplies except the designer papers are from Stampin’ Up.
Stamp: More Merry Messages
Cardstock: Old Olive, Poppy Parade, Soft Sky; designer papers from Aspen Frost 6″ x 6″ pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Poppy Parade
Other: rhinestones

Hello hello!  I’ve been enjoying creating the challenges for CAS Colours & Sketches throughout August, and now it’s time to close out the month with a sketch challenge.

I drew up this sketch as a landscape-oriented rectangle.  As I was die cutting the starburst shapes, I realized that the size die that I chose was a little small, so I turned my card into a portrait-oriented rectangle instead.  I also added a couple of stars to better fill in the space.  The striped paper is actually a tag that came with this designer paper collection.  I haven’t been using the tags, and it was just the right size to fit across the card front, so I decided to use that instead of the “normal” designer paper.  I think it’s a pretty cool gender neutral card perfect for a kid of any age, so I’m going to submit it to the current Send a Smile 4 Kids challenge.  I’m also going to link it to the current challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More.


sketch 139

Be sure to stop by the CC&S blog and see what the rest of the design team and our guest designer have created!  Then go make your own card using this sketch, and link it to our challenge post by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, September 2.  We’d love to have you join us!

Stamp: So Much to Say (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Naturals White (Stampin’ Up); tag and designer paper scraps from Oh Baby! Boy collection (Basic Grey)
Ink: Bashful Blue (SU)
Other: Nesting Starburst die (QuicKutz)

Hi!  Today’s card is a quick one I created for the big celebration bash in honor of Freshly Made Sketches’ 200th sketch challenge.  I’ve enjoyed playing along in their sketch challenges for the last several years, even though I don’t get to it every single week.  But I did want to be part of this special challenge.

Even though I’ve taken a few small liberties with the sketch, I think it’s still pretty obvious that I drew inspiration from it.  I’ve kept the sketch to a mostly one-layer card, and I’ve flipped it so the larger rectangular area is above the horizontal line, rather than below.  I used a fun quote balloon die to cut the line, so it’s actually slightly curved.  I had stamped the bunny a long time ago for a different project, but didn’t use it for that, so he’s been sitting with the scraps from one of my Basic Grey paper pads all this time.  He’s finally found a purpose here, sitting among the flowers and giving a big cheery greeting to everyone who sees this card.


Thank you to the Freshly Made Sketches crew for so many awesome card sketches!  Here’s to the next 200!  🙂

Stamp: Critters in the ‘Burbs (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Naturals White (Stampin’ Up); scraps from Ambrosia and Green at Heart 6″ x 6″ paper pads (Basic Grey)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: Simply Said Hello die (Avery Elle); Speech Trio die (Mama Elephant); dimensionals (SU)

Hello!  It’s the third Thursday of the month, which means it’s color challenge introduction day at CAS Colours & Sketches.

It took me a while to decide what to do with these colors.  I had several ideas in my mind, but when I played them all the way through in my head, I didn’t like the way I envisioned them turning out.  Finally I thought about this tree stamp that I hadn’t used in quite a while.  I thought it might make a nice card for transitioning from summer into fall.  The lighter color leaves are from stamping the leaf stamp without inking it up again.  It also took on a bit of the brown from the limbs when I did that, which resulted in some two-tone leaves… perfect for autumn!   I first stamped the bird right onto the tree, but it didn’t seem to show up very well.  So I stamped it again on a scrap of cardstock, fussy cut it, and glued it on top of the original image.


CC&S color138-001

Go see what the rest of the CC&S Design Team has done with these colors!  Then use them to make a card of your own, and share it with us at the CC&S challenge post.  You have until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, August 26 to link your card.  We hope you’ll join us!  Thanks for stopping by today.

All supplies are from Stampin’ Up unless noted:
Stamps: Branch Out, Trendy Trees
Cardstock: Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); Marina Mist
Ink: Marina Mist, Always Artichoke, Cajun Craze

Hello!  Today’s card combines a couple of challenges.  I’ve taken the layout from the current Crooked Stamper Sketch Challenge and layered it up to make it eligible for the current Shopping Our Stash challenge.  I pulled out some old stuff for this one. The balloon dies are relatively new; I’ve had them about 6 months. But the designer papers and the birthday stamp and the cardstock have been around here for several years.


When I was taking the photo, our furry boy wanted to know what was going on, as well as remind me he was getting hungry for his lunch.


Thanks for stopping by today!  Comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Edited on August 31, 2015:  Thank you to Leslie for choosing my card as an Honorable Mention at The Crooked Stamper Sketch Challenge!

Stamp: Everyday Sayings (Lizzie Anne Designs)
Cardstock: Raspberry Ripple, Basic Black (Stampin’ Up); designer papers from Hello Luscious 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: Party Balloons dies (Lawn Fawn)

Hi there! It’s Cards in Envy challenge introduction day! For the next two weeks we have a theme challenge of “Cute & Cuddly”.  Show us your A2 sized cards featuring any cute, cuddly animal.  Remember to keep your cards flat enough to fit in an envelope and be mailed at the first class postage rate.

I’ve loved cats and kittens ever since I was a little girl, so it seemed only natural to have a cat on my card for this challenge.  First I decided to use this week’s sketch from CAS Colours & Sketches (turned on its side) and chose some coordinating designer papers for the various elements of the card.  It was a great way to use up some scraps, and it makes the card eligible for the current challenge at CAS-ual Fridays.  I stamped the cat bed onto one scrap of designer paper, fussy cut it, and attached it to the focal panel.  I stamped the cat twice onto a scrap of grey paper.  I cut one cat out entirely, and cut only the head of the other.  That way I was able to adhere the second head (with a couple cardstock shims behind it) separately to give some dimension to my card.  The circle with the cat was attached with dimensional adhesive.  A coordinating sentiment finished the card.

CIE 08-17-2015

sketch 137

Be sure to check out what the rest of the Cards in Envy design team has done for this challenge, and then go make a card showing off your favorite cute and cuddly animal!  We’d love to see your creativity!  Share your card using the linky tool at the Cards in Envy site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, September 6.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps: Furry Friends (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Dusty Durango, Naturals White (Stampin’ Up); designer papers from Ambrosia 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: standard circle Nestabilities dies (Spellbinders); dimensionals (SU)

It’s theme week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, and our challenge this time promises to be a fun one!  We’d like to see your Christmas or wintry cards made with a child in mind as the recipient.

I’ve relied on one of my Lawn Fawn stamp sets since they have so many cute images.  This little teddy bear image was practically begging to be used, so I stamped it three times across the image panel and colored the bears with my Copic markers.  I stamped the bow image three times on a scrap piece of cardstock, colored them, fussy cut them out, and attached them to the bears.  A couple simple mats and a sentiment later, and my card was finished.  I’ve used the current sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch! for the layout.  Using the markers to color the bears qualifies this card for the current challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More.

52CCT 08-15-2015

And there you have it!  Be sure to check out what the rest of the 52CCT design team has made.  Then make your own card for a child and share it with us at the 52CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Friday, August 21.  We’d love to have you join us!

Stamps: Pa-Rum-Pa-Pum-Pum (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); Real Red, Garden Green (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic)

Hello!  It’s time for a sketch challenge again over at CAS Colours & Sketches.  I think we have a pretty fun one for you this time, with several circular elements.  You’re welcome to change the shapes a bit, or turn the sketch on its side, so long as you retain the basic elements of the sketch and keep your card clean and simple in design.

I’ve stayed true to the sketch for my card.  I used some of my oldest Basic Grey papers for two of the circles and to paper piece the ice cream cone image.  The ice cream is popped up over the cone with a cardboard shim, to give it a little bit of dimension.  It doesn’t show in the photograph, but the vanilla rectangular panel is textured cardstock.  (I can never get a good picture of textured cardstock – lighting issues, I guess.)


sketch 137

I’m submitting this card to the “CAS 4 Kids” challenge at Send a Smile 4 Kids.

Be sure to check out what the rest of the CC&S Design Team has done with this sketch – they’ve made some amazing cards!  Then give it a try yourself.  You have until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, August 19 to link your card at the challenge site.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps:  Here’s the Scoop (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Blushing Bride, Very Vanilla, Very Vanilla textured (Stampin’ Up); designer papers from Blush 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: stitched circle dies (Lawn Fawn)

Sorry… I just couldn’t resist the punny post title!  This is a card I created to combine a few different challenges.

I’ve taken the color scheme from the current challenge at The Paper Players.  I would not have thought to combine these colors, and I had a little trouble working with them, but I suppose it turned out OK in the end.  I will readily admit this wasn’t one of my best coloring jobs, but I think the marker colors match the specified colors pretty well.  The embossed clouds tie into the current AEIHeartU challenge.  The layout is from the CAS(E) this Sketch challenge that ends tomorrow morning.  The two butterflies are adhered with dimensional adhesive for a little visual separation from the background.  The narrow strip of kraft cardstock is stamped tone-on-tone with a subtle texture stamp.


Challenge 27

Thanks for stopping by today!

Edited on August 15, 2015:  What a happy surprise it was to see that Nance of the Paper Players Design Team chose this card as “A Cut Above”!  Thank you so much!

Stamps: Storybook, Simply Said: You (Avery Elle); Linen (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Old Olive, Kraft (SU); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic); clouds embossing folder, dimensionals (SU); standard circle Nestabilities die (Spellbinders)

Hello!  Here’s a reasonably quick card I made this morning combining a few challenges.  The Retro Rubber challenge has a numbers theme, so that gave me the perfect reason to use this designer paper that I’ve had for a while.  I’ve had the stamp set with this sentiment for about 18 months now.  I like reading this sentiment with emphasis on the word “how”, as in, “You’re HOW old?” said with a lot of snarky disbelief – so that ties in with the Shopping Our Stash and Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenges.  The layout for this card is from Freshly Made Sketches.  It’s hard to see in the photo, but the yellow panel behind the sentiment is dry embossed for a little bit of texture and visual interest.



(I don’t know why the background on the FMS graphic turned black.  Their graphics have been doing for me that the last few weeks.  They used to be white.  Call me confuzzled.)

Thanks for stopping by today!  All comments are read and appreciated – well, the spam ones aren’t so appreciated, but I actually do read them too.

Edited on August 17, 2015 to add:  Thank you to the Retro Rubber Design Team for choosing my card as one of their Fab Five!

Stamp: Just Sayin’ (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Gumball Green, Marigold Morning, Naturals White (Stampin’ Up); Brigham and Zachary papers from Oh Baby! Boy collection (Basic Grey)
Ink: Gumball Green (SU)
Other: Plaid embossing folder (Sizzix); dimensionals (SU)

Hello there!  It’s time for another color challenge this week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown.  Julie, our hostess for the month of August, is asking us to create our Christmas or wintry cards using traditional red and green as the dominant colors.

For my card, I chose to use a modern take on a traditional Christmas icon, using a sketchy blueprint image of a poinsettia.  I stamped it on watercolor paper and used reinkers to paint the image.  Using the reinkers made it easy for me to match colors of cardstock for the card base and a mat.  It’s one of my simpler cards, but I’m pleased with the way it turned out.

52CCT 08-08-2015

I’m going to enter this into the “Anything Goes” challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More… because hey, why not?

Now it’s your turn to show us what you can make with these colors!  If you need more inspiration first, go visit the 52CCT site and see what the rest of the design team has created.  Be sure to link your card at the 52CCT site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, August 14.  We look forward to having you join us!

Stamp: Christmas Blueprints 4 (Tim Holtz)
Cardstock: Baked Brown Sugar, Cherry Cobbler (Stampin’ Up); Langton Prestige hot pressed watercolor paper (Daler Rowney)
Ink: Onyx Black (VersaFine)
Other: Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, and Baked Brown Sugar reinkers (SU); paintbrush and water

Hello!  I have a little bit of happy news to announce today – I’m the hostess for this month’s challenges at CAS  Colours & Sketches!  I hope that you’ll give the challenges a try and have fun with them!

A new month always gets started off with a color challenge.  I’ve chosen some soft pastel colors that haven’t been used much in our previous color challenges.  I haven’t made time to play along in the CAS(E) this Sketch! challenges recently and this week’s sketch really intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try.  I wanted a little bit of color variation in the circles, so I made watercolor washes of the three colors onto watercolor paper.  I framed the washes with the coordinating solid color cardstock.  I’ve used the inlaid dies technique for the circles so the card wouldn’t be really thick with lots of layers.  In retrospect, it probably would have looked better if I’d used different size dies to cut the circles, but oh well.  The butterfly was punched from scraps of the watercolor washes.  The body of the butterfly is attached directly to the card front, and the wings are popped up with dimensional adhesive.


Now it’s your turn.  Go check out the other design team members’ cards at the CAS  Colours & Sketches blog – they’ve done an amazing job this week!  Then show us what you’re inspired to create using these colors.  If you don’t have the exact Stampin’ Up colors, that’s all right – simply use whatever you have that matches them closely. You have until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, August 12 to link your card at the challenge post.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamp: Painted Petals (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Wisteria Wonder, Blushing Bride, So Saffron, Very Vanilla (SU); watercolor paper (Artist’s Loft)
Ink: Wisteria Wonder (SU)
Other: Wisteria Wonder, Blushing Bride, and So Saffron ink refills, rhinestones, dimensionals (SU); standard circle Nestabilities die (Spellbinders); stitched circle and stitched rectangle dies (Lawn Fawn); butterfly punches (Martha Stewart)

Hello!  It’s time for a new challenge at Cards in Envy – where we make cards that fit in envelopes!  Cards for our challenges should be A2 sized (4.25″ x 5.5″) and have no lumpy, bumpy embellishments more than 1/4″ thick, so that the cards can be mailed at the standard first-class postage rate.  For the next two weeks, we’re focusing on the theme of Birthday Party.  It promises to bring a load of fun party cards!

I’m not sure yet who the eventual recipient of my card will be, so I kept it gender-neutral and suitable for a person of any age.  The layout is taken from the Freshly Made Sketches challenge that closes later today.  The coordinating designer papers in the package made it easy to match the balloons to the colors in the banner element.  To give some dimension to the balloons, I’ve used a shim of scrap cardstock behind the yellow balloon and dimensional adhesive behind the blue one.

CIE 08-03-2015

We hope you’ll have fun with this challenge and join in our Birthday Party at Cards in Envy!  Link your card to our challenge post by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, August 16.  Happy crafting!

Stamps: Hats Off to You (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Island Indigo, Whisper White, Watercolor Wonder designer series paper (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Island Indigo (SU)
Other: Party Balloons and stitched square dies (Lawn Fawn); linen thread, dimensionals (SU)

finishing strong... with mixed emotions

Comments Off on finishing strong… with mixed emotions
Aug 022015

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably learned that over the last five years, I’ve been donating the majority of the cards I make to Operation Write Home.  OWH is an organization that provides handmade greeting cards to our country’s military men and women who are deployed overseas, so that they may use the cards to write home to their loved ones.  OWH also welcomed “AnyHero” cards and letters containing messages of support for our troops.

It’s with mixed emotions on my part for me to state that OWH has ceased its collection efforts as of August 1, 2015.  This is due to many more deployed service members returning home, and staying home, than in the past.  On the one hand, it’s wonderful news that there are not as many people stationed overseas, and that they no longer need to make the sacrifices of being away from their homes and families.  That’s a fantastic thing!  On the other hand, as a card maker, to me it feels like a loss of a purpose, the end of a good cause.

OWH called its final campaign “Finishing Strong” – and that’s what I aimed to do.  Thanks to the USPS tracking system, I know that my last shipment to OWH was received by them on July 30.  I’m not going to state the total number of cards I’ve sent over the last five years because I don’t want to come across as bragging, but I’m proud of the number.  And I will readily admit that I couldn’t have done it without the support of a number of friends – friends who encouraged me by commenting on the cards I’ve posted here on my blog, friends who didn’t mind my donating cards they’d sent to me as part of card swaps (yes, I gave the friends credit for creating the cards!), and an elementary school principal and several teachers who gave me permission to bring AnyHero coloring pages into the classrooms in which I was substitute teaching for the students to complete after they’d finished their assignments.  To all of you who have helped me – THANK YOU so much.

Most of the cards in my last shipment have already been shared here on my blog, but I did make a few at the last minute so I could finish up with a nice round number.  I’m sharing a couple of them here today.  First is an any occasion card.  The “hello” is suitable for just about any reason.  I cut it from textured cardstock.  The white cardstock is textured, too.  The layout of the card is a sketch I’d designed for a CAS Colours & Sketches challenge last February, turned on its side.  The designer papers come from one of my favorite Basic Grey collections (which is kind of hard to say because I love so many of the Basic Grey collections!).  Although the colors seem to suggest masculinity, this card could be sent to pretty much any person of any age.

7-15 hello

And here is the last card I made specifically for OWH.  It’s a quick and easy design I’ve used in the past, but it just seems pretty classic, like this well-known tree image from Stampin’ Up.

7-15 miss you

Operation Write Home, I will miss you – the sketches, the other challenges, the blog hops, the virtual card making parties, and most of all, the camaraderie of everyone involved with the organization.  Thank you for allowing me to brighten the lives of our military men and women and their families.

As for me – I’ll still continue to make cards.  I’ve been looking into some other organizations that accept donations of handmade cards.  Although my time with OWH is finished, there are still plenty of other opportunities for me to spread some cheer through my creative efforts.

Supplies for the “hello” card:
Stamps: none
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Sahara Sand textured, Whisper White textured (Stampin’ Up); scraps from Oh Baby! Boy collection (Basic Grey)
Ink: none
Other: Hello die (Avery Elle)

Supplies for the tree card:
Stamps: Lovely As a Tree (Stampin’ Up); Year-Round Sentiments (Hero Arts)
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory, Always Artichoke (SU)
Ink: Always Artichoke (SU)
Other: sponge

Hello!  It’s the first of the month, and that means we have a new challenge host at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown and a new sketch challenge for you.  Julie is our hostess this month, and she’s come up with a sketch that can be kept pretty simple or dressed up with matted layers.

I decided to go the matted layers route with the sketch, and I stretched it out into a rectangle.  The current challenge at Shopping Our Stash is to use bling, so that helped me choose this image that can easily be blinged up with sparkly ornaments.  I made one goof and didn’t measure correctly when I cut the image panel to size, so it’s not centered vertically as well as I’d like, but since I’d already colored the image I went with it anyway.  Oh well.  At least it was nice to use some of this designer paper that I’ve had for several years, as well as some of the larger red rhinestones that I own.  I’m also including this card in the “Christmas in July 4 Kids” challenge at Send a Smile 4 Kids.

52CCT 08-01-2015

Go see what the rest of the 52CCT design team has done with this sketch, and then show us your own take on it!  We’d love to have you link your card at the 52CCT site.  The challenge deadline is 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, August 7.  Please join in the fun and creativity!

Digital Image: Rhubarb Trims the Tree (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Sentiment Stamp: Bows and Holly (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs); designer papers from Very Merry Christmas 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Echo Park)
Ink: printer ink; Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic); red rhinestones (KaiserCraft); clear rhinestones, dimensionals (SU)

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