Hello!  Can you believe it’s nearly the end of September already?  In just three months, it will be the day after Christmas!  But if you’ve been joining in our challenges at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, you should be pretty well prepared with a lot of Christmas cards ready to sign and send.

The fourth Saturday of the month means it’s technique time, and this week we’d like to see your real stitching on a Christmas or wintry card.  Yes, you really do need to break out a needle and thread of some sort this time!  No fair drawing in stitches with a marker or pen!  🙂

For my card, I’ve done a quick and easy counted cross stitch snowflake design in two colors on 11-count Aida cloth.   I took the colors from the cardstock and designer paper I wanted to use.  I found a sketch that would work well with it in the OWH Stars & Stamps sketch archives.  And in a short time, I had a card.

52CCT 09-26-2015

Be sure to check out the fabby cards the rest of the 52CCT design team has made!  Then stitch up a card of your own and link it to the challenge site by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, October 2.  We’d love to have you join in the fun and creativity!

Stamps: none
Cardstock: Smoky Slate, Soft Sky Prints designer paper (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: none
Other: embroidery floss (DMC); Aida Cloth (Charles Craft)

Hello there!  It’s the fourth Thursday of the month, which means at CAS Colours & Sketches, we have a new sketch challenge for you to try.  This one is open to interpretation in different ways – any shape can be substituted for the star shapes, and the sketch may be rotated or flipped or manipulated to a rectangle if you desire.

I’ve stretched the sketch into a landscape-oriented rectangle.  You might remember that a couple weeks ago I shared a card with some leaves I had die cut from cardstock colored with a watercolor wash.  I had about half of that piece of cardstock left over, so I’ve put it to use for today’s card.  Once again I’ve die cut leaves from it, and I arranged them on my card front in place of the star shapes.  It doesn’t show in the photo, but the vanilla cardstock for the card front is textured.  The maple and oak leaves were stacked with additional cardstock underneath, so they have a bit of dimension, which was also hard to capture in the photo.  I thought this sentiment went well with the brightly colored leaves.  The stamp has the sentiment all in one line, but due to the space on my card, I’ve broken it up into two lines, which also allowed me to highlight the last two words in a different color.  I thought it was a good positive attitude type sentiment for a card to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids.

CASCAS143 front

I had die cut an extra leaf when I was making my card a few weeks ago, so I put it to use to brighten the inside of the card.  This photo shows the dimension of the two larger leaves a little better than the other photo.

CASCAS143 inside

sketch 143

I’m submitting my card to a few other challenges.  AEIHeartU is looking for cards with a non-white base,  Addicted to CAS would like to see cards with leaves, and Retro Rubber is asking their participants to show off an ombre effect like I’ve done with the leaves.  (Edited after I received Katy’s comment to add – I’ve had this stamp set for about 15 months.  Thanks for the reminder to note that for the Retro Rubber challenge!)

Challenge 28


What will you do with this sketch?  There are so many possibilities!  Be sure to go see what the rest of the Design Team has made.  I hope you’ll try out something and share what you create with us!  Link your work to the CAS Colours & Sketches blog by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, September 30.  Thank you for stopping by today!  Comments are always welcome and appreciated!

Stamp: So Happy (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Marigold Morning, Very Vanilla textured (Stampin’ Up); watercolor paper (Artist’s Loft)
Ink: Marigold Morning, Real Red (SU)
Other: Riding Hood Red and More Mustard reinkers (SU); Stitched Leaves dies (Lawn Fawn); corner rounder punch (EK Success)

Hi there!  Today marks the start of another fun challenge at Cards in Envy:  Colors of Fall.  For the next few weeks, we want to see your cards using fall colors.  Just remember to keep your card A2 size (4.25″ x 5.5″) and flat enough to mail in an envelope at the standard first class postage rate.

I’ve used several different designer papers to convey the fall color scheme.  The orange leaves and sentiment were die cut from a very subtle polka dot print.  I cut the same shapes in chocolate brown and offset them a bit to add a shadow effect.  The layout for my card is from The Crooked Stamper Sketch Challenge.

CIE 09-21-2015

If you need additional inspiration, please go check out the Cards in Envy site and see what the rest of the design team has made.  Then create a card following our challenge guidelines and share it with us using the linky tool on the Cards in Envy site.  The challenge will close at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, October 4. We’d love to have you play along with us!

Stamps: none
Cardstock: More Mustard, Chocolate Chip, Autumn Vine designer series papers (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: none
Other: Simply Said Hello die (Avery Elle); Stitched Leaves dies (Lawn Fawn)

Hello, and happy Saturday!  It’s time for another challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown.  This week is theme week, and we’re asking our challenge participants to create a card suitable to give a man.

I’ve used the current sketch from Freshly Made Sketches for my card, and kept it pretty clean and simple in design.  I did turn the sketch 90° on its side.  I used the rock ‘n roll technique to get the two-tone effect on the stamped tree.  I stamped it on a scrap piece of cardstock and then fussy cut it to give it a little more definition and separation from the focal panel.  The star is a small brad in an antique gold color.  In real life, the green ribbon matches the card base and ink better than it shows in this photo.

52CCT 09-19-2015

What kind of masculine Christmas or winter card will you make?  We’d love to have you share it with us at 52CCT.  You have until 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, September 25, 2015 to link it at the challenge post.  Thanks for stopping by today!

All supplies are from Stampin’ Up unless otherwise noted.
Stamp:  Season of Joy
Cardstock:  Wild Wasabi, Confetti Cream; designer paper from Nordic Holiday 6” x 6” paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink:  Wild Wasabi, Always Artichoke
Other:  Wild Wasabi ribbon; star brad (The Paper Studio)

Hello!  This week at CAS Colours & Sketches we have another color challenge for you.  This time we have some great colors from nature, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what our challenge participants do with them.

My card combines the color challenge with several other challenges.  The layout for my card is taken from the CAS(E) this Sketch! challenge that will be closing later this morning.  I don’t have any alien/outer space stamps that fit the theme for the current Shopping Our Stash challenge, but I thought this monster stamp worked well with the colors.  Aliens could be monsters, right?  The monster stamp is an oldie but goodie from a set I bought about five years ago.  The background stamp is even older than that.  I used it here to stamp a background for the monster, forming a gradient with the greens, making this card eligible for the current Retro Rubber challenge.  I used dimensional adhesive to pop up the monster over the background.  The sentiment comes from the same stamp set as the monster image.


CC&S color142-001


Be sure to check out what the rest of the CC&S Design Team has done with these colors!  Then share your own card with us by linking it to the challenge post by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, September 23.  We’d love to have you join us!

Stamps: Little Monsters (Lizzie Anne Designs); Single Brushstroke (Hero Arts)
Cardstock: Wild Wasabi, Chocolate Chip (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); Chocolate Chip (SU)
Other: markers (Copic); Word Bubbles Framelits die, dimensionals (SU)

Hello!  This week is color challenge week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, and our challenge this time allows for our challenge participants to do some choosing on their own.  We’d like to see your cards using the colors red and white plus any other color except green.

My card was pretty easy to make, but sadly, it turned out to be one unfortunate event after another.  I almost trashed it but then I decided to just go with it anyway.  I’m only human, and all of my cards aren’t going to turn out perfectly.  Life just doesn’t work that way.

To start out, I chose gold as my optional color.  I thought I’d heat emboss this ornament image and then watercolor it, with the embossing providing resist against the watercolor.  So I stamped the image with my gold pigment ink on my whitest watercolor paper, sprinkled it with detail embossing powder, heated it – and it seemed like the powder never melted the way it normally does.  I’d just used the embossing powder earlier in the day on regular cardstock and didn’t have any issues with it.  So maybe it’s something with the watercolor paper?  I don’t know.  Then I had some problems controlling the ink I was watercoloring with – partly because I’m still a beginner at watercoloring, and partly because the embossing powder wasn’t resisting the ink like I had thought it would do.  But I forged on and I guess it doesn’t look too awful.  I waffled back and forth between using brushed gold or shiny gold cardstock for the mat, and finally chose the brushed gold because it seemed to be the better match with the gold image.

52CCT 09-12-2015

What color will you use with red and white?  Remember, you can’t use green!  If you need additional ideas, go see what the rest of the 52CCT design team has made.  Then link your card to the challenge post by 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, September 18.  We’d love to have you join us!

Stamp: Christmas Blueprint 2 (Tim Holtz)
Cardstock: Real Red, Brushed Gold (Stampin’ Up); Artistico Extra White Hot Pressed (Fabriano)
Ink: Gold (ColorBox)
Other: Real Red reinker, detail gold embossing powder (SU)

Hello!  It’s time for a new sketch challenge at CAS Colours & Sketches.  This week it’s an interesting one and I’m looking forward to seeing what our challenge participants do with it.

I’ve rotated the sketch 180° for my card and given it an autumn theme.  It’s not quite autumn yet here in the Shenandoah Valley – this week the afternoon high temperatures have been in the 90s, but we’ve had some nighttime low temperatures in the 50s.  A few trees are starting to have some changing leaves.  So I don’t think the fall season is too far away.  Anyway, back to the card.  For the leaves, I created a colorful wash with red and mustard yellow reinkers onto a scrap of watercolor paper.  After it dried, I die cut the leaves from it.  I attached the small leaves with temporary adhesive first so I could sketch in the lines with pencil to show movement.  Then I removed the leaves, went over the lines with a pen, erased the pencil marks, and finally attached the leaves permanently.  I used a set of alphabet stamps to create the sentiment.


sketch 141

I have to admit, even though I wasn’t sure about the sketch at first, I’m pleased with how my card turned out!  I’m going to submit it for the current challenge at The Paper Players.  My teenage sons would die of embarrassment if I put notes in their lunchboxes now, LOL, but I can tuck this card into my husband’s laptop case.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Be sure to see what the rest of the CC&S Design Team has done with the sketch.  Then show us your own take on it by linking your card at the CC&S site by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, September 16.  We’d love to have you join us!

Stamps: Jesse’s ABCs (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Tangelo Twist (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); watercolor paper (Artist’s Loft)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: Riding Hood Red and More Mustard reinkers (SU); Stitched Leaves dies (LF); multiliner pen (Copic)

Hello there!  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’d like you to be inspired by a song.  Choose any song and make a card based upon it.

When my husband and I first started dating and commuting to work together, we used to listen to the oldies station on the radio.  One song that became a favorite of ours was “My Special Angel” by Bobby Helms.  I decided to choose that song for my inspiration for this challenge since this cute little angel stamp was almost begging to be used.  I die cut some fluffy-looking clouds for the angel to stand among.  I stamped the angel on a scrap piece of cardstock, colored him, fussy cut him out, and then attached him to the card.  There’s a bit of Wink of Stella glitter pen on his wings, which was hard to capture with the camera, so that’s why I have two photos of the card here.

CIE 09-06-2015

CIE 09-06-2015 sparkle

Be sure to check out what the rest of the Cards in Envy design team has made!  Then 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 20.  In your blog post, please be sure to let us know which song inspired you.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps: Love from Above (Mama Elephant)
Cardstock: Real Red, Soft Sky (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic); Landscape Trio dies (Mama Elephant); Wink of Stella pen (Zig)

Hello!  The year is passing by quickly!  Can you believe there are less than 4 months until Christmas?  If you’ve been participating in our challenges at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, you should have a nice supply of Christmas cards on hand ready to use for the upcoming season.

Our challenges this month start off with a sketch challenge.  As always, you’re welcome to turn the sketch on its side or manipulate it into a square.  So long as the basic shapes of the sketch are easily recognizable in your card, it’s all good.  For my card, I’ve stayed pretty true to how the sketch was drawn.  It’s a good one for using some designer papers!  The biggest change I made to the sketch was substituting a bow for the snowflake embellishment.  In real life, the color of the bow matches the red ink and cardstock better than it shows in the photo.  I opted not to put a sentiment on the card so it could be used any time throughout winter, and not specifically for Christmas.

52CCT 09-05-2015

I’m linking this card to the current challenges at Shopping Our Stash and Retro Rubber.


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 share your card at the 52CCT site.  The challenge deadline is 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, September 11.  Please join in the fun and creativity!

Stamp: A Beautiful Season (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Riding Hood Red (SU); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs); designer papers from Very Merry Christmas 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Echo Park)
Ink: Riding Hood Red (SU)
Other: Large Scallop Edgelits die, Cherry Cobbler seam binding, dimensionals (SU)

Well hello there!  It’s the first Thursday of the month, which means we have a new hostess of the month over at CAS Colours & SketchesLizy has planned some fun things for us this time, and she’s starting us off with a really nice, soft, mostly pastel color challenge.

I had the current CAS(E) this Sketch! layout in mind when I was making this card, although I took a few liberties with it by adding a matted layer and changing the rectangular focal point to a circle.  The mint green color that Lizy chose tied into this week’s Paper Players challenge, and I chose the option of circle/embossing/Mint Macaron.  Since I don’t have any Mint Macaron cardstock or ink yet, I just used the colors that seemed closest. My first attempt at coloring this image with my Copic markers was a flop – the green ended up too dark, and I just wasn’t happy at all with the result.  So I started over again with my circular element and used my colored pencils with odorless mineral spirits.  I was much more pleased with the way it turned out.  Since I’m planning to send this card to Send a Smile 4 Kids, I chose a sentiment that hopefully will bring some cheer to a child of pretty much any age.


CC&S color140-001

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you’ll share your own card with the CC&S challenge colors by linking it to the CC&S site by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, September 9.

Edited on September 8, 2015:  Thank you to Lisa of the Paper Players Design Team for choosing my card as “A Cut Above”!  What a nice surprise!

Stamps: Critters Ever After (Lawn Fawn); Simply Said: You (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Pink Pirouette, Rose Red (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Rose Red, Pink Pirouette, Sage Shadow (SU); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: Premier colored pencils (Prismacolor); odorless mineral spirits (Hampton Arts); standard circle Nestabilities die (Spellbinders); D’Vine Swirls embossing folder (ProvoCraft); dimensionals (SU); sponge

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