Hello!  Happy Saturday!  I hope your weekend has gotten off to a good start.  Here in the United States it’s Labor Day weekend.  Locally, it’s the start of the high school and college football seasons, as well as the start of marching band season!  Although I don’t talk about my personal life much on this blog, my readers who know me well know that I enjoy a good football game, and that I’m very proud of my two sons who are active in their high school’s marching band.  I’m happy to report that our team won their season opener last night, and our marching band was featured as the “Band of the Week” on our local TV station’s football highlights show.  Woo-hoo!!!  🙂

Since it’s the fifth Saturday of August, the 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown challenge this week is “Pick a Previous”!  This time it’s a double challenge.  Our challenge participants will need to pick a previous sketch and a previous color combination from the 52{C}CT archives and use both together for their challenge card.

For my card I wanted to use some of the challenges I hadn’t participated in, so I chose sketch #1 from January 2012 and color combo #7 from July 2012.   I couldn’t help but pick these colors because they are a nod to our high school’s colors (officially blue and white, but the various sports teams and the marching band have a lot of black on their uniforms).  I used my snowflake embossing folder to add some interest to the narrow vertical strip.  I chose the cute penguin image because it was easy to leave black and white, with a few touches of blue on his hat.

In retrospect I guess technically this is more of a winter card than a Christmas card.  I had “winter” in the back of my mind for adding to my Operation Write Home stockpile.  It’s close enough, you think?  😉  At any rate, it does qualify for the “no flowers” challenge going on at ‘ABC’ Challenges.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Go check out what the other design team members have created and give them a little blog love, too.  Then join us in our challenge!  You can link your work at the 52{C}CT website until 1:00 pm eastern time Friday, September 6.  We’d love to see what you make!

Stamps: Christmas Characters (Inkadinkado); Critters in the Snow (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White, Brilliant Blue (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Onyx Black (VersaFine)
Other: Snowflakes embossing folder (Sizzix); marker (Copic); standard circle and petite scalloped circle Nestabilities dies (Spellbinders); dimensionals (SU)

Hello!  Holy cow, this week has gone by quickly!  It’s Thursday again, which means it’s time for a new challenge at CAS – Colours and Sketches.

Since it’s the third Thursday of the month, we have a color challenge this time.  Kylie has chosen the colors Real Red, Bashful Blue, and Crumb Cake.  After a couple of false starts, I finally settled down on a Christmas theme, even though this isn’t a typical color combination for the holidays.  I guess I’m still pretty firmly entrenched in Christmas mode for Operation Write Home.  I decided to give the layout from Seize the Sketch another try.  I had to use the mirror image of the sketch so the little teddy bear wouldn’t seem to be looking off the edge of the card.   I stamped the bear and his bow on scraps of cardstock, fussy cut them, and then glued the bow onto the bear.  I wanted to give him just a little bit of “lift” from the card, so he’s raised up from the card front with a cardstock shim.  Even though this isn’t one of my favorite cards ever, I do like it a lot better than last week’s attempt at this sketch.

I’m also entering this card into this week’s ‘ABC’ Challenge.  Their theme this week is “SIP – Stamps, Ink, Paper”.

Now it’s your turn to go see what the rest of the design team has created, and show us what you can do with these colors.  Although Stampin’ Up color names are listed for reference, you may use any other company’s products that are similar in color.  Share your work via the linky tool on the CAS – Colours and Sketches blog by noon eastern time on August 21.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps: Pa-Rum-Pa-Pum-Pum, Belinda’s Borders (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Kraft, Real Red, Bashful Blue (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Real Red (SU); Tuxedo Black (Memento)

Hello there!  It’s the first Saturday of the month, which means at 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown we have a new hostess and a new sketch challenge for you.  Sarah is our hostess this time, and she’s created a sketch that can be interpreted several different ways.

Before I settled on my card design, in my head I tossed around a few different options for the small boxes in the sketch.  I considered stamping them with a small solid rectangle stamp as a background for either a small snowman or snowflake image.  I thought about switching the boxes out for circles.  Then I noticed that this week’s theme at ‘ABC’ Challenges is to use scraps.  That sounded perfect!  Goodness knows I have lots of scraps!  🙂  Everything about this card was a “leftover”.  The card base is the remaining half of a sheet of cardstock used for a previous card.  The kraft panel was already cut down to the size of a quarter sheet, so I just trimmed it enough to leave a border of the card base showing.  The designer papers and the sentiment banner were all scraps.  And the poinsettia is the last one from a package I’d opened quite some time ago.

Be sure to see what the rest of the design team has created!  Then show us what you can do with this sketch.  Link your card to the 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown site by 1:00 pm Eastern time Friday, August 9.  We’d love to see what you make!

Stamps: More Merry Messages (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Soft Sky, Kraft (SU); designer paper scraps from Aspen Frost 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Other: paper poinsettia (Making Memories)

Hi there!  It’s the second Saturday of the month, which means it’s time for another color challenge at 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown!  Since I’m hosting the challenges there this month, I got to choose the colors for this week’s challenge.

I went with a color scheme that I consider to be “vintage traditional”.  Instead of the typical bright red and green with white, I’ve chosen deep cherry red and dark leafy green with ivory.  Instead of black, I’ve opted for chocolate brown.  I originally had a completely different idea in mind for my sample card, but thanks to an Amazon.com dealer’s failure to send my order within the estimated delivery time, I was forced to come up with another idea.  I flipped through my Lawn Fawn stamps for inspiration and realized that even though I have a gift image in the Bows and Holly Christmas-themed set, I’ve only used it on birthday cards.  So I started thinking of how I could use some of the other Lawn Fawn images with it, and figured out that the gift fit on the postcard image, and then the whole card idea took off from there.

I ended up using the layout from last week’s 52{C}CT sketch challenge but turning it on its side.  The postcard image is an excellent size to fit the sketch.  I stamped the gift, masked it, then stamped the tag, masked it, and then stamped the postcard around them.  I wanted the ribbon to extend beyond the edge of the postcard, but I also needed to make sure the tag wouldn’t cover up the lines for the “address” part of the postcard.  I finished the stamping with the sentiments and the postage stamp, and colored the images with my Copic markers.  The designer paper for the background of the card was a late decision.  I hesitated because of the color challenge, but the swirls look like ivory to me and the background would have been too plain if I just left it as the card base, so I decided to use it.  And finally the card all came together.

I’m going to enter this card in the Merry Monday challenge and in this week’s ‘ABC’ Challenge, too.  Like all the other Christmas cards I’ve made this year, this one is going to be sent to Operation Write Home.

Now it’s your turn to show us what you can make with these colors!  If you need more inspiration first, go visit the 52{C}CT site and see what the rest of the design team has created.  Be sure to link your card at the 52{C}CT site by 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, July 19.  We look forward to having you join us!

Stamps: Bows and Holly, You’ve Got Mail (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip, Cherry Cobbler (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); designer paper from “Very Merry Christmas” 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Echo Park)
Ink: Chocolate Chip (SU)
Other: markers (Copic)

I am excited and honored to announce that because my card was chosen as the weekly winner a couple weeks ago at ‘ABC’ Challenges, I was asked to be the guest designer for this week’s challenge!  Thank you, Patty and the rest of the ‘ABC’ Design Team, for this opportunity!

If you came here looking for my weekly Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge post, please click here: Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge #96, and new release!

The current ‘ABC’ Challenge is called “In the Air” and it’s all about things you can find in the sky – clouds, birds, airplanes, whatever you might see when you look up outdoors.  I tossed around several different ideas before choosing to showcase a hummingbird on my card.  The only hummingbirds we see here in the eastern United States are the ruby-throated ones, and I think they are fascinating.  It’s only been in the last couple of years that we’ve seen them here in our neighborhood, so last summer my family was finally able to use the feeder that my sister and her husband gave my husband and me for Christmas soon after we got married.  We enjoyed watching the little birds zooming around and fighting each other for feeding rights.  I’m looking forward to putting the feeder out again when it’s closer to summertime.

Anyway, back to the card.  I made it thinking I’d include it in my next shipment of cards to Operation Write Home.  I went back a few months and used OWH Stars and Stamps sketch #138 for the layout, but turned it on its side.  I decided to keep a simple ivory and black color scheme to show off the details in the image (and, I confess, I don’t know if my coloring skills would do justice to this gorgeous image).  I used Sandy Allnock’s ribbon brad trick to embellish the card.

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you’ll come back again, and that you have a fun-filled weekend!

Supplies for this card:
Digital Images: Hummingbird with Scripture, Mother’s Day Sentiments (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Cardstock: Basic Black (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: printer ink
Other: ribbon (Offray); crystal brad (Recollections); Victoria embossing folder (ProvoCraft)

Happy Friday! It’s time for a new Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge! This week our challenge is to Go Green. Create a project using the color green, and/or repurpose or recycle something on your project. Be sure to use a digital image for your main focal point! You don’t have to use a Sweet ‘n Sassy digital image, but we do enjoy seeing our participants use them (and you get the chance for extra perks if you do – see the Digi Challenge site for more details!). Link your card at the Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge site by midnight eastern time Thursday, March 14.

I’ll admit it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for this challenge. I do like to recycle things when I can, but nothing was really striking my fancy for the challenge. Then yesterday afternoon I walked by my dresser and this ticket seemed to call out to me. I’ve had it sitting there for a while; it’s from our high school’s football team’s playoff game. But I figured I could work it into a card. And it was green. Since football season is still quite a way off, but baseball is getting into swing (sorry, pun actually not intended for once!), I decided to use the Baseball Rhubarb image and give Rhubarb a green uniform.  I used Microsoft Word to create the sentiment, and notched the ends of the strip to form the banner shape.

This is going in my box of cards for Operation Write Home, and I think it’s neutral enough that one of our military personnel could send it home to either a boy or a girl.  The colors tie in with this week’s Inkspirational challenge.  This week’s theme at ‘ABC’ Challenges is “Anything Goes” – so that means this card can be entered there, too.

I hope you’ll join in this week’s Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge!  Thanks for stopping by today.

Digital Image: Baseball Rhubarb (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Cardstock: Wild Wasabi (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: printer ink
Other: markers (Copic); Spots and Dots embossing folder (ProvoCraft); ticket from football game

Hello! Happy Friday! Can you believe it’s March already? Time sure does fly when you’re having fun, and I’ve been having fun with a lot of cardmaking challenges lately. Since it’s Friday, that means it’s time for a new Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge! Are you ready for it?

This week’s challenge is All Things Girly. Make a card suitable to give a girl 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 seeing our challenge participants use them.

Since Spring is trying to get here, I’ve chosen an image suitable for the season. Spring makes me think of pastel colors, so I picked some from the designer paper. The sentiment is from a Sweet ‘n Sassy clear stamp set called “Christmas Tags”, but it includes several sentiments that can be used year round, such as this “thank you”. I thought the script font went well with the feminine theme. The sketch used for the layout comes from this week’s ‘ABC’ Challenges.

So, now it’s your turn to show us what kind of girly creation you can make! Link your project at the Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge site by midnight eastern time Thursday, March 7. Remember that for every project you submit throughout March, you will get one entry to be eligible for winning 3 digital images of your choice from the Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps store! If you use a Sweet ‘n Sassy digital image, you’ll get two entries! 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: Butterfly & Flower (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Sentiment Stamp: Christmas Tags (SNSS)
Cardstock: Almost Amethyst (SU); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs); designer papers from Kioshi 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: printer ink; Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: standard circle Nestabilities die (Spellbinders); markers (Copic)

I’ve been considering different ideas for this week’s 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown challenge all week.  This time it’s a theme challenge of hearts and love.  I’ve gone through different sentiments and images that I could use.  But then I thought, what love-related thing do people do at Christmastime but really not at other times of the year?  Kiss under the mistletoe.  That’s what.  So I decided to do something along that line.  I’ve combined that thought with the layout for Freshly Made Sketches #74, adding an extra panel to the sketch.  I did some hand stitching around the edge of the extra panel to tie in with the “All Stitched Up” ABC Challenge.  I love the look of stitching on cards, but I always underestimate how long it takes me to do it!  The result is this rather clean and simple card:


I kept the heart/love theme going with the sentiment and the heart-shaped brads.  The mistletoe image is a stamp, but I created the sentiment using Microsoft Word.  This card will be going into the stash I’m creating to send to Operation Write Home later this year, and I think it’ll be a cute one for one of our military heroes to send home to a loved one this Christmas season.  I thought about using pearls for the mistletoe berries, but I hesitated to go with that idea because I felt that would be overdoing it.  Since the green panel is attached with dimensional adhesive and I already had the brads on there, I didn’t want to make the card too bulky.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps:  Bows and Holly (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Naturals White, Garden Green (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); printer ink
Other: Wonky Squares Nestability die (Spellbinders); markers (Copic); pewter heart mini brads (Making Memories); embroidery floss (DMC); dimensionals (SU)

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you’ve been able to share the day with those you love and who love you.

Today I’m sharing a card I actually made yesterday so I could pop it in the mail to my parents.  (They live close enough to me that usually if I get to the post office by 4:30 in the afternoon, they get my mail the next day.)  I’d been thinking of using this stamp image on their Valentine anyway, but yesterday morning when I saw the newly released Freshly Made Sketches layout, it gave me the push to go with that idea.  The color scheme comes from this week’s challenge at ABC Challenges.  I’d been hesitating about participating in the ABC Challenge because I’d struggled with these colors in last week’s Dynamic Duos challenge.  But the colors came together almost naturally for the Medallion image this time.

I stretched the sketch out into a rectangle.  The heart element didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted.  I wanted it to have some embossed texture, but I worried that embossing would distort the heart shape.  So I embossed my red scrap of cardstock and then cut it with the die.  However, when I ran the cardstock through my Big Kick with the die, the pressure flattened the embossing!  Ooops.  So it ended up being a lot more subtle than I really wanted it to be – however, I think I like it better subtle than if it were more distinct!  It was hard to capture it in the photo but if you look closely you should be able to see it.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps: Medallion (Stampin’ Up); So Much Love (Lizzie Anne Designs)
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Real Red, Very Vanilla (SU)
Ink: Pretty in Pink, Real Red (SU)
Other: heart die (Sizzix); Victoria embossing folder (ProvoCraft)

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

This week’s challenge is Valentines and Love. Make a card for Valentine’s Day or simply to celebrate love in general. 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’ve chosen to make a love themed card that could be used for Valentine’s Day or for any other time of the year.  That’s the theme of this week’s ABC Challenge, too.  (Considering the time of year, I’m willing to bet it’s the theme for a lot of challenge sites right now!)  Once again, I’ve gone to the Freshly Made Sketches challenge blog for the layout of my card.  I paper pieced Opal Owl for the “any shape” part of the layout, and I moved the sentiment panel lower down on the card so that Opal could perch on it.  I did “cheat” a bit on the paper piecing; rather than cut the beak and feet separately, I just colored them. I figured it was worth it not to fiddle with teeny tiny pieces. The design in this one patterned paper reminded me vaguely of feathers, so I used that for the background and planned the rest of my color scheme around it.

I’m also submitting this card into the current Inkspirational “Anything Goes” challenge.


So, now it’s your turn to show us what you create with love in mind! Link your project at the Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge site by midnight eastern time Thursday, February 7. Remember that for every project you submit throughout February, 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 Images: Opal Owl, Owl Sentiments 2 (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory, Pear Pizzazz, Very Vanilla, Paisley Petals designer series paper (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: printer ink
Other: River Rock ribbon, tag corner punch (SU); Orange twine (Really Reasonable Ribbon); large black eyelet (source unknown); markers (Copic)

Hello! It’s Friday! I am looking forward to this weekend! My older son has been accepted into the 16th annual Virginia Tech Honor Band, so we will be heading to Blacksburg along with several other students from his school and two other parent chaperones. It should be a lot of fun. I just hope the weather isn’t too brutal. I don’t mind snow, but I’m not a big fan of ice nor strong, cold winds. At any rate, it will definitely be a learning experience.

Another fun thing about it being Friday is that it’s time for a new Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge! This week our challenge is called It’s All White. Only white cardstock can be used on your project! You’re allowed to color your digital image, and you may use embellishments that are colored. But no colored cardstock, and no pretty designer papers – unless they are white! You don’t have to use a Sweet ‘n Sassy digital image, but we do enjoy seeing our participants use them (and you get the chance for extra perks if you do – see the Digi Challenge site for more details!). Link your card at the Sweet ‘n Sassy Digi Challenge site by midnight eastern time Thursday, January 31.

I’ve made a birthday card for today’s challenge, mainly because I wanted to add another birthday card to the box I sent yesterday to Operation Write Home for their Race You to the Mailbox card drive.  I colored the Tommy Turtle image and the balloons with Copic markers and cut them apart so I could add in twine for the balloon strings.  I printed Tommy’s left front leg and colored it an additional time so I could attach it over top of the balloon strings to make it look like he’s really holding them.  I knew I wanted to color Tommy green, but I was having a hard time deciding what color(s) to make the balloons.  So I looked to the OWH Design Bootcamp post on color theory for suggestions.  I chose to use red balloons for a complimentary color scheme with the green.  The layout for this card comes from this week’s Freshly Made Sketches challenge.  It’s a great sketch that can be played down for a CAS card or played up with lots of layers or embellishments.  I also noticed that this week’s ABC Challenge is to make birthday cards, so I figured why not join in that one, too.

Now it’s your turn!  What will you create with only white cardstock?  I’m looking forward to seeing what you make!

Digital Images: Tommy Turtle’s Balloons, Masculine Birthday Greetings (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: printer ink
Other: markers (Copic); cherry twine (Really Reasonable Ribbon); Swiss Dots embossing folder (ProvoCraft)

Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps just held their January release of new products, and to celebrate it, their design team posted several challenges in their forum on Splitcoaststampers.com.  Today’s card was made for the sketch challenge that was presented.  The colors for this week’s Splitcoaststampers color challenge worked perfectly with the image I chose for the sketch.  I decided to try using one of my embossing plates to add a little bit of texture to the raspberry panel.  It’s difficult to see in the photo because it’s more subtle than an embossing folder, but it’s there.  Although this card has a few layers, I think it’s clean and simple enough to qualify for this week’s ABC Challenge.

Stamps: Punny Fruits & Veggies (Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps)
Cardstock: Soft Suede, Raspberry Ripple, Very Vanilla (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: Premier colored pencils (Prismacolor); odorless mineral spirits (Houston Arts); Weave #1 texture plate (Ellison)

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