Sunday, November 30, 2014

merry & bright

Hi, everyone!

Hope you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend celebrating with family, friends, and loved ones.

Before sharing today's card, I'd like to welcome Darnell and Kristie to this blog. I first "met" Darnell about a year ago and she soon became a good friend. If you want to see some inspiring card making and have a chuckle or two along the way, check our her blog at djkardkreations. Kristie blogs at Kreative Kristie -- and creative is the perfect word. When I visited Kristie's blog, it only took a couple of seconds to see just how talented she is. Welcome, Darnell and Kristie!

merry & bright

Today's card was inspired by the current Shopping Our Stash challenge to use a stash item that was gifted to you -- something that you got for FREE!

In this case, the ornament charms and the card base were given to me by two crafter friends at [my former] workplace. The sentiment stamp was kind of free -- a free  hostess gift from my Stampin' Up! party. Somehow I think the charms and card base were the kind of free that SOS had in mind.  Thanks so much, Marcie and Carolyn.  :)

Doodlebug north pole; Recollections black; ??? gifted base cardstock
??? gifted charms
Stampin' Up! Good Greetings sentiment, heat embossed in Stampendous silver
Martha Stewart branch punch; SU scallop die
adhesives: Glossy Accents, Recollections foam squares

When I decided to go with the charms as my free stash items, I started mulling over the design. I decided I wanted them to hang from a pine-like swag. After making that decision, it was a matter of playing around with paper patterns and swag ideas. And, since I'd never before used charms on a card, I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the way this card turned out. It got a big thumbs-up from hubby. So, I think this one's going to my dearest friend in the entire world.  :)

Parting Thoughts

Think that's it for now. Might have to pay a little visit to Paper Smooches before the holiday weekend is over. I've actually been a pretty good girl, only making Shop-Small-Saturday visits to a local bakery and a local pet store. Retirement's definitely bringing out the frugality in me. (Guess that's why I was so excited about the Shopping Our Stash challenge!) But PS is having a Cyber Monday sale and that adorable Holly Jolly stamp set might just have to come this way.

December Challenge:
Dec. 1 - Dec. 21
Have a great week! Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

12-03-2014 Update: The December Words 2 Scrap By challenge went live on Monday. This month's inspiration words are Eat, Drink, and Be Merry! Hope you will find a few minutes during this busy month to play along.  :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

proud to be an American

Hi, everyone!

Today's card was inspired by OWH Sketch #243. I really like this sketch -- just the right amount of layers.  It was perfect for some of my hoarded Bo Bunny Liberty paper.  :)

Bo Bunny Liberty, Distress Ink antique linen and fired brick, Bazzill admiral
Stamper's Best sentiment in DI walnut stain
Darice embossing folder (on fired brick)
Stampin' Up! brad; Paper Smooches twine; Recollections foam adhesive squares

Parting Thoughts

December challenge starts
on December 1!
Congratulations to Greta who won the November Words 2 Scrap By challenge. Hope you will join us for our December challenge.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving celebration with family and loved ones. Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Bouquet of Thanks

Hi, everyone!

Isn't this weather crazy for mid-November?! Monday was snowy and yesterday was bitter cold. Today seems pretty good -- even though the high is about 15 degrees below the normal high for this day. Crazy....

Monday's View from the Menopause Room

Today's card is a thank you card that I am making for that upcoming craft show that seems a perfect fit for the current Cards In Envy, Shopping Our Stash, and Word Art Wednesday Thankful themes. I made a similar card this summer and loved it so much that I decided to reprise it for the upcoming craft show.  :)

Stampin' Up! In Colors: blackberry bliss, mossy meadow, hello honey
Too Kind images in SU 2014 inks on watercolor paper
TPC Studio sentiment in SU blackberry bliss
garage sale brads; EK corner rounder
I absolutely adore this stamp set... and these yummy colors. I used the first/second/third generation stamping technique for these lovely flowers... including the flowers on the inside.

I've found that the customers at the craft show appreciate general sentiment and Christmas cards. So, in addition to several holiday cards, I will have a variety of thank you and birthday cards.

Parting Thoughts

November Challenge
Nov. 1 - Nov. 21
This Friday is the deadline for entering our November Words 2 Scrap By challenge. This month's words Kindness and Gratitude are inspired by an Emerson quote. Hope you will have a chance to play along.

Have a great rest of the week. Thanks for stopping and happy scrapping.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Warm Wishes and Wintry Lovebirds

Hi, everyone!

Brrrr! OMG is it cold here. A great day to stay inside, make cards, and watch college football. The bad news is that I made the mistake of volunteering for traffic control duty for tomorrow's Thanksgiving basket pickup at our local food pantry. Seriously, what was I thinking?!

Now for two wintry cards that are intended to send the warmest of wishes to their OWH recipients.
  • Love on the Frozen Tundra: The first card was inspired by OWH's Mid-Month challenge to make a love card.
  • Warm Socks, Warmer Wishes: The second card is inspired by the current Shopping Our Stash challenge to make a non-Christmas card/project using a Christmas stamp. Love the inspiration for the SOS challenge. I'm all for celebrating Thanksgiving before we start singing those Christmas carols.  A big thanks to the SOS team for this creative way of challenging us to stretch those Christmas stamps.  :)

papers: Distress Ink core, Stampin' Up! core white, stash black
punches: SU owl builder and small heart, Paper Shaper circle
SU snow day snowflake stamp in SU bordering blue ink
Paper Smooches snowmen hat die
hat accents: uni-ball white gel pen
adhesives: Glossy Accents, Recollections foam squares
tool: Staedtler bendable ruler

MME stella rose, Recollections black, Crate Paper rose garden
Stampabilities stocking stamp, SU snow day sentiment
sentiment stamped in Distress Ink pumice stone (2nd generation)
stockings stamped in StazOn jet black
snowflake: EK border punch and Paper Studio brad
inking in DI vintage photo with Ranger blending tool
tool: SU piercer
for Warm Socks, Warmer Wishes!

 Parting Thoughts
November Challenge
Nov. 1 - Nov. 21
A quick reminder that it's not too late to play along with our November Words 2 Scrap By challenge. Annie chose an Emerson quote as the inspiration for our Kindness & Thanks words.

Stay warm -- and send warm thoughts my way tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hi, everyone.

Today's card was made for the current Paper Smooches Guest Designer Search and was inspired by a card I received several years ago.

Recollections white cardstock
stamps: Paper Smooches Bee Mine and Winnie & Walter Big Bold You
Distress Inks: vintage photo, walnut stain, fired brick, black soot
ribbons: Really Reasonable Ribbon November ribbon, Stampin' Up! cherry cobbler
stash gold sequins; adhesives: Glue Dots and Scotch ATG
inside sentiment: Sweet... Sweeter... Sweetest

I love the whimsy and creativity of PS DT cards. So, I tried to capture a little of that spirit here with these sweet little bees. The card is really a change of pace for me -- essentially one layer without any paper piecing. After seeing it, I'm thinking it's going to be hubby's Valentine's Day card. And, can I just say, that stamp-challenged me is pretty pleased with the way these images and words turned out. :)

Parting Thoughts

Spent today working on some masculine thank you cards for an upcoming craft show. At this show, folks seem to appreciate general sentiment cards in addition to Christmas cards.

November Challenge
Nov. 1 - Nov. 21
The November Words 2 Scrap By challenge is in full swing. Hope you will stop by and join in the fun.

Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

from a grateful American

Hi, everyone.

Boy, what a pretty day here! A sunny, brisk, fall Midwest day in Central Ohio.  :)

My thanks to everyone who wished my father-in-law well on his 91st birthday. We had a lovely lunch and I think he had a really nice day. Just saw a blurb encouraging folks to leave a Facebook message for their favorite vet. LOL -- There's no way on Earth of that happening. Guess we'll have to deliver our message in a less techie way.  :)

OWH Sketch #242

I'm here with an Any Hero card for OWH Sketch #242. Loved the sketch and inspiration card. Not so sure about my interpretation...

OWH Sketch #242
Authentique pride; Distress Ink core
Stamper's Best sentiment in DI walnut stain on Crate Paper rose garden
inking in DI walnut stain, vintage photo, and wild honey
embossing folders: Stampin' Up/Sizzix, Sizzix, Darice, Cuttlebug
star punches: Fiskars and Paper Studio
other punches: ??? corner rounder (for tiny stars); EK border; SU owl builder (for teeny circle)
adhesives: Glossy Accents, Recollections foam squares 

This card's a little busier than my typical cards. I just couldn't let that space below the left two vertical strips go. So, I put in a few stars, and then added a couple of stars at the top for the sake of balance. I am fairly pleased with the embossing and inking.

Just hope my card conveys our appreciation to one of our troops.

Parting Thoughts

A big welcome to new follower Karen Letchworth! Karen is a quite accomplished crafter and very busy blogger. Karen blogs over at, runs a challenge blog at, and is on the DT at Really Reasonable Ribbon. Thanks, Karen, for your kind words. They were appreciated more than you know. 

November Challenge
Nov. 1 -Nov. 21
Don't forget to check out our November Words 2 Scrap By challenge.

Have a great week! Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thinking of You

Hi, everyone.

Retired me is trying to be even more frugal than pre-retired me. So, it was a bonanza day at Big Lots and the supermarket when I came across a 7-drawer Sterilite organizer and clearance STRAWBERRY yogurt. If only Big Lots would start carrying Stampin' Up!, Paper Smooches, Tim Holtz, Really Reasonable Ribbon, Simon Says, Winnie and Walter....  

Today's card was inspired by the current Shopping Our Stash challenge to create a project with at least one leaf and the current Wednesday Simon Says Stamp Thinking of You challenges. It is also loosely based on this week's Mojo Monday sketch. Think this would make a great Thanksgiving card for my brother's family.  :)

Creative Memories abundance 8 x 8 paper; Recollections jute/burlap
Stampin' Up! mossy meadow; Distress Ink core rusty hinge
SU (2000) sentiment stamp, heat embossed in Zing Copper powder
Paper Smooches leaves 1 die and twine
Paper Studio brads; EK border punch
inking in Distress Ink walnut stain; adhesive: Ranger multi-medium matte

I'm really pleased with the way this card turned out. Love the texture and dimension. And it only took two tries to get that sentiment looking crisp and sharp!  :)

Nov. 10 Update: Since hearing from Karen of the challenge blog Word Art Wednesday, I decided to pay her site a visit. For those who do not know, this is a weekly challenge blog focusing on uplifting messages including, but not limited to, scripture verses. So, I'm going to link up this card for this week's Word Art Wednesday thankful challenge.

Parting Thoughts

Really looking forward to tomorrow. My father-in-law is celebrating his 91st birthday. We're not doing the fancy dinner like last year. Instead, hubby and I are doing lunch with our two dads. But, it should be a red-letter day nonetheless.  :)

Hubby's dad is a World War II vet that flew bombing missions over Germany. The photo below is from the family collage that hangs in our entryway.

November challenge
Nov. 1 - Nov. 21
Hope you all have a chance to check out the November challenge at Words 2 Scrap By. I-Teamer Annie is our hostess this month, and she has come up with a poignant inspiration quote that is perfect for Thanksgiving.

 Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nuts About You -- Mojo Monday Version

Hi, everyone!

Now that I've retired, I'm trying to venture out into different challenge blogs. Today, I'm giving Mojo Monday a try.

I loved the sketch for Mojo Monday 370 Contest. However, it was one of those multi-part sketches -- you know the kind of sketch that typically frustrates the living daylights out of me. But, I have to confess that I really like today's card. And, aside from taking a few liberties with the top right banner, I stayed pretty true to the sketch. Shocking, I know!

It was also fun to be able to use a brand new Stampin' Up! stamp set with some really old designer paper. :)

Creative Memories Abundance 8 x 8 paper; AC brown, Distress Ink core
Stampin' Up! Nuts about You stamp set in DI walnut stain
Recollections jute/burlap; Paper Smooches twine
Paper Smooches Leaves 1 die
EK border punch
Distress Inks: walnut stain, vintage photo, and wild honey
Zing clear embossing powder
adhesive: Ranger multi-medium matte

When I went with an Earth-tone palette, I decided to make a masculine love card for Operation Write Home. So, design decisions included:
  • using the notebook paper punch (instead of a scalloped edge) to achieve a more masculine look,
  • replacing the banner with the rectangular shape since the banner didn't feel like it fit just right,
  • double matting and heat embossing the sentiment, while pairing it with the only green element on the card, to give the sentiment a really strong visual impact,
  • stamping on patterned paper -- something I really need to do more often,
  • inking around the sentiment and everything other than the squirrels to better pop the sentiment and squirrels, and
  • using burlap/jute to add texture while sticking with a masculine feel.
Parting Thoughts

November Challenge:
Nov. 1 - Nov. 21
Hope to try another challenge blog or two this week.... but I really need to get a few craft show cards made.

Our November Words 2 Scrap By challenge went live on Saturday. If you have a chance, we'd love for you to play along.

Have a great week! Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nuts about You

Hi, everyone.

Today's card was inspired by this month's OWH Our Daily Bread Design challenge to make a card with at least one heart. Seemed like a perfect opportunity to ink up my new Stampin' Up! Nuts to You stamp set.

PAPER: blue: Target ???? clearance; orange: American Crafts; white and black: Recollections
SU Nuts about You stamps in StazOn jet black; SU brads; SU banner dies
Glossy Accents embellishment for squirrels and heart on card front
The blue paper is actually from a brightly-colored pack of cardstock and envelopes that was given to me by a friend at work. Thanks, Ginny! You can see that I'm beginning to put your gift to good use.  :)

This card is actually attempt #2. I wanted to use this stamp set to make a love/Valentine card that could be sent to anyone, including a child. Although the heart on the front is not prominent, it's still a heart. So, it's good to go for the ODBD challenge as far as I'm concerned.

I'm just a little concerned that it's too simple for OWH. I tend to struggle with "one-layer" cards. Although I really like the scene on the front, I still felt like it needed a little more oomph. So, I added Glossy Accents to the two squirrels and heart, which seems to help. But, on the inside, I wish I had used a heart around the sentiment instead of the banner. For better or worse, those papers are glued down pretty well. Don't think they are coming off any time soon.

What do you think? Too simple?

Distress Ink core paper
The card at the right is Card #1. Although I'm still planning on sending it to OWH, I'm concerned about it's simplicity -- as well as it being a little smaller than an A2 card.

Since the second squirrel and heart can't be seen until the card is open, I decided to make and post a different card for the ODBD challenge.

Parting Thoughts

November Challenge
Nov. 1- Nov 21
The November Words 2 Scrap By challenge went live yesterday. We are pleased to welcome I-Teamer Annie as the hostess for this month's "Gratitude and Kindness" challenge. Hope you all will join us.

This afternoon, I'm hoping to work on an idea I have for our December W2SB challenge. Think this one might take more than one or two tries to get right. Then it's back to craft show cards.   :)

Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

W2SB #11: Gratitude & Kindness

Hi, everyone.

Bobbi and I are thrilled to welcome I-Teamer Annie as our Guest Author this month. Thanks, Annie!

The Emerson quote below that Annie chose for this month's words could not have been more appropriate as we approach the holiday season.

You cannot do a kindness too soon
because you never know how soon it will be too late.  

Gratitude: Seldom Spoken, Always Felt

For my card, I decided to incorporate the definition of gratitude into the card design.

Creative Memories dp; Bazzill brown cardstock; ??? "peach" cardstock
computer-generated sentiment
Zing copper heat embossing on Recollections white
Hero Arts sentiment heat embossed on Core-dinations silver vellum
stash ribbon; heat embossed Queen & Co. pearls
Spellbinders scalloped circle die; Marvy circle punch; EK hole punch 
adhesives: Ranger mulit-medium, Recollections foam squares, Glue Dots
The definition actually made the placement of the paper/vellum-pieced medallion a little tricky. But, I think I finally got it to work out okay.

Once the medallion was placed, I felt like I needed some kind of metallic embellishment in the bottom left corner to balance it out. When I couldn't find anything from my stash that I thought would work, I decided to try making my own. So, I pressed a strip of white half-pearls in Versamark, covered the pearls with copper embossing powder, crossed my fingers and heated away. Who knew you could emboss pearls? I sure didn't!

Up Close and Personal

I'd like to explain why this quote resonated so deeply with me. This is going to get up close and personal, which is something I don't typically do -- and something you  might very well prefer to skip over. But, for those of you who decide to continue reading, I should probably issue a tissue alert -- as well as a Good Wife Season 5 spoiler alert.

Last season, the Good Wife killed off Alicia's love interest Josh in a completely unexpected act of violence. I found this remarkable for several reasons.
  • Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- knew this was coming. How did the producers pull this off in this day and age of Internet leaks?!
  • This plot development left Alicia struggling to remember her last conversation with Josh. What did they say to one another? What would she have wanted to say instead?
For me, this show was an example of art copying life. It's been almost 30 years since I experienced one of these heart-stopping moments. You see sometimes favorite characters are unexpectedly killed off in television shows... and sometimes moms unexpectedly die in car accidents. One minute you're hugging  your mom as she leaves your house. Minutes later you're getting one of those phone calls you pray you never get.

The accident actually happened on a rainy Christmas night. My mom, dad, and brother were leaving our home following a Norman-Rockwell-like family celebration. Perhaps the greatest Christmas gift I've ever received was the peace of mind that has come from my final words to my mom: "Thanks, Mom, for everything."

So, when Annie suggested this quote, it really resonated quite deeply with me. And, I wanted to create a thank you card for that would have been worthy of giving to my mom.

Okay, enough of that. Thanks for hanging in there for all this personal stuff. Now back to this month's W2SB challenge.  :)

This Month's Prize Package

Mini Blueprints
In addition to a Guest I-Teamer gig in January and our W2SB challenge-winner badge, this month's winner will receive the wonderful mini-blueprintsTim Holtz stamp set. So, we hope you will join us for our gratitude-inspired November challenge.

Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!