.....come enjoy some handmade creations and heartfelt experiences. I'm glad you're here & hope you'll come back often.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy "Extended" Halloween!

Hi there!  Since Halloween was on Thursday, I know a lot of people are celebrating an extended Halloween.  Seems like there's still  lots of costume parties and other festivities going on this weekend.  And since I've been busy with the kids' Halloween activities; I thought I'd join in on the extended fun and share this fun Halloween card I did for Sparkle N Sprinkle a little while back.

 This is a great digital image from Beccy Muir called Haunted Birdhouse.  This image really spoke to me because I wasn't in the mood for a "cute" image and yet I get tired of all the "blood & gore" type things you often see for Halloween (not in stamps per se, but I think you know what I mean).  I thought this image was a great happy medium - neither of the other two categories, but just a little eerie/spooky.

I was also thinking that digital stamps were a great way to go to collect some great images that you only use once a year.  Don't get me wrong, I have a bunch of wooden & clear mount stamps for all the different holidays sitting around here.  But then I have to find somewhere to pack them away after the holiday is over.  With the digital stamps I can get bunches and bunches of great "once a year" images and I don't even have to pack them away when the holiday is over!  Yay!

And I love how this card came out!  I'm no expert with alcohol markers by any means; but I just dig in and try my best.  I really take my time and keep working at it until I get it as close to the way I want it as I can.  I know some people /artists can zip through a scene like this lickety split.  Not me lol!  So I'm always thrilled when it ends up coming out the way I had imagined it - Love it!
Check out all that shine on the banner!
I made this adorable saying banner using 2 pre-printed sayings from a paper I had from Pebbles "Trick and Treat" collection.  The Happy Halloween banner was cut out and covered with clear embossing powder.  I added 2 or 3 layers for some thickness and amazing shine.  To the tiny Oct 31 saying, I added a hand drawn black border to tie in all the blacks in the card and then attached it behind the main banner.  The whole banner is popped up on some black "pop dots" from 3L/ Scrapbook Adhesives.  I LOVE those things!!  I use white "pop dots" (dimensionals, adhesive foam) all the time too.....But these ones with their black foam; they almost "disappear" on many of your projects!  I've been using them for a couple of years & now SNS just started carrying them - yay!  If you haven't tried them yet; you definitely need to check those out!! (click on the bold text to go there)  Full instructions for this card can be found in the SNS Art Gallery here.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little bit of Halloween fun as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you!  Hope you had a great Halloween and if you're still celebrating - have fun and be safe!  And Don't forget to let me know you stopped by - I always love and appreciate your visits!!

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Checking In and News

Hi Blogging Friends!  Most of you know I haven't been in blogland very much for the last month or so because I've been really busy with my sister's wedding (see previous post).  Now that the wedding is over; I'm trying to start getting caught up on the many things that went to the wayside.  So, I thought I'd let you know how the wedding went and also pass along a couple pieces of news too!

So first.....the wedding.  It was fantastic!!  I was just telling a couple of my Sparkle N Sprinkle friends; I can't believe how many projects we did for the wedding!  My sister is an etsy and pinterest nut and she wanted everything she saw!  And I can't say "no" LOL!  We did so much stuff & I worked crazy long hours - but it was so worth it!  Everything looked so beautiful and we had such a wonderful time!  I'm really happy I could be so involved and do my part to make it such a special day.  And I'm so happy for the two of them!!  Here's a pic of my family at the wedding with my mother-in-law.  I was Matron of Honor, my daughter was a Junior Bridesmaid, my son Ring Bearer, and my husband was an usher.

 For those of you that have seen a picture of me before; I know that doesn't even look like me -- I guess I clean up pretty nice for a farm girl LOL!

Hopefully I'll be able to share some of the wedding projects I did with you soon.  We kept most things pretty simple  because of the quantity we needed to produce of each item.  But it's nice to see what people come up with for even simple projects!

Other updates in my world include two very important pieces of news.  The first is a bit sad.  I made the decision to leave the SNS Design Team as of the end of September.  It was a really hard decision for me (I really didn't want to leave - Can you sense my frowny face?)  But.... I've been feeling a bit like I've been neglecting some things with the family & definitely around the house for awhile now; so I made the tough decision that this was something I needed to do.  Or at least for now - we'll see how things go once I get some of the things I need to "back in order".  That being said though, still expect to see a lot of SNS stuff from me........1- because I really do love their products; so I know you're still going to see lots of SNS stuff in my projects; 2- I still have LOTS of SNS projects that I just never had the time to share with you & would love to do that as time allows; 3- I'm also hoping to pop back in with the SNS team for a guest spot here or there sometime in the future!  So I guess leaving the team is going to be bittersweet - at least I know I'm still going to have a strong connection there.

The second piece of news is BIG news!  While I was off buried in wedding projects, my very first cards to be accepted for publication came out!  Whoo Hoo!!!!  Even though I was so busy with the wedding; I was soooo excited when it came out!  When I saw the magazine for the first time; I was out picking up wedding stuff (of course!) and got so excited when I spied it; I just wanted to grab someone (anyone) and tell them my cards were in there.  I know, I know - super silly! - but I was just so thrilled to be published for the first time!  Ok, so I didn't end up grabbing some stranger in the store to show them; but I did show every family member and friend that would look! 

The Cardmaker special edition that my cards are in is pictured at left.  If you haven't had a chance to see this special "Creative Color" edition yet; you'll definitely want to check it out!  Not only is there tons of great techniques; but lots of the cards are from several of the girls from the Sparkle Team too.  And......they're featuring our cards from the special edition on the SNS Blog right now; so you can check them out there if you haven't had a chance to see the magazine yet.  My cards will be featured tomorrow; so be sure to go check it all out on the SNS Blog.  See some of the older blog posts to see what the other SNS ladies had published and check out tomorrow's (Thurs) SNS Blog post to see my cards.

I'll be back late tomorrow with a little recap on my Creative Color card's too; so I hope to see you back here again as well!  Hope you have a great day!!

Until next time,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sincere Apologies

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to pop in real quick today.  I just wanted to let you know I'm "still around" lol.  Seriously though, I wanted to apologize for not posting on my blog (or visiting your blogs) very much over the last month or so.  I do really miss visiting each of your blogs and wish I had time to share some of the many projects I've been working on.  But that's going to have to wait for just a bit longer.  I hope you understand & will keep an eye out for future posts.

For those of you that don't know, my sister is getting married in a couple of weeks.  In addition to the many duties & appointments I've had to run to as Matron of Honor - she's had quite a list of projects she's wanted me to work on too.  So I've been quite busy there.  It's pretty time consuming, but lots of fun!  After the wedding, I hope to be sharing all of the wedding projects with you. 
Wedding Projects "Sneak Peek"

 Be sure to check out the "Sneak Peek" on the left though - Don't you just love that gorgeous SNS Thank You stamp?!
and how awesome does the brides' name look on the Spellbinder ribbon?! (More on this & other wedding stuff later!)

I've also been working on some fun new Sparkle N Sprinkle projects too.  I have a handful of great all occasion projects as well as a really fun seasonal idea that will be coming your way.  So you can look forward to those too! 

And on the general home front / personal side, even though we're just about 4 weeks into the new school year now; we're still trying to adjust to that at my house.  Since my daughter has now moved up to a new school since she started middle school; now the entire family has a new  schedule we've been trying to get in sync with.  It hasn't been easy since our school district runs the middle school kids on the same schedule as the high school.  Now she has to be up at 5:30 in morning - I think that''s a pretty early / tough schedule for someone as young as her!  We're doing our best to help her adjust though.

Well, that's the nutshell version of what's been going on around here & why I've been a bit absent from blogland so much.  I sure hope all has been well with each of you and that you've had some time to create some fun things yourself!  I really look forward to seeing them sometime soon!! Thanks again for bearing with me and for taking time to read this. I always appreciate your taking the time to visit!!!

Until next time,

PS - Don't forget, there's still time to enter SNS's Creative Challenge for this month!  Some great digital images up for grabs; so be sure to join the fun!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Farewell to Summer (SNS Sept. Challenge too!)

It was a pretty busy August around my place: lots of back to school preparations & shopping - end of summer day trips & activities we wanted to squeeze in  - project days to work on more of my sisters wedding projects while we still had opportunities (she's a teacher too).  We try to cram sooo much into those last precious days of summer, but it's kind of like an annual ritual at this point.  And it goes so fast!  Does your family have any end of summer rituals??

For us, the final celebration of summer comes Labor Day weekend.  For years my entire extended family (which really I consider my immediate family) goes to a nearby lake.  We picnic, swim, fish, bike ride, walk the dogs, you name it.  It's the perfect final blow out for summer & we had such an amazing time doing it all together.

So......since we've given summer it's official send off; it's time to think fall.  So I thought I'd give you a little fall inspiration.  And also give you a little inspiration for this month Creative Challenge too!

This month's Challenge is "Anything goes with Glitter, Embossing Powder, and/or Flocking"

I decided to take the ANYTHING part quite literally and made this adorable fall notepad.  Even a plain old notepad looks beautiful with a bit of Sparkle N Sprinkle!

I thought this would be something really nice to give to someone that will be hosting Thanksgiving.  With all the preparations that can go into getting ready for Thanksgiving; what hard working hostess wouldn't love a beautiful little notebook to keep track of all of her shopping & to do lists for all the preparations.  (And it's so perfectly pretty with it's SNS touches of course!)

The beautiful Basket of Apples is from Set 474 - Fall Harvest and is colored with Copic markers.

To make the saying pop off of the printed paper; I used White Detail embossing powder.  And warm & sparkly accents were added in two places by adding a strip of Sparkling Coffee Sparkle N Soft (glittery flocking) between the printed papers and also on the brads.

While I designed it with Thanksgiving in mind; it certainly would be a lovely little gift for so many other occasions/people too -  how about for a teacher's gift (apple for the teacher?) or for a friend at church?  There's so many other great ideas I'd bet you can come up with.

So I hope you enjoyed today's project.  Don't forget to let me know what you think.  And don't forget to join in on the fun for this month's challenge too!  We always look forward to see what you come up with!

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

SNS Creative Challenge for August

Well, here we are at the first full week of August.  And here we go again......where did that last month go??  Seems I get that feeling every month any more.  And it gets worse every year.  Does that happen to you?  I guess it's true what they say....the older you get, the faster the time slips by!

I have been a bit extra busy though as my sister's bridal shower is coming up this weekend and the wedding isn't too far off either.  I've been buried up to my nose in lots of extra shower & wedding projects.  Way time consuming, but lots of fun too!  I sure hope to have some pics of some of that to share with you eventually too!  (But best I get it all done first!)

In the meantime, a new month always means a new chance to join the Sparkle N Sprinkle team for a great challenge & some great prizes.  Here's what I created for you for a little inspiration:

Click any photo for a better view

This month's challenge is a color challenge with a great swatch from Design Seeds.

While the swatch does show a flower in the example; the flower itself is not at all a part of the challenge.  But, that being said; these colors do work so beautifully with florals; that lots of us girls at SNS decided to work with a floral for this color combo.

Color Swatch courtesy of Design Seeds

I chose to use the very pretty magnolia from  this year's new Spring Floral Set 490.

The beautiful, rich and pearly sentiment was embossed with one of my favorite embossing powders - Dark Night

And for a wonderful touch of sparkle in the background (enough, but not too much); the branches on the embossed Sizzix background were highlighted with a touch of Cloud Nine Velvet glitter.  Even though the pictures don't show it very well; the card is actually a very soft ivory (not white).  And since the glitter is semitransparent; it adds just the right color as an accent - mimicking the ivory without making it appear too "white".  (Be sure to click the photo to see the great sparkle in the close up!)

I couldn't find just the right die cut shape for framing the saying that would complement the die that frames behind the floral.  So, I got a little creative and cut down the same die cut I used on the floral and used some of  the same ribbon used on the flower to accent the piece and also hide the seam.  Pretty creative  I thought and a perfect solution too!

I also tried to add lots of visual interest by incorporating many different layers into the piece - using a combination of tape and dimensional adhesive - often on the same piece (like the flower).  I didn't take a picture of the side of the card where you can see the various layers; so you're just going to have to take my word that it really adds to the interest on the card.

Well, that's what I decided to create with those beautiful colors.  Now how about you?  We'd love to see what you come up with!  Hope you'll jump in and join us this month!

Don't forget to let me know you stopped by & what you think.  And always, thanks so much for visiting!

Until next time,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sparkle N Sprinkle Girly Girls and Macho Mania Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on our hop this month! If you're arriving here from Shanna's blog; you're in the right place.  If you just "happened" to arrive here; you may want to go to the SNS Home Blog to start from the beginning of our hop so you don't miss any great ideas and details about the prizes up for grabs!

Today I have a little bit of Girly Girls AND Macho Mania for you!  For this guys and gals hop; I thought it might be fun to take a look a the same card done up for either a guy OR a girl.  

Let's face it; lots of us struggle with doing "guy" cards.  But if you modify a few simple details; any card design can take on a masculine feel!  So....here's a look at a card using the same basic layout, the same basic formula (saying as main image, all-over print, decorative strip), and also using the same saying - but one is decidedly masculine and one is definitely "girly".  Take a look at both versions - let me know what you think!

Masculine Version:
  • dark & neutral colors
  • straight, sharp lines (decorative strip & saying cutout)
  • natural elements (woodgrain & rope)
  • simple metal studs accents

Full supply list & instructions for this design can be found in the SNS Art gallery here.

(click any photo for better view)

      Feminine Version:
  • light / pastel colors
  •  soft, rounded lines/ shapes (decorative strip & saying cutout)
  • sparkling elements (glitter accents & stripes on decorative strip and on saying piece)
  • pearl accents

Full supply list and directions for this version can be found in the SNS Art Gallery here.

Both cards use a saying from the great new Set 498 - Horses.  I've been having a lot of fun playing with this new set.  Did you see the colorful card I did from this set in my previous post?   Be sure to check that out below or here.   (Don't forget to come back here to finish off the hop though!)   I think you're really going to love this set as much as I do!

Here's a peek at the whole set.  Isn't it great?!

So, what do you think about my masculine and feminine versions of this card?  Doesn't this make it seem so much easier to make any design appropriate for a guy or a gal?  Let me know your thoughts before you hop on by (& that qualifies you for prizes too)!  I always love to read and appreciate all your comments!!

Now hop on over to Shona's Blog for even more inspiration (yep, you arrived here from Shanna & are now headed on over to Shona's - no, that's not a typo lol!)  Have lots of fun on the rest of the hop and I hope to see you again soon!

Until next time,

PS - If you liked what you saw today (or on any of my posts), I'd love for you to become a follower.  I really enjoy sharing  my designs with fellow enthusiasts and would love to have you follow along too!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Horses & Patriotism

Hi again!  Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!
We actually just worked around the house on the 4th and didn't do anything special.  But we did  have a super busy post 4th weekend.  The highlight was attending the Taylor Swift concert in Pittsburgh with my daughter & sister -  my 1st concert in about 20 yrs. and my daughter's very first concert!  It's not something we usually get to do because we're about an hour from the city (& concert venues) and tickets are sooo expensive (not in our budget!)  But this was a special treat as my sister & family bought us tickets for our birthday & Christmas gifts last year.  My daughter & I both have birthdays in November & with Christmas only a month after that; it was a special combined birthday/christmas present.  I have to say we both really enjoyed it.  It was a great show & who knows when we'll ever get a chance to do that again!  Many thanks to my sister & family for that really special treat!

In any case, I kind of have a patriotic card for you today.  But I specifically saved it until after the fourth because I didn't really intend it to be patriotic.....per se.  How's that for a wishy washy explanation!
Actually, I thought this card would be good for a patriotic card OR a general multipurpose (note card, thinking of you, birthday, etc.)  I have lots of friends with horses and I know any of them would love to get this card any time of the year.  So, I guess that's where I'm reluctant to say it's only a patriotic card. 

 I have to say I'm ecstatic with how this turned out.  One of those exactly how I saw it in my head cards!  The horse silhouette, the bold red, white, & blue combined with the soft watercoloring.  Love it!  Love it! Love it!

(click any photo for a better view)

The inspiration for this card actually came from two places.  I actually have a t-shirt with a similar design and thought that it would make a really great card idea.  And the second inspiration.....if you've ever watched horses run; you can't deny how beautiful and free they look when they're running.  So combining them with an enduring symbol of freedom is such a perfect combination!

The running horse is from the new SNS Set 498 - Horses.  LOVE this set!!  The flag background & the word freedom are sold individually or on  SNS's Set 434 - Patriotic Background.   Everything was colored with Inktense watercolors. With these, I was able to achieve the rich vibrant colors and yet still be able to control the opacity.  I did one version with the horse silhouette very dark & opaque and a second lighter one (below) where the detail lines were still able to show through a little bit.  Different effects, but I liked them both.

The lighter version of the card was also done without the Freedom saying at the top.  After seeing the card with freedom at the top; it probably looks a bit plain without it.  But I thought omitting it made it look a little less like a card for a patriotic holiday & more for use anytime of the year for a note card, birthday or something else for a horse lover.

Hope you like this card as much as I do.  Full instructions can be found in my SNS Art Gallery here. 

Don't forget to stop back Friday or Saturday for SNS's Girly Girl and Macho Mania Blog Hop!  Always some great inspiration and great prizes to be won too!  Let me know what you think of today's card and I hope to see you again at the hop!

Until next time,