Friday, January 31, 2014

Be My Valentine mini...Unscripted Sketches #241, Keep It Simple #32: Square

I'm back...with a little card that I think may be re-produced a few more times for the Valentine haul of cards my sister-in-law requested.

Last Saturday, when I saw Unscripted Sketches #241

I decided, nope, can't wrap my head around that one...especially since I'm pretty much on the 'lovely dovey' cards only diet.  Each day - and often several times a day - I was drawn back to the sketch, to the delightful DT samples, to the entries. Something kept calling to me...

Last night, I had one of Bev's famous 'pings' (mine was quite teensy).  I decided to work with the sketch a la small scale, reached for my 3 X 3 card die from MCT, and voila...another mini was born. Since my mini is square, yet another entry heading to Keep it Simple #32: Square

In case you're wondering, the red paper clip is for the photo op, only, as I haven't decided if I'll use velcro or twine to keep it closed.  Then again,the paper clipmay be the closure of choice, as it kinda sorta works.  When the top flap of the card is lifted, a little pocket appears, just the *right* size for a small chocolate treat.  I'm not sure if the several more I plan to make will be for the niece and nephew's pals, or for the teachers.  Hmmm....

Note:  So very honoured to receive a Top 3 over at Unscripted! Happy dancing!!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Deepest Sympathy Butterfly...Retrosketches #99, Keep it Simple: Square

Hi - Friday, already and the the end of January, already!  Time flies...

Like many of us, I find sympathy cards difficult to make, despite all the inspiration available to draw from in this wonderful crafting community.  No matter how beautiful or pretty, or thoughtful and heart-warming they are, they make me sad; they make me even more sad when I have *need* to create and send one.  So without further ado, here's my sympathy card that I'll be mailing tomorrow.

My card design comes from two sources: Retrosketches #99

It's really simple; I didn't know what else to do...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments are so appreciated!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Valentine *Envelopes*... STAMPlorations #4, Simply Create Too #53, CAS on Sunday #25: Lovey Dovey

Hello! In the three days since coming back from visiting my family (actually, it ‘feels’ like I’ve been back longer…the more we visit, the greater the missing upon our return.  Must be some kind of mathematical equation that accounts for that; then again, where matters of the heart come into play, logic isn’t always…logical), I’ve managed to accomplish *some* card-making and some visiting-and-commenting. I’m still behind in all areas, so apologies if I haven’t been by recently; I’ll be lacing up my running shoes and setting a pace to catch-up asap!

Time with my niece and nephew is becoming more precious and more hilarious!  We spend Saturday afternoon/early evening at West Edmonton Mall, specifically in Galaxyland, which is an indoor amusement park.  My niece certainly enjoys the thrills of rides (she is reasonable about her selections…thank heavens), while my nephew was content to pretend he was ‘driving’ the cart my brother had him corralled in. Whoever decided to add steering wheels to such vehicles: brilliant!  We rode the carousel, the train, a mini-ferris wheel, the carousel again, and on her own, my niece “piloted” a small plane on a ride that was far too twirly for me to even watch.  By the time we left, we had two tuckered out parents, one tuckered  out Aunty C, and two little ones who still had ‘some’ energy to burn.  Great fun had by all!

On Sunday, before heading home , my mom and I headed over to visit the kids.  My niece loves, loves and loves hearing ‘stories’ (well…’tall tales’ might be more appropriate) about my husband’s bike racing excursions. This weekend, I told her about how I hand him water bottles in the feed zone during certain races (those in Bend, primarily…I LOVE Bend…).  If you could see her face when I explain the details – the intense concentration, the ‘big eyes’ fascination – you’d have a smile all over your face (Anita, from France , I soooo  love that phrase!).  Of course, one telling isn’t enough…three isn’t enough…and sometimes six isn’t enough.  Her “Aunty C, please, please , please tell me about Andy’s bike racing and the water bottles again,’ is just too sweet to resist.  Eventually, I can divert her to attention to other things, but she most certainly gets a kick out of her Uncle Andy escapades…and another ‘highlight’ emerged.   My nephew and I were playing ‘hockey’, which completely enthralls him (true Canadian!), using plastic drumsticks as hockey sticks and a soft ball as the puck.  Not exactly an easy feat to smack the ball with ‘skinny’, no blade sticks, however, part of the fun is trying….and chasing the ball wherever it goes.   While the ‘hockey’ game was going on, my niece was running around the kitchen island, near to our ‘arena’.  Each time she came past, me, I was passing her (or taking from her) her water bottle because – yes, you guessed it – she was in a bike race!   You can picture me bent over, whacking a ball – or the air, more like it - with a drumstick with my left  hand, and holding out a water bottle (sippy cups…great inventions, too!), for Ms. Tour de France bike racer each time she passed.   Hilarious…oh, how I love those two!!

Anyway, I’ve more Valentine *cards* to share, as part of the 51 total I’ve been asked to create.  I still have about 30 more kid ones to figure out, as well as 15 for the education leaders.  It's this latter groups’ cards I worked on over the past couple of days (Mr. Mojo is still wandering..sighhhh).   I have, in my stash, a number of 12 X 12 sheets of patterned paper, accumulated before I figured out that big patterns don’t translate well onto cards (sometimes they do, but you know what I mean).  So, influenced by others in this wonderful community of ours to “use what I have” (Amy T’s decision to use her wood-mounted stamps more often is what triggered my idea),  I took out the few sheets of Valentine-themed papers and transformed them into 6 mini envelopes, which will eventually house a chocolate-y treat of some nature.   Yes, they’re a ‘bit’ busy, but I figure that’s okay…Valentine cards “from” kids are allowed to be busy (Mr. Mojo needs to get back, because I’m starting to feel like I *am* crafting like a kid…eeek!).

My first card is heading to STAMPlorations Challenge #4
and will also be joining the others over at CAS on Sunday's #25: Lovey Dovey challenge, as well as a new-to-me challenge, Simply Create, Too #53: Use Hearts.

Be prepared...these are busy...but they're fairly easy...dies cut-and-paste and stamp (it's all the dithering around I do that winds up taking me longer than it should.  Must. Focus *grin*)

I was inspired by the current Seize the Sketch #12 challenge for this one, but I'm not entering it.

Let's do the tally:  15 kids' cards done and 6 teachers, which means still another 30 to go. 
Wonder what will pop into my imagination next.  Lovin' this!!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Friday, January 24, 2014

WooHooo Valentine (or two)...Paper Smooches SPARKS: Anything Goes, Unscripted Sketches #240, Simon Wednesday: Let's Have A Laugh

Hello, and Happy Friday.  Whirlwind week, once again…

I’m vibrating with joy and anticipation with our upcoming trip to visit my family, which we *should* be embarking on in about two hours.   My husband will be working at biathlon competitions over the weekend, leaving me to spend time visiting – niece and nephew #1 on that list – shopping, more visiting, more shopping… He’ll be back at my folks in the evening, ready to see the fruits of my labours.  I’ve discovered a new-to-me card-making outlet in the city and that will be a first destination on the shopping front.  Fingers crossed there will be goodies to be had.

Coming along for the ride will be the Valentine cards I’ve made so far (I've made about 15 so far, aiming for a total of 51) for my niece and nephew’s day-care classmates and teachers. You’ve seen two with ‘kisses‘, as well as a herd of Holsteins in previous posts.  Thank you so much for your sweet comments as  I indulge in this journey of whimsy and cutesy-ness; at least that’s what I’m striving for).

Joining the kisses ‘n cows are another crew; one I hope you’ll get a little ‘hoot’ out of.   This group is heading to Paper Smooches SPARKS: Anything Goes,

 Simon Says WednesdayChallenge: Let's Have a Laugh (if my little guys don't fit, please let me know. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks they're kind of funny-ish...), and Unscripted Sketches #240, turned upside down and 'slightly' modified.

 (Side note:  check out Shannon’s awesome baby card for US here…darling, charming, fabulous!! ).  On stage are my PS Quote Tag die, heart dies, Chubby Chum stamps and dies, and the Scalloped tag, which I embossed with my 'birch tree' folder, to create a bit of a 'tree' background for my dudes...

First two...

Second two...

 The crew...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

I'm hoping to spend some time catching up on the wonderful delights appearing in blogland in the next couple of days, too.  If I haven't commented warned *grin*

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Herd o' Holsteins Valentines...PS: Anything Goes, CAS(E) this Sketch #60


I'm truly dashing in quickly to share four more of the seemingly ever-expanding request of Valentine cards from my sister-in-law.  Based on yesterday's conversation, she'd  like 24 for my niece's day-care group (3 - 4 years old); 12 for my nephew's group (1 1/2 - 2 years old), and 15 for the teachers.  Aunty C is in her card-making glory!!  And my niece showed me she can count to 12, by twos! My little mathematical genius...

The set today, my herd 'o Holsteins, features a whole gamut of PS products. I hope you'll find my efforts do justice to the cows from Chubby Chums (they are so darn cute! The little hooves make me smile, as does their wide-eyed stare!), the heart dies/border and the quote tag.

Layout inspiration (a 'must have' for me) comes from CAS(E) this Sketch #60,

and of course, I'm also taking the cow gang to Paper Smooches where Anything Goes this week.

Here's two:

and two more....

and all four...

I hope the wonderful folks at Paper Smooches don't mind, but....there's more to come....

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments add sparkle to my day!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Delicate Thanks...Colour Me Challenge #3, ABNH: New Year, New Stash, Seize the Sketch #11

I was up *relatively* early today, bustling about most of the morning and into the afternoon, cleaning, grocery shopping (ick!), making pizza dough, dealing with laundry, "swiffering" the floors, dusting - essentially, catching up on a few neglected tasks before my husband came home this evening. I had craft-time figured in, along with some posting time, specifically for the card I made for Seize the Sketch #11.

 In the midst of my buzzing-frenzy, Mr. Linky closed; 9 pm apparently was 9 am.  Note to self: read carefully, check twice!

My card is perhaps one of the most 'delicate' I've made, striving as I am to 'try' to explore more colour-themed challenges this year.  The one on my radar is a new one - Colour Me - with a most intriguing premise that changes weekly.  You can read about it here.  This week, at CMCC #3,  the invitation is to create using three subtle, soft, serene colours:  light pink, light yellow, light grey. (Isn't that a dreamy kitchen? Want...big want.)

I gave it a go, using what I have...and the 'what I have' included a new ink (yayyy...more coming soon), from Memento, called Angel Pink, some new "New Beginnings" paper from Webster's Pages, AND some new glue!  New Year, New Stash - that's the current challenge at A Blog Named Hero, so heading that way, too.

Here's my card...the 'light grey'was a bit of an issue, as I only have London Fog, which is a bit 'more' than subtle, so I only used it on a little image. The background honeycomb of the patterned paper is a light grey...very subtle *grin*...

Thanks for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Valentine Kisses...Mojo Monday #328, Simon Says Monday Challenge: Anything Goes

Back again...

I've started 'flexing my crafting muscles' to fulfill my sister-in-law's request for Valentine cards for my niece and nephew's day-care pals.  Thirty...and I've completed about eight.  In a performance similar to my "90 Tags of Christmas" expedition, I simply can not make 30 of the same cards.  I haven't figured out how many of 'what design' to do, yet, but here are two...and yes, that is a "kiss" die, and yes, I put faces on them, and freckles.  Making cards for little ones is simply tooooo much fun...

Of course, I need a challenge to spark the ideas and Mojo Monday #328 was just the ticket...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Big Bloom Thanks...Paper Smooches SPARKS: Picture Perfect, Fusion Card Challenge #2, Simon Says Monday Challenge: Anything Goes, ABNH #36: New Year, New Stash

A quiet day on the home-front, as my husband is away for meetings once again; this time in his role as the president of our provincial cycling association.  The Board members meet today to discuss topics relevant to the organization's operation and governance; tomorrow, the Racing Committee meets, to deal with the nuts and bolts, or rather, the spokes and pedals, of things race-oriented.  Hard to believe that a new season of bike racing is on the horizon; hard to believe that I'm quite, quite, quite excited to play bike-race official once again! I'm hoping my husband will race more, especially as a new lean and light racing machine is at the ready.  It's actually quite a pretty bike, I must say: white and gold. Snazzy and 'almost' blingy...

Speaking of 'new' things, I played with a couple of my own 'brand news' today.  Despite spending several hours crafting (when left on my own, the 'predictable' happens...), I don't have a lot to show for my efforts. The recycle bin, however, is happily patting its tummy.  A couple cards did emerge, finally, once I decided that simple is just hunky-dory okay.

My entry here is for Paper Smooches: SPARKS Picture Perfect challenge,  (which yes, I found challenging)

Fusion #2 (just the photo), 

Here's my card:  sometimes all you need is just a "Big Bloom"...(and maybe some "proper" grey cardstock or ink, however, the 'fence' patterned paper I used for Thanks kind of works as a Fusion tie-in). 

Lighting is wonky-ish again; in real life, it's rather cutesy...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Friday, January 17, 2014

"Forever Framed"...Sweet Sunday Sketch #202, The Pink Elephant #233

How did Friday arrive so quickly? I'm weekend-ready, however, because I have a whole lotta Valentine cards to make for a whole lotta little ones, ranging from two-ish to four-ish years old. My sister-in-law's requests are always so much fun (multiples of fun, actually), so once I figure out what I'm making, the cards will go to my niece's and nephew's daycare buddies and teachers. My 'finish' goal is to have them for next weekend, when we head north (yayyyyy...) for a family visit, but that's being optimistic as I'm managing to over-think and perhaps, over-complicate what I'm making for little ones. If they're not done for next week, I'll just send them when they are: a package of love.  The bonus: I'll be playing with mini-sized cards and new products. Excited.  A few ideas are percolating...

Today, however, I'm sharing a card made earlier in the week, using a stamp I ordered last year, but didn't have a chance to use since it arrived after Valentine's (oh, to have 2 -3 day delivery..sighhhh).  Sweet Sunday Sketch #202 provided inspiration for the debut of my Forever + heart stamp:

The Pink Elephant #233 challenge invites us to use two patterned papers, one border die/punch and one heart, so I 'think' I've met the ingredient requirements (provided the stitching on the matted rectangle constitutes a 'border' die. (If not, lovely PE lades, let me know and I'll evacuate the premises)

 (eeeee..the 'forever'  is crooked...sorry...I seriously need to get an eye-alignment AND learn to use my 
thing-a-ma-stamp-a-ma-jiggy-thingy.  I lost the instructions, because I, for one, NEED a manual for everything!!)

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On the *fence* thanks...CAS(E) this Sketch #59

My post will be quick - sort of - for three reasons:
1.  blogger is being persnickety, now with my posts as well as my comments. Hello, Blogger!!
2.  the linky for the challenge I'm entering is near to closing, and
3.  another proofreading/editing job has come my way...yayyy!! I so enjoy these opportunities to re-enter the world of academia, especially because I can do my thing, learn something in the process, send the completed paper back to the researcher/student , then walk away.  No research required on my part (aside from a visit or two to figure out MLA or APA citation rules. Eek), no writing papers, no going to class, no beyond-belief stress.  It's a nice little part-time gig.  My last edit job was the pre-Christmas 300 page thesis, for a Ph.D. student in Sociology; the current one sees me entering the field of Chemical Engineering (how cool is that!!  My dad's a retired Engineer, of the Civil ilk...), where I'm learning about "Rheological and electrical percolation of polystyremen compositives filled with polyaniline-coated multiwall carbon and nanotubes." Yes, yes indeed...good thing I'm on the 'style and mechanics' side of things, because wow, if I had to suggest revisions to content, we'd all be hooped.  I'd likely cause nanotubes to be where they oughtn't.

Anyway, enough percolation here; time to move on...
My card today is heading to CAS(E) This Sketch #59

I've made a simple smallish-sized card, using my PS Quotes and thanks dies, as well as two newcomers to my collection: Uniko Butterflies.  Is it possible to have 'too many' butterfly stamps and dies?  I say no...These are amazing, and with more practice, I plan on making them stunning, as they deserve to be. Wink of Stella glitter - need it now...

Back to reading...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lots of Love...The Card Concept #1, Crazy 4 Challenges #218: Skinny Cards, Freshly Made Sketches #118

Monday morning and I'm taking full advantage of some quiet moments here at work (first round of Provincial Diploma exams begins today, with English...I'll need to go snoop at the exam at some point...) to share a card.

A new challenge, the Card Concept, features 12 amazing designers showcasing 6 design styles.  We're invited to create cards following the challenge theme and draw inspiration from one of the designers' styles.  The concept is brilliant: we can showcase styles that work best for us, or we can try on different styles to broaden our card-making repertoires, or, as in my case, we can try to figure out what our style actually is.  Whatever our motivations, the appeal factor is high!!

Challenge #1 inspires us with this image and colour combination:

Freshly Made Sketches #118  helped me with a layout idea
and I was also intrigued by the Crazy 4 Challenges #218: Skinny Card 

We're supposed to identify our Designer Style, and I'm not sure if mine fits Clean and Simple, or Freestyle Collage, or (eeek) maybe no style at all.  I drew inspiration from the colours, as you'll see...

I'm off to comment on other entries - another part of the fun - and wow, plenty of inspiring creations to gaze at and admire!  

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Little Hello...Little Tangles #28, Muse #49

Hi - Sunday evening already!

Another mini card happened this afternoon; evidently, I'm on my 'little canvas' fascination once again.  Perhaps it's the lingering effects of the 90 tags I made for Christmas that sees me reaching for things cute...and almost dainty.  Dainty...that's a word I don't hear very often, and certainly not one I'd ascribe to my cards with any frequency.  My grandma, a hard-working, warm-hearted woman, who spoiled and pampered us grand-kids (at the time, my sister and I, and two cousins. Then  my brother came along when I was 14, my sister 12 and whoa…spoiling entered a whole new dimension with that ‘little man’ joining the family)  was the first person I ever heard using dainty, or more accurately ‘dainties,’ referring to the plentiful, delicious, decadent squares she would make.  Dessert offerings were never one item; rather, they were as many as there were people at the table! She knew who preferred ‘this’ over ‘that’ and she always aimed to please!  I have fond memories of my grandpa eating pie with his mid-morning coffee, and her brownies, cakes and peanut butter, butterscotch chips+marshmallow square,s available any hour of the day, were beyond irresistible.  Oh, the memories…

Anyway, you’re not here for my little journey down the lane of treasured moments (and caloric indulgence), but to see my card, which is heading (quickly) to Little Tangles Challenge 28: Saying Hello

and MUSE Challenge #49, where Laurie Willson's gorgeous card is the inspiration:

My card pulls the colours from Laurie's sunny and warm "farewell" card (you'll be missed, Laurie!!), along with the "hello" strip stamp from Little Tangles and two darling CB butterflies.  Just a little 'hello'...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Happy *Birth* Day...TAWS Birthday Celebration, Retro sketches #97, Just Us Girls #223


Quick dash this morning!  TAWS is celebrating their 3rd birthday, and we've been invited to join in the fun.

 Because I love my mini card and envelope die pairing, and my TAWS Priceless Joy elephant, I created cards to celebrate the most important birthday of all:  *birth* day.  Layout inspiration for these little babies comes from Retro sketches #97,

and my wee ellies are paper pieced, so we're heading to Just Us Girls #223: Technique Challenge

Set 1

Set 2

and the gang...

Velcro fasteners are on my shopping list, so please forgive the paperclips; they're just temporary closures for the photo shoots.

NOTE:  So excited to be selected as the Birthday Winner at TAWS! THANK YOU!!!

My husband is off for his bike ride, so after a whirl wind houseclean/laundry stint, I'm crafting!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!