Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God Bless Us .........Everyone!

I'm going to take a blogging break over Christmas, but wanted to wish all of my dear readers a very Merry Christmas.   I hope that you'll be spending this blessed holiday with loved ones, and that you're warm and toasty despite what the temperatures outside say.  Count your blessings; we have them in abundance!  

I'll leave you with this simple card which expresses this time of year so beautifully.

Supplies: cream parchment and blue cardstock, Stampendous P090 Tiny Babe, Hero Arts CG211 Magical Background, Versafine Deep Lagoon ink, pearl

Friday, December 17, 2010

Musical Collage

Hero Arts is in the midst of unveiling their new stamps for 2011, and I've fallen for most of the catalog!  However, I think the one stamp I'm most anxious to have and play with is this one, called Musical Collage:

This morning, Jacqueline in France posted a tag on her blog that she put together using inspiration from another new Hero Arts stamp, and she inspired me to try the same idea using this bird collage as my model. Here's what I came up with:

Coincidentally, that medallion stamp is one given to me a few years ago by Jacqueline herself!  I plan to tweak this a little more, and then do as Jacqueline did: scan the final stamping into my computer and save it as a digital image; then I can print it out over whatever paper I choose (Jacqueline printed hers out on patterned paper, which would add another dimension to all that's going on) until I get the real thing.  Thanks, Jacqueline, yet again you've inspired me to try something different!

Supplies: white, ivory parchment, pink and kraft cardstocks, Memories art print brown ink, Hero Arts CG222 Musical Background, S4878 Old Letter Writing, K5354 French Post (just the postmark part), CL129 Anything Messages, Inkadinkado bird 97894, and an unknown clear medallion stamp, colored pencils, tea dye and worn lipstick distress inks, button, twine

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Black and white with a splash

It's the 60th challenge at the Play Date Cafe this week: another of my favorite black and white and splash ones.  This time it's a splash of yellow.  I love doing these, which surprises me, because I don't use black in any way, shape, or form in my life - I consider it a non-color and, except maybe for shoes, I always choose a color over black.  So it's a mystery to me, but these are always such fun challenges - can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!  Here's mine:

Supplies: black, white and bright yellow cardstock, Hero Arts E2821 Petals with Polka Dots (part of a Poetic Petals wood set from 2003), CL129 Anytime Messages, Versafine onyx black ink, yellow gem

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vintage scene

Today on her blog, Kathy Martin shared a really lovely vintage holiday image.  I immediately downloaded it and made 3 very easy cards, using scraps of printed papers, some ribbon and raffia, and minimal stamping.  The children were all dressed in white, except for the girl's hat and shoes and their gloves, but I lightly colored in various areas in each card:

Thank you, Kathy, I know this sweet image will be used often. 

Sweet Christmas

Didn't Kath pick out a gorgeous Trigger for us at Moxie Fab World?  Beautiful flowers, such pretty colors! 

My eye went right to the cookie layer, seeing trees and snowflakes.  Here is my take on the trigger:

And a detail to show some of the glittering a little closer:

Supplies: white, pink and aqua cardstock, Hero Arts CL459 Merry Christmas Trees (LOVE the detail on them), versamark ink and white embossing powder, CG119 Flourish Background, tumbled glass distress ink, broken china distress ink on sentiment, punched snowflakes, pink and white pearls, clear star gems, glue pen and prisma glitter

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Over at the Wee Memories challenge this week, we are to CASE our favorite designer.  I chose Tami Hartley; her cards are as sweet as she is, and I've been a fan for years.  Here is one of my favorite cards - I love the heart, of course, but also the scalloped edge, the striped paper, the stitching.   So I followed almost exactly:

Supplies: white cardstock, scraps of pink gingham, brown dot, and striped papers, Hero Arts CL301 Hugs n Hearts, CL342 Everyday Sayings, S5264 Antique Flower Background, Palette Belle Rose ink, Martha Stewart heart punch, green ribbon, pink gems

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowflake Wreath

A card made for 2 challenges to make Thank You cards:  Hero Arts and Moxie Fab World's Card Creations: Thank You Challenge.  I noticed today that October Afternoon uses the colors yellow and aqua together quite often, and that was my starting point.  I've seen this wreath ordained with all kinds of embellishments; I thought snowflakes would be something different for a thank you card during this season. 

Supplies: white and aqua cardstock, scattered straw and tea dye distress inks, Hero Arts CG215 Wreath of Leaves, S4878 Old Letter Writing, CL341 Thank You Sayings, Memories Art Print Brown ink, punched snowflakes, turquoise gems and white pearls, ribbon from Kath

Winter Thank You

This morning on Flickr, Donna posted her version of one of Sir Tim's 12 days of Christmas tags.  She used his idea of running plastic packaging through an embossing folder, and her results are amazing!  So I decided to play and make something on my own.  While I was at it, I decided to make it to fit some Thank You cards challenges, at Hero Arts and at Moxie Fab World (Card Creations: Favorite Occasions Week Thank You).   Here is what I ended up with:

My first step was to start with glossy white paper, and stamp the Stunning Snowflake Background in versamark, heat emboss it in silver and then rub on stormy sky and chipped sapphire distress inks.  Next I ran a piece of packaging through the Divine Swirl embossing folder.  From a white card front I cut a labels eight die, then inserted the layers above underneath.  To finish I stamped, colored and constructed my snowman and added some blue snowflakes to the face of the card.  That large punched glittered one was added to hide a smudge of ink.  Here is a closer shot that shows the silver embossing and the layer of embossed packaging:

And a really close-up.  While I like the snowflake folder that Donna used better, I think these swirls are effective, also:

Supplies: white glossy and white matte cardstock, Hero Arts S5069 Stunning Snowflakes, CL368 Make Your Own, CL341 Thank You Sayings, and snowflakes from CL462 Magic of Christmas and CL464 Sending Holiday Cheer, Versamark, Versafine black Onyx, stormy sky and chipped sapphire distress inks, Ranger super fine detail silver embossing powder, Cuttlebug Divine Swirl embossing folder, punched snowflake, glue and prisma glitter, Prismacolor pencils, mineral spirits

Friday, December 10, 2010


If there's anything you can count on from the Play Date Cafe Challenges lately, it's that they'll kick you out of your comfort zone more times than not!  Here is the inspiration photo for this week:

Pretty colors, aren't they?  So I ransacked all my supplies looking for these colors, and while I have plenty of turquoise, those dark purples and royal blues are just about non-existent in my stash.  I found a BoBunny Brilliant Blue Dot paper (reverse) that kind of works for the blue, but I came up empty on the purple. 

I had just visited Libby's blog, where she made the most fabulous card by making her own backgrounds with an acyrlic block and distrss inks, so I decided to try that next, and go the abstract route.  And I was happy to see that dusty concord and broken china were fairly close to these challenge colors, so that's the direction I started with.   Since I see a bit of pale yellow in the inspiration, I also added some scattered straw to the mix.  I also noticed that hand-drawn heart shape in the inspiration picture and I remembered a very similar 2006 Hero Arts stamp I just found recently.  Here is my submission:

I also found some tiny heart buttons and some silk ribbon in these colors, and made my sentiment using some tiny alphabet stickers.  This is waaaaay out of my comfort zone, but I like my results and had fun!

Supplies: white cardstock, BoBunny Brillian Blue Dot (reverse) cardstock, scattered straw, broken china and dusty concord distress inks, Hero Arts H3781 Three Stitched Hearts, Stampology black ink, Making Memories tiny alphas, teensy buttons, silk ribbons

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All the way from Holland!

This amazing creation arrived in the mail today from Lai Yoke, who lives in Holland.  Isn't it wonderful?  I love the design - each element is showcased to perfection.......the snowflakes are clear embossed to give them a little glow, and I love her double stamping of white over  the purple sentiment.  Do you see the framing done in purple?  It adds such a surprising touch, makes the card extra rich, I think.  And my favorite thing is the glitter encircling the sweet baby reindeer.  Thanks, Lai Yoke, this will go on our mantle for all to see!

If you'd like to see more of Lai Yoke's gorgeous work, here is her blog and here is her Flickr photostream.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No red or green....

is the challenge at the Simon Says Stamp Challenge.  Here is my entry, a design I've done before, but this time I used hot pink and turquoise. 

I just adore this Penny Black bird from a clear set called Jolly Friends!  I colored him with prismacolor pencils and mineral spirits to blend, then diecut around him using a labels one die, shading the background with broken china distress ink. I added a little glitter on his hat. That panel was framed in hot pink and then placed on a spellbinder's Fleur de Lis pendant, which I think looks like a snowflake.  I thought the sentiment was perfect for his perkiness and also for the choice of colors.

Supplies: hot pink, turquoise, and white cardstocks, Penny Black  30-058 Jolly Friends, Hero Arts CL460 Joy to All, Versafine onyx black and Versamark inks, white embossing powder, Nestabilities Label One die, Spellbinders Fleur de Lis pendant die, Prismacolor pencils, mineral spirits, glue pen and prisma glitter

Hero Arts BLOG HOP!!

Mark your calenders to visit the Hero Arts Blog this coming Friday, December 10 for a Blog Hop featuring ALL NEW stamps from the new 2011 catalog.  Details are HERE

We've been seeing some sneak peeks these last few weeks, and there are new stamps to fit everyone's liking; I've seen some really pretty new flowers and can't wait to see them for real. 

See you there!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Operation Ruthie

About a year ago we in the Hero Arts Flickr group heard that one of our members was going through a very rough patch.  Our chief organizer, Deborah, immediately got to work and organized us to send her cards twice a week, to last over a period of about 9 months.  Each of us took an alias name.  Mine was Lilac Blueblossom!  Here are some of the cards I sent in those 9 months:

This first one is a complete CASE of a card that I fell in love with by Lisa Spangler.   We also sent cards to her adult children every now and again:

And my final card for her:

For all of you who have asked for the source of this sentiment, it was given to me by a fellow ChemoAngel in this form as a document.  I have been unable to find it as is anywhere, but if you google "this is my wish for you poem", it should bring the words up in poetry form, and perhaps you can make your own document to be printed out.  Sorry I can't be more helpful.

We hear that Ruth is doing great and thought that, since this is the season of Secret Santas, it might be the time to reveal ourselves to her.  Congratulations, Ruthie, on fighting the good fight and winning!  And Deborah, thanks for the massive amount of work you did to pull all of us together!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snowflake Thank You

Made for 3 challenges: Thank you cards for the monthly Hero Arts challenge and also for Moxie Fab World's Card Creations: Favorite Occasions Week.  And for a monochromatic challenge at Caardvark's.

I started by transferring almost all of a clear set of thank you sentiments to my acrylic block and stamping it on glossy white cardstock with versamark ink, then clear embossing it.  I then sponged on stormy sky and faded jeans distress ink.  After that was dry I stamped on some small snowflakes in chipped sapphire distress ink. A die-cut snowflake and 2 punched snowflakes were added, and all of the snowflakes got a dab of several colors of stickles in their centers.

Supplies: white glossy and matte cardstock, Hero Arts CL341 Thank You Sayings, CL343 Holiday Sayings, CL462 Magic of Christmas (stamped snowflakes), versamark ink and clear embossing powder, stormy sky, faded jeans, and chipped sapphire distress inks, stickles, die-cut snowflake, punched snowflakes

Winter White

I made this card for 2 challenges: Flourishes Winter White and Caardvark's monochromatic:

I chose to work with white, cream and gold.  The main stamped image is Peace Collage, by Memory Box stamps; it's framed with a cuttlebug snowflake  embossed background.  I used gold embossing, gold-tipped ivory ribbon, and gold snowflakes, one die-cut and heat embossed in gold powder, and one punched from gold paper.  Here's a closer detail:

This detail shows the embossed snowflake background in white, and the pearl embellishments on the snowflakes:

Supplies: white, cream parchment and gold cardstocks, Memory BoxG1411 Peace Collage,  versamark ink and gold embossing powder, cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder, gold-edged ivory ribbon, die-cut and punched snowflakes, pearls

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quick and easy

The CARDS blog wants some quick and easy cards to mass produce.  My first thought was a one-layer card.  Then I remembered this lovely collage stamp from Hero Arts - so many details in just one stamping.  The bonus is that the card is flat except for the gems, so there's no added postage - a good thing at this time of year!   Here is the result:

I started by making a background using distress inks (worn lipstick and bundled sage)and an acrylic block for stamping them.  Over this I stamped the collage stamp using Memories art print brown ink and clear embossed it.  To finish I just watercolored the holly leaves in more bundled sage (which is turning into my favorite color of distress ink), and added some pale pink gems as berries and some glitter to the snowflakes and the tiny scene  for some sparkle.  Since it's a holiday card I thought it needed some glitz!

Supplies: white cardstock, worn lipstick and bundled sage distress inks, Hero Arts K4827 Collage Season's Greetings, glue pen and prisma glitter, pale pink gems

Let it Snow!

Today I thought I'd share my collection of snowmen and pine trees.  They are housed in our dining room, because there's a fireplace (and mantle) there on which to show them off.  I've been collecting these for many years; again, they are a mix of homemade, bought, and gifts.  Here is the center of the line-up:

And a collage of most of them.   There's even one in an old mason jar!

This year we put in this little Charlie Brown tree, which usually decorates the porch with just red ribbons, but we thought we'd try it here this year.  I used mostly red ornaments and some snowflakes on  it.  That door is not used anymore since we put on our addition.  We probably should have taken it out, but that would have meant re-wallpapering the whole room, and I still like that wallpaper,  so it is the "door to nowhere".

And since we're in the snowman mode, here's a snowman card:

I'm entering it into Caardvark's final challenge: monocromatic.  As always, thanks for visiting!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another red and white card

Made for the current challenge at the Play Date Cafe:

supplies: red and white cardstock, Susan Branch Santa download, Hero Arts CL343 Holiday Sayings, barn door distress ink, red emboidery floss and red heart button, Spellbinder's Fleur de Lis pendant diecut

I am really enjoying this challenge - simple red and white are the colors of the season and they are so pleasing to me.  This one started with a digital image of Santa by Susan Branch - LOVE her art!  It was sized to fit inside the Spellbinder's Fleur de Lis pendant, and then all I had to do was stamp my sentiment and add the heart button and red embroidery floss .  I think this will go to my little grand-niece.

Here is the inspiration photo from PDCC:


Also entering this into Paige's quick and easy challenge at CARDS blog.

Holiday Music Inspiration

At the Wee Memories Blog, the Saturday Challenge is to make something that is inspired by our favorite Christmas song.  Mine is "Oh Holy Night"; beautiful words and beautiful music.

I think this sentiment reflects that carol beautifully.  And I must give credit to Nancy K, who came up with the original idea to pair these stamps together.

Supplies: white and blue cardstock, Hero Arts CG224 Starry Night, CG222 Music Background, CG100 Snowflake Circle, Penny Black 3227K Hope is Born, stormy sky and chipped sapphire distress inks, versamark ink and white embossing powder, punched snowflakes, glue, glitter

Oh Christmas Tree

Today I thought I'd share some pictures of our tree.....just finished decorating it today.  It's a 9 foot articial tree; I miss the fresh pine smell, but like that it has so many holes for bigger ornaments and that you can bend the branches to your liking.  Here it is almost from bottom to top:

Here's the very top.  That angel topper is something I made many years ago.

We have a lot of ornaments after almost 40 years: cross-stitched, stuffed fabric ones, lots of various paper ones, things the boys made when they were little, and of course, gifts and Hallmark ornaments!

And some of my teddy bears and old toys at the bottom:

One more, to show some of the ornaments up close and to give you a feel for how eclectic they are.  Top left is new this year, made from Spellbinders' Fleur de Lis pendants (tutorial here).  The little German hunter is one of many wooden ornaments we got in the late 1970s when we lived a year in Luxembourg.  And the angel made of doilies and lace is a fun reminder of a group of friends getting together to make them in volume; the hair is stiffened skinny ribbon wound around a dowel rod to dry.

Thanks for sticking with me - I'd love to see pictures of your tree if you'd like to share!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Red and white and more Christmas

At the Play Date Cafe this week, our challenge is to make a holiday card using red and white.  I knew right away what I wanted to do:

Red cardstock, white embossing powder, 2 stamps, a ribbon and some ribbon roses - done!

Supplies:  red cardstock, Hero Arts CG215 Wreath of Leaves, CL343 Holiday Sayings, versamark ink and white embossing powder, red ribbon from Sue C, ribbon roses

And continuing with my sharing of Christmas decorations, here is a little candle holder from Goebel (the famous German company which makes Hummels) dated 1975.  She is about 4" tall, without the candle.  Does anyone know if these are still made?  Wonder if they came in different colors? 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

CASE Study #17

This month at CASE Study, our muse is the talented Nina Brackett.  Here is the lovely card she made for us to CASE:

She used as her background some lovely Webster's Pages.  I have a few sets, but have been so intimidated by their gorgeousness that I've used very few of them.  When I saw Nina's card, I figured it was now or never!  So here is my take on her card:

I chose a petite paper from Webster's Waiting for Santa pack, and added a birdhouse pieced from another red script paper from the same pack and parchment paper.  To that I added a holly sticker and hung it from a piece of crochet lace, topped with a red satin ribbon and a white ribbon rose, and finished by stamping my sentiment. 

Supplies: red and cream parchment cardstock, Webster's Pages Waiting for Santa Petite Papers pack, Hero Arts CL251 SparkleClear Birdhouse Tag, CL111 Hand Drawn Christmas (sentiment), CH231 Lace Ribbon, Versamark onyx black ink, clear embossing powder, red satin ribbon, cream ribbon rose, unknown holly sticker 

And since I like how my bow turned out, I'm also entering this into the Wee Memories challenge: Bowtiful Ribbon.

Hero Arts color challenge and a share of my Christmas decorations

The monthly challenge at the Hero Arts Blog is to use these colors: kraft, cranberry, slate blue, pine, and snow - all great Christmas colors.  We can also make something that has lots of shine.  I tried to combine both of these criteria in my submission:

You can click on any picture for a better view.  I started with white cardstock, and stamped one of the flourish borders in stormy sky distress ink, then sponged on more of the same to make the sky. This was overstamped with the trees. Then I paper-pieced each of the houses, adding glitter to each roof with a glue pen and prisma glitter. The fence was punched out of kraft cardstock, and I added Crystal Stickles along the top and dipped that in glitter for more sparkle. Then I cut it apart to make my fence openings, lined it back up, glued it down and then added more crystal stickles along the bottom. To finish I used Shari's idea of adding stickles throughout the sky to simulate glittery snow. It really adds a lovely dimension!

Here's a little closer look. 

Supplies:  white, cranberry, pine, slate blue, and kraft cardstocks, Hero Arts CL464 Sending Holiday Cheer, LP107 Flourish Borders, Versafine onyx black, stormy sky and pine needles distress, and Adirondack cranberry inks, Prismacolor pencils, Martha Stewart picket fence punch, Crystal Stickles, glue pen and Prisma Glitter

I thought I'd also show you our Christmas decorations.  This is the outside of our house at this time of year:


And inside, each window has a candle.  The nativity scene here is made of parchment paper, an old art called scherenschnitte.  It is cut with very tiny scissors.

And another closer look.  I did this years and years ago and put it up every year.  Amazingly enough, it has held up very well.

I hope to share more pictures as the house is decorated.  The tree is up, with lights and wood cranberry roping, and now it's my job to add all the decorations.  That will be my next share!  Thanks so much for sticking with me throughout this long post!