Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just about...but not quite...

I had plans.  Really.  Before last weekend's trip to see my family, I scoped out upcoming challenges, aiming to be organized, getting a head start on crafting - anything to avoid 'last minute' rushing.  TAWS Be Inspired Challenge #22 was on my radar; a 'must do.'  I knew the likelihood of creating something 'truly unique' would be daunting, given that I'm still (but not for much longer!!) relying on freebies for inspiration, and my stash has dwindled a bit, trending now toward rather muted palettes of patterned paper (another item - or zillion - added to the shopping list).  Bound and determined I was. A few scraps of coloured paper assembled, a freebie selected, some die-cutting and paper piecing and ....ta dahhhh, a card emerged.
          And I 'sort of' liked it, but it was sort of 'meh,' as well.
Put simply, the freebie deserved better - far better - then what appeared. It was one of those situations good in theory, but in practice, not so much.  Well, figured I, this would be my 'second choice' card, because, after all, I had time to make another.  Plenty of time.
          And then I missed the deadline <hangs head>.
So, my 'contender' card, became my 'only' card; and my 'only' card became my 'missed it by that much' card.  In the grand scheme, I'm okay with that.  As I mentioned, the whimsical paintbrush and sentiment warranted more of a 'stage presence' then what they received.  A card for my brother and sister-in-law's anniversary (more about that in my next post...) was the goal, but...a bit of a stretch, left as it is.
Anyway, I'm sharing my card after all, because...well, because my mom really liked it.  And that makes it all - the 'target close, but not quite, achieved', the missed submission, the 'needs something, but not sure precisely what (perhaps some bling on the top left...) - okay.  My mom liked it just as it is...and I'm 100% grateful she does!

Here's the inspiration photo:

and here's my 'almost'...

My 'vision' - even though the brushes are 'different,' when they come together, they create a new, pretty, 'love-ly' pattern.  That's what's supposed to happen in a marriage; it's exactly what happens in my brother and sister-in-law's marriage.  Those two, unique and special, add colour to one another's days. Even though we live four hours apart, they add colour to mine, as well.  Love really is pretty, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by!  I wish you beautiful colours and patterns to delight your days!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Warm Thoughts on Wings...CASE Study and CAS(E)

Butterflies, butterflies and more butterflies: evidently I'm enamoured with them of late, judging by many of my recent card creations.  Today's entry is my interpretation sparked by two creativity-stretching challenges:  Case Study Challenge #129, which inspired colour and pattern, and CAS(E) #16, for image and sentiment placement.  I'm planning on sending this to my sister, as we didn't have opportunity to visit during my last trip 'home.' She's in the midst of house renovations...and I'm sure most of us know what kind of turbulence and turmoil that adds to life!  A threesome of butterlies winging her way with 'warm thoughts' - hope it gives her a wee touch of 'peace' in the midst of her dusty construction zone.

Here's where I drew my inspiration: 
Case Study Challenge

 and the CAS(E) sketch.

Two versions of my card (because my poor camera and I are having an on again-off again relationship these days). 
Version 1 - I've tried to capture the colours as 'real' as possible, to reflect those in Teri's stunning card.

Version 2 - My butterflies have dimension (really, they do...). I paper-pieced them once in full size, then stamped them again to cut and piece their 'inner' wings. A rhinestone adorns the center of each one. (Note to self: learn camera settings! I appreciate all of your patience with my photography fumbling...)

Thank you for stopping by; I wish you warm thoughts, butterflies, and 'sparkles' !!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Eggstra" Special Weekend...

We've just unloaded our bags and various food purchases (scored great deals at Costco, Italian Superstore, Wal-mart...seriously, you'd think we live out in the sticks somewhere given what we buy when we head to the 'big city'!!), having arrived home after an outstanding weekend with my family.  I love the opportunities to "go home," where I can be a 'real life'

  • daughter to my parents.  Given my age, I am ever, ever, ever so blessed that my parents continue to be a 'going concern.' My mom is an absolute gem - hilarious, wonderful - an all-around spirit-lifter!My 'pa' is the 'silent type' - and as the saying goes, 'still waters run deep.' He is quite the dad....
  • 'big' sister (especially age-wise!) to my brother and sister-in-law.  Opportunity to cross paths with my sister and her husband didn't happen this trip, but we caught up with a 'local' phone call.  Next time: a 'for sure' visit!
  • and, best of all, Aunty to my niece and nephew!  My niece, who is a mere 7 sleeps from turning 3, is such a delight!  We played 'make-up' (my sister-in-law snapped lovely photos of her 'lipstick' - application on herself...and Aunty...who never wears lipstick, but exceptions are always made for Ms. Adorable), and counted stars, and went to 'sport-ball' and had ever so many hugs and kisses.  As for my nephew -  a couple of weeks from turning one - we watched him make his first steps.  It's only a matter of time before two toddlers will be running the show.  Can't wait!!  
Three days passed so quickly, and now, I'm teary-eyed from leaving, knowing that our next trip is several weeks away.  So...time to cheer up and do what I had planned before we left (but didn't!): post my entry for Paper Smooches SPARKS Cool Shades Carnival Challenge.

Here's are the 'Cool Shades' - Carnival inspiration colours: 

Since I knew I'd have an 'extra awesome' weekend, I created an "Eggstra Thanks" card, using the freebie basket o'eggs and thanks sentiment.  The baskets are paper-pieced, with the blue and pink popped up, and the green behind the thanks was...just because.  My card is dedicated to my family...miss you and LOVE you...eggstra special much!!

Photography needs work - my apologies.  My poor camera is accident prone,  
dropped on the floor a little too often...

Thank you for stopping by!  And to all who left comments on my previous posts - an eggstra thanks to you too!  Every comment amplifies how special this crafting community!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Card for Grammy...or Super Baba...or...

In my previous post, I shared one of the cards made for my sister-in-law's mom - Grammy - or, depending on what she decides - for Grammy's mom - Super Baba.  Today, is the debut of the second card, which was sparked by  retrosketches #51, combined with the Spring colours of Muse Challenge #5.  Or, perhaps it was the inspiration of Muse Challenge #5, using retrosketches #51. Whatever the case, I hope you like this 'partner' card - and I hope Grammy, or Super Baba, will, too.

Here's the sketch,

and here is the bright, bold, beautiful Muse inspiration, from Marion Vagg:

My card:
The paper is from Echo Park's Scoot collection..."meant" for boys but I love how wonderfully 
the colours fit the 'girl', or rather, 'grandma' theme.

I'll be sharing these cards 'in person' with my sister-in-law tonight; hope she LOVES them...and I wonder what the final 'destination decisions' will be.  These challenges are awesome!!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoy what you see...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Case Study...Studied!

A stretch - as in a “cat-reaching-out-her-paws (all four of them!) as faaaar as possible stretch” – is what I lay claim to with my Case Study #128 Challenge entry.   After first glance, and the several more closer studies that followed (I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for  the ‘case study’ aspects of this challenge:  chin-stroking, eye-brow raising and ‘hmmm…’ required!), I came ‘this close’ to giving it a pass.   No idea, no clue.  Then I remembered the cards my sister-in-law asked me to make…

My sister-in-law is a gem; she’s the mom of my niece and nephew, who I cherish; she’s a salt-of-the-earth good soul; she’s good-natured, hilarious, witty and, well, she’s the best thing EVER to come into my brother’s life!   For her – anything

A while back she requested two special February birthday cards:  one for her mom, aka as “Grammy” to my niece and nephew;  the second for her grandma (Grammy’s mom), fondly referred to as “Super Baba,” turning 85.  She was open to ‘whatever’ style or design I wanted,  with but ‘two’ requests:  flowers  and that “Super Baba” appear on the card destined for her (yet another perk of home-made cards ~ personalizing).  Easy peasy.  Not!  I thought about these cards for days on end.  Procrastination, plus.  My stumbling block – one I’m sure many of you have facee – and amplified by my ‘novice’ status:  a card with ‘expectations.’   By expectations, I mean my own!  Whatever I make, my sister-in-law will love, but I wanted to create something she will LOVE!!  Something she’ll be proud to give to Grammy, or Super Baba.  Something they’d be proud to receive.  Pressure (self-induced) on!!
 So, with Teri’s sketch as inspiration (the timing was wonderfully, ironically perfect!):

Here’s my card for Grammy…

or Super Baba.

I made a tag for either - a simple 'add' once the chosen one is decided.

Here's a close-up of a couple of the 'elements' -

Although this was a ‘stretch,’ I loved the challenge.  I met most of my expectations (always room for improvement!); most important, I hope it makes my sister-in-law happy, and Super Baba – or Grammy – smile!

Thank you for stopping by!

Tickled Pink...CAS(E) #15

I had a different plan in mind for CAS(E) this Sketch #15 - and then, I read this post yesterday, from Shannon, at Chuchee Chu.  She had me blinking away tears, happy dancing and all-around blushing from her kind words and promotion of my blog, my 'fledgling journey' into this dynamic card-making community.  For those of you who have seen Shannon's cards, and have been the recipients of her thoughtful, heart-warming comments, you'll know she's infused with the Biggest. Heart. Ever.  If you don't yet know her - go.  Now.  Her cards are charming; her posts engaging; her personality a day-brightener and smile-maker.  Delightful she is...delightful.  I'll also echo the essence of her post:  this community of sharing and caring, of embracing and encouraging, of supporting and nurturing - be we novices or experts - is...well, awesome!  Thank you for welcoming me into your midst, and for giving me motivation to carry on stamping, snipping, sticking...growing!

So, with CAS(E) this Sketch as my inspiration pattern

and Shannon's graciousness as my inspiration "subject", here is my card:

The sentiment says it all! 

My stamps are a random purchase - a set of little images that I had completely forgotten about until yesterday.  I stamped first on white cardstock (really - my background IS white. Photography + me = 'on again/off again relationship), then again on some My Mind's Eye paper, paper-piecing with various patterns of 'pink.'  Here's a close up of my "artistic attempts".  

To all of you - and especially Shannon - THANK YOU!  I'm tickled pink to be here, learning from, and sharing with, you!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hello Sunshine...

Happy Sunday!

We’re enveloped in a soft, grey blanket of clouds today, with flakes of ‘sticky snow’ covering what was almost a spring landscape.  Such is winter in the mountains.   Even though it’s gloomy outside, inside I’m toasty warm and the sun is shining – at least on paper!   Yesterday, after much musing about which freebie (thank you, PS, for sharing these!) to feature on the PS SPARKS Designer Drafts Challenge, I was inspired – because the sun was bright, the sky cloud free – with the smiley sun and its companion "Hello Sunshine" sentiment.   Add to the mix my chicken (I think that’s what they are!) patterned paper and…voila.   The ‘rise at dawn’ chickens greeting the sun’s smiling face –a pairing I simply couldn’t resist.   While creating my card I was reminded of childhood excursions (oh, to have more of those!) to my grandparents’ farm, where many mornings we were awakened by the cackle of hens and roosters encouraging us to get up and get going.  Wonderful memories of cherished moments…yet another reason to love making cards.

Here’s the Designer Draft:

Here's my take:

Another thing I can't resist: showing you a close-up of this adorable sun's face.  How CUTE is that!!  I bet you're smiling, too!

To the PS ladies who invest their time and energy to bring these challenges to us:  THANK YOU!!  

Thank you for stopping by - and have a day filled with sunshine - inside or out - wherever you are!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Simple Gesture...Muse #4

I was sooooo close to adopting a "bystander and admirer" stance with Muse #4 ("Who doesn't have purple or chartreuse patterned paper in their stash?"<hand up> Me!).  Then, in a phone call with my mom this week, she shared that one of my cousins recently became engaged (yep...Valentine's Day).  Before my card-making addiction passion arose, such an event might have been acknowledged with perhaps a brief enote, or, because most of my relatives are scattered hither and yon, no response at all.  Not so anymore!  I've come to the same 'thinking' that many of you - with your abundant creativity and expertise - possess:  those little pieces of art do matter!  My Muse card - straightforward as it is in following the elements of Therese's design - is a 'gesture' to let my cousin know how thrilled I am that he found his 'someone.'

Muse Inspiration:

My card:

Thank you for stopping by.  Oh yes, I've added 'purple and/or chartreuse patterned paper' to my shopping list.  Any recommendations?  Much appreciated!

Darn, missed entering because I didn't pay attention to the time difference.  That's okay, because now I'll be better dialed in to *see* you next week!!

Have a wonderful Saturday...


Friday, February 15, 2013

Boy, oh Boy...Retro Sketches #50

Boy, oh for guys - even the little dudes - I find to be a challenge.  Solution to challenge = more practice, tackle it head on, give it the old one-two try.  Right.  So, with Retro Sketches #50 staring me in the face, daring me to 'create,' I decided to answer by making a card for my nephew.  Combination challenge.  Why not.
In just under a month, my nephew turns one year old. ONE!! He's growing up way too fast! Soon, he'll be all independent, all grown up...but for now, he's still kind of a "baby" (glad he can't read; he'd certainly disagree!), which means, at least for a bit longer, 'cute' is still allowed.
Inspiration sketch:

My 'boy' card, where I aimed for 'most' elements - like the colours and patterns - to be 'boy-themed.'  The cupcake though:  full on cutie-patootie!!  Now that I look more closely, that face (thank you Peachy Keen stamps) is a remarkable resemblance to my nephew's.  It's the smile...definitely the smile...

Hope he likes his card (hope his mom and dad do, too!!). Someday, when he's a man and looks back on this, he will, undoubtedly wonder, 'What the heck was Aunty thinking???"  And the answer is, and always will be: 'Because I love you.'

Thank you for stopping by. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

One Fish, Two Fish...Pink(ish) Fish, Blue Fish

Sometimes, my "inner child' wants to play with scissors and paper  So I did.  The spark was ignited by the challenge at A Blog Named Here: Snip and Stick,

which in turn lead me to the delightful school of fish, a free digi, at The Alley Way Stamps
. (Yes, I know, 'simple is better,', but.I wanted to challenge myself; plus, I have new scissors - finally!!  Proper paper-piecing designed,  sharp & pointy, Honey Bee cutting scissors.  Yayyyy...)

After a whole bunch of image twisting and turning, printer figuring, paper choosing (the pattern reminded me of fish scales), deciding who to "pop" up (the three 'bigger' guys), 'snipping and sticking', my little paper-pieced "Keep Swimming" card came to be.

As a novice card-maker, I found this a great learning experience.  The best part:  paper-piecing is really quite fun (and theraputic!). 

Thank you for stopping by!!  Darn, I missed the deadline for entering...but that's okay.  There's always a next time!

Penguin Love...TAWS #21

Good thing I checked the due date for the TAWS #21 Be-Inspired Challenge - I'm here with my entry in literally the nick of time!
My card is a combination of the little penguin from No Peeking, combined with the February free digi sentiment.  Here's the inspiration photo (so pretty!):

Here's my take - a little 'march of penguins' sporting some colour...

Penguins are adorable as they are, but sometimes a 'wardrobe' change can be rather fun...

Thank you for stopping by. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Always & more 'heart' card

I've been full-throttle on making Valentine cards, and just when I thought I'd hit the brakes, put away the hearts and focus on colours other than pink (for a while), the CASE Study 127 (#127 for them; #1 for me...a nervous, yet excited first) showcase of Teri's delightful "Love" card appeared.  Could. Not. Resist.  Just one more set of hearts; one more 'outing' for my MCT scalloped heart and stitched heart dies.  One more (maybe...perhaps...).

Teri's card:  

My 'Study of this CASE' is quite straightforward:  two hearts (scalloped, of course), some stripes, a touch of 'kraft,' a splash of blue and, in place of the stunning ampersand (added to 'wish list'!), I opted for paired sentiments with an & (sometimes you just need to improvise).  The red heart is popped, as is the kraft/blue one (note to self: work on photography skills).  

I quite enjoyed stretching with this challenge. Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A sprinkle of CAS(E), a dash of Muse...

An opportunity to combine two delightful challenges is one I didn't want to pass by - and judging by the entries in both challenges, plenty of outstanding card-makers were of like mind!  My first card (yes, more than one...) blends elements of CAS(E) this Sketch #14 and  colours from Muse Challenge #3. With the combination of both challenges inspiring my 'muse,'  I couldn't resist: I was compelled to create two more, featuring 'traditional' Valentine colours.  

Here's my 'fleet,' already enroute to good homes...

The 'group' shot:

Supplies: Paper - Carta Bella, Authentique, stash card stock; hearts and frame dies, and sentiment stamps - MCT

I had a wonderful time creating my "lots of love" cards!  Thank you for the opportunity to share them with you.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A whole lot of firsts happening...

...Hi, I'm Carol, a new-comer to card-making, yet already hopelessly and happily addicted. Today, I'm sharing a series of 'firsts' on this journey I've started. First #1: I finally amped up courage to create a blog, so I can share my First #2: my first time entry into the Paper Smooches SPARKS Polka-Dot Challenge. Although I'm a PS fan, I don't have any of their stamps in my collection - yet - but some are on their way, which is First #3. While I wait (im)patiently for them to arrive, I decided to tackle the challenge using a variety of free digi stamps. Yes, I did get "carried away" a bit, as you'll see, but Paper Smooches + polka-dots + paper-piecing (First #4) = a combination I simply couldn't resist! With this as inspiration,

here's my version: a set of mini cards (3 X 3), with accompanying envelopes, each featuring PS digi stamps and yes, polka-dots... a whole lot of 'em!!

On stage first:  Bee Happy:
<My little bee looks like he has 'spot-itis'...sort of cute-ish...>

Next up:  You're so Thoughtful

Then:  Thanks

Finally, the group together:

Thank you for the opportunity to share my "firsts" with you; hope you enjoyed (or had a hearty laugh) at my rather zany entry.  Looking forward to giving these to someone as a 'just because day-brightener'. You can never have too many polka-dots (or Paper Smooches...).

Recipe:  Cardstock ~ stash; Patterned paper ~ Simple Stories, Sn@p; Card, envelope, tag dies ~ MCT; Polka-dot embossing folder ~ Cuttlebug