Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cue the Highlight Reel....

As one who always loves to start fresh, I love nothing more than a fresh new year. Bringing out that new calendar, looking forward to new challenges and adventures (I do my best to overlook the aging process along the way).
A couple of bloggers that I like to follow did their 2011 round up of their favorite cards and they invited others to do the same. I thought it would be fun to join Kath and Lynnette and close the year with a mini retrospective of my own card designs that I'm pretty pleased with; Make sure to check out their blogs, you'll find some incredible inspiration.
I'm also sharing some of the highlights of the past year; got any guesses what my best highlight is? Be patient, we'll get there....

Here are my favorite cards of 2011:

January was all Hero Arts...made 2 of these for the Hero Hostess Blog Hop.

Hero Arts Blooming Heart (it was a winner), Graphic45 vintage and a little announcement with Lawn Fawn


Apparently I was feeling very girly in March, lots of flowers and fluff!

Another happy announcement with Lawn Fawn, Ben's 24th birthday 
and a good reminder with Unity Stamps for a Lily Pad Cards Card Chain Challenge.

Fun resist technique, chic Mimi and a special birthday card for my Mom-in-law

Water color class sample, fun with Penny Black, 
and 70s inspired Father's Day card for my honey, he drove an orange bug with blue denim upholstery.

A bit of sunshine, my Inspired by Jill card and a Tickled Pink image for Lily Pad Cards.

Channeling some more sunshine; kid approved birthday card, colorful Lawn Fawn bicycle 
and a special card for a special friend.

I created an indoor scene and a couple of mini inchie cards for a class.

More Lawn Fawn to celebrate my in-laws 61st anniversary, 
and 2 different looks with the Hero Arts Large Solid Flower. 

Lawn Fawn Thanksgiving and a winning Hero Arts wooden tag!

Two of my favorite Christmas cards and a special ornament tag.

I had a few crafty highlights this year:

I had a blast at CHA last January, meeting with talented friends and helping out in the Lawn Fawn booth. The best was meeting Pia and Sanne who traveled all the way from Denmark. Linda and I had a wonderful time getting to know these lovely women. We laughed a lot too, they know how to have a good time!

I love teaching classes at Stamp Fever! I've met the most wonderful friends and it keeps me on my toes creatively too!

Ivy (ishouldbesleepingbut...) and I had a wonderful time crafting with Kelly Marie Alvarez, Mrs. Lawn Fawn herself, as we made samples for store displays. That is the spectacular card design by Vicky; you can find the video for this card HERE. The photo on the bottom right side shows all the storks and bundles I stamped, colored and cut out. Fussy cutting extravaganza!

And of course I can't forget all the fun and creativity, not to mention crafty friendship with the talented ladies at Lily Pad Cards. I'm still hoping to meet them all in person some day, that will be one fabulous photo-op! So far the only one I've met (Pia), lives the furthest away.
Please stop by and visit them: Lin, Deborah, Vicky, Pia, Latrice and Kathy.

And now we've reached my number ONE highlight of 2011.....

His eyes really are that blue!

Thanks for sticking with me on this long post. I thought I would leave you with some of my favorite inspiration from the past year. I found myself spending lots of time enjoying the beautiful work of these talented card makers:

Franziska: I love everything she makes but her village scenes are really special! Her Flicker and blog.

Jacqueline: She inspires my faith and my creativity! Her Flickr and blog

Anette: Her work is always interesting and always gorgeous! Her Flickr and blog.

~I'm considering some changes here in my little corner of the blog world; working on some ideas. 
Please bear with me if my blogging becomes a bit spotty. ~

I'm sending love and blessings to all my blogging buddies, praying that 2012 will be good to you all! 
No matter what happens, know that God is good and He longs to share His love with us!


Friday, December 30, 2011

It's Been A While Since I Did a Lily Pad Post...

I hope everyone has recovered from the holiday celebrations and that you are ready for a fun Lily Pad Cards challenge. It's a Simon Says Stamp Sponsored challenge to use Chipboard.

Well I didn't need any more incentive than that. I've been hoarding the Cosmo Cricket Wanted chipboard collection and I needed a birthday card for my son. Boys love cowboys, even 28 year-old boys who are new dads love cowboys! For some reason I always do a theme for Andy's birthday cards, last year I made him a pirate card. He's a wonderful son and he indulges my creative silliness.

This card went together really quickly with a minimum of stamping. Just some Lawn Fawn Teeny Tiny Backdrops Stars on the denim look paper. The sentiment is computer generated using free fonts: Cast Iron and Horseshoes and Lemonade. The chipboard pieces do all the "heavy-lifting" on this card, so very easy!

Thanks for your visit, don't forget to stop by Lily Pad Cards for more inspiration from the Design Team.

And please visit here tomorrow! I'll have my year-end wrap up, a sort of bloggy highlight reel. See you then.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I just finished up the last of my Christmas cards, nothing like waiting till the last minute!

This one is totally imperfect but I'm embracing the imperfection because it makes me smile!
Lawn Fawn Sally's ABCs and Bows and Holly.

This card combines a Memory Box die, Hero Arts Merry Background stamp, Hero Arts lights and a Lawn Fawn sentiment from Bows and Holly. Lots of different Stickles make the Christmas lights sparkle.

I've got some cookies to bake and a Sweet Potato Souffle to put together for tomorrow, then we are off to visit with friends tonight. Tomorrow is the celebration with Al's family. May your Christmas be blessed with love, laughter and all the joy your hearts can hold.

The Christmas Story 
Luke 2:8-20

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, 
and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them.
They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.
"Don't be afraid!" he said.
"I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
The Savior- yes the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today
in Bethlehem, the city of David!
And you will recognize Him by this sign:
You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-
the armies of heaven-praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other,
"Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened,
which the Lord has told us about."
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph.
And there was the baby, lying in the manger.
After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened
and what the angel had said to them about this Child.
All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished,
but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.
The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen.
It was just as the angel had told them.

Christmas Blessings,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Ornament Tags

I love the challenge of making gifts. I try to make something different each year. This year I put the Spellbinders Heirloom Ornaments Nestabilities to use to make ornament tags. I added a layer of chipboard to make them sturdy enough to hang on the tree and hopefully last for many Christmases to come.

As soon as I saw the Lawn Fawn set Pa-Rum-Pa-Pum-Pum, I knew I would use it for Uriah's "Baby's First Christmas" ornament. I've entered this tag in the Lawnscaping Challenge.

It's a winner! A Top 3 Mow it All, I'm so thrilled!

I die cut the ornament shape 3 times: one Desert Storm cs, one chipboard and one red polka dot patterned paper for the back. (On the back I added the same Lawn Fawn banner with the year stamped with "Sally's ABCs). For the background I stamped Hero Arts Large Canvas Stripe with Versamark and white embossed on the Neenah Desert Storm cardstock ornament. I glued the 3 layers of the ornament using Glossy Accents with the chipboard layer inside.
I used an old Christmas Tree punch to punch out 6 trees from kraft cs. The letters are "Sally's ABCs" stamped with Jenni Bowlin Cough Syrup ink. I punched a small hole in the top of each letter to thread my red Baker's Twine through and knotted each end. I attached the letters with foam adhesive.
I stamped the Teddy Bear, Train and Rocking Horse from Pa-Rum-Pa-Pum-Pum on Neenah Tiara White cs and colored with Copics. I cut them out along with the banner. 1st Christmas is stamped with Lawn Fawn "Smitty's ABCs". These pieces were added with foam adhesive as well.
Next I stamped the Teddy Bear and Rocking Horse on Clear Shrink Plastic with permanent black ink and gave the ink time to set. I carefully added color with Copics since I didn't use Stazon ink the Copics wanted to remove the black outline. I cut them out, punched a hole to hang them from and shrunk them using my heat tool. I strung the little charms with gold cord and hung them from more gold cord. The ribbon was the finishing touch.

Next I made an ornament for Uriah's parents, my son Andy and daughter-in-love Kellie. We had family photos taken by the giant Christmas tree at Fashion Island in Newport Beach so I used one for their ornament.

This one is gold embossed on purple cs with the Hero Arts Lace Background. I also colored in an ornament cap with a Versamark pen to gold emboss. I added an acetate layer over the photo and under the embossed layer to protect the photo.

From my family to yours...wishing you all a most blessed Christmas 
and a new year filled with love and laughter!

Christmas Blessings,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2 Tags

It's a blustery cold day here in the OC today. Digby is staying close to my side and Tia is hiding under the blankets on my bed, she hates wind. I thought I would stay inside and get a little stamping done.

Since it has been a very lean year for us, Al and I had decided not to exchange gifts this year. Then I found out I had a few points to redeem with my Amazon account. I had enough to get Al what he's been wanting (a heat resistant whisk) , a Marine Corps bumper sticker for Ben and even a book that had been in my wishlist for some time. The best part is that it will be delivered tomorrow, just in time to wrap. Unfortunately there is no tree to put them under but they will look nice on the mantel.

So since I have a couple more gifts I will need a couple of tags. And to get a jump start on my goal to enter more challenges in 2012 I'm entering these in the Play Date Cafe Challenge 112.

This first tag is for Al. I had the die cut tree already added to the patterned paper just waiting for inspiration.

The sentiments are from Lawn Fawn's Bows and Holly set. All the paper was found at Stamp Fever and I repurposed the ribbon. I'm also entering the tags in the Lawnscaping Challenge #24 Texture.

This tag will go on Ben's gift:

I used every stamp that was sitting on my work desk for this tag. The background has Hero Arts Envelope Pattern and Silent Night (a really old stamp). And then I used these Lawn Fawn sets: Critters in the Forest (tree); Bows and Holly (holly and berries); Ornate Ornaments (red ornaments on tree and stars in background) Pa-Rum-Pa-Pum-Pum (sentiment). The tree is paper pieced and popped up to give is some dimension and texture. After I stamped the ornaments I colored them with the Cadmium Red copic marker, then I inked the Envelope Pattern with Versamark and over-stamped to give them a bit of texture. I cut them out and added silver to the tops with a PITT Artist Pen by Faber-Castell. The white accents are done with a Sakura white gel pen.

That's all for today, I have some more ornaments to share tomorrow so I hope you will check back.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Inspired by Lin!

The lovely Lin Brandyberry has been one of my creative muses for many years now. Her style is so feminine, soft and lovely. Her use of color is extraordinary. I quite literally gasp when I see her cards. So when I saw THIS amazing bit of cardmaking genius, using an older Stampendous stamp that I own, I had to try to make it my own.

Here are my vintage Stampendous Christmas stamps:

"His Name Tree" from 2001 and "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" from 1987 (inside sentiment).

Where Lin's design is soft and pink and tied with a perfect bow, I went with saturated color, bright gems and lots of Perfect Pearls mist. After white embossing the image on white cs, I applied Fired Brick Distress ink directly to the paper and used a cloth remove the excess ink from the embossed image. After a thorough spritzing with the mist and time to dry the panel was adhered to a white card base before adding the gems.
The color of this card is also inspired by THIS video by Pastor Greg Laurie titled "Red is the Color of Christmas". Let me know what you think.

Christmas Blessings,

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Hero Arts Catalog Party Time at Stamp Fever...

Just a really quick post today as I'm packaging up the Make-n-Takes for the festivities at Stamp Fever. There will be photos to follow of the Hero Arts Catalog Party fun.

I wanted to share a couple more ornament designs using the Winter Town stamp by Hero Arts.

This uses Cosmo Cricket Mitten Weather paper and a really ancient Hero Arts background stamp. I stamped Winter Town with Iced Spruce Distress ink. This card is winging it's way to a far away place, I'm hoping it arrives in time!

This next ornament tag has arrived at it's destination in France....

The ornament is the Starburst Lace stamp which is gold embossed. I stamped Winter Town with Spice Tin ink by Jenni Bowlin. To give it that wind swept look, after inking the stamp I use the ink pad to swipe across the stamp.

It's a blustery cold day in the OC, but I'm looking forward to some fun with my crafty friends at Stamp Fever! If you are in the area I hope you will drop in and join us! You can find all the party details HERE.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Rustic Christmas Card Design

I just can't put the Winter Town stamp away, it's sure been a favorite of mine and one I've reached for a lot as I've been making Christmas cards this year.
I love the rustic look of this card, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out...

I liked this one so much that I made a few more (and it's very rare for me to make more than one of any card)

These were made with leftover pieces from my last card class, how thrifty am I? The patterned paper is Graphic45 Christmas Past from last year.  I decided to do something totally different by using red Stickles on the star, normally I would reach for silver or gold but doesn't the red look really good on that paper? (Is it just me?) That wonderful sentiment is from an old set by Cornish Heritage Farm. I love the font and it looks like it was made for the Winter Town!

I'll be back soon with some more of my ornament tags and cards. See you then!