Sunday, June 30, 2013

Two Cards; One Post....Paper Smooches SPARKS Picture Perfect Challenge and MUSE #23

Whew, but it's uncharacteristically warm here; actually, silly hot is more apt and I do not cope well in the heat.  I melt - and then have a melt down.  Not pretty.  And that probably explains why my husband was only too (as in extremely *too*) happy to head off on a bike ride of exponential length,while I stayed home, in the relative cool of our home.  We don't have air conditioning because we rarely experience temperatures of this nature (28C/80 today, with a forecast of 36C/97F by Wednesday. Seriously!), but at least I'm not out - as I was yesterday - feeling like a solar panel soaking up the rays.  Of course, since I'm 'trapped' inside (by design, of course.  Win-win for both of us), I needed to bide my time doing something productive (grocery shopping, laundry and cleaning, while done, don't really count as 'productive' - although the shiny floors and sparkling bathrooms offer some sense of achievement).

Productive #1: Posting my niece's Happy 40 Months Old mini-album this morning
Productive #2: Creating and posting my PS Sparks challenge card
Productive #3: Posting my MUSE Challenge card, even though...well, you'll see.

Let's start with Productive #2:  Paper Smooches SPARKS Picture Perfect Challenge:

An almost 'stymied me' photo, but I persevered, drawing inspiration from the neutral colours, the sense of flow in the crayon arrangement, the black lettering, and "flesh."  As well, my sister-in-law called today to share news that our 16 year old niece won some pretty impressive awards at her high school this past week, so something congratulations-themed also entered into the reckoning...

Here's my simple card, with 'neutral' Flap Happy die-cut and stamped butterflies, the 'way to go' sentiment from Sentiment Sampler, chevrons I cut to replicate the crayons' tips, and for a dash of colour, some pink, because 'flesh' can be rosy-pink, too!

I think it's girly-enough to send to her...and so I will, tomorrow!

Moving on to Productive #3: posting my MUSE Challenge #23 card.  Anita's inspiration is just so lovely - simple lines and sentiments, bright colours, sparkle and that perfectly placed white space.

I won't lament how I find white space challenging *shoulder slump*; rather, I'll share my solution for 'sort of' getting around it:  make a smaller card! Score!! My card is 4 X 4 - and I've tried to capture the key elements from Anita's card: a bit of coloured base in the tag; simple lines, coloured circles, a couple of sequins, and a sentiment. (A set of note cards with this design has come to mind...maybe a down-the-road gift)

That's it for now!  I really should sit outside for a bit...absorb some Vitamin D...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments add such sparkle to my day!!

Happy 40 Months Old Mini Album + Tags...A Blog Named Hero Challenge #26 and Catered Crops So Shapely

One of the many perks of being an Aunt, living long-distance from my niece and nephew, is that I can do whatever my little heart desires to show them how much I love them.  Sometimes, that leads me down a path that is often silly, a bit wild, a bit 'out there.'  You've seen this 'theme' several times since I've started blogging, where I've shared the cards I've made to celebrate their Happy xxx Month Old days.

Next week, my niece turns 40 months old. 40!! Turnng 40 years old is a milestone birthday, and, exercising my unique leaps of logic, I decided that turning 40 months old is too; a happy day to be recognized with a 'special' something.  The inspiration for what I wanted to make percolated for several days, as I was inspired by the challenge at A Blog Named Hero: Challenge #26: Tags; it was the 'how' that had me in stall-mode.  Clock ticking, other cards being made...nothing 'yet' for my girl.  Then, in a trip to the Scor-pal blog, Virgina Nebel's post showing her charming mini-album with tags (with instructions! Double score!!) came into sight. Ideas emerging...A trip to my stash (6 steps from kitchen to desk. Long journey) to get the bought ages ago not yet used Carta Bella Alphabet Junction scrapbook set.  I bought this (and a couple others) prior to discovering that 12 X 12 patterns are a bit too big for cards - but it was on sale, and I figured I 'might' use the stickers at some point.  Well, that point arrived on Friday..and over the course of most of Friday afternoon and a good chunk of yesterday, I created and completed my "Happy 40 Months Old" project.

Lots of dies, lots of stamps, lots of the stickers from the kit (a first for me using these); and LOTS of FUN!!
Oh yes, a stroll over to Kim's blog to see this card has also inspired me to enter this into Catered Crops So Shapely challenge.

Here's the album and its tags (alert: photo dense):

"Cover" page (tag, label and butterflies are dies)
Inside of the album

Close up (sort of ) pages 1-2 (the ice cream cone, 40 and hearts are dies)

Close up, pages 3-4 (I made a "wordle" using word stickers from the kit.  
Frame, butterflies and butterfly trail are dies)

The three tags that go inside the 'pockets' of pages 2, 3, 4, 
(I was aiming for one more, but ran out of steam.  Tags, circle, hearts, postage frame, scalloped frame, caption banner and hearts are dies)

and here's the album, all ribboned up, ready to give to sweet Tessa

Whew!!!  Hope she likes it!  The best part - we're traveling to see my family on Thursday, so I get to deliver it to her in person! 

Today, I think I'll focus on 'smaller' projects...

Thanks so much for dropping in; please let me know you did.  Comments always welcome and appreciated, immensely!

Friday, June 28, 2013

One More Thanks...Retrosketches #69

*Cas* post this time. Promise! (Longer chat + card here - frantic catching up!)

Looking at all those pretty entries at Retrosketches #69 has me wondering if I should add my simple little creation. But I am - because my new die from PS wanted out of its package...

Here's the delightful sketch

followed by my "liberties taken" entry...

This is the 'new and improved' version (hard to believe!), but the other one - with blue "roses" rather than the petalled flowers - wasn't working for me.  Wanna see...

The roses weren't participating properly...grrrr!!  I'm glad I renovated!

Thanks for dropping in; your comments are welcome and appreciated, immensely!

Thanks a la "Pattern Play" Class...Unscripted Sketches #216

Whoosshh...last week our town was in the throes of destruction; this week, baby steps to recovery are appearing day by day.  Just yesterday, the Tran-Canada highway, closed to all but residents, opened to traffic, even though its down to two lanes from its usual four.  Long-weekend tourist traffic was certainly a motivator, however, I'm not sure that the usual crowded streets will appear this year, as so many people - usually arriving from Calgary, our nearest city - are still contending with their own local emergencies.  While I certainly don't want our tourist-destination businesses here and in Banff to suffer, sometimes a 'stay-cation' is perfectly fine.  That's exactly what's on our agenda this weekend - and I'm 1,000% fine with that because Tour de France starts tomorrow!  Woo hooo!! Twenty-one days of top-notch cycling!  I. Am Excited (oh, and my husband is too.  Maybe just a teensy bit more than me!).  Of course, the more he watches, the greater his motivation to race - and given that Bend OR's Cascade Classic is but 2 1/2 weeks away, that's a very good thing.  .

Anyway, I've been crafting up a storm the past few days, however, the fruits of my labours are looking a bit *meh* - not all, but some.  Perhaps I'm in recovery mode of some fashion, too, given that our week has been super hectic.  Work has been catch-up and keep-up; we headed into the city for an appointment I had - our usual 1 hour drive turned into 2 - each way; the appointment rattled my nerves (long story...won't bore you with details); I was a day ahead of myself beginning Wednesday...and now that Friday's here, I'm looking over my shoulder wondering where the time has gone!  Still, I've carried on with my card-making, and even if things have been a bit "miss and toss" the act of  'doing' has been rewarding!

This post's 'featured' card is my entry to Unscripted Sketches #216, and after a fair bit of "hmmm-ing" about whether or not I should give it a go, I remembered a lesson from the Pattern Play online course.  Kristina Werner shared a most scrumptious card to showcase this tip:  "Break up really large patterns and let them take center stage as the background, keeping the rest of the card very simple."  Her card involved patterned paper cut into strips - and when I saw US 216, the wheels began to turn.

The next little trigger was Gretchen's card that you can see here (I'll wait while you look), and since that rather zany paper is one I can call my own (it was in my 'stymied by this' stash), the decision was sealed.  Play time!!

Here's US #216

and here's my Pattern Play 'lesson' turned into action.  Be warned: this paper is bit 'hectic'- striking, but definitely hectic - so I fully understand if you glance and go.  Hopefully the black/white/pink 'solids' turn the volume down a bit...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know your did! Your comments are welcome and appreciated, immensely!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Flutter-Pink Thanks...FUSION #12

Quick post before rushing off to work, where we're packing up our office and moving to our new location.  So excited about packing boxes...and more boxes...and more...!!

FUSION challenges:  always inspiring, always challenging, and always a delight as I see the 'creative genius' others share.  This week's sketch+photo had me flummoxed - gnome? Owl? Vase? Camera? Flowers?  Stripes and triangular banners? Where to start, never mind where to finish!  As I watched pretty, unique cards appear on the site, ideas began to gel...

My card is really simple, inspired both by the FUSION #12 elements, and the card created by Kim over at Joyful Creations with Kim.  Her "Absolutely, flowered dp, and three little owls with their wee bits of bling" is such a winning combination (as are all of her cards, no matter what she uses!!), so...I've 'kind of ' cased her card with some of my newer products: the PS Thanks die, Flap Happy butterfly, and Vintage Bliss paper.  Nothing sparkly; only another attempt at white pigment ink.  Oh, and plenty of pink. Plenty!!

Here's FUSION #12:
And my Flutter-Pink Thanks

Thanks, Kim, for the added inspiration!!

I'm delighted you dropped by! Please let me know you did; your comments are always welcome and appreciated!  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sweet Ice Cream Wishes ...Seize the Birthday #19

First, to all of you who commented on my Thank You X 3 post yesterday -  THANK YOU x 4!!  Your thoughtful, heart-warming messages about our moat-surrounded, roughed up, bedraggled and water-logged town have cheered me up immensely!

This afternoon, I was inspired to sort through some of my 'slightly used, but somewhat neglected' stamps and dies, to see what 'ought' to have some play time.  If you follow the delightfully hilarious, always-uplifiting posts (brilliant - as in high-watt light-bulb brilliant!) and the oh-so-clever card creations by Darnell, you'll be familiar with her newly-coined acronym *NBUS* - "never before used schtuff."  She's been exploring her collection (vast, I might add), and giving center stage to products she hasn't used before!  Inspiring - and smart - especially because I have several NBUSes in my stash.  Today, however, they weren't on my radar; rather the "kind of before used' stuff was, so, if Darnell doesn't mind, I'm going to 'case' her NBUS to create KBUS.

Today's challenge was Jen Nelson's sketch at Seize the Birthday #19, and the KBUS I decided to use all come from My Creative Time.  Emma has some sweet stamps, dies and stamp-and-die combinations, and her blog is full-to-bursting with ideas galore (her videos are a delight!).  Meander off for a quick peak, and while you do, I'll grab a quick beverage (hmmmm, hmmmm).  See?  You'll certainly want to head back for a closer look.  My card features her Vintage Stitched Label Die and Stamps, Vintage Sentiments, and Celebrate Good Times.

Now, I'm a little out-of-practice using this 'stuff,' and if the linky wasn't near to closing, some renovations would be in order (#1 - change up the label to make it more 'lively'); however, with the clock ticking, I'll 'hand this in' on time!   It was grand to play with some of my for more later in the week (I hope!!  That said, however, I confess - I put an order in with SSS yesterday, because I couldn't resist the 20% off.  Shopping is theraputic! That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it!!)

Here's Jen's sketch:

and here's my 'Sweet Birthday Wishes"...

Thanks so much for dropping in; please let me know you did.  Your comments brighten my day, immensely!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Back Home and THANKS!...PS SPARKS + CAS(E) this Sketch #33

The past few days have been a wreaking of havoc in my town of Canmore, Alberta, due to the unexpected flooding of Cougar Creek that runs through it. Usually a gently flowing trickle - the result of snow melt from surrounding mountains - the creek - true to its name - transformed into a ferocious snarl of wild and crazy rapids that spread quickly and with unforeseen consequences.  Below is a photo of the creek bursting its banks, tearing away the foundations of nearby houses.

The highways surrounding us were also assaulted by the water; we were, in a nutshell, land-locked - a situation that continues even today.

Glued to news of the quickly changing scenario, on Thursday, I believed we’d be spared evacuation, but my optimism was short-lived when the fire-fighters arrived and told us we had to leave.  Panic for me, as I’m such a stay-at-home person – and I had no inkling of where I’d end up, beyond being shuttled by bus to the local high school on the other side of town.  Told to travel light, I grabbed the bare-essentials, and headed off to…wherever. 

After seeing the crowds at the school - predominately families who needed space more than I did - I decided to head to my office downtown, and squirrel away there.  And so I did, heading off into the rains pouring down with renewed vigor.   

Down the hall from my office is a small timing company; a group of three men who Andy, my husband, and I have come to know because they provide the timing infrastructure we use for bike races.  I passed by their office to say a quick hi, told them I was evacuated, and faster than you can blink an eye, the two young men who share a townhouse (and who we worked closely with at last weekend’s Banff Bike Fest – talk about perfect scheduling for that event!) – offered me a room at their place.  Ecstatic?  Only YES!!   Knights in shining armor rescuing a damsel matron in distress - the lore of fairy tales came true at that very moment! 

So, Thursday, Friday and until late Saturday, I was most blessed to be with these lads!  Their home was spacious, comfortable, safe and warm; their hospitality welcoming, thoughtful and heart-warming.  They listened to me prattle on about ‘whatever’ prattling I had stored up; they made me pizza (awesome!!); they gave me a ‘home’ when I was certainly in need.  To say I was spoiled and pampered is an understatement!  I’m not sure how we’ll repay them, but we’ll find a way!

In the midst of all this, my charming  husband abandoned his decision to race in Mt. Hood, OR (and that was a sacrifice, as this was the race's last running) and ‘try’ to come home – only to discover all roads closed.  Today, we finally heard word that he could return - and so we are united!

Even though I’m safe (blessing!) and home (blessing!), I’m exhausted! Compared to those 60-70 families who lost their homes, our little discomforts are mild!  The school districts have announced that the school year is officially over (we had one more week), and even though I still have to go to deal with my tasks, this is an excellent decision.   Writing exams really isn’t a priority, at this stage!   The road to recovery will be long, indeed, but the little steps are being made.

Hugs of exponentially huge proportions to you!  Wait, make that a double amount of said hugs!!

As you can imagine, a return to card-making was important - a chance for 'normalcy' - and forefront in my mind is making Thank you cards.  

My colour inspiration is from Paper Smooches SPARK Challenge: Cool Shades (hopefully you can see the four key shades in the patterned paper) and features the PS Thanks die, the notebook die, extended (thanks to Savannah's Virtual Smooches video!) and Chit Chat.

The layout - although I took some liberties with sizing -  is Jackie Rockwell's CAS(E) this Sketch #33

Here's my take:

 I'm sending this one 'virtually' to all of you who left notes on my blog, or sent me messages,  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU with all my  for thinking about me. Your notes and concern over my well-being have touched me deeply.  I am blessed to have you in my life!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

On the Road and Just a Note...The Alley Way Stamps BE:Inspired #30, CAS-ual Fridays #105

The rains are coming down this morning, and I know the usual 'puddle' zones on the town's streets are certain to be mini-lakes.  Before heading out into the torrents (after I find my umbrella), a quick post to share two cards, for two separate challenges.  This isn't something I typically do, but the time squeeze is again upon me.  Apparently, I"m not reading that 'note to self to be organized' very well, or following it closely!
Then again, these cards are 'little' dabblings that are 'just because' so they're kind of suited to share space...

First is my entry for CAS-ual Fridays' #105 MapQuest challenge. The car is from TAWS Priceless Joy set - I've always had a fondness for the 'concept' of flowered volkswagons, so I made one - the notebook die from PS, and the banner/sentiment from My Creative Time.

This is quite the 'simple' card, where again, the white space seems so empty (hmmmm, perhaps it's all about where the white space is that bugs me - need to do more research. Rainy day + scoping out other folks awesome cards - sounds like a plan!) but I"m trying to follow the purpose and goals of the CAS-ual Fridays challenges  "CAS-ual Fridays was created to be a fun and inspiration weekly challenge for both those who love Clean and Simple design, and those who want to get better at it."   Check-mark on being inspired; check-mark on having fun and "good effort" at wanting to get better at it...because I really do. 

Second card is a 4 X 4 note card based on the colours of The Alley Way Stamps BE Inspired #30 challenge:
Yummy...and pretty...

Small card for just a note.  The temptation to create 'little cards'' with some "make tags" has been sneaking in, of late. May have to give that some play in a couple challenges calling to me. This is a start...

Thanks so much for dropping in; please let me know you did! Your comments are always welcome; always appreciated!

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Four-Square Floral Thanks...FUSION #11

My disorganization continues as once more I'm nearing Mr. Linky closing the door on me.  So, without further ado, here's the FUSION #11 challenge that caught my eye:

At the start of the week, my 'mojo' was lagging behind somewhat - I'm shouldering part of the blame on the weekend's bike races! - but then I remembered my new pad of Studio Calico Sundrifter.  The eye-catching piece (which I'm now hoarding!!) for this card is the black and white floral print.  Gorgeous - and just begs to be coloured.  Soooo...

I sectioned up a square of that lovely artwork into four pieces, placed them on a black background (yes,'s slightly askew. Crazy-making!! Shopping plans, however, are on the agenda to address this, because I can't stand this any longer.  Crookedness be gone!!  *breathe in; breathe out*  Okay, back to normal...), then selected a few of the tie colours to shade in some of the flowers with a combination of crayola pencils and some inks that I applied with a make-up brush (I know, I know, but since I don't wear make-up, it just seemed 'right' to put it to good use...).  My brand-spanking new PS Thanks die saw some action and ta-dahhh....done.  The bottom right square is a peek at what the full page is like.  Swoon-worthy....

Now, I'm off to scope out my 'make things straight' *must have* product. Oone of these days, I'll conquer the crookedness! 

Thanks for dropping in; please let me know you did! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated, immensely!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hello...PS SPARKS Challenge: Designer Draft June 9 - 16

Whew and whew! Another Banff Bike Fest in the history books!  The last four days of racing, with a total of five highly competitive events have come...and quickly, it seems, as a peloton of cyclists flying by at  50 km/h.  My assessment of the event: total success!  Those who won did so with the utmost of athletic skill and sportsmanship, and those who didn't still 'won' because they experienced racing in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.

As for me: utterly exhausted, but I'm pleased with my small, totally nonathletic contributions:  Thursday, I managed to *5-4-3-2-1-GO* 189 riders at 30 second intervals without messing up any of the starts.  On Friday, I accomplished learning how to make rosettes (sort of). Saturday, I survived counting down the laps for the five criterium races - in proper order - without missing laps, or forgetting to ring the bell when I had to (plus, the riders didn't crash into me, even though they rode exceptionally close to where I was standing.  Couple of scary moments...).  And today, I didn't have to pull too many riders off the course when they fell 7 minutes or more behind the lead group.  Performing the *chopped neck* sign-language to indicate "you're finished now; please stop racing' is not one of my favourite tasks; necessary, yes, but not fun.  Then again, most of those pulled seemed rather happy that the pain and suffering had ended, so...go figure.  Perhaps a good deed after all.

After spending from 7 am to 9:30 pm at the race on Saturday, having supper around 11:00pm, then returning for the final race at 6:00 am, and wrapping up around 5:00pm,  I'm bleary-eyed and only sort of coherent.  Even so, I had finishing touches to put on my entry for Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge: Designer Draft June 9 - 16, and that I did.  A new stamp arrived in my mailbox on Friday .and in a quirky twist, I realized I had some similarly themed 12 X 12 paper (another one of those* how-did-this-get-here* finds), so, I had to go with the message: match up this paper with that stamp. Production started Saturday, finished today and during that time frame - I have to say that a most amazing field of creative entries have arrived!  I'm not sure mine is anywhere near up to par, but the stamp is just too cute, I had to share....

Here's the inspiration sketch:

and here's my interpretation:

The background paper is one side of the kite paper from my stash (Imaginesce); the clouds 
are paper-pieced with the other side.  Lots of wee bows happening, and purple, too...

Time to prep the pizza, sit on the couch and watch re-runs of Castle...nice!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know your did! Your comments are welcome and appreciated, immensely!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rosette(ish) Birthday...MUSE #21

I didn't have to be an official at yesterday's bike race (work day) and that was certainly fine by me.  According to my husband's review of the race, only a couple of eventful things happened:  they had to slow down the riders a couple of times, to let Bear 64 and her triplets have the 'right of way' (Bear 64 is a 23-year old 'resident' often seen along the parkway with her cutie-pie teddies in tow.  Actually, I'm terrified of bears, cougars, coyotes - the local wildlife in general - but those little cubs really are darling.  Their moms, however, different story...) and shorten the course a bit, so the wolves, denning at this time, could have some peace and quiet with their young 'uns (wolf puppies - also incredibly cute!).  All in all, things went well...oh, except for minor crashes  near the end of every category, which lead to messy results that needed to be untangled.  No injuries; no significantly bruised egos.  That makes 2 events done, and 3 yet to go between today and tomorrow.

The 'luxury' of staying home meant opportunity to play with MUSE Challenge #21 - and it's a good thing I had the afternoon/evening 'off' because, whew, my card was a sporting event all on its own!  Let's just say this: making rosettes is an art form requiring a skill level that I don't have, and likely won't acquire any time soon!  *Score and accordian fold strips of paper, connect the ends, squish down and ta-dahhhh, you have a rosette* is not as easy as it sounds.  Not by a long shot.  So, as any obsessed committed crafter would do, I researched several sites and videos on how to make rosettes 'properly'.  Our recycle bin is full of my attempts, and why I practice on 'good' paper is beyond me.  Evidently my 'hope this one will work' overtook the reality of 'nope, another dud' - and another sheet of nice paper turned into scrap.  Eventually, I figured things - practiced on scrap, made a couple of acceptable working models, and then (imagine that), shifted back to the patterned papers.  My learning approach isn't always the smartest...

Anyway, feast your eyes on Therese Calvird's splendid rosettes:

Stunning card in all respects, isn't it!

And, here's mine - a 'noble' effort of trying and learning...

In real life, the paper - My Mind's Eye Nostalgia -  is really, really pretty; glad I
decided to use it, because it's been neglected...

Come to think of it, I did make something resembling rosettes last October, when I made a 
whole slew of little Halloween-themed tags and such...but that's a whole 'nother story...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

You're My Favourite (X 2)...CAS-ual Fridays #104 and retrosketches #67

Thursday already - and once again, as has happened for the past 5 years, this is the first day of a most competitive bike racing event here in our province:  Banff Bike Fest.  My husband is the chief official, so he won't be around much this weekend; neither will I, as it turns out, since I'll also be an official for the race this evening, the two on Saturday, and the one on Sunday (we need to be up at the crack of dawn for that one!!)

Tonight, in the pretty tourist town of Banff, I'll be the 'starter' for the prologue race that sees close to 200 cyclists ride their legs off up, up and up the steep grade of Tunnel Mountain, for 1.5 km.  It's a short, but fierce competition.  It's a bit of a nerve jangler for me, too, as I have to be focused 'on the clock' giving them the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown to set them on the road; a rider every 30 seconds.  Come to think of it, the 3 or so minutes it takes them to ascend the climb is a whole lot shorter then the amount of time my husband and his crew of officials will be on duty.  Hmmm...wonder if I can consider this an 'athletic' performance...
Anyway, if you're interested in seeing some gorgeous scenery, here's a link to the event: Banff Bike Fest. The Cascade Prologue, the Criterium race and the Tunnel Mountain Road Race are on my dance card and maybe the ITT. Truly, we're fortunate to live in such spectacular surroundings; I need to be more mindful - and thankful - for that!

Enough bike talk! Today, I'm sharing my entry into CAS-ual Fridays' Banners and Flags challenge (wow, talk about a significant # of entries!)

 and retrosketches #67

I had my nephew in mind when I made this, so a 'wee bit' of a boy-card theme

Of course, I couldn't make one for him without making one for my niece, which I'm sharing
here 'just because' (missed the CASE Study challenge I was aiming for!)

So, one for a favourite niece and one for a favourite nephew; these might be their Happy 40 Months Old and Happy 16 Months Old cards for July (along with a couple more..)

Time to head off to work...and then, off to the races!  (Rain, rain, go away...please...)

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vintage Bliss Thanks...FUSION #10

I've missed two challenge deadlines already this week (need to give my noggin' a shake!!), and I don't want a repeat performance with FUSION #10.  So here I am with a quick post to share my card that came together ever so quickly.  I admit I was going to give this challenge a pass, because the inspiration photo was...well, this may sound strange but...too 'pretty' for me to even come close to replicating.  Once I shifted my focus to the layout (hello, there are three inroads to connect with this challenge!!), I felt better - and some ideas gelled.  Of course, this was last minute gelling, with my teensy time frame made even smaller by a quick trip in response to the "Hi, can you come and pick me up? It's pouring and I'm frozen" call from my husband, out on his training ride.  Anyway, my tasks were accomplished:  poor, shivery, drenched husband retrieved and card done.  

Here's the inspiration:
and my card - 

a straightforward interpretation of Jackie's sketch.  I could 'stretch' that I've dipped into Lesley's challenge too, as my flowers have 5 petals, as does the star above the door, but that would be really pushing the boundaries of 'connection.'  So, I'll stick with my entry as is: sketch inspired.  Love that house though...perhaps a return visit one of these days (after I have some papers that work, or better yet, learn to colour, use inks, play with mixed media!!)

Thanks so much for dropping by; and please let me know you did! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sweet 16...Seize the Birthday #18

Internet, internet - why art thou connections so fickle of late?  I'm sprinting in to share my first Seize the Birthday entry - a card for my husband's niece, who just turned 16.  Yes - late card and that rests solely on my husband's shoulders for not reminding me!   She's a delightful, athletic, bright, personable lovely young woman, full of sparkle and and dazzlement!

Here's the inspiration sketch:

and here's my 'turned it upside down and added a bit'' interpretation, featuring my new PS Numbers dies and some Vintage Bliss paper from Pebbles (sweet, swoonable patterns!).

Hope she'll be okay with this card, to be 'in person' delivered next week, when my husband travels to see his family, enroute to his bike race at Mt. Hood.

While I have your attention - and if you have a moment - one  more quick share: 

Happy 15 Months Old card for my nephew - heading to the post in the morning! How time flies - our wee  guy is now a busy toddler - and a rather loud one at that.  No volume control to be found. He truly is hilarious!

Thanks for dropping in; please let me know you did! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated, immensely!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Telescoping Flower Card...4 Crafty Chicks #145 Flowers

I'm back with a quick post before dashing out to help my husband time a 5 hour mountain bike race. In the rain. Sometimes I'm a very good wife.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I want to 'stretch' my techniques a bit, to try out 'new things' - well, things new to me.  A couple weeks ago, the delightful, talented, effervescent (if you've received comments from her, you'll know exactly what I mean!) Savannah O'Gwynn shared a 'how to' video for telescoping cards. I'll grab a coffee while you go watch.  She is marvellous!

Making one - or several, after having done this first one (I'm smitten!) - was on my "must do" list - and so I have, pairing it with the challenge from the lovely gals at 4 Crafty Chicks and their flowers challenge.

Here's my little card all snuggled up:

and here it is, after a nice little streee-tcchhh...

This one is off to my sister, just because...

Off to the the sudden downpour.  I need to find my umbrella and raincoat first (stall tactics...).

Thanks so much for dropping in; please let me know you did. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated, immensely.

A Little Bit of Gold...PS SPARKS: June 3-9 Trend Watch challenge: GOLD

This week's Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge invited us to create cards featuring GOLD as part of the design.
There may be 'gold in them thar hills,' but there ain't much in this here stash of mine!  Sighhh...however, I have gold embossing powder and, despite our on-again/off-again (mostly off...) relationship, the option was pretty much decided.

I've also decided it's time to explore and try out some new techniques that I've discovered in my travels through card blogland.  I've realized I'm soooo "not ready" to play in the mixed media realm just yet (splatters are lovely, but in my hands.. .umm, well yes, dear, I did mean to tell you about my new wall decorating ideas...), but, I can change the shapes and layouts of my cards to add a  little twist, and then there's the territory of mini-albums (I made one for my sister-in-law last Christmas: wish I knew then what I know now.  Another one is definitely on the horizon for her - "new and, hopefully, improved), and gift card holders and...oh, the possibilities are endless!  

Last month, PS teamed up with the designers from Scor-Pal, and what a treasure of ideas emerged!  If you haven't checked out this most excellent pairing, go. Now.  I'll wait.  See? Aren't these projects amazing??

My card today is inspired by Diane Zechman's Accordian Fold Card,  and features a Flap Happy butterfly embossed on patterned paper, a Friendly Flower embossed, then copic coloured. Man, I need copic colouring lessons. To all you Copic experts: my admiration for your skills has grown by leaps and bounds!  Colouring thusly is not as easy as it looks, but I loved trying! The final panel shows an embossed Hello from the same flower, placed on an inside mat cut from my new Duo Die 1.  Some yellowy-gold-y paper and...done.  I'm almost leaning to think it's *cas* sort of-ish...

Apologies for the shadows...waiting for sunny days...

Thanks so much for dropping in; let me know you did! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated, deeply!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Father's Day *Framed*...Retrosketches #66

My dad, who I've written about before, is rather an enigma; a 'not your typical dad' type guy. Of course, every dad is unique, and mine is no exception; he's just, well, uniquely unique.  He's not a golfer, or a sports fan by any stretch, but he is a collector of coins and stamps; he's not a 'book' reader, but ask him about world affairs, and he'll dazzle you with his knowledge; he's not a cook or a baker, but his sweet tooth is well-cultivated; he's not much for chit-chat, but when he does speak, we listen. Closely.  I've known him for over 50 years (53 and change, to be exact), and still, he remains a mystery.  Indeed, when he started penning poetry over a year ago, you could have blown me over with a feather, I was so stunned!  He's also undertaken quite the task in scanning years upon years of old photos and slides onto his computer (he so needs a new computer! His = dinosaur!), for, as he says, 'the purposes of sharing.'  Last Christmas, my sister, brother and I each received a memory stick, with 'our' photos on them.  What a treat to open up my sort of 'online' album  that showcased toddler sized mini me, gawky 10 year old me, crazy-permed hair adolescent me...Hmmm...perhaps 'treat' isn't quite correct, because some of those photos really ought to be deleted!  Anyway...

I can't possibly describe how challenging it is to make a card specifically for my dad!  He's not a 'card' guy, in the strictest sense, even though he's more than willing to have me create them for the poems he writes. However, I didn't let than daunt me, and after much puzzling, pondering and a bit of pouting (why couldn't my dad be a 'wee' bit interested in some sport, or cars, or...), I hit upon my solution.  My dad's a family guy, and with that in mind, ideas started to shape up...

My card's layout is inspired by Retrosketches #66; and you'll see a rather simple card...some pattern paper, a sentiment ticket, and a pair of  glasses (my dad and I are significantly near-sighted.  S-ig-ni-fi-cant-ly!!).  It's the 'what goes with' the card that makes if 'fit' my dad - a set of four little frames (actually six is the final count), with FAMILY as the caption - one each for mini-photos (ordering some prints is on my tomorrow 'to do' list) of my sister and her husband, my brother and sister-in-law, my husband and I, and of course, the two cutie-patootie grandkids. My hope is that my dad will place these where he spends most of his time - near his computer - so that he'll be surrounded by the people who love him deeply.  That's my hope.

Here's the inspiration retrosketch

and here's my photo series of my card and frames...

my card - a bit 'plain, Jack'...

the frame set, awaiting their photos...

card and frames side by side...

and the 'finished' project! The notebook paper is attached with two wee brads, leaving an
opening for the frames to fit inside.  Sort of 'envelope-ish'.

Whew! Fingers crossed this will make Pa smile...

Thanks so much for dropping by; and please let me know you did!  Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated, immensely!