Friday, August 30, 2013

Halloween Florals...Sweet Sunday Sketch #191 + Cas on Sunday #15: Floral Fantasy

Throughout the week, I've been having some 'brainiac' moments (hard to believe, but they creep up unexpectedly at times, to my delight!) about creating a special October calendar for my niece, to highlight fall, my brother's birthday (the big 4-0 this year!), Thanksgiving and, of course, Halloween.  My plan is to start designing bit by bit, next week, and I'll be sure to share phases and stages as I go along.  For now, think 'advent calendar' style...which also reminds me that I have TWO of those to make this year!  Excited!! Last year's was a hit with my little Miss Niece, so hopefully, I'll be able to accomplish the same with a secnd version for her, and a new one for Mr. Nephew.  If you're interested, I'd be delighted to share photos of the 'old' model I want to improve on...

Anyway, the Halloween sparks and spits of ideas sent me off to rummage in my collection, to see what I had before embarking on (yet another) shopping spree. Okay, who am I kidding - the spree will happen regardless!  To my delight, I found a few remnants of one of my favourite papers from last year:  EP Chillingsworth Manor.  Love that paper! I got carried away...uh huh, carried right away...with Halloween-themed tags, banners, all kinds of things, because a) Halloween stuff is so darn cute and b) I was, and still am, in wide-eyed wonder at how fun making 'little things' can be!  I had enough to make a card, went on a scouting mission and discovered two challenges that caught my interest: Sweet Sunday Sketch #191

and CAS On Sunday #15: Floral Fantasy.  Unfortunately - or maybe that should read 'fortunately' - I missed that challenge's deadline.  One thing's for certain:  my florals, as you'll see, are certainly 'fantasy'!!

Here it is, my quirky, 'very, very scary' Halloween Floral Fantasy, with NBUS:  three green sequins (the orange on the label is a sparkly embellie)! I've made a step!!

I need to find more Chillingsworth paper, ASAP!!  It's just..well, Halloween-y delightful...

Thank you for dropping by; your company and comments are always welcome!!

Thinking of You...Unscripted FB Summer #7

We're off to see my family this weekend (a bit of a quick trip, but woo hoooo...Aunty C time!! Woot! Woot!) and in the midst of all the excitement, I have come to the wire in entering challenges.  Organized? Nope!  This is a super quick post to share one of two cards I've made over the past couple of days...

This card showcases new additions to the "Just Me: C (Carol) Collection: Lil' Inkers scallop die and Neat and Tangles Thinking of You.  Since this is their first outing, they're a little shy, so we went with 'simple and straightforward'' with a challenge that fit the bill perfectly:  Unscripted Sketches FB Summer #7.

Once we become more familiar with allllll their possibilities, I know they'll be seeing plenty of 'canvas' time!
Here's their debut, in a bit of a sassy side shot...

Can I just say both these products are top-notch and soooo fun to work with! Possibilities already brewing!

Thank you  for dropping in; your company and comments are welcome and appreciated!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tulips (X 2 - Three of the Flurry of Posts)...CAS-ual Fridays #112, Seize the Sketch #2

Where has the summer gone?? Today, I'm 'officially' back to work  and hopefully will unravel  the mystery of what exactly my role will be.  Even though I spent a few hours on site yesterday, unpacking boxes, organizing our space, figuring out what to put where, the specifics about my position is still 'out there.' Perhaps more clues will appear today! And while I'm perfectly okay with getting up at 6:00am (start time for my blog visiting), getting myself turned into something 'presentable' and out the door by 8:00 is a different story!  I enjoy immensely sipping my coffee, visiting blogs, leaving comments, thinking about what card to make, dabbling with household tasks...alllll day long!  Time is near to say 'bye' to those hours of flex time and being somewhat a 'lady of leisure'!  Two days back, then Friday + long weekend (which includes a trip to visit my family!!) makes for a 'gentle' entry back into the routine.  I guess.

Just a 'by the way' - I used to be a high school English teacher (I know, I know - hard to believe, given my not-so-fancy-schmancy writing skills demonstrated on my blog!!) for many X several years, until  the seemingly endless marking/prepping  amongst other things made clear that an exit was needed.  Hard decision, and one I'm still contending with (I often 'should' all over myself...should have' done this, or that, or something else...), but overall, stepping 'outside' has been positive (more card-making time!!).  At present, I'm an education assistant/admin assistant at the Outreach portion of our school district, where interacting with teachers and students still comprise a major portion of my day.  I get to 'be at school' but I don't have to take it home with me.  If a "good fit" teaching opportunity opened up, I might think about thinking about returning to the profession, however, it would have to be really, really up my alley.  Perhaps some day... Anyway, morning babble done (and thanks for listening!!).

Two cards today round out the card-making flurry that characterized much of these past few days of holiday.  They're heading off, via personal delivery by my husband, later in September, to my mother-in-law and my husband's sister.  No reason other than 'just because.'

Seize the Sketch #2 called to me when it first appeared

 - the 'perfect' layout for my Hero Arts tulip. I made one - gold embossed and water-coloured pink - and then discovered a colour challenge over at CAS-ual Fridays #112.

One card became two cards...and if I had an audience in mind, I'd likely have made 3...4...5.

Card 1 - for Seize the Sketch #2 only (gold embossed tulip - new technique for me!)

Card 2 - for Seize the Sketch #2 and CAS-ual Fridays #112

Thanks so much for dropping by; your company and comments are ever so welcome and appreciated.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Second of a Flurry of Posts...TAWS: BE Inspired #35, My Favorite Things Wednesday Stamp Club Challenge #138, Seize the Birthday, Retrosketches #78

As I mentioned in my previous post, the recipe for a flurry of card making - new stuff (and old stuff, never before used), time, and addiction (only in the best of ways!) - is flourishing here!

Three cards here, all 'thematically' connected to TAWS: BE Inspired Challenge #35.

Each card is a 'take' on some aspect of the image - colours, lines, 'whatever tickled my fancies' - as well as NBUS: my latest TAWS addition, Learning Curve, and a old, yet not used Abroad paper pad from Studio Calico, and my new "I'm in love with" Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangle Mats.    Each card fits another challenge, or two...

Before carrying on:  huge THANK YOU to Alison at TAWS for this 'umpteen possibilities to draw inspiration from' image, and *hanging head in embarrassment* my apologies because I *had* to make three cards.  Being hoggy wasn't my intention, it just happened (because Learning Curve and Wish Big are so dang awesome!!).

Card 1:  TAWS BE Inspired #35,  My Favorite Things Wednesday Stamp Club Challenge #138 and Seize the Birthday: Anything Goes

TAWS Wish Big featured here (the 'doodles' are the balloon strings, heat embossed in silver, since grey is in the image.  My watercolouring with distress markers looks washed out in this photo...grrr!!)

Card 2: TAWS BE Inspired #35 and retrosketches #78

TAWS Learning Curve featured here...going with colours and 'lines' as my inspiration take-aways.

ETA:  After a wonderful invitation from Patrice at The Old Back Porch, I'm delighted to add my retrosketch card to her blog here at 52 Card Pickup!  She has some fabulous ideas with combining challenges; definitely worth checking out.  Come and play when you can!!

Card 3:  TAWS BE Inspired #35, and that's all!!

How cute is this book worm from Learning Curve?  The sentiment is from Tweet Spot...and this sheet of paper with school paraphenalia seemed like a perfect fit (plus the colours worked, as did the 'lines' of lockers...I know, another stretch).

Thanks so much for dropping in; your company and comments are always welcome!!

First of a Flurry of Posts...Little Tangles + Seize the Birthday + Fusion #16

Yes, I've been on a bit of a card-making frenzy since returning from my family visit.  The reasons are plentiful: oodles of new stuff that had our mailbox crammed to overflow (budget crammed to overflow, too!); having 'time' to play, before work starts anew on Wednesday (and I still don't know 100% what my 'role' is this year. Guess I'll find out after the staff-gathering pancake breakfast...); being obsessed.  There you go: three reasons!  Anyway, since I have several cards to post, and I'm near to losing track of what goes where, I shall seal my, fingertips. and get this show rolling.

First up is my card for the absolutely delightful Little Tangles Birthday Bash celebration

 for Neat and Tangles, specifically the 'Let's Eat Cake' challenge.  No N&T stamps yet (hello, mail delivery people...waiting, patiently), so I borrowed the charming freebies.  I matched them up with the colours from Fusion #16, (such a pretty image),and since it is a birthday card, we're heading to Seize the Birthday, as well.  Anything Goes = awesome!!

Three challenges: this may be a far!!

Here's my Fusion Birthday Eat Cake inspired card...

Simple and rather 'cas' for me, and yes, it would be 1,000 times prettier with sequins. They're coming...I'm excited!!

Thanks so much for dropping in; your company and comments are more than welcome!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

THANKS...PS SPARKS Cool Shades (Aug. 25) and Happy 100th Sketch, Freshly Made Sketches!!

Yet again, I’ve waited until nearly the last minute before finally shifting gears from ‘thinking about’ a card to the act of making one!  We know what the result is with that kind of ‘oh so not strategic planning’! Panic!  Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic, but close!  All week, the Paper SmoochesSPARKS Cool Shades challenge was calling to me, and each time the little voice piped up with ‘Get this done,’ I explained, “We don’t have the 'sizzle' colours in our stash.”  

And the whispers quelled a bit, only to rise again, urging me to ‘look just one more time’ and my response was the same: neither coral, nor yellow, nor cocoa to be found in the ink box (which is a ‘re-purposed’ Swiffers wet container, which makes clear just how meager my supply is!!).  More pestering, keeping me awake at night even – until finally, today, while looking through my paper pads (three ‘real’ containers hold those!), I discovered a pad of NBUS:  My Mind’s Eye All Spice!  Guess what I found – coral, yellow, coca and kraft - and the little voice smugly responded with, “Told you so.”  Yes, sometimes I have to look beyond the Swiffer’s box!  

After settling on the colours, a sketch was next:  the awesome, celebration of Freshly Made's 100th sketch challenge, that features their first challenge from 2011!! An exciting opportunity and a perfect sketch for what I had in mind (although I did take a few liberties...)

My super simple card (seriously…super-duper X 1,000,000 simple! In fact, it’s ‘cas-er’ than cas!) squeaks in with mere hours to entry closing.  My lovely papers do capture all the colours, although the yellow is on the timid side – a glimplse on the butterfly’s wing tip.  Something new for me:  heat-embossing ‘thanks’ on the coral paper. That technique is always so pretty and effective on others’ cards, so I gave it a go.  I like the effect; next time though, I’ll choose a larger canvas (maybe a background), with smaller and/or more images, for greater impact.  Still, something learned and tried…

Next week, my homework will be done earlier!!

Happy 100th Sketch, Freshly Made - and wishes for an abundance of sketches yet to come! And to Paper Smooches:  fabulous colours (even though my interpretation is a stretch)!

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

Friday, August 23, 2013

Big Top Fun...Curtain Call: Carnival Craze and Unscripted Sketches #69

Procrastinating, at least as far as tackling household tasks are concerned, is flourishing well!  I did, however, escape from my rather over-zealous card-making (as you'll see in the next short while!) activities - all because I have new stuff that must + has to + needs to be used. As in now. Immediately. - to do laundry, rearrange some of my crafting stuff (more containers required!), buy groceries and even stop at the local Rocky Mountain Soap Company shop to pick up a toxin-free new body mist, Blossom Berry.  FREE! Plus, they promised a 'worry-free' day as part of the promo, so hey, why not! Love free stuff and not worrying seems like a good plan, too!!

Anyway, I have a stack of cards ready to post, and I'd best get cracking on doing so, before I forget which belongs to which challenge.  Today, I'm sharing my Curtain Call: Carnival Craze inspired images,

 paired with this week's Unscripted Sketches #69.

Alas, my collection lacks 'real' circus/carnival themedl stamps, so the next best thing: The Alley Way Stamps freebie circus tent.  Add some ticket stamps&dies from My Creative Time, along with a banner from the same line and a sentiment from TAWS and...done!

The bottom tickets are attached with a brad, to fold up for sending. My tent colouring needs some polishing; more practice is in order...and I'm all good with that!!  Dusting and vacuuming? Those can wait...maybe..

Thanks for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments brighten my day!

NOTE: So honoured and delighted that my card was selected for the Creation Blvd showcase over at TAWS! Thank you, Alison!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Black and White...My Creative Time Designer Challenge and CAS(E) This Sketch 41

From the colourful party treats shared in my previous post, I've shifted gears to black and white, to play with the current designer challenge over at My Creative Time.  The rules are: black and white. Black. White.

Since I'm not in a mind-frame to tackle chores yet, or get ready to 'kind of' return to work tomorrow (massive organizing required, to 'create' our little Outreach space in the high school, before the official start on Sept. 3rd), I'm fully embracing crafting opportunities (perhaps excessively so, but that's okay by me: crafting is therapy!!) while I can.

My layout is inspired by this week's CAS(E) this Sketch #41, by Chrissy Larson (talent+++),

although as always, I've made a few deviations. Hope that's okay, especially since this sketch has so many possibilities and jumping off points.  Here's my 'bit of whimsy' card, because we all know flowers don't come in B&W, never mind gingham, polkadots or stripes.  Imagination...

My flower centers are white brads and the sentiment is embossed (YES!).  Did you notice the mat?  New L'il Inkers Rectangle Mats are now mine, mine and mine!! Yahooo!!  I arrived home to all sorts of new stuff, which might explain the chores not done, groceries not bought, cookies not baked.  Priorities!! Hmmm...need to deal with the cookie situation soon! Very!

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

"Party Favours"...Little Tangles Birthday Bash

After nearly three awesome + fabulous +spectacular + way too much fun weeks with my family, I'm home, beyond delighted to be reunited with my husband (exhausted man!!), but oh so missing my folks, my brother and sister-in-law, my sister and her husband, and especially, my niece and nephew!! Pouty Aunty C!!

Best prescription for the *sads* (besides wanting to spill tears) is to think happy thoughts,  look at happy photos, and make them happy somethings!! Yes!!

As you know, I 'celebrate' - with a card, note, maybe a wee treat - my niece and nephew's special "birth day" each month. In September, my niece will be 3 1/2 years old and my nephew 1 1/2  (gahhh...they're growing up so fast!  They'll be in school in a blink, then they'll turn into teenagers, and...oh my, where does the time go!!).  In my search for inspiration, I was drawn back (again!!) to the challenges over at Little Tangles Birthday Bash Celebration,

specifically the Party Favors Challenge.  I'll wait while you check it out, as it's nothing short of FABULOUS and inspiring.  The 'Smores photos and projects created by Tracey McNeely are amazing, so much so that my efforts to ward off a 'smores indulgence is weakening, rapidly (I'm not even a 'smore fan, but I could be convinced...).

As you'll discover, my project won't be anywhere near as delightful as Tracey's or the others who have contributed along the celebration paths, as a) I'm not that talented (trying, learning and growing, though!!) and b) I don't  have any Neat and Tangles stamps...yet (order sent yesterday...yayyyy)! My projects for this challenge use the freebies here, and some 12 X 12 paper I've had in my stash for ages.  Because my nephew wants what my niece has, and she wants what he has (sibling rivalry is alive and well!!), the paper works perfectly: sort of the same, yet sort of different.

A picture-heavy post, so I'll quit chatting and get a-moving:

First step: two treat bags, following instructions from this video. It's a darling little bag (my folding needs work; next time, perhaps less stiff paper!), that has two pockets on either side, and one through the middle.  No adhesives required - just ribbon through the top.  I water-coloured the little birds with Distress Markers, die cut them and added them to a die cut scallop circle.

Step 2: add two little tags...

Here they are separately..

Step 3: two little envelopes for two little 3 X 3 cards...

Put them all together and here's one "party favour" set: bag + tag + treat on one side of the treat bag, and when I give it to them, the envelope + card + another treat will be on the other side.

Here's the other...

and here's the whole she-bang...

And there it is: my Party Favours to celebrate Happy 36 Months Old, and Happy 18 Months Old.

THANK YOU  to Little Tangles and Neat and Tangles for the awesome inspiration! Love this birthday bash!!

One more photo - my niece! We went to the Farmers' Market on Saturday, where she had her face painted. The artist asked her what her favourite colour was - purple (at that moment, anyway) - and then asked what she wanted to be - bumble bee.  A purple bumble bee...and so she was.

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

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Pink Girl Robot, Please...Retro sketches #76

My niece is quite taken with my TAWS robot stamp. Yesterday, she asked, "Aunty C, can you make me a girl robot?"
We know what my response was.

Inspiration is from this week's Retro sketches #76 challenge:

My girly robot is 'water-coloured' sort of-ish with Memento Dew Drop inks; and my sentiment has a bit of 'shadow' (actually an 'oops'), which I'll claim as my deliberate attempt to replicate her sweet way of saying, "You're craaaazzzyyy, Aunty C."  She's cute, and smart!!  Oh yes, hard to see but the hearts in the sentiment have sparkles.  I want to add a couple sequins, but my mom isn't sure where they are at the moment, so just in case, I'm posting now, sequinless.  It won't be by tomorrow!

Hope she likes it!!

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

Thanks and Congrats...Wanna Sketch #7

Friday already...and *heading home* scheduled for Sunday is coming ever closer. We'll not chat about that right now!

Thursday, my brother and I were helpers with my niece's daycare...ooops, I meant "school" (14) on a field trip to a spray park. First time experience for me: what a blast!!  All kinds of fountains, buckets, and other gizmos spraying everything from fine mists, to sprinkles, to full-on pail-laden spills for kids to run through, stand on and stand under. It's a place designed for squeals and giggles galore! Here's a couple

My niece, however, was not particularly enamoured with the water, which really was quite cold, so she and I (her "Aunty, hold me" which translates as "Aunty carry me" down pat. No resistance on my part!) scooched under sprays that offered little more than teensy weensy sprinkles, and pretty much kept relatively dry!  The highlight for her: opportunity to play on the awesome playground contraption after lunch.  She may not like cold water being splashed at her, but when it comes to climbing things, she's an adventurer!!

After 'school,' my sister-in-law dropped them off at my folks' place; another fabulous evening! My niece has learned how to cut dies on my cuttlebug (she calls it 'the bugger machine), so we made a batch of polkadot circles.  Stamping was next on the 'do' list - robots specifically (from one of my TAWS sets) - and when I showed her my collection (okay...9) of dewdrop inks, she was delighted!  Ink on the stamp; ink on her.  It was all way toooo much fun.  And then I showed her how we could use the ink to paint...Yes, I'm doing my best to cultivate a love for crafting in her!

Card-making has been on the back-burner, as you can imagine, but I had some time a couple days back to play.  Two cards to share with layout inspiration coming from the talented Lisa Arana's Wanna Sketch #7. 

Card 1: The weather has been gorgeous here, but the tell-tale signs of fall's approach are revealing themselves: cooler evenings, leaves changing colour, the little 'nip' in the morning air.  I was inspired to create a 'fall-ish' card, using one of my favourite papers Simple Stories Harvest Lane and my tag dies from My Creative Time.

Nothing fancy...I let the pretty paper do the talking...

Card 2:  My BoBunny paper (as well as several others from different lines) has a couple sheets that look like this: building thumband I'm often at a loss as to how to showcase all the charming elements in each square.  Recommendations greatly appreciated!!  Venturing out on a limb, I did some 'figurin' and reckoning' - my PS square Word Bubble die was 'mighty close' to the same size as the squares.  Die cut a few with a 'love' theme, add a couple of hearts, place them on a frame die, include a 'congratulations' sentiment and a 'non-traditional' wedding or anniversary card results.  The frame is 'sort of' tag-ish (I know, it's a stretch), so I'll include it as my 'second' entry to Lisa's wanna sketch invitation.

A bit busy, but it was fun to play with the paper's elements...

Major family time planned for the next few days...and being an official at a bike race tomorrow.  My mom's going to come with me: yayyyyyy!!!

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

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Warm Thoughts...MUSE #29

I'm baaack!  Yet another fabulous day: an outing with my folks, followed by an outing to Fort Edmonton with my niece and nephew, and my brother and sister-in-law.  I'm feeling really, really blessed spending this precious time with people I love, love and love!  The only thing that would make it better is if my husband were here.  Then again, it's because he's not here, that I have this opportunity, so..hmmmmm.  Oh well, I miss him plenty, and that's what matters!!

I haven't joined in MUSE challenges for a while, but Challenge #29, with the beautiful rose-adorned card created by the incredibly talented Laurie Wilson, caught my eye.

I puzzled, hemmed, hawed and all-around wasn't sure what direction to take...until today.  Somewhere in my recent shopping ventures, I bought a pad of Bo Bunny's Family Is Collection.  Yes, "Family Is"...everything!

Here's my take, inspired by Laurie, and conveying exactly my thoughts of late: warm and wonderful.  Oh yes, I'm missing my husband plenty, too!!


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

Sheer and Clear (X 2)...Paper Smooches: Trend Watch Challenge

My folks and I are heading off, on this gorgeous afternoon, for a Sunday drive. Soooo happy that my dad initiated this little venture!  Later on, I'm planning to meet up with my niece and nephew; every moment counts, especially since the day for heading home is coming closer and closer. Must. Not. Think. About. That.  Actually, my sister-in-law informed me yesterday that I *couldn't* go home; doing so just didn't fit in her schedule! How sweet is that!! 

Before we embark, a quick post to share two cards for the current Paper Smooches Trend Watch Challenge, focusing on Sheer and Clear.

This photo is the challenge inspiration

and my card inspiration comes 1,000% from the amazing, ever-talented, ever-creative Savannah O'Gywnn, whose video here was absolutely perfect for this challenge.  Actually, she provided incentive not only for how to use vellum, but for my Power Ray purchase.  Such influence!! Thanks, Savannah: you are awesome! I'm linking my cards to her Inspired by Virtual Smooches site, too.

Sheer & Clear = the vellum power rays and overlay on the butterfly; the 'sheeny, translucency-y' beads/pearls (my mom has nifty stuff in *her* craftroom!); clear embossing on the sentiment.

Sheer & Clear = the vellum power rays; the beads/pearls, embossed sentiment.

Hope these fit the challenge okay!

I hear my name being called, so off I go, with wishes that all of you are having a most delightful Sunday!

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