Sunday, September 29, 2013

Baby Boy Card...Wanna Sketch #9, Online Insider Class

I couldn't resist making a baby boy card after making one for Bev's new grand-daughter, so here it is...

Inspiration:  Lisa Arana's Wanna Sketch #9

and Online Insider Class.

Here's a closer look at the wee file-folder (and yes, you'll be see a lot of this darling die!!) that I left to flip open to write a note....

On a completely unrelated note:  my brother and his family were awakened at 3:00 am this morning, when a propane tank burst in the condo complex being built near their home, resulting in a three alarm blaze that consumed the entire development. Fifteen fire trucks - over 80 firefighters - deployed, with over  200 people evacuated by 3:30 am.  My brother delivered my sister-in-law and the kids  to her parents, then he returned to the scene to keep watch over their home, as best he could. Embers rained down the entire neighbourhood, and lots of secondary fires occurred in backyards. Fortunately, their home was spared and they're all safe, able to return.  Scary. Just plain scary.  I'm just thankful all is well...  

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit adds sparkle to my day.

"Naturally, She's Gorgeous" - Welcome Baby...Happy Dance, Wanna Sketch #9, Online Insider Class

Last week, our thoughtful, heart-as-big-as Everest,  wonderful Bev welcomed her 19th grandchild into her life: a little girl, Avery Mae.   She is, as Bev noted, absolutely gorgeous, and I’ll wait while you go see for yourself….See, I told you so!

In honour of Miss Avery, I decided to try my hand at a baby card.  I think I made a couple baby cards back in my *early* crafting days (uh, yeah…that would be about 11 3/4 months ago….), relying on journaling cards cut from 12 X 12 sheets (I hadn’t fully realized the full spectrum of card-making goodies – and amazing people -  yet…), so this recent endeavour sees me a bit nervous.  Once I had my *baby girl* theme decided, the next step was finding a sketch:  Lisa Arana’s Wanna Sketch #9 fit the bill.  

Of course, I had to ‘twist and turn’ it a bit to use some of my NUBS – a mini file folder die (MCT) and baby die (SSS) – in place of a tag, as well as create an “inside” that I think is kind of cute. 

Welcome, sweet baby; Welcome Sweet Avery Mae…

The "inside' that has me all giddy is the wee file folder that can be dual-purposed:  use it like a file folder, flip it open and write a wee note inside. Alternatively, glue up the side, and you have a cute envelope to slide in a gift card or a note (maybe with baby's birth details, or the meaning of her/his name...).

Hope you like this, Grandma Bev, and hope Avery does too!  What a wonderful family she's been born into and  with your influence and encouragement, she's sure to be a creative young lass! 

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit adds sparkle to my day!

Simple Butterfly Thanks...Paper Smooches SPARKS: Picture Perfect, Online Insider Class

Quick post today to share my card for this week's Paper Smooches SPARKS: Picture Perfect Challenge:

The soft pink butterflies fluttering to freedom...lovely.  I tried to capture the softness and airiness of this photo  in my simple card, as well as practice the 'carry the outside of your card to the inside' technique shared in the Online Insider Class.  Paper Smooches butterfly, die and sentiments and, of all wonderful things to discover in my stash - a stunning piece of paper I bought on sale during the summer called - are you ready - Papillion (by Prima, I think).  A solitary sheet: .if only I'd realized at the time how truly gorgeous it is...

Here's the outside of my card, with a strip of the paper peeking from the card front (1/2 " cut off)

Here is is straight on - looks a bit wonky because I had to gently glue the front down so it would stay closed. Not a fabulous photo op, but we tried...

The inside looks like this:

Paper Smooches People: do not read beyond this point, as the next bit is my *embarrassment* section :-)
Actually, the card above was my second take, so just for amusement's sake, here's my BLOOPER card.  All was going reasonably well with the front...until I moved to designing (or rather 'un' designing) the inside! The Insider teachers reminded us several times over that when we use openings on the front, it's important to pay attention to where you place your inside sentiment to avoid random, haphazard stamping. Yes, I heard this several times, but apparently it didn't stick because if you look closely (please don't, just take my word for it!), you'll see brown squiggles in the upper and lower wings of my negative butterfly space.  Why?  Because I did not *hanging head in embarrassment* 'measure twice, stamp once."  Nope...placed my sentiment too low, and then in an attempt to make the markings look deliberate ("oh yes, I fully intended to create that design..." NOT!), I added yet another 'mis'placed image. 

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit adds sparkle to my day!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quick little Snowman...Freshly Made Sketches, Merry Monday

Super quick post to share my 'using up last year's Christmas papers before diving into the stack calling my name' snowman card.  A simple little watercoloured dude that I'm entering into Merry Monday

(wish I could make a card that stunning!)

and Freshly Made Sketches...

Hmmm...a bit busy, but in real life, it's kinda-sorta cute with the popped up snowguy. A great opportunity to bring out the Christmas stamps, dust them off (along with my Christmas card-making skills) and have some fun!

My husband's home...yayyyy!!! And tomorrow, because he has to work (a 'summer' biathlon event...), I have some Halloween and Thanksgiving ideas to play with...and maybe more Christmas ones, too.

Thanks for dropping by; your visit adds sparkle to my day!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Rays in Pink, Yellow and Grey...Little Tangles Birthday Bash CASE Challenge; Little Tangles Colour Challenge

Waaayyyy back in August, Little Tangles launched a birthmonth celebration in honour of Neat and Tangles birthday. Oh my, but the range and variety of inspiration shared daily was nothing short of delightful!  In addition to the fabulous cards on display, DT artists sharing their expertise, a  4-1-1 interview with  Danielle,  opportunities to try new techniques – even a day dedicated to all things ‘smores – we also had challenges galore to ‘strut our Neat and Tangles’ stuff.   Too much fun!!

As you know too well, August zipped by, and with that, the inevitable close to the  celebration.   Last day, event finished, when in popped  Ren-yi – a key creative genie behind all these delightful shenanigans – proposing one last “huzzah” – a wrap-up challenge, with a month long due date -  that went like this:   “Create a New project by CASE-ing any of the Birthday Bash inspirations that the guest designers have done. You may also CASE a Designer from our Challenge #19 Eat Cake Blog Hop.”  Hmmm  I thought…maybe…

So, time passed; I visited the challenge details regularly; pondered some strategies, but didn’t really move from thought into action until another challenge appeared on the Little Tangles horizon: a colour challenge.  A grey, yellow and pink colour challenge, to be precise.  

 Hmmm, I thought…maybe…

Earlier this week, thought synched with action… 

Challenge #1: deciding which guest designer ‘s card I wanted to case.  So many charming choices, so many mind-switches, but I kept coming back to one card created by the talented, amazing, thoughtful, spirit-uplifting, encouraging Amy Tsuruta:
Stunning, isn't it *vigorous head-nodding agreement*

Challenge #2: how to case Amy’s card, given a sun-ray stamp isn’t part of my collection.  Adapt and modify…

Challenge #3:  would my ‘idea’ work if I combined the Birthday Base Case-a-Designer Challenge with the Colour Challenge?   Hmmm, I thought…maybe..

Here’s my card – a yellow-pink-grey, Happy-Birthday-rays, Thinking of You card, modeled after Amy’s eye-catching creation.   Happy Birthday again, Neat and Tangled!!

 Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit adds sparkle to my day!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Happy Birthday...Insider Class "Clear" card, Seize the Birthday, My Creative Time, Simon Says

A week ago my husband  headed off on  his ‘education journey’ to the west coast; now two more sleeps before he’s home.  Actually, he has to go immediately to work on Saturday – a summer biathlon event to run, followed by the annual meeting - so he won’t pass the threshold of home until evening.  Vacuuming, laundry, grocery-shopping, cleaning…hmm.  Perhaps the neglected chores ought to receive some attention before his arrival. Then again, he’s so tired, I doubt he’ll notice anything amiss for a few days, so…nahhh, no point rushing into a spic-and-span frenzy  It’s been a curious passage of time: the days ‘seem’ to have flown by, but the minutes on my own-some are sometimes incredibly long.   Or incredibly short when crafting is involved!!

I’m enrolled in the Insider Online class – yet another stellar education experience offered by the talented Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire. Laura Bassen  and a bevy of other guest artists.  It’s day two of a three day course, yet already, I’m behind in my homework!  Today, however, I tried something completely new, after watching a video tutorial by Laura, whose creativity and sense of humour are exceptional.  I had to watch her video several times, as she was so engaging and so ‘real’!   Laughing while learning – perfect combination!

Lauren’s ‘clear' card sent me to the two (yes, a whopping TWO) sheets of acetate I bought in anticipation of a down-the-road  card (I was planning to shamelessly scrap-lift a baby card created by Jennifer M that she showcased a while back), however…no time like the present to  dabble in play.  I’m glad I did:  my card is a rather ‘simple’ modified version of the pretty one Laura designed (her background was plaid-stamped; mine was pattern=paper adhesed),  but oh my, the learning was plentiful.   While I’m somewhat pleased with the result,  working with acetate – for me, anyway – was a challenge.  Perhaps I need to find ‘clear’ cardstock, or just practice more, or both.

My card, ‘amateur’ though it is, is off to one of my colleagues tomorrow (maybe…I’ll leave it sit over night to decide if it will make a good impression).  I’m also entering it into Seize the Birthday, My Creative Time’s birthday Designer Challenge and Simon Says ‘Anything Goes.’   As ‘proof’ that I used acetate, I’ve even included ‘glare’ in my photos J

I know, I know: the frame, arrow and *you* once again, but they're working as a nice 
combination...for now.  I made several cuts of "you" to create a chipboard effect.  
Papers are EP This and That.  NBUS - SSS curved edge die. Coolness!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tic-Tac-Toe X 2...Verve September Diva Dare: Tic-Tac-Toe

Oh my, I'm quite nervous about entering the Verve Tic-Tac-Toe September Diva Dare; indeed, I think this qualifies as #inwayovermyhead!  The Divas are so absolutely amazing with their creativity, that I come away from gazing at their creations in awe, realizing that it will take at least 10,000 cards' worth of practice to come anywhere near what this talented group creates. This time, after a whole lot of pondering, musing, wondering and all-around "I so want to try this" as a lead-up, I took a little leap out of my 'comfortable' nest to try something very new, very challenging, and very very fun!! Besides, the "dare" to  "create... a card or project using inspiration from a tic-tac-toe board.  For example:  x’s and o’s, hugs & kisses, squares, circles, grids, you get the idea" was one I just didn't want to miss.  Invitation accepted.    

Of course, I was 'cautious' in my venture, which translates to: small landscapes once again.  My cards are 4 x 4 - just the right-sized canvas for playing with new sketches and especially, new Verve products!!

For my first card, I used the sketch from Viva La Verve September Week 1:

If you look really closely, you can see 'acorn' grids on the background paper, "x" shapes in the plaid, and circles on the doily.  Hopefully, these subtle features fit the 'tic-tac-toe' theme. Verve products include the sentiment (isn't it fabulous!), the heart and the little flags.

My second card, following the Viva la Verve Week 2 Sketch
wound up being quite a departure from my 'usual' creations.  No rhyme or reason, except that my Studio Calico papers wanted attention:

Grids, circles, squares + Verve sentiment and heart.  The card is much more eye-catching in real life;  I haven't captured the dimension - the entire polka-dot panel is popped up - very well at all.  Grrr...

Here they are together:

Whew...I'm glad to have taken this 'big' step...and especially glad to have given my Verve some love!

Your visit adds sparkle to my day; thank you so much for dropping by!!  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mini Frame Happy Birthday...Seize the Birthday, Retrosketches #82

After so much blog chatting over the weekend, trying to catch up with posting my cards, and the noggin' noodling day I've had, I'm going to be "wery, wery quiet," and just tip-toe in to share my card for Seize the Birthday (minus the topping) using this week's Retrosketches #82 (I may play with this one many possibilities!!).

Mini frame, arrow and "you" out to play once again...

Ahhh..feeling better already; amazing what a bit of 'calm' does for the spirit!  Off to craft...

Your visit adds sparkle to my day; thank you so much for dropping by!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Photobooth Boo...Freshly Made Sketches #104

Cas post to share my entry into the wonderful Freshly Made Sketches #104 challenge:

Your visit adds sparkle to my day; thanks for dropping by!

Puppy Tag Smooches...PS SPARKS: Cool Shades Challenge (Sept. 22), MUSE #35

My day spent officiating a cyclocross race was nothing short of delightful!   Yes, I came home a wee bit frozen – glad I had those several layers of clothes , and my toque, which I ended up wearing briefly at the end, when the winds swelled, the clouds greyed and the skies opened – and a wee bit stiff – standing at the finish line for 5 hours or so, tends to wear on my lower back  - but the overall experience was wonderful!  I’m rather shocked that I’m glad I ‘un-retired’ from being a ‘cross commissaire, and aside from figuring out how to keep totally warm for future events when we know the temperatures will dip and snow may even fall, I’m looking forward to the next race – perhaps as early as Oct. 5/6, but more likely the 12th, and a few more after that. 

Here’s a brief overview of what cyclocross involves, as ‘demonstrated’ by photos of my husband from a race last year.  Riders race several laps of a course, usually in a park/field, that has some hills, playgrounds for running through sand, muddy bits and so on. Essentially, the sketchier the terrain, the more the riders like it. Seriously!!  In some parts, they ride their bikes,

sometimes they have to carry their bikes – over obstacles or up steep hills/stairs – which are features that must be included in the race –

and sometimes, they fall off their bikes (he did so gracefully, though!).

Yes, it is a most challenging sport, and one gaining in popularity like you wouldn’t believe.  Me? I’m content to stand on the sidelines, as an official or a spectator..and ring little cowbells.  Cyclocross and cowbells… silly, yet fun!

Okay,on to the important stuff: catching up posts with cards after the internet issues of the past week.  And I’ve decided one card per post…too confusing otherwise, especially for me!  

This week Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge was Cool Shades:
with lovely colours, yet not ones easily found in my papers.  Searching was fruitful, though, as was a sketch, from this week's MUSE challenge, by the talented Marion Vagg:

As you'll see, I took my inspiration from the sentiment. and the layout to create my rather quirky little card:

This puppy reminds me of my salt-and-pepper schnauzer, Casey, who was such a vibrant part of my 
life years ago.  Cute++++

Thanks so much for your visit; you've added sparkle to my day by dropping by!

You - One of a Kind...MFTWSC #142, CASology Week 62: Arrows, SSS Wednesday Challenge

Quick post before I head out to the cyclocross race.  The air is crisp and the blue skies unveiling over the misty clouds of  Three Sisters mountains shows promise of a lovely day.  I am, as is my way, dressed in multiple layers of clothes (including long-johns...), and have along my bag of extras - toque, scarf, mitts - just in case.  The mountain breezes can be mighty chilly. Besides, the cyclists have become quite accustomed to seeing me winter-clothed (even in the summer!), so today's 'fashion statement' won't be anything unusual.

This morning's card is for MFTWCS #62
and sporting a wee arrow, it's also heading to CAS-ology #62: Arrows challenge.

The paper from Echo Park, This and That, and the "You" die areavailable online at Simon Says, so we'll join in at the Simon Wednesday Challenge for this week, too.  My mini frame and arrow are My Creative Time, and the sentiment from TAWS, Into the Woods set.

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit adds sparkle to my day!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spooky, Spooky...Mojo Monday #311, Seize the Sketch #4

I’m back *waving arms wildly*!  No, I haven’t embarked on pursing knitting as a new sport, and no, I haven’t taken a reprieve from crafting.  Quite the contrary, actually!  My absence – or rather, my parachute-in-with-another-stack-of-creations episode is all due to erratic, sporadic and all-around dodgy internet service this week.  Supposedly, we’re receiving a ‘neignbourhood upgrade’ which is apparently ‘almost done’ (snort!), and whatever technological magic that entails has seen a significant decline in our reception.   One minute all is going well, and the next, the twirly thing-a-ma-jig appears, accompanied by the little yellow exclamation mark on the connection bars…and I’m booted for a bit until the spontaneous reconnection appears.  Repeat the cycle through a series of afternoons and evenings...Silliness. 

Aside from those ‘grrr…’ moments, my week has seen:
  • My husband, still battling his cold, completing his first set of assignments for the graduate certificate course he’s taking at Royal Roads University, prior to heading off  yesterday to the first week of residency he has to attend on campus, in Victoria, BC. The projected time frame students were given for this work was 5 hours; he’s convinced that they either forgot to add a 1 before the 5, or a zero after, because he worked well beyond 5 hours.  He's such a keener! 
  • Once again, I’m on my own-some, so we know what that means!  One change-up from crafting, however, is that tomorrow I’m an official at a cyclocross race in a park 10 minutes from our place. Part of me is excited to be out and about with the cycling crowd once again; the other part is nervous, because I haven’t officiated ‘cross for a couple of years now.   Andy and I walked the course earlier in the week, so I have the ‘lay of the land’ more or less figured out; we reviewed the ‘rules’; and I have my stopwatch, clipboard and layers of clothes all ready to go!  Fingers crossed the weather holds and everyone plays nicely.  As ‘boss lady’ this time, I want everything to go swimmingly.
  • My mom thoroughly enjoying her birthday!  Thank you to everyone who commented on the post + card I shared; your heart-warming messages made her day extra special, as did the ‘purple cupcakes with sprinkles’ my niece and her mom made.  Way toooo cute! Wish I could have celebrated with everyone, but we’ll have another go-round when we visit at Thanksgiving.
  • New stuff arriving in the mail!  Woo hoooo!!!  You’ll see some debuts here, as well as in a couple more posts, as I try to ‘catch up’ with the stack-sharing. 

‘Nuff chit-chat (just in case Mr. Internet is persnickety this evening).  Two cards to share, paired to introduce you to my newest NBUS…

I hesitated over playing with this delightful sketch (love it!1) initially because I figured I couldn’t do it justice (a mojo slump!), but then some of the aforementioned products arrived and I plunged right in.  I confess, I squealed with delight (seriously – quite unlike me, but I couldn’t help myself)  when I opened this set, it’s so darn cute!!  Hopefully, I've done ‘right’ by both the challenge and the showcase of my Stitched Ghost and Spooky die set (My Creative Time).

The background doily is a doily I cut (another MCT die), of a patterned paper that had a doily and banners on it.  Not too redundant (d-uh!!) but in defense of my decision, the patterned doily wasn't placed where I wanted it to be...

Love this sketch too and, of course, the wee ghost wanted to play again...

VERVE dies - for the webbed flag, and a stamp set that I just 'have' for the spiders! 
Glad I found the little critters!

Thanks for dropping in to see my little Halloween cards; your visit adds sparkle to my day!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hexagon Hello...Sweet Stamp Shop "Use What You Have Challenge #16"

Okay, okay, I know: enough from me already! Just one more, then I'll go do something different.  Maybe I'll think about knitting a hat, if I can remember how to knit...which I never really became 'good' at anyway. But I have some lovely teal blue wool that needs some attention. Hmmmm...

Over at Sweet Stamp Shop, "Mr & Mrs. Sweet" have a wonderful weekly challenge: Use What You Have.  Even though they offer inspiration photos and sketches, we aren't necessarily 'required' to follow them which, for the card I'm sharing today, is a good thing.  This week's inspiration is here, but my inspiration comes from the Designer Spotlight #1 cards, with a sample below that caught my eye.

It just so happens that in my stash is a Sweet Stamp Shop set - Pattern Craze - that's filled with delightful hexagons and backgrounds.  
Because the mini-card was too small for the hexagons, I opted to use my hexagon button die  with the background stamped from the top right pattern.  The front panel is popped up, with the little buttons (which explains the little holes) nestled beneath.  "Hello" is from Lil' Inkers, as is the mat (I'm going to wear out my rectanges!!). 

Oh yes, we also have to show a pic of our stash, so here's  a wee snap of some (actually one of my three 'buckets' If I did have a craft room, it would be pretty empty.  Maybe a large walk-in craft closet would do. Nahhh...need a room) of my stash, with *guess who* taking centre stage...Pattern Craze!!

Hope Mr. & Mrs. Sweet are okay with my slight deviation, but I so wanted to use these stamps!!

Thanks for dropping by; your visit adds sparkle to my day!

Fall Floral Thinking of You...My Creative Time Designer Challenge, Retrosketches #81

Monday: scattered-all-over-the-place day at work! My highlight was posting my card for Bev's birthday earlier, and hoping she had a fabulous day kept a smile on my face, even though there were moments where I was ready to ka-boom.  Just some little explosions that wanted out, but I held them back.  One of the teachers gave me chocolate.  Everything was suddenly very good...

I'm back with another mini card for two challenges: My Creative Time Designer Challenge, where we were invited to draw inspiration from this 'many possibilities' lovely fall image:

Helpless with a sketch to guide me, I went for a stroll and found this week's Retrosketches #81, and my eye was drawn immediately to Arielle's Hello sample.  Net result: my card is, truly, a 'shameless copy' of hers!  Paper is from My Mind's Eye, and all my stamps/dies are from My Creative Time.  I used the 'button' set once again - this time the flower - for the little floral openings.  Thank you, Arielle, for the inspiration!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit adds sparkle to my day!!