Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Look Back at 2014

Both Mynn from On a Stampage and Deborah from A Scrapjourney have some link-ups going that are pretty darn neat. They're looking back at some of their favorite creations from 2014. They both do such amazing work - I can't believe they only picked a few cards! I thought it would be fun to play along. Also, Wendy over at Crafty Kiwi Mama is having a look-back link up with prizes. She invited me to play along, and I'm happy to join in. Go check it out!

I only just started blogging back in September, but it's been so eventful. I've been so blessed to have "met" some amazing friends. I'm all by my lonesome here in North Dakota - most of my family lives elsewhere and this is not the craftiest of communities! Having your encouragement through the blogosphere has really reignited my passion for creativity! 

Without further ado, here are my faves for the year:


I wanted to join in the fun over at Deborah Nolan's Society of Stampaholics Card Chain Challenge. It's an awesome monthly international card exchange. You had to have a blog or a Flickr account to sign up, so I took the plunge into the bloggy world. So you all really have Deborah to thank for my zany antics. 

September also marked the first time I participated in challenges. One of the first challenges I ever found was over at STAMPlorations and I entered this card. And I won! My heart almost gave out when I saw my card displayed in the winner's circle! I went on to win 3 other challenges that month, and my fate was sealed. I was a blogger. By the way - it's ok to laugh at my first attempt at a watermark! 


In October, I really began to stretch my creative wings and experiment with more artistic, interpretive cards. I had so much fun with this one, which was very personal to me. It marked a new chapter in my story, and the realization of a freedom I finally felt.

October was also the month that my Aunt Jerrie of Coloring Outside the Linez joined me in the bloggy world. Being legally blind, she is my crafting hero! It doesn't matter that she sometimes colors outside the lines (hence the blog name) or misplaces a glue dot somewhere, she keeps on doing what she loves. Having her to talk to about this new part of my life has been AMAZING - even if I do have to be her blog's technical support on-call technician. :)


By November, I was going crazy trying to figure out how to keep track of all the card challenges I wanted to participate in. I am a very visual person, so I wanted something that could hold pictures of the different challenges. 

And so, the Inspiration Station was born. Check out that link to see how I made it! I felt pretty chuffed when it was featured on Jen Shurkus's facebook page. 

It was a great month for me as I was accepted onto my first design team over at Eclectic Ellapu! I was (and still am) over the moon to be selected for a team with such talented designers! 

I also made this card to mark Veteran's Day, and to honor my family who have served. 

November was also a personally challenging month for me because my beloved Grandma, and longtime crafting companion passed away. She is so very, very missed and I want to thank all of you again for the outpouring of support. It meant so much during that difficult time.


December was a busy, busy month. and it saw some new changes. I made my second Design Team over at Crafty Gals Corner! Woooo! It's a new challenge blog and I can't wait until January when I get to start sharing their challenges with you. 

I also was invited by the fabulous Shery Russ of STAMPlorations to guest design. I did a full tutorial on how to stamp with sweetened condensed milk! 

I know I just shared this card yesterday, but it really is my favorite from the month. 

If you'll notice, I also debuted a new watermark. Haha! 

The New Year is already bringing some great things. I'm going to be Guest Designing at Mixed Media Mojo in January and have some other exciting news that I can't share quite yet! 

But most of all what I look forward to in 2015 is all of you. You seriously don't know how much your kind words, thoughts, and creativity make me smile! When I said I met some new friends, I genuinely mean that. Seeing your works of art keeps me inspired. I feel so deeply blessed and don't want to let go of this new world for anything.

So here's to you! Here's to bringing in 2015 with a bang!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Love is in the... Wood?

It's almost my most favorite time of the year... Valentine's Day! Usually I am a Valentine's Day card wizard, and I make them on a scale equivalent to Christmas cards, but this year has been pretty hard. I haven't even wanted to look at a love stamp. 

My Grandma and I used to stamp V-day cards every year - it was our special thing. So picking up a heart-shaped stamp hurts my heart-shaped pumper. I've been avoiding my collection of love, and this week I finally determined that I just can't anymore. 

So I did two things:
1. I made a Valentine's Day card
2. Over the weekend that I was supposed to stamp V-day cards with my Gram, I signed up to do a 12-hour crop til you drop at a local stamping store. I figured meeting new crafters in my community would be a good way to force myself not to give up on our tradition.

You maaaayyyyy remember me bubbling over in a fit of blissful sentiment about a certain Cuttlebug machine I received at Christmas. Well I have my first Cuttlebug project to proudly display!!

I LOVE IT! I just want to hug it and stare at it and squeeze it! That's how you know you're in love right?!

This is the PERFECT entry into the Simon Says Stamp "Work it Wednesday" challenge

 They wanted to see things that you LOVE. It could be a technique you love, or the actual word love, or however you want to interpret that theme. For me, I used a ton of things that I adore - Distress Ink dipping technique for the background, my new Cuttlebug, and those adorable wooden panels that came in a pack from the Butterfly Reflections Ink online store. 

After I ran my distress ink panel through the Cuttlebug with a heart embossing folder, I inked over the raised hearts with white to make the shine through. I also used my Spectrum Noir Markers to tie in the wooden panel with the background. The markers bled and created this rad effect! Lastly, I attached this wicked cool cardboard heart and hand-drew some patterns onto it (and of course I added some sequins, too - Momma likes her shine). (I'm sorry I just referred to myself as Momma, it won't happen again.)

I'm also going to enter this beauty into the following challenges:
Sweet Stampin' Challenge: Anything Goes
Creative Card Crew: Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes


Now there is one other item of business pleasure that I'd like to discuss: I MADE THE CRAFTY GALS CORNER DESIGN TEAM!!! Wooooo!

Crafty Gals Corner is a new kid on the block and their challenges will start up on January 9th. The realllllly cool thing is, the challenges are already sponsored for the entire year, and some weeks have TWO different sponsors! So check it out, sign up to follow, and enter those beautiful cards and you can win some awesome prizes! They have a sneak peek of the DT projects posted right now.

Thank you all for stopping by! There are big things on horizon for 2015! I look forward to cheering you on and leaving lots of comments on all of your blogs. Thank you for taking the time to do the same. It really makes my day!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

One-layer Card, What?!

Yeah. That's right. You read that title right: I made a one-layer card. ANNND I like it. Say whaaaat?!

I saw this image from the current Runway Inspired Challenge: 

and I immediately had an idea pop into my brain. I love it when that happens!

I'm also eking into the STAMPlorations current challenge, which is Designer's Choice (you have to choose one of their past challenges and bring it back to life). I chose the challenge from April 2014, which was "Stamps and Favorite Technique".

This morning my hands started shaking, and my eye started twitching, and I had the sudden urge to tear up papers, which could only mean one thing: I was going into Distress Ink withdrawal. The only cure was to ink up my mat and show off my favorite technique: Distress Ink dipping. 

I inked my mat with Wild Honey, Scattered Straw, and Spiced Marmalade and then spritzed with water until all of my colors began to bleed together. 

I liked how the Escada frock used a burst of color in the center, but still left some white space, so I went for that look when I dipped.

Over the top, I used the STAMPlorations Trendy Leaves set and stamped in varying shades of colors, switching up my leaf placement. I layered and layered and then used Vintage Photo to add a hint of brown. Last but not least, I used the Thank you Sentiment Builder and the Bloom Sketches from STAMPlorations to build my own sentiment, which I embossed in Rusty Hinge powder.

So, yeah. One layer. Me. *Pat, pat, pat*
This is off to my Grandma Carol, who just lost her mother-in-law.

I'm also going to support the following challenges:

Thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment and follow my blog and I'll be sure to return the favor.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Back in Action, Baby!

Oh my goodness golly, does it ever feel good to be typing on this blank blog! I am sorry for going MIA - I did try to make it around and comment when I could, but I have been a busy Christmas auntie. My whole family came over from Minnesota (about 6 hours away) and I scurried and scampered and didn't have time to stamp! 

Can you blame me? Look at my Christmas cuties!

She wanted to try on Auntie B's glittery shoes:

Mr. B and his faithful puppy:

After my family left, I had just enough time to breathe before spending my first Christmas at my boyfriend's folks' house. We've been dating for 2 1/2 years now, but this is the first year I dedicated Christmas day to his family. And it was AWESOME! I even made his family's stocking wall this year:

As you can tell, I was thrilled! It's the little things...

Anywho, I spent yesterday unpacking and organizing all my new crafty goodies including a NEW CRICUT EXPLORE!!!! and a CUTTLEBUG!!! Woooooo! I played around with them a little bit today, although the card I made tonight doesn't showcase any elements from them. I have to practice first, ya know. 

I inked up this adorable elephant, because there were three pregnancy announcements from family/friends over the holiday season and thought I better get to work! That cute little flower button is from Doodlebug Designs "Baby Girl Boutique Buttons". 

 I was inspired by an amazing image over at the Just Us Girls challenge:

and this sketch from Retro Sketches:

Last, but not least, this is going to Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes

Click on any of the images for more information on any of the challenges.

Thanks for stopping by. I promise I'm going to be a veritable bloggy fiend this week. Leave me a comment or follow my blog and I'll be sure to return the favor!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Family Card Exchange - Christmas Themed

I have one of the coolest families EVER!! There. I've said it. Stamping homemade cards is something most of the women of my family love to do. Years ago, we decided to start card parties to exchange cards. We'd all get together and play games, have card making competitions, and we'd each bring 12 of the same type of card. Before the party was done, we'd exchange and have 12 different cards! It was a great way to build up a collection. 

As years went by, more and more of my cousins grew up and became more and more geographically dispersed. The card parties started to dwindle and then stopped altogether. But this year we started something new: mailed card exchanges.  Everyone sends their cards to my house and I collect them, sort them, and mail them back. It's a process, but I LOVE to be able to have that creativity carried on.

This was the card I made for the exchange:

Isn't this moose ADORABLE?! He's from the Lawn Fawn "Arctic Critters" set. I colored him up, stamped the hat, cut it out, and placed it on his merry head.  And then I layered. And layered some more. There are a total of nine layers! There were 13 participants this time around, and by the end of putting together all of my cards I was definitely cursing my lack of ability to create beautiful clean and simple cards. 

 The sentiment is from an old, old Stampin' Up set.

I love those little wooden tree embellishments, too! 

I'm sending this guy over to the Lawn Fawn Lawnscaping "Merry Christmas" challenge, because he is definitely merry and Christmasy. Or Christmoosey anyway. :)

I am also going to support these fantastic challenges: 

But I can't leave you all without a look at the rest of the gorgeous cards my family made. As I was going through each card, I was blown away by how much talent my family has. (I know, I know, biased much?) But seriously... I just love how we can all come together to support each other and encourage creativity. 

Aunt Paula's Card:
crafted by Aunt Jerrie from Coloring Outside the Linez

Danielle's Card: 
This is the very first card she's ever stamped! 
Didn't she do awesome??

Brianna's card: 

Allison's card:

Chandra's card:
Crafted by Aunt Julie

Aunt Julie's card:

Aunt Jerrie's Card:
                          Jerrie from Coloring Outside the Linez

Amber's Card:
Crafted by Aunt Julie

Casey's card:

Heather's card:

This last card is one that is very special to me. Just before this last card exchange concluded, my Grandma passed away. She was in the middle of making this card for us all, and my cousin Heather graciously finished them. 

My grandma loved cardinals, and always had bird feeders out. Her cards almost always were nature cards that required a lot of hand coloring. I am so grateful to Heather that I will have this final keepsake. I intend to frame it and hang it in my craft studio. 

Grandma's card:
Finished by Heather

There is one more card that I will add as soon as I have it in my fingers to photograph. My wonderful, talented Momma's card!

Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment - my family loves to read through what you think of their designs!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stamping with Sweetened Condensed Milk: My Very First Guest Design!!

So there I was. Just staring at my computer screen when up pops a message from the amazing Shery Russ of STAMPlorations. She asked me to Guest Design! After jumping up and down in glee (thanks, Shery, for helping me burn off some of the Christmas cookie calories) I gladly accepted!

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know how much I adore the sketchy, gorgeous designs Shery and her team create. The girls over at STAMPlorations are some of the best in the business and have left some amazing encouragement on my designs. 

For the STAMPlorations Blog, I produced a tutorial on how to stamp with sweetened condensed milk, an old technique my grandma taught me. 

Not many people have heard of this technique and it creates the most amazing, textural cards. 

If you guys wouldn't mind popping by the STAMPlorations blog to leave me a bit of love today, I would really appreciate it. I promise you'll learn all about a GREAT new technique!

Thanks for following! And if you're new to my blog, thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment and follow my blog and I'll be sure to return the favor. :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Drumroll please.... Blog Candy winner

Well, the results are in! I listed off names and one of my friends stopped me when I said Holly. (Yes, it's all very scientific around these parts).

So congrats Holly AKA KopyKat! You've won my Coffee Lovers Blog Hop blog candy!

I've emailed you so if you could respond with your address, that would be awesome. I'll get your prize right off to you.

THANK YOU to everyone who commented and followed my blog. I'm blown away by your support!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

You can Stand Under my Umbrella

Whew... I'm finally winding down from the Coffee Lovers Blog Hop, which was AMAZING. But in fairness to the rest of my stamp sets, which have been looking longingly at me all week, I feel I must move on.

I would like to say THANK YOU to all the amazing crafty people who commented during the hop and to everyone who followed me (14 of you!). I am blown away and have done several happy dances. If I haven't made it to your blogs to follow you back yet, I promise I will soon!

If you haven't heard of Muse - it's a really cool blog where your card making peers vote on the submissions every week. Such a cool concept! As a side note, I entered the Design Team call over at Muse and would love if you would pop over there to vote for me.

At the Muse blog, you're given an inspiration card each week and this week's card comes from the always-inspiring Therese Calvird of Lostinpaper. Her sad little monster is completely adorable. 


What's the second card, you ask? The submission gallery never ceases to amaze me and I was gazing at the entries this week, I saw this sunshiney gorgeousness created by Ardyth Percy Robb. I probably am cheating a little bit, because my finished card was inspired by BOTH designs and I feel like I have to give credit where credit is due.

You see, I recently purchased Verve stamp's Rain or Shine set and I have been struggling with how to use it. It's so adorable, but I just haven't taken it out of it's shiny package. I'm a new Verve user and this set is my favorite from their collection (hence why I purchased it!) 

After seeing Ardyth's design I got an insta-idea!

I loved the slight sadness in Therese's design and knew I wanted to create that feel, too. So I used this sentiment and tried to incorporate both the sad rainy day and the bright sunshine. I masked off areas and sponged some Spiced Marmalade Distress Inks. Lastly, I used some felted cloud stickers and made them peek through the framed sentiment in areas. 

This is my card for the challenge: 

In addition to Muse, I'm sending this on over to Sentimental Sunday's "Anything Goes" challenge and to Verve's Diva Dare - Favorite Things

Thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment and follow my blog and I'll be sure to return the favor!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Coffee Lovers Blog Hop - Take 3

Alright, this is my last post for the Coffee Lover's Blog Hop because I need to head off to bed. This old lady has stopped her coffee intake long, long ago and the caffeine high of my afternoon has taken a leave of absence (until tomorrow morning, that is). 

When the hop started up, I purchased a Starbucks via Christmas blend, to see if it would inspire a project. By the way, Amy, with all the Starbucks advertisements and gift card purchases I've seen along the way... they really ought to be a sponsor! Your hops must make a HUGE impact on their sales. hehe. 

Anyways, the coffee sat balefully looking at me on my crafting station, and because the number of entries is teetering on the edge of 300 (292!), I decided to put that coffee to use.

So I made a punny tag. Puns and I go waaaay back. I love me a good ol' distressed, tattered, burlap-filled design, but if a stamp set is clever, I'll probably break down and have to buy it.

Fiskars "Latte Love" (now retired from what I was told in a comment from one of the original Fiskateers - how cool) is steeped (pun intended) with puns and it was one of those spur-of-the-moment purchases. I'm glad Amy's having this hop because it gave me an excuse to revisit it!

I embossed a sentiment and used Perfect Medium to stamp some snowflakes. Then I painted over it with Perfect Red Perfect Pearls. I added some Vintage Photo Distress ink to the edges, some deep green designer paper, and a bit of burlap twine and


I now have the perfect gift to give to my coffee-loving Secret Santa at work. Wahoo!

I do have blog candy for the hoppers who leave a comment. Details are in my last post. Make sure to leave your email so I can easily contact you.

And there are a TON of Sponsors for the Coffee Lovers Blog Hop. There's still time to whip up a project and help to reach 300 entries!

17TurtlesVeronica ZalisChris Franco
Add a Little Dazzle Butterfly Reflections InkColor Cast Designs
Create a SmileHero ArtsKraftin' Kimmie
Kreative KymonaLatina CrafterNeat & Tangled
Newton's NookPickled Potpourri DesignsPoppystamps
Reverse ConfettiStamp AcademyStamp Simply Ribbon Store
STAMPlorationsSugarPea DesignsSweet 'n Sassy
The Alley Way StampsTwo Paper DivasVerve Stamps
Whole Wild WorldYour Next StampPaper Smooches

17 Turtles:  $15 Store Gift Card
A Muse Studio/Chris Franco:  Cup of Good Cheer stamp set
Add a Little Dazzle:  $25 Store Gift Card
Butterfly Reflections Ink:  Prima Coffee Break
Color Cast Designs:  Coffee Lovers kit
Create a Smile:  Monster Party stamp set
Hero Arts:  A Little & Today's Special stamps/Cup 'O Joe Shadow ink
Kraftin' Kimmie:  $25 Store Gift Card
Kreative Kymona:  Fancy Mug Giveaway
Latina Crafter:  Cafe Wood Veneers + $25 Store Gift Card
Neat & Tangled:  Warm Wishes stamp set
Newton's Nook:  $15 Store Gift Card
Paper Smooches:  $25  Store Gift Card
Pickled Potpourri:  $7 Store Gift Card
Poppystamps:  Tea Cup Stack Die
Reverse Confetti:  $15 Store Gift Card
Stamp Academy:  2 classes
Stampin' Up/Veronica Zalis:  $20 Store Gift Card
STAMPlorations:  $10 Store Gift Card
Stamp Simply Ribbon Store:  Coffee Cup Prize Pack
SugarPea Designs:  $20 Store Gift Card
Sweet 'n Sassy:  Pick Me Up Clear stamp & die set
The Alley Way Stamps:  Tea Par-tea stamp set
Two Paper Divas:  Your Warm My Heart stamp set
Verve Stamps:  $25
Whole Wild World:  Coffee before Talkee mug

●●Sponsorship prizes are eligible via random draw from linked hop participants only●●