Friday, January 30, 2015

A Quirky Kind of Love

My craft room feels like I've abandoned it. We had a long talk today about how I need to take care of it better and do nice things. I think it's feeling a little jealous because I've been spending so much time with Gym. You see, my button popped on my pants a couple weeks back. In the middle of a work meeting. Into my boss's lap. *Facepalm* Mortification is not an adequate word. So I've started this workout routine to curvify myself again. I'm re-learning how to balance my craft time with my be healthy time.

To work on the relationship with my craft room, I stepped inside and found its heart. Or at least all of the heart-filled, glittery papers I could find. And boy oh boy did I treat them right.

But first things first, I colored up this quirky little love girl, which is an image from Dilly Beans stamps.

I'm sort of in love with her. She's so fun and sweet and I can totally see her being versatile for all sorts of things.

I also knew I wanted to play along with Muse challenges. The inspiration card was this adorable card handcrafted by Julie Beech.

I just adored those sweet little bears and that heart-shaped cutout. Julie is seriously one of the most talented card designers I've met, and my STAMPlorations sister, too!

Since V-day is quickly approaching, I followed Julie's lead and morphed my quirky girl into a love-themed card.

I also wanted to play along with my good friend Vicki's latest venture, which is a challenge called Flashback Friday. Her theme this week is to pull out those ooooold Valentine's stamps. I used sentiments from a couple older sets.

Remember the prison-stripe-esque sweater I gave her, WELL there is a reason for my madness! One of those sets is full of snarky sentiments from Lil' Inkers Designs. Which I stamped on the front of my card, next to my quirky girl.

Now, at a glance you'd probably think I'm a psychopathic weirdo, right? (Close! Just a weirdo!) But if you look reaaaal closely, you'll see that smack dab in between the slightly off-putting sentiment are three little words "to be with" making the whole sentiment "I'd Kill to be with You". Hehe. Tricksy!

Of course I followed it up by stamping the inside with a warning:

I'm also going to link this card up with the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Anything Goes
Shopping our Stash - Love me Do 

Thank you so very much for stopping by. Leave me a comment and follow my blog and I'll be sure to return the favor!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Show Me Something NEW! Crafty Gals Corner #4

Now that the hubbub of Darnell's awesome NBUS challenge is dying down, what's a girl to do with all her new goodies these days? Well, you're in luck! Crafty Gals Corner is taking up the gauntlet and the theme of the week is NEW! Show us a product you have used before, a technique you haven't tried, or maybe a fancy fold you haven't conquered quite yet. 

For my something new, I pulled out this polka-dotty shimmery paper that I've been hoarding away. Do you ever have some pieces of paper that you just can't seem to put into a card because you love staring at it so much? This would be the one for me. It's full of primary colors and absolutely glistens in the light. 

I just had to pair it with something equally as adorable, and was over-the-moon that I got to work with Bugaboo's Peaches Balloons. My cousin's birthday is coming up and she has an affinity for all things elephant, so this is going to be going over to her! Shhh*


Isn't that polka-dotty paper the greatest? You can't see the sparkles, of course, because cameras are stupid and don't capture magic.  I also used a brand new die cut, too. I just love how adorable that little elephant looks with the paper.

So whaddaya have that's new? What technique have you been wanting to try? Come show it off and link up to the Crafty Gals Corner challenge this week! 

Just in case you need an extra incentive, we have TWO amazing sponsors who are dishing out some prizes.

Our sponsors this week are:

Prize: $20 Gift Certificate


Prize: 7 Digital Images

I'm also going to link my card to support the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp - Work it Wednesday - Something NEW!
Party Time Tuesdays - Anything Goes 
Design Team Showcase - Anything made for a DT


Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Little Retro Snark

Happy Sunday, my lovelies! This has been a super weekend for me, and I hope the same can be said for you. My cousin came for a visit and we had a great time hanging together... even put on my dancing shoes last night!  

My card for today, however, will be to give away during the work week when I just need a little break: 

The talented Taheerah runs the Cure for the Monday Blues - which I've never participated in before. But I saw this aaahhhmazing inspiration image, filled with retro mod shapes and colors and I couldn't not play along this week!

So I pulled all of my colors and started finding every bit of modern retro patterned paper that I could find and then sorted and mixed and matched and second-guessed and mixed and matched again and finally - VOILA! A card!

I loved the color scheme, but I also wanted to include these cool retro silhouette stamps from the Unity stamp company. And that sentiment just cracks me right up! I stamped them in Shabby Shutters Distress Inks and then colored over it with some Spectrum Noir markers because I really wanted an intense color. 


I'm also sending this over to Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, where you can pick any of their past challenge inspirations. I picked the V is for Vintage inspiration. And Naughty or Nice because this is definitely just a little bit naughty/snarky and their challenge is New New New! Since this is my first time using this stamp set, it totally qualifies. 

Now speaking of needing a nap, those dancing shoes wore me out last night, and I think I might just go indulge in one. Thanks for stopping by! Follow my blog or leave me a comment and I'll be sure to return the favor!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Time for Love and Distress Paints

One of my absolute favorite bloggers on the web is the talented Jenn Shurkus. She is quirky, has a style that vacillates between cute and distressed, and uses the word "wicked" to her heart's content. 

The other day I was over perusing her new webpage ( and drooling at all these projects that used Distress Paints.  "That's it!!" said I and then proceeded to drive to the nearest Michael's. The last time I was in Michael's they did something so incredibly... well mean. Just mean. They clearanced the entire line of Distress Paints to $2.50/bottle. Which is more than half-off the normal price. I resisted them at that point in time, but after a visit to Jenn's place, I drove back over there and grabbed every color they had. 

Which brings me to today's card. I popped those little bottles of paint out and had a go. Let's just say more paint wound up on my hands than on my card - I've got some learning to do. But I had fun!

I used Fired Brick, Picket Fence, and the silver Distress Paint. I put the white and silver closer to the top and sprayed and then let them drip down. Just like other Distress Products, DPs are water reactive, so if you spray, the colors will begin to mingle in really cool ways. 

Now, the question was what to do with such a cool background? Well TIME OUT Challenges has a super cool competition this week - Valentine's Day with the option of Hearts!! We all know I could wax poetic about V-day cards (but I won't... you're welcome). 

Grab Our Badge!

I started by using a couple of stencils on my background - I used a Harlequin pattern and sponged Fired Brick Distress Inks to create depth, and then I used a polka dot stencil and sponged on Picket Fence DP to create a little light. 

Next, I stamped the word "Love" from the Trendy Butterflies STAMPlorations set in black ink, then stamped over it with Picket Fence DP. I created a heart with Distress Paints and ink, and then stamped and cut out the silhouette from Ever After STAMPlorations set. 


If the theme isn't enough incentive (who isn't creating V-day cards yet?!) then the prizes should get your creative juices flowing. TIME OUT has a $15 STAMPlorations gift card up for grabs! Wooo! 

Aaaaand! The STAMPlorations blog is offering $10 worth of their ARTplorations stencils, just for someone who leaves a comment on the post over at their blog today. You can find it HERE.

I'm also sending this over to the following challenges:
Just eeked in!

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

For the Boys - Crafty Gals Corner Challenge

I have been having a ton of fun this week playing with the Crafty Gals Corner Challenge, which is to make a card for a boy. Now me being a glitter lovin', pink, purple, and butterfly adoring girly girl, I frequently forget about the unfairer sex. So I stretched my thoughts and came up with THIS:

Actually the card was pretty easy to pull off thanks to the help of QKR images and this Resting Bull image. I grew up on a small hobby farm in a town that was population 3,000 people and 30,000 cows so I thought my brother would like this card for his birthday. 

I had fun coloring him up with my Spectrum Noir markers (colors TN3, TN4, and TN5). I've been practicing a lot lately and I think I'm learning some things - Finally! A little bit of burlap and a touch of twine and this plaid manly card was all done up. 

So if you need a stash of manly cards built up, head on over to Crafty Gals Corner challenges 

and enter the competition because we have PRIZES!! 

The sponsors this week are:

Prize: 3 digital images


Lacy Sunshine

Prize: 3 Digital Images

I'm also going to support the following great challenges:
Spectrum Noir - Anything Goes
Seize the Birthday
Cards 4 Guyz - Anything Goes
Monday Lunchtime Sketch

Thanks for popping by! I know I didn't post much last week, but I spent 4 days with my family. It was my brother's 30th birthday, my nephew's 1st birthday, and my dad's 50th birthday. WOW! It was definitely busy, busy, busy. I'll just leave you with a couple of pictures from the weekend. 

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Featured Friday: Lizzy Hill!!

I told you all I had some real talent lined up for January's Featured Fridays and the charming lady who is taking this week's slot definitely lives up to that promise. Her work defines boldness and is filled with color, texture and unique style lines. 

So please welcome the amazing 

Lizzy owns the blog Lizzy Hill . She comes from the land down under and lives in sunshiney Australia. (At least I think it's sunshiney... I've never been there, but it has to be warmer than North Dakota, right?!)

Lizzy aces scrapbook layouts and her journaling always serves up a big smile and shot of warmth. She also designs amazing cards.  What really inspires me about her work is her talent for grunginess and layering - just look at these designs: 

 Beyond all that, her humor is incomparable and she frequently makes me SOL (snort out loud). Don't believe me? Just read these things Lizzy had to say about herself and her work:

1. How did you get your crafty start?

My mother! She had started scrapping & when we came home from our 1st big European Odyssey - she convinced me it was the way to go. Thank goodness for Mums!!!!

2. What is your favorite "style" of crafting?

Slap It On. What? That's not a style? Or the other I REALLY like is "It's on The Desk so Use It!!!" LOL;) Seriously, my fave style is CAS. I'm not saying I can DO it - but I ADORE it:)

3. If you could be any color, which would it be and why?

I would be blue. It's such a calming colour. It's the sea & the sky. It calls me to eternity. Well, actually, to be perfectly honest? When I wear it peeps say I look good. But the 'call to eternity' is a neat touch, right??!!!

4. How do you handle mistakes in your crafting designs?

Gesso. He & I are best mates. REALLY bad mistakes? Black gesso. Yes, it does exist. Add to your must have list! Or simply Add More Stuff. That works a treat too.

5. What are your favorite card making/scrapbooking challenges to participate in?

Oh, my! You're talking to the Challenge Queen here. I do both, too. Cards are my Quick Fix. There's an exhaustive list on the side bar of my blog. I'm gonna mention the DT ones I'm on, of COURSE! So, LESSology (for altered stuff)
ARTastic (for great inspiration
 Off The Rails (fab mood boards)
 Dusty Attic (inspiration plus!) 
then Scrapki Wyzwaniowo (fun ideas).
Stuck?! Sketches (GREAT sketches)....card faves include Cardabilities (yummy sketches), Feeling Sketchy (ditto), Mixed Media Card challenge ( for dirty fingers) & Rubber Dance Art Stamps (love their colour palettes!)

6. What is your least favorite crafting supply?

Glitter. Unless it's drowned in glue so it doesn't float idly around my room settling everywhere it shouldn't. Ribbon. Am useless at using it. Even tho I try!

7.  What is your best advice for new crafty bloggers?

It's FUN! The more you give, as in comments & joining in with challenges, hops etc - well, the more you get! As with life in general:) It's addictive, too. But in a good way. If I had my time again I'd be more planned in when I post & I'm always trying to write shorter posts... But, hey! Our blogs are a reflection of US! And I chat a lot. Oh well:/ So, my best advice? Be you - your blog should reflect this & have FUN with it. If it becomes a chore - simply stop for awhiles :)


Beyond her talent, Lizzy has taught me some great Australian phrases that I have attempted to incorporate into my vocabulary.  Who knows? Maybe one day color will become colour and I can feel all sophisticated, and stuff. 

For my CASE (Copy and Steal Everything) this week, Lizzy sent over one of her favorite layouts, and it actually was published! I'm delighted to be able to share it here!

The Original

And a zoom in on some of the incredible elements:

Lizzy's layout was actually, in her words, "A vague-ish" New Year's resolution for 2014" meant to be about enjoying life and living in the present. A sentiment that echoes somewhere deep in the pit of my stomach.

I thought  this was such a perfect CASE to do in January!! But before I jump ahead to that, Lizzy did her own CASE for 2015 that included her sentiments to bring in the New Year. 

Lizzy's CASE:

See what I mean about the layering, style lines, and bright bold colors? Ugh! I can't get enough of it! One thing I love about art is that I don't always get inspired by other cards - some of my favorite design inspirations come from scrapbook layouts and art journal pages. 

When I sat down to CASE Lizzy's work, it just poured straight out of me. There was no hemming and hawing and second guessing. So THANK YOU, Lizzy, for being the magnificent, genuine person you are.


 I flipped Lizzy's design and mimicked the splattery background with Distress Paints. I added that sweet pocket, which I made from an old paper bag and some gesso. And then I Lizzified it and layered, and layered some more.... and just for good measure I layered a little bit more. I didn't want to include a photo of me on the card, so I did the next best thing and used my own stamping dressup model - CityGirl from the Bee's Knees STAMPlorations line. I paper pieced her trench with my favorite pattern - the chevron. 

 For my "resolution" bit, I stamped a sentiment that is part of my favorite quote from Thoreau, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." I LOVE this phrase because my one word this year is "Engage". 

Nooooo I don't mean "get engaged"... much to my mother's chagrin and constant pestering. I mean truly engage.

I moved to North Dakota two-and-a-half years ago to escape an unhealthy relationship (which I've blogged about in the past). The first year-and-a-half was spent doing a little triage on my life. This year I've really been looking for ways to engage and give back to my community. I also want to truly be present in the moments I do spend with people and really appreciate the little things and blessings I've been given. 

I'm going to send my card on over to Shopping Our Stash, which has a "Hide and Seek" theme going on this week and Addicted to Stamps and More, which has a "Make your Mark" challenge (for my gesso polka dots and Distress Paint splatters).

Just a little bit of housekeeping before signing off - As many of you who follow my blog (hey thanks - you're awesome!!) know, I've made 3 design teams in the last month. To help with my time management skills, I'm going to switch my Featured Friday to a once-a-month happening, for sure, and more if time allows.

Thank you, Lizzy, for helping me to express my resolution through art! For my readers, won't you head on over to Lizzy's blog and leave her a little extra love today? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy Dance times 3 Bajillion! STAMPlorations Designer

Before I rush into my over-the-moon elation, I'd like to say a big HEY THANKS! to Niki, Petra, Taunya, and Dot for willingly subjecting themselves to my ramblings by clicking the follow button. You're the best.

Ok. Now. ON TO THE SHOW! A couple of you saw it yesterday over at the STAMPloration's blog official announcement, but I MADE THE STAMPLORATIONS DESIGN TEAM!!!

EEEE!!! AAAAA!!! OOOOOO!!! and other vowel sounds!!!!

Though I've been stamping my entire infernal life, I started blogging just four piddly months ago and waited a while to apply for any design team calls because I wanted to be sure that I knew what I was doing. Many of you heard that I made the cut over at Eclectic Ellapu and Crafty Gals Corner last month. Those are both excellent challenge blogs. 

But when it came to applying for manufacturer's calls, I wanted to be really, really picky because I wanted to know that I really believed in their products and loved their stamps. So when STAMPlorations had a DT call I hopped on that trolley faster than a.... something that's really fast. Speeding bullet? Bunny in mating season?

Anywho. Yeah. If you've visited my blog for any length of time, you've heard me talk about STAMPlorations in the past because I adore their products and sketchy designs. STAMPlorations was one of the first challenges I ever participated in.

  Here's the card I submitted for the DT call. It uses both STAMPlorations digi stamps and clear stamps.

I'm liking the look of that watermark! :D I wanted my submission to be graphic, but not cluttered so I used bold colors and I used a stencil to make an embossing paste panel, which is sprinkled with gold glitter and dried with a heat tool. I also embossed the gold "you".  

If you would like the free digi stamps that I used to make this card - they're available here

 After looking at the work of the other acceptees, I felt so honored. So I'm going to leave this entry by telling you just a couple of reasons why I actually LOVE STAMPlorations, and why I feel so honored to be a part of this team. 

1. The Stamps and Sentiment Builder Sets:

I've been really frustrated in the past with stamp companies who have one great image in a set, but no good sentiments to go along with them. Almost every STAMP set has two or three really great sentiments. And they have these things called Sentiment Builder sets which have a ton of words that  you can hodgepodge together to make your own custom sayings. I dig that. And I love the sketchy designs of the images.

2. The Cost

These things are not gonna hurt your wallet. Complete sets start off as little as $7. For my deal-loving brain, that's a steal.

3. The People

Shery Russ, the owner, is the nicest, most down-to-earth person. Whenever I had a question about an order, she was on it! When I got my first order (and all subsequent orders) Shery included a handstamped thank you. How sweet! And the Design Team? Well they were some of the first people to leave me bloggy love. They are the nicest and most talented around. I'm not just saying that - it's a grade A team.

4. Last but not least - The Challenges:

STAMPlorations runs 3 challenges a month - Two sketch challenges and one theme challenge. You DON'T have to have their stamps to play along or to win. I really appreciate that because, as a new blogger, I had a limited collection of stamps. I won one set and since then my STAMPlorations collection has grown like wildfire. 

So you other stamp companies take note: If you let people who don't have your stamps play along in your challenges too, they might just become your biggest clients! 

All of the challenges are listed on the STAMPlorations blog. If you DO have STAMPlorations stamps, well they have an EXTRA challenge called the Anything Goes gallery. Use their stamps and link up a card. For every 50 cards they get, a prize is given away. 

So yeah. That's STAMPlorations and that's why I'm over the moon to be officially representing such an amazing company. 

Thanks for sharing in my joy!

I'm linking up my card to support the following challenges:
JUGS - Trend Week Stencils
Simon Says Stamp Work it Wednesday - LOVE
Design Team Showcase - Show your design team work 
Spectrum Noir (Facebook) - Anything Goes

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Old and New and Snow and Blue

First and foremost I feel the need to shout to the rooftops my amazement and gratitude. THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUU! Ummmm I can't believe how many kind and wonderful comments you left on my last blog entry. Darnell really has some awesome friends, and so do I! Usually I try to call out each newbie by name, but as I now have over 30 new followers you're going to have to forgive me for not doing so. You'd be here all day! I have been diligently trying to work my way around and do the follow and comment backsies. If I haven't gotten to you yet, I promise I will!

Ok. Now for sloppy seconds: A card! Actually two of them. I've been crafting away here in the Frozen Tundra. 

My first card is all about the glitter and glam. I saw this AMAZEBALLS new technique over at Jessi Fogan's blog, OneCraftyMomma called a Faux Faux Patina. She wrote an awesome tutorial, so I'm not going to duplicate the entire step-by-step over here. Go check it out!

I started by inking a snowflake embossing folder with Weathered Wood Distress Inks and embossing a white piece of cardstock.

Then I followed step 2 of Jessi's tutorial using Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean. 

Ooooo! So blue and wintry!

I did a variation of the next phase of Jessi's tutorial, and used perfect pearls mixed with water. I spritzed in Perfect Pewter, Perfect Pearl, and Forever Blue

When it all dried this background was shimmery, shiny, and all things that are right with the world. I absolutely LOVE how great this technique turned out (which, if I haven't mentioned by now, Jessi's blog has a great tutorial) (yes you should visit).

I also wanted to make up some extra special embellishments, so I die cut two pieces of vellum in the shape of snowflakes and painted the heck out of them with perfect pearls. 

 Just an FYI, these pictures are FALSE! They were taken after the snowflakes dried. What really happened was that as soon as water touched the vellum they curled into eeensy weensy little balls and my fingers got all full of shimmery paint as I attempted to make those buggers lie straight. Just to teach them a good lesson, I made them sit under some heavy books overnight. That'll show them.

If this card had any more glitter it would be a disco ball!

I made this card and combined some of the great challenges that are going on now:

Now, I did tell you that I made two cards, It's my dad's 50th birthday this month! I love my poppa and he's as zany as I am (probably more so, if you can imagine that!) 

This is him and I at a New Year's Eve Party four years ago. I was making fun of him because he couldn't even keep his eyes open for a photo! Old Man! So he spread those peepers as wide as he could and so did I! And now this photo is framed in my house. It's my favorite! 

I was thinking about what card to make him. I love distressed cards and I love inky cards made with Distress Ink techniques, but I'm a real sucker for a good pun. He's kind of losing his hair... shhhh!  I had a *lightbulb* moment while I was cleaning my kitchen yesterday and just had to run right away to my craft room before I forgot (at least that's why I told myself I couldn't finish the dishes). 

Out popped this card:

*snicker* Shakespeare reference and and a bald joke, all on one card? I'm in love!

After I finished it I thought, hmmmm.... Should I take this even farther and make an accompanying card with a Depends that says "To pee or not To pee?" Nah - I gotta save something for his 60th!

I'm sending this over to Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge - New. Brand New die cut, referencing my old man. I'd say that works. And to Virginia's View Challenge - Clean Slate. This is definitely one of the cleanest cards I've ever created! And to Seize the Birthday. It doesn't have the "Party" toppings, but it's definitely a b-day card.

Ok. Whew. We made it through. I promise to keep more succinct next time! Thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment or follow my blog and I'll be sure to return the favor.