Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stripes and/or Polka Dots - Crafty Gals Corner

Hello lovelies! Anybody in the mood for some fantastic polka dots? Well, I'm so glad you asked, because I can deliver! 

This week at Crafty Gals Corner, we're talking on dots and stripes in style. You can choose to use one or the other in your card and share them with us for some Fantabulous prizes.

As for me, I didn't want any second-class premade polka dots... oh no! I set about making my OWN version of polkies.

I stamped a scrawling script on my card stock base and then used a stencil (Wendy Vecchi Polka Dotty) and some texture paste. I let the dots dry, and then sponged over them with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. 

I used an image from Bugaboo called Rose Tag and colored it in using some Spectrum Noir Markers (PL2, PL4, PL5) and then I added some die cut leaves. I added stripes around the edges of the tag, too. 

Also - a super important thing: I learned how to tie a triple bow thanks to the help of a very handy dandy bow maker that I got from the fabulous Lisa from A Mermaid's Crafts. She's got a tutorial up at her site if you're interested. 

So head over and link up to Crafty Gals Corner and you could win:

Prize: 7 Digital Images

As for me, I'm going to link my card up to the following challenges:
Simon Says Monday Challenge: Anything Goes
Through the Craft Room Door: Anything Goes
The Challenge: Polka Dots

On a more personal note: the weekend is over and I'm back from my grandma's estate sale. A big thank you to all of you who left kind comments or sent me happy thoughts. It was... rough... but it's done now. At least I got to go home with her Valentine's Day stamps, which are more than priceless to me. 

I'd say ranges of emotion rolled through me... A momentary panic when I saw some stranger with a stamp set that had a scrawling MM down the side, my gram's signature way to keep track of what was hers. And then the happiness as a lady with a handful of music boxes checked out and explained that she was going to put them in piggy banks that she was making for her grandkids - exactly what my gram had done with them... 

Again, thank you for all the happy thoughts. I'm sending a ton your way, too! I'm glad you stopped by! Please leave me a comment or follow my blog and I'll try to return the favor!

Friday, April 24, 2015

STAMPlorations Blog Hop - Small Birds

Hello sunshines! Today I have for you something very sketchy and grungy and cute all at the same time! It's day five and the final day of the STAMPlorations new release blog hop. 

Five new sets were released this month and I am jumping up and down because I get to show off the new  SMALLBIRDS stamp set, designed by the fabulous Shirley Bampton. 


From the first moment I laid eyes on these sketchy birds I fell in l-o-v-e. They are so artsy and adorable and I can't wait to make oodles and oodles of cards with them.

First I stamped one of the teensy birds from the set, colored it in with a POP of bright ink, and then masked it. 

Next, I busted out the gelatos and made a background in various colors then I used some of the stamps from the Mixed Media Grunge set and added some really cool colors prints to the outer edges. Then I added some doodly edges with Faber Castell artist pens. 

Aren't those little guys just the tweetest? Ok. Ok. I know, bad pun. I would say I'm sorry, but I'm not. 

We're giving away tons of prizes for those who come hop along with us! Check out what the rest of the team made! You'll find links to all our projects here.

Stops on the hop:

Darnell - Guest Designer


I'm going to send my creation on over to the following challenges: Mixed Media World - Use Bright Colors; Aud Sentiments - Things with Wings; Addicted to Stamps - Anything Goes; and Uniko Studio - Things with Wings

Thank you for stopping by! Just a heads up - I probably won't be around much this weekend. I'm traveling back home to help my parents with my grandma's estate sale. It's going to be a rough time for me, personally, so any good thoughts you can send my way will be MUCH appreciated. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Girls, Girls, Girls - Crafty Gals Corner

Girls, girls, girls! I'm really sorry for getting a classic rock song stuck in your head, but it's not my fault - really! It's the challenge going on over at Crafty Gals Corner!

This is my second post of the day - be sure to check out what STAMPlorations has going on in my last post because there's a 5-day blog hop with lots of prizes.

Speaking of prizes, this week at Crafty Gals Corner, we've got two of them. Paper Nest Dolls and Lemon Shortbread. 

Our theme is all about girls and I got to use an adorable digi stamp from Lemon Shortbread called Mermaid Shoujo

I really love all of the layers, and there's even a super cute mermaid charm that was sent along with a package from my friend Lisa from A Mermaid's Crafts.... so what I'm sayin' is... this is a whole lotta mermaid on one card. 

I also wanted to talk about the way I made the sand because I think it looks kind of cool. I used my Spectrum Noir markers TN3 and TN5 and made little dots everywhere - the same as the fur technique. It gave a lot of cool dimension and makes a flat surface look sort of textural. 

I used the sketch from Sketch Saturday for my mermaid card. 

I also made another card that I am soooooooo in love with. Why? Because it's feathers and art deco and fancy - all things I wish I could be. 

I went with the classic art deco color scheme of black and gold. That fantastic lady is from Rick St. Dennis, who has some gorgeous vintage digi stamps. It's called Paris en Plume

I'm linking this up to the Color Throwdown challenge:

Because of the style of card, I wanted to keep the image simple, but still give it a little extra oomph. 

I used my Faber Castell artist pen (size M) and colored around the edges. Theses pens are pretty neat because you can smudge the ink as you go and give your image a really cool charcoal-like effect. 

I also added a backing of DCWV black gem paper. It's like a plastic, but it is SO shiny and gives such a sparkly effect. 

I topped it all with some feathers and bits of gold. 

Head on over to Crafty Gals Corner and show us what your Girls are all about! Link up to the challenge and you could win one of two prizes: 

Our sponsors this week are:

Prize: $20 Gift Certificate


Prize: 3 Digital Images

Thanks for stopping by! 

STAMPlorations Blog Hop - Noteworthy

Well, friends, have I got something AWESOME to show you. Seriously. STAMPlorations has a new stamp release out and I get to hop along in a 5-day blog hop! Today is day 3 of the hop, in which a ton of prizes are being given out faster than jellybeans on Easter. 

Today, we're putting the
Spotlight on NOTEWORTHY


I jumped at the chance (not literally because I wasn't wearing a sports bra and I would be liable to pull my back out) to use these sentiments. I have a lot of happy birthday or thank you sentiments, but these are really unique and I the font just grabs me. 

To showcase the font, I went all purple. 

I shabby chic-ed up the edges and layered and then I layered some more, and then... just for good measure I layered again. The gorgeous morning glories are from the Blossom Overture stamp set. And I have to thank my good friend, Lizzy Hill for the bold striped ribbon. I love it so much that I didn't want to use the only scrap I had, but I think I gave it a good life. :) 

Stops on the hop:

Darnell - Guest Designer

  • FIVE (5) commenters randomly drawn from the designers' blogs will each win a $10 gift certificate.
  • ONE (1) commenter randomly drawn from the STAMPlorations blog will win a $25 gift certificate
  • + surprise prizes 
I'm also sending this over to Creative Card Crew - sentiment, Virginia's View - layers and dimension, Pile it On - April showers bring May flowers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pony CASEpress and Mum's the Word

Although I grew up on a small hobby farm with all manner of animals, my parents never let me have a horse because they were too expensive and you couldn't eat them. :)

Stay with me.

I'm happy now to be a part of the Pony CASEpress over at Mynn Kitchen's place, because now I sort of have a horse... right? My cards are galloping all over the globe. What is the Pony CASEpress? I'm glad you asked.

If you sign up to participate in the PC, you'll be put in line. When your turn comes, you're given a photo of the card you're to CASE and then you send said card on to the next person on the list. It's a never ending chain of happy mail!

I was CASEing this awesome card from the fantastic Karen Bourke:

Displaying Pony CASE-Press Card03 Karen Bourke.JPG

Aren't those layers and layers of gorgeousness just amazing?!

While staring at this picture, I was struck with the idea to use some of the vintage music sheets that were given to me by my bloggy friend, Betty Keefe.

Betty, being a girl after my own heart, collects random things to use in her craft-making and when we visited earlier this month, she gave me a pile of vintage papers to use in my craft making.

Here is my resulting creation. I layered up bits of the sheet music and embossed a bird (from a Hampton Art stamp and stencil set) and colored it in with some blue shades of Spectrum Noir Markers.

I'm going to enter it into these great challenges:
Through the Craft Room Door - ATG
Addicted to Stamps - Girly but not pink

I almost kept this for myself because I liked it so much, but it went over the pond to Karen and now I get to expectantly await my creation. :) Anyone can sign up for the Pony CASEpress - so feel free to check it out!

I'm going to share a second card with you today because I don't want to miss out on the Curtain Call Challenge. I fell in love with the inspiration image!

My aunt and I were crafting together and she had this great Stamping Up mum set that just reminded me soooo much of the inspiration image. I just had to ink it up!

I've told you all about the oatmeal lids I've been hoarding.. erm... I mean saving. I made a shaker out of them with a winter card, but I decided to do it here, too! I used some Verve sequins and paired some sparkles with the vibrant pinks and oranges. It was hard to get a clear shot through the lid - oh well!

This card is actually going to my admin assistant because tomorrow is National Administrative Assistant's Day here in the U.S.

I'm also sending it over to the following challenges:
Virginia's View - Layers and Dimension
613 Avenue Create - ATG with Diamonds (clear bling)
Just Add Ink - Sequins

Monday, April 20, 2015

Oh My Stars! STAMPlorations Sketch and I'm Back!

And I'm baaaaack! Last week was an amazing whirlwind of all things Philadelphia. Actually, I mostly got to see the inside of a conference room. I did sneak out Friday morning *shhh* to go see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, though.

These are some of my crazy cool coworkers, along with myself, standing in Love Park. It was a really great time and I feel like I knocked it out of the park work-wise, but I was definitely ready to step off that plane and get back into my craft room. 

I've missed you guys (or gals, mostly, I guess)!! 

So I'm brushing off the rust and what better way to do that than by showing off the latest STAMPlorations sketch:

So many ideas popped into my head for this sketch, but in the end, I decided to go with stars! I also stepped outside of my normal comfort zone and did things a little bit more clean and simple.

I stenciled the stars using ARTplorations Oh My Stars! Stencil and Distress Inks in Mustard Seed, Salty Ocean, and Festive Berries. The amazing sentiment is from the Fond Expressions set.

Come play along with me at STAMPlorations!  We've got some great prizes and some awesome inspiration for you, including guest designs from the very talented SuchiConi, and Robyn.

As for me, I'm sending this on over to the following challenges:
Allsorts - Quick and Simple 
Hiding in my Craftroom - Freestyle/ATG
Just Add Ink - Sequins 
Mod Squad - Color Wheel challenge - I used primary colors

Now, I'm off to go a visitin'! There's so many beautiful things in the blogosphere that I've missed, I'm sure. Thanks for popping by for a visit! 

Oh - And there are 5 days of fun going on over at STAMPlorations! They are having a blog hop to celebrate the new release and there are TONS!! of prizes. Go check it out! I'll be hopping along with them this week, so keep your eye out!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Little Philly Break

Hi Everyone!

Since I don't want you all to think I died, I just wanted to give you a brief update as to my whereabouts. I'm in Philly! (That's how all the cool kids say it, right?) I presented yesterday at the National Rural Health Association's 38th annual conference. I was shaking in my proverbial boots, but it's over now and everything went well. I even managed to throw in a couple of good puns! Yes, I've had a cheesesteak and YES it was delicious.

So I didn't die, but I am crazy busy. I'm looking forward to making my rounds when I get back to little ol' North Dakota on Saturday. Until then, I'm wishing you all some brotherly love (or sisterly in this case). 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Featured Friday - Lisa

Happy Friday!! I stayed up all night packing for a 3-day craft crop I'm heading off to. My sister, my cousin, and my aunt will all be joining me and I'm ready to get inky and fabulous! Can't wait to show you all what I create!

Today brings around that special time of the month. No... not THAT time of the month. It's the time when I get to showcase a super talented designer whom I admire in a segment I call Featured Friday! 

This week's featuree is:

Displaying LisaFishHeadshot.jpg

I was first introduced to Lisa's incredible work by surfing around in some online gallery or another. I remember clicking through to her site and scrolling about for what seemed like hours admiring the texture and brilliance of her designs. She could shabby the chic out of any card around, better than anyone in the blogosphere. 

Lisa's a writer (as evidence by her awesome writing style on her blog) who calls Indiana home. She's been blogging for a little over four years and has served on many design teams, most recently for Scrapy Land craft store and Die-versions. 

But why tell you about her myself when she'll give you the down-low on her own?

Here's 7 things you should know about Lisa:

1. How did you get your crafty start?

 I've always loved to craft but didn't seriously pursue it until about fifteen years ago when I became hooked on the craft shows HGTV used to show. I first saw Tim Holtz on The Carol Duval Show and fell in love with his crafty style. I tried several different mediums, my favorite being polymer clay. Then I discovered die-cutting and my focus completely changed. Now I mainly make cards, mixed media projects and home decor items.

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

 My style is always changing, but my current favorite style is shabby chic. I love distressed edges, torn paper, crackle paste, shabby stitching, lots of flowers and ribbon. I so admire people who can do CAS because I just can't. I have to have layers...big open areas on a card make me break into a sweat. I have an almost compulsive need to keep adding embellishments!!

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

Ooh, what a fun question!! Pink is my favorite color, but I would have to choose's the color of the ocean and I am obsessed with the ocean (must be the mermaid in me!!). Blue is the color of the sky and a blue sky is so beautiful. Blue is also calming and cool and relaxing.

4. How do you handle mistakes in your work?

 Mistakes drive me crazy. I am a Type A with a borderline obsessive/compulsive personality, so I hate when I make mistakes, and sadly, it's often!! I try to cover the mistakes with flowers or embellishments if possible. But if it's bad enough, I'll salvage what I can from the card and start over. I was making so many mistakes when I tried to sew on my cards...the thread kept breaking and there would be holes in the paper with no thread in them and I couldn't cover them. I ruined so much paper. It got to the point that I was afraid to try with good paper so I just quit sewing. Then my Mom suggested that I try a more expensive thread. My gosh, it made all the difference.

5. What are your favorite challenges to participate in? 

I used to be addicted to entering challenges and I would scroll through all of the listings on Paper Playful to see what challenges my card would fit into. But I don't have the time to craft that I used to so I don't get the chance to enter many challenges anymore. Definitely the Scrappy Land Blog Challenge, since I'm on the DT :) I do try to enter the Tim Holtz 12 Tags Challenge when I can - I've been lucky to win twice and prize of Tim goodies is awesome. I always try to enter the Simon Says Monday and Wednesday Challenge when I can...I've yet to win but I'm ever hopeful!! But now that I have time limitations, the only challenges that I enter regularly are the ones that my bloggy friends host.

6. What is your least favorite crafting supply? 

 Hum, that's a tough one. I don't know that I have any supplies that I don't like. I wouldn't say it's my least favorite, but I have a ton of twine and never seem to use it on projects. I have so many different colors but the only color I ever use is the natural hemp twine. I don't know why.

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

My best advice to new crafters is to be open to trying new things. Don't get tied down to one style...try different things, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. You never know what you can do until you try. I was very reluctant to try coloring and once I did, I was glad. As far as blogging, if you want people to visit your blog, make sure you visit theirs. Leave comments. Ask questions if you have them - crafters are so amazing and most would love to help. Enter challenges and participate in blog hops. The more exposure you can get, the better. It takes a commitment but it's so worth it.


There are so many things I identified with in Lisa's answers, such as the mistakes thing-a-ma-jig. I'm pretty convinced that is why I like distressed things so much, because if you make a mistake you can just slap some kind of medium over it and call it design. :) 

I had such a tough time picking a card of Lisa's to CASE because there are sooooo many good ones in her gallery but eventually, I landed on this one:

The Original

I loved the different textures, the gorgeous distressed framed sentiment, and the giant amazing crinkle bow. I could go on and on, but we have more cards to get to!

Lisa's CASE

Holy goodness and all that is right with the world. I thought nothing could get much better than the original, but CLEARLY I was wrong! The springy feeling, the colors, and the blue bow just put this card over the top for me. If you want full details about this card, go check out Lisa's blog!


OK. Ok... I have to say that I clearly have some work to do in my shabby and chic capabilities. I actually really love this in person, but next to Lisa's it seems... well... shabby. haha I die cut the frame and double embossed it with white powder. Also, I TRIED to figure out how to do that gorgeous bow. I googled and struggled and wiggled but I couldn't get it. So here's my shout out to Lisa to post a bow-tying tutorial on her blog! 

I had an amazing time making this card and now definitely feel more like exploring shabby chic. 
I'm going to link up my card to:
Frilly and Funkie -  Springtime Diecuts
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - April Showers/Spring Flowers
Monika's Birthday Linky Party (happy birthday month, friend! I'm happy to help you celebrate!)

Thank you, my friends for stopping by! Make sure to go give Lisa some bloggy love and make her feel extra special today! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Winter Shaker Card - Crafty Gals Corner - Any Holiday

Quite frequently as a card-making artist I will find myself collecting random things that I think I will be able to slap on a card at some point in time. Many of these items later find their way to a trash can after I've attempted something that doesn't work, but it is the rare few instances of sheer genius that make me keep collecting all over again. I'm not a hoarder. Really. :) 

I have been eating these yummy oatmeals in the morning that have clear plastic see through lids and decided to try putting them to use on my card for the latest Crafty Gals Corner  challenge which is:

Any Holiday

So I crossed my fingers and gave it a shot! 

That adorable little image is Arielle Ice Skater Oopsie Snowman from Faery Ink and that, my friends, is what she looks like all colored up inside an oatmeal lid. I added some snowflakes and some glittery white flocking to make "snow". 

I added some snowflakes and sequins to the outside and a big ol' Let it Snow sentiment along with some pink baker's twine. I dub this card one of the most adorable I've ever made and I didn't have to spend a million dollars on the premade shaker circles either! 

So make a holiday-themed card (any holiday) and link it up to Crafty Gals Corner for your chance to win your very own Faery Ink images. 

Our sponsor this week is:

Faery Ink
Prize: 3 Digital Images

As for me, I'm going to link up this little gal to support the following challenges:

Jingle Belles - Caroling we Go (Inspired by "Let it Snow")
ABC Christmas Challenge - G is for Glitter
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes
Sparkle and Sprinkle - Use Glitter or Flocking

Thanks for stopping by! And thank you to my new crafty followers! Leave me a comment or follow my blog and I'll try to return the favor!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Frilly Butterfly Card - STAMPlorations April Sketch Challenge +Winner

Happy Monday everybody! I hope the Easter bunny was kind to you and left you lots of jellybeans and very few bunny pellets. 

Today, I'm going to share a frilly and soft card that I created for the new STAMPlorations sketch challenge

When I saw this sketch, I couldn't wait to get started because it was one of those VERY rare instances when all the lightning bugs in my head started flying around at the same time and all managed to go in the same direction. 

I used a die cut from my Cricut that had a great shape and had teensy holes cut into it. What could I do with the holes besides add teensy little pearls to it? And when I was done with that laborious process, I decided to be done with my whole card. 

Just kidding. But the thought did go through my head. 
As you can see, I also added a bunch of Prima flowers that matched the soft pink and sagey/turquoisey tones. I also added a sentiment from the STAMPlorations Trendy Butterflies set.  

Then, as if the pearls weren't enough, I decided to get even more futsy and stamped some of the butterflies (from the same set) using Bundled Sage Distress Ink. I fussy cut around them and used some old gold cord to add little antennae-doo-dads to their bodies. 

I added some great paper from My Mind's Eye and roughed up the edges. Here's the finished look!

Speaking of teensy things, I want to take a teensy moment to tell you about why STAMPlorations is so awesome. I know I'm on the design team, but I'm honestly not saying these things for that reason. I've played in STAMPlorations challenges since I first started blogging. 

But let me just say that there are TONS of prizes and they've made it even easier to win because they have >>>5!!<<< challenges every month that each give away AT LEAST $15 in gift cards to the winner. So that's $75/month in free stamps given away. That's pretty awesome. And - you don't have to have STAMPlorations stamps to play along! (No, this is not one of those stamp companies that says you don't have to use their stamps but only ever chooses winners that do.) 

Here are the challenges if you want to go check them out:
Sketch challenge (these run for 2 weeks, so there's 2 per month)
April challenge - Stamps and Numbers (runs all month long) 
CASEplorations - CASE a DT card
Anything Goes - Ongoing gallery (this is the only one where you have to use STAMPlorations stamps to win)

Ok. I'm done now. In other news, I had a pretty stellar Easter weekend (stellar is one of those words that needs to make a comeback, don't you think?). Naturally, I had three days off. And Friday was AMAZING because I drove down to Fargo to meet the fantastic Betty Keefe from Created by BJK. 

Betty is actually from Nebraska, but her daughter lives in Fargo, ND so she comes here occasionally. It was awesome to meet up with a fellow blogger, whom I admire so much. And Betty was just as awesome as she appears to be online! We met up for coffee and then headed to a local craft shop. 

So the moral of the story is... The next time you're in North Dakota, let me know! (haha... I don't think I'll have many takers on that. 

Speaking of visiting... is anybody in or around Philadelphia? I'm taking a business trip out that-a-way in a couple of weeks and would love to know if you have any suggestions for eating or entertainment. Let me know!

I'm also going to send my card over to the following challenges:
Frilly and Funkie - Put a ribbon on it
Just Add Ink - photo inspiration 
Mod Squad - Tic Tac Toe (Flowers, Die cut, Dimension) 


Last but not least, I've got a winner for the STAMPlorations gift card I was giving away on the Light it Up Blue blog hop. Using the very boring (sorry but I didn't have time to dream up a crazy way to do it) I got:

Sarah Gray! Congrats, Sarah! Please send me an email with your info and I'll get the gift card to you, pronto! :) 

Thank you to all the wonderful people who signed up to follow my blog! I'll be making the rounds to follow you all too! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Stamps and Numbers - STAMPlorations April Challenge

Woop woop! Today marks a new challenge over at STAMPlorations and I am super excited to share my card because I totally embraced my grungy side. 

The challenge theme this month is 

You can use ANY stamps you want to link up - no need to use STAMPlorations stamps (but we'd love it if you do!) 

For my card, I started by creating a really grungy mixed media background. 

How was this made? I'm glad you asked.

I smooshed some Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, and Bundled Sage) onto a large acrylic block, spritzed it with water, and then pressed it onto card stock. 

Then I used the ARTplorations Foiled stencil and sponged some Bundled Sage ink through the background. 

I moved the stencil and sponged embossing ink through it, then added some rusty-colored powder and heat embossed.  I stamped some Grungy numbers from the Stamp Lab: Textured Big Numbers stamp and some arrows from the VIGNETTE: Chevron and arrows set. 

I added a stamped tag using sentiments from the VIGNETTE: Chevron and Arrows set. 

I added some metal embellies (and the one up top actually is a bookmark that comes off!) and finished off the completed grungy look. 

So - Go play at STAMPlorations. You could win a $15 gift card or a guest design gig! 

Speaking of Guest Design gigs - we've got some real rockstars playing with us at STAMPlorations:
Jerrie Mead from Coloring Outside the Linez
Pamellia Johnson from My Little Craft Things
and  Jo Nevill from Rambling Boots

As for me, I'm going to link my card up to the following great challenges:
Seize the Birthday - Anything Goes Birthday
The Challenge - Anything Goes
Virginia's View - Layers and Dimension

By the way - I know I'm behind in my bloggy commenting and can only apologize profusely. I've been working on some community events and have had a meeting EVERY day this week. Whew! I have the next three days off so will be playing some catch up. You guys are the VERY best and I hope you know that. 

Also - On my previous blog post, you'll find a little info on some BLOG CANDY that I'm offering. Comment on that post before Sunday for your chance to win. :)