Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cards for OWH challenges

I hope you are finding lots of inspiration from the design team.  Scroll down to see my challenge and cards made for the hop.

I found a little time this afternoon, and whipped out 8 cards using as many of the design team challenges as I could.

For Amber's challenge, I made 2 cards:
I made my own text paper using 2 different techniques with an Sizzix script embossing folder.  I dyed celery ribbon to fit the colors in my project, and used Authentique Loyal 6x6 papers.
I am also entering these in Kathy's "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" challenge.  The "Hi" Sizzix die is both old and new.  I've had it forever, but today was the first time I've used it.  Inking an embossing folder was a new technique for me, so 2 new things on this card.  Something borrowed -- the sketch idea from Amber's blog -- and blue paper.
For Michele's challenge, I made 2 cards using OWH sketch #59.  They look like this:
I'm also entering these in Brenna's tactile challenge.  I added some bling, fussy cut the birds, and elevated them with foam tape, all to make them interesting for someone with vision problems.  Inside, I stamped the sentiment, "today is your birthday".
For Jenni's challenge, I got out my 2 inch scalloped punch again and a stamp from Close To My Heart that fits perfectly inside a punched circle.  Here's 2 cards for her challenge:
I used some scraps from Fancy Pants Summer's End and a scrap of the script paper for the card on the left.  The card on the right uses the same Authentique Loyal pad. I used the sketch from Amber's challenge again for these cards.
And, the last two cards are for Christina's challenge.  She asks for an unusual fold somewhere on a card.  I made 2 gatefold cards.
Once again, I'm using the same 6x6 Authentique Loyal pad, the scallop punch I used earlier, and the same stampset from Close To My Heart.
As you may have figured out, I am also trying to use up papers from one collection -- Authentique 6x6 Loyal.  This is for Brit K and Nina's challenges of using scraps from one collection.  I might find time to make a couple more cards this week, but it's back to work tomorrow, so this might be it.  Now, to link them up to all the blogs.  Off I go!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crop Chocolate Design Team Blog Hop for OWH

Welcome, welcome!  I am so glad to have you visiting my blog!  I have lots to share, so I'll get right to it.  You should have arrived here from Brenna's blog, if you are hopping with  If you are here with Friends With Flair, please enjoy the Unity stamps I used on many of the cards I'm featuring today.  This hop is to motivate you to make cards for an organization I have supported for several years now, and it's a great one.  If you don't know much about Operation Write Home, explore their website here:  If you are looking for specific guidelines on what they need for cards, when they need them by, etc, try this link:

You may have noticed, we, the CC design team, are each issuing you a challenge.  From now until October 8, we want you to make cards for OWH, and we're here to motivate you.  My challenge is quite simple.  I took a very basic sketch (or recipe) that looks like this:

 It's a standard A2 card base (8 1/2 x 5 1/2, folded in 1/2), then 3 pieces of paper.  One is 5 1/2 x 2, another is 3/4 x 4 1/4 and the square is 2 1/2 x 2 1/2.  Easy.  And very adaptable, as you will see.  This is your basic recipe.  From here, the challenge to you is to use those components, but "tweak" them.  Just like any good cook, or in this case, cardmaker, take the recipe and make it your own.

You can rotate it 180 degrees.  Or 90 degrees and have the fold on the side.
I'll show you some cards I made using this sketch, or recipe.

As you can see, the components are there, but I sometimes tweaked them.  I might have substituted ribbon for the 3/4 inch strip of paper, or left out the 2 inch strip.  All the papers for the above cards are Echo Park Everyday Eclectic 6x6 papers, and the stamps are all Unity.  I also did this same thing with some Christmas cards.  Here's what they look like:

Get the idea?  Of course you do!  Easy peasy.  The papers I used on these cards are all from Cropchocolate grab bags.  There were a variety of stamps used.  Some were Close To My Heart, some Unity.  Embellishments are CTMH and MME.

Here's what I want you to do, and there's blog candy involved.  Become a follower of my blog if you're not already and make a comment about the cards you see today and you'll be eligible to win.  Enter a card using the recipe above, and you'll be eligible to win another blog candy.  For each card linked with the linky below, you'll be eligible for that candy.  Make sense?  Make a comment, maybe win.  Enter lots of cards, better your chance of winning.  Two people will win.

And, for some more inspiration, here's some Christmas cards I made for a swap on cropchocolate.  (These are not using the recipe above)

Papers are MME and CC grab bags.  The last two are made with Washi tape.  Did you participate in the washi tape swap?  I thought you might like some inspiration on how to use it when it arrives.  Ticket stamps and penguin are Unity.  The snowman stamp is Hot Off The Press.  Now, off for more inspiration. Hop on, my friends to Brit's blog.

Link your card's using the recipe above here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ippity Chick and Unity challenges

I have two cards to share to enter in three Unity (Ippity) challenges.  The Unity challenge this month is banners and pennants.  Here's what I made:

Here's another view of it with the easel I made to match the papers.  It's a Silhouette file.

Isn't that cute? I used Authentique Bliss 6x6 paper, and Unity Togetherness Icons (banners) and Unity Autumn Pals (squirrel).  There's also some baker's twine and sticker letters from my stash.

This next card is for the newest Ippity Chick Challenge and Ippity challenge. The chick challenge uses a sketch.  I'll show you the card first, then the sketch I used as a guide.

The papers for this card are all Close To My heart.  The stamp set used is the latest Unity Stamp Of the Week.  I made the leaves and branches using a Tim Holtz die, Liquid Pearls, and Tim Holtz inks.  The chipboard diecut is CTMH, and the cut behind it is from the CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge.

Here's the sketch I used.

Thanks for looking at my newest creations!

Blog candy winners! Whoot! Whoot!

I swear I used to pick my blog candy.  Really I did!  How was I to know it would pick my BFF? chose comment 7 on my blog.  Depending how you count the comments, it's Sheri Marek, my good friend who lives across the state from me and receives many of the cards I make and post on this blog.  But, I eliminated one gal who commented twice.  If you count her, then Christina wins.  I did not count responses to comments, just comments.  So, in order to be fair, I'll have 2 blog candy winners.  Christina, please send me your address, tell me your favorite kind of scrapbooking products, and I'll get your package in the mail.  Sheri, you'll have to wait until the GRROW walk in October to get yours.  But, I'll make it worth your wait!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A card and a story -- plus blog candy!

It's been a very busy time, so I only managed to get one card made using Unity stamps this week, but it has a sweet story to go with it that I want to share.  First, the card, then if you'd like, you can read on to the story.
This card is quite similar to one I made a couple weeks ago.  I find this Phyllis Harris Unity stamp so endearing.  My family of Golden Retrievers, my husband, and I sent this card to a very special person this week, and this card seemed perfect for the occasion.
And now, for the story.  I am an activity director in a 97 bed nursing home.  For the past 6 1/2 years, we've been blessed with a beautiful Golden Retriever named Sophie.  She has lived there day and night, roaming the halls freely, sleeping in whichever residents room she chooses, and spreading much joy.  Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of her.

Isn't that one with Santa the best?  I just KNOW she believes! 

Well, one of our long-time residents died in June.  He and Sophie had been very close.  She would go to his room if she needed something (like going potty when she couldn't find any staff).  Although it shouldn't happen, we relied on him more than we knew.  During the day, when I was at work, Sophie was with me.  But when I went home, no other staff stepped forward consistently to watch out for her.  So, about 2 weeks ago, enough was enough.  I wanted to bring her home with me at night and on weekends, and bring her to work with me when I was there.  It was time for her to become an 8-5 dog. (OK, a 7:30-5:30 or 6 dog most days).  The problem was my 2 Goldens at home.  My male, Sammy, isn't always good with other dogs.  This is where the special person comes in.  A local dog trainer who worked with Sophie last Spring (donating 6 weeks of training), willingly volunteered to help me introduce our 2 families.  It was a little tricky because Sammy and Molly think I'm their "mom", and Sophie thinks I'm her "mom".  My husband brought our 2 dogs to the training center on a Saturday morning, I picked up Sophie and we all met there.  After a long walk, some time off-leash in the big training room, it was time to bring the new family home.  The trainer answered all kinds of questions, spent the entire morning with us, and NEVER charged anything.  She knows how special Sophie is, and wants the best for this dog.

The new family is meshing beautifully.  Sophie is joining me at work each day, spreading love and harvesting treats, then comes home to her brother and sister.  Sammy is so accepting of her it brings tears to my eyes.  I'm so proud of my Golden boy!  And Molly at almost 12, is taking it all in stride in her own quirky way.  I just have to make sure and share my affection evenly between the 3 of them.

So, that's the story and the reason for the card.  We put a gift card inside, and sent it out.  It was sent with MUCH gratitude.

I used Echo Park For The Record 2 (6x6) purchased at for this card.

And here's where the blog candy comes in.  I'm so excited about having Sophie, Molly, and Sammy melding into one Golden family, I want to share with you, my FWF peeps and CC friends.  To win this blog candy (it's got some Unity, some, and some Close To My Heart goodness in it), please follow my blog, and leave me a comment telling me your favorite pet story.  You have all weekend to comment.  I will choose a winner using on Monday.  Also, please leave me a way to notify you.  Bears and Vikings fans are not eligible for this blog candy ;)
(I'm from Wisconsin -- there's some stiff rivalries going on and a lot of smack talk -- but I'm only kidding).  Thanks for your stories -- I love to hear them.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Unity and Ippity Challenges, plus Friends With Flair

I have two cards I'm going to enter in the current Ippity, Chick Challenge, and Unity Stamp of the Month challenges.  I'm also going to link them up for this week's Friends With Flair.  I'll show the card I'm entering in the Chick Challenge and Stamp of the Month challenge first (one card, 2 challenges.)

 I used a Unity Itty Bitty set called, appropriately, "You Melt My Heart" for the snowman and sentiment, and a Jillibean Soup set called, "Snowflakes Fall From Heaven." Papers are by Lily Bee Design.  They are a 6x6 Tiny Tablet called Jingle.  Pearls are from my stash.  I colored the snowman with Copic markers.  I used both Memento and CTMH inks.

Here are the 2 sketches I combined on this card.

This next card took some thinking for me.  I love to enter the Unity/Ippity challenges, but this one required stitching.  Usually when I challenge requires stitching, they allow faux stitching and I get around it that way, but this one specified either machine or hand stitching.  Well, while I'm not exactly allergic to stitching I might as well be.  I don't like stitching!  So, I had to come up with something I could do and complete successfully.  I remembered these Dazzle stickers that are stitched and decided to use them on a card.

I used some sparkly DMC thread, a needle, poked holes, and stitched away.  Voila!  hand stitching on a card!  And, a little bit of stamping.  The sentiment is from an Ippity set called, Your Friendship, My Cup of Tea. The patterned papers are a Glitz Design 6x6 paper pad, Pretty In Pink.

And, that's it.  I hope everyone had a great work week, and an even better weekend. Stamp on!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Viva Las VegasStamps Design Team Tryout!

You'll never grow if you don't stretch your inner soul.  To me, that's what applying for this design team is about.  I have gotten great joy from connecting with fellow scrappers around the  globe -- Kari in Koala Lampur, RosalieJB in Australia, and many connections here in the U.S.  DeeDee, or D2 is one of those connections I cherish.  I have watched her artwork not just grow but flourish.  To be even a small part of it has been an honor.  Now, as art director of Viva Las VegasStamps, she is choosing her own design team.  DeeDee has always been a great encouragement to me, so I decided to give her the respect she deserves and apply for her team.  Because you gotta challenge yourself to grow. So, DeeDee, this is for you.  And for me.

I was sent a grab bag of VLVS.  This "Boogie" stamp was one of them.  I knew as soon as I got it inky what I wanted to do with it.  I have an older stamp set from Close To My Heart called, "Be You". Any of the sassy gals would work fine.  I chose one I could paper piece to make her skirt "pop." 
I used Echo Park For the Record 2 6x6 papers, baker's twine from Really Reasonable Ribbon, and some gems from my stash.  Inks are Close To My Heart, as is the cardstock.  The card size is 3.5x9, designed to fit in a business envelope.  I like this size card as it gives me a little bigger canvas to design on.
And, here's a closeup of the VLVS sentiment.  Isn't it fun? 

My second project is a canvas.  I haven't made many of them, but I always feel like such an artist when I make them.  I gave this one to a friend, struggling with some life decisions.  I thought the "listen to your heart" sentiment was perfect for her life situation.
I used an Ippity (Unity) stamp set,"Listen to it", Tim Holtz distress stains, a Unity chicken wire background stamp, acrylic paint, and Versafine Sienne ink.
My third submission piece is a card.  I got my first Copic markers when sold a set of them earlier in the summer.  Since then, I have invested in some more.  I've educated myself watching some You Tube videos, and some online tutorials on coloring and shading.  I colored this card with Copic markers.
I made this card about 6 weeks ago, but it's still a favorite.  I like how the vases turned out, and how the table they are set on matches the ribbon so well.  The background paper is Echo Park.  Cardstock is Close to My Heart.  I used a Stampendous stamp set for the flowers and vases, and a Unity grab bag for the sentiment.  The ribbon is from Really Reasonable Ribbon. A Spellbinders fancy rectangle die was used.
And that's it.  Wish me luck!

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Love

Another Friday, another Friends With Flair.  Happy prelude to the weekend, everyone.  This post will be short as I had a wisdom tooth pulled today and I don't have much oomph left.  I'm fading, but I want to get this post ready and scheduled.  Here goes...

This First Love Unity stamp set by Phyllis Harris is one of my all-time favorites.  It takes me  right back to childhood.  My first love was actually a rabbit, but my first dog will always have a special place in my heart.  Chien looked a lot like this pooch, too. 

I used the new Echo Park For the Record II papers on this card, Spellbinders, Momento ink, and Copic markers.
This next card is not a Unity card, but it's so cute, I want to share it.  The stamp set is by Inky Antics.  I'll show you both the outside and the inside.


Papers are Echo Park Everyday Eclectic.  I used Spellbinders, Memento ink, and Copic markers.  The honeycomb paper is also by Inky Antics.
I'm posting this last entry because my friend, Theresa, wanted to see my card box made using the new Close To My Heart Cricut Artiste cartridge.  It literally took 5 minutes to make this card holder.  I used Authentique Genuine 12x12 paper.

 And, that's it.  I'm off to take some Ibuprofen and try to get some sleep.  I haven't had a good night's sleep due to tooth pain in a couple of weeks, so maybe tonight's my night!