My Big Brother in the news!


Lookie - my brother's in the news!
He's a Fireman/EMT in Henry County, Georgia and he really is an awesome cook!
Click here to see the news video about him :)

DivaSC54 Country Morning


Today's Diva Challenge combined the use of the Big Shot with the sketch. I used a sizzlit called Buttons #5 for my die of choice. My friend Martha and I have been talking about how much we like this die because, aside from being cute, you can have buttons to perfectly coordinate with your project and they won't cause problems in the mail!  (Plus, this is another one of those scrap-paper-using tools!) Nice, right?

Some notes about this card:
  • The front panel is cut thinner than the body of the card. Usually your card (and card front) are cut to 4-1/4"; this one is only 3-1/4".
  • The Close to Cocoa rectangle (and the main image) hang over the edge of this front panel; I can see the inside of the card a little on the edges, but I still have plenty of room to write a message.
  • The CtC rectangle is paper pierced around the border to add some visual interest without having to add another layer of card stock.  
  • The main image is from our Hostess set Country Morning. To get this set - you have to hold a party :)
  • The image is colored in with colored pencils and blended with odorless mineral spirits.
  • The coordinating Rose Red 1/4" grosgrain, runs behind the front panel so that the inside of the card looks neater.
Thanks for stopping by!
Stamps: Country Morning
Ink: Basic Gray
Paper: So Saffron, So Saffron Designer Series Prints, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Rose Red
Other: Big Shot, Buttons #5 sizzlit die, Piercing Tool, Mat Pack, Natural Hemp Twine, 1/4" Rose Red grosgrain, Primacolor pencils, Gamsol.

Reminder: it's the last day to take advantage of the Deal of the Week. Click here to shop now!

Create this easy tote!


This adorable tote is project #2 for our Club meeting this month (today in fact!) It comes together very easily using the #2 box die and the Big Shot. I'll be leaving this one with the hostess, filled with chocolate, gift bags and a couple of paper-crafting supplies.  To make the tote:
  • Cut two boxes using the #2 box die and a Big Shot.
  • Using a bone folder, press the scored lines so that as you fold the box you get nice, crisp edges. Don't press the folds for the lid of the box - they will become your "handle".
  • Fold up the box, adhere as needed.
  • Put your two boxes back to back. The portion of the box that would ordinarily fold over to close the box (the top) will stand up.
  • Adhere the two boxes together in this position- the tops should also be adhered to each other to form a stronger handle.
  • Punch the tops with a large oval punch and tie a ribbon through to decorate.
  • Now it's just a matter of decorating your box. Create a belly band out of cardstock, adhere decorative paper or tie a nice thick ribbon around it.
All that's left to do is fill it with goodies and bless someone with a nice treat!
If you are visual and the above notes make no sense to you... give me a few days to create a video for you. I'll be working on that this weekend as long as no one overdoes it on candy :)

Papers: Real Red card stock (102482), Christmas Cocoa Specialty Paper (116770) Other: Organza Ribbon (114319), Large Oval punch (107305), Bone folder (102300), Box #2 die (114518), Big Shot (113439), Dotto (100902)

Cocoa and Cider Treat Holders class


Cocoa or Apple Cider (pouch) treat holders

Tomorrow at our Stamp Club meeting we'll be making two different projects. One of them is the treat pouch you see above (the Christmas one). I received the Halloween version as a swap at a Stampin' Up! event and held onto it because it's just so cute. I imagine that you could use this for pretty much any occasion and put different drink pouches inside. I think it would also make a great holder for stickers or pictures - really anything flat!
One note: I inked up the starburst stamp (from Sparkly & Bright) with Shimmer Paint; it stamped very clear and sparkly, of course! I'm really happy with how well it stamped and how well it stands out even on this textured & dark cardstock. Yay!

Stamps: Sparkly & Bright (115346); Ink: Shimmer Paint (platinum) 116807 Papers: Real Red textured card stock, Soft Suede textured card stock, Holiday Lounge Designer Series Paper (115676) Other: Ornament Punch (116794), Sponge Dauber (102892), Silver Cording (109866), Silver Eyelets (105319), Ribbon Originals Mistletoe (116792)
Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7 - Thank you!

My Digital Studio helps with homework


So this weekend as my son labored over a school project, we discovered another use for My Digital Studio. It's a Homework Helper!!! Hooray!
My son needed to come up with a new product that uses a laundry clip. He decided to make something he called the "Back Stack" that would help keep track of important school papers. Part of his grade will come from a sales flyer/brochure for the product - that's where My Digital Studio comes in. And you'd think that's when Mom would come in, too. But, Nooooo.... he didn't let me in on the fun stuff.... Daddy took over and together they made the flyer. The same man who, by the way, looked at me like I was crazy when I was having fun figuring out the program and making cards, scrapbook pages, etc. But, I digress - they had fun figuring out the program and made this flyer.
Cute, huh? Now I wonder if they'll still give me funny looks as I enthuse over the program...... probably!scuba diving Australia
Thanks for stopping by! And if you have any questions about My Digital Studio and what you (and your family) can do with it, contact me and I'll be happy to review the program with you!

DivaSC53 Bold Flowers in Silhouette


Happy Saturday! Time for another sketch challenge with UDI. I started out with a completely different image; but when I started playing around with the 2 background pieces I wanted to leave them bold and decided they needed a bold image to go with them. I decided against using any patterned paper so that I could keep a crisp, clean look. Here are some ideas to change it up:
  • Instead of the brads, you could stamp a sentiment in their place.
  • The thin strip of Ruby Red card stock could be replaced with ribbon or you could use that area for a sentiment.
  • Paper piercing or stitching around the So Saffron piece or along the Old Olive piece would be a nice addition, too.
  • Stamp a Christmas tree for your main image and you have a card that will be easy to duplicate and won't break the budget.
I'm sure there are more ideas - I hope you'll play along and give it a shot! Thanks for stopping by!
Stamps: Flowers in Silhouette (114498); Ink: Ruby Red (102259) Card stock: Ruby Red (102030), Chocolate Chip (102128), Old Olive (100702), So Saffron (105118), Very Vanilla (101650); Other: 1/4" circle punch, Metallic Eyelets (105319), Crop-a-dile (108362)
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Quick Card Just Buzzin' by....


The layout for this card was posted on Stampin' Addicts yesterday. I thought it would be fun to use these bees from our Just Buzzin' By set to make a quick "hello" card. Little touches kept it simple, but made it fun:
  • Stampin' Write markers were perfect for coloring the line art images.
  • Crystal Effects adds dimension to the faces and the honey pot inside the card (shown below).
  • Matting, just barely larger than the image square, adds a little color to the card but doesn't detract from the clean and simple look of the layout. 
  • A Stamp-a-ma-jig ensures that my stamped sentiment comes out straight! 

Stamps: Just Buzzin' By; Ink: Barely Banana; Markers: Bashful Blue, Summer Sun, More Mustard, Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip; Cardstock: Barely Banana, More Mustard, Very Vanilla; Other: Crystal Effects, Stamp-a-ma-jig

Thanks for stopping by!
To order Stampin' Up! supplies, click here. Thank you!

Poppin' Pastels Technique


Poppin' Pastels is a very easy technique with stunning results. It was the first thing I tried when I received my starter kit from Stampin' Up! (the supplies needed are in there), and it's something I still like to do! Here's how it's done:
  • Stamp your image with VersaMark ink. (Inspired by Nature used here)
  • Load a Sponge Dauber (or cotton ball) with your color choice of Stampin' Pastels. Tap the dauber onto the stamped image. The chalk will adhere to the wet ink.
  • Play around - add interest to your image by adding additional colors for shading.
  • When you are done, you can use a (used) dryer sheet to remove some of the excess chalk from around your image. Or you can leave it like I do... I think it softens the image a little.
Stamps: Inspired by Nature, Woodgrain background stamp, (sentiment is from a retired hostess set); Ink: Versamark, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel; Cardstock: Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, More Mustard, Very Vanilla, Really Rust; Other: Stampin' Pastels, Sponge Daubers, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, Metallic Eyelets, Crop-a-dile

Scrapbooking with My Digital Studio and capturing inspiration


My husband Danny is something else.... and I mean that in a good way. *grin*
Years ago his health wasn't the best; he was over-weight, on blood pressure medication and was looking at high numbers on his cholesterol blood test results. He hadn't really been taking care of himself, feared for the future and decided to make changes to his diet and (at that point non-existant) activity level. It wasn't long after he started these changes that he started noticing results. Before long he wanted to run instead of walk and shortly after began entering races. I should have known that a 5K wouldn't be enough for him - when he does anything, he goes all out!
Here he is running the Disney Marathon last year. I made this page in just a few minutes on My Digital Studio.
One of the coolest things about this experience for him is that he has become an inspiration to friends and family. They've seen the changes and his dedication and several of them have felt inspired to make some changes in their own lives. What a blessing to be able to use your own experiences to improve the lives of others!!

Holy Triptych - Quick Card


As I plan my cards for this Christmas, I've been trying to come up with a few that are quick to put together. There are always ways to "kick it up a notch" (thanks for the phrase, Emeril!); but sometimes we need a card to come together without extra fuss. Also, I well remember when I first started making cards and I didn't have the supplies or the skill to make some of the more elaborate things that I saw. To tell the truth, it was a little frustrating. So here's a simple but pretty card that shouldn't frustrate anyone :)

Here are some notes about the card and alternates if you don't have these items in your supplies yet:

  • To color the image, Stampin' Pastels (alternate: colored pencils, markers, crayons - get the kids/grandkids to help!)
  • To edge the Bravo Burgundy cardstock, Scallop Edge Punch (alternate: rip the paper, curl up the edge)
  • To cover the join of papers, 1/4" narrow grosgrain (alternate: a thin strip of coordinating card stock)
  • Add shine to the star, Clear Rhinestone Brad (alternate, glue and glitter, dimensional glaze or color it in)

So what do you think? Easy, peasy mac n' cheesy? You're comments are welcome! Thanks for stopping by....

Stamps: Holy Triptych
Ink: Handsome Hunter (105215)
Card stock: Handsome Hunter (105122), Mellow Moss (102898), Bravo Burgundy (105123), Very Vanilla (101650)
Other: Scallop Edge punch (112091), Rhinestone Brads (113144), Stampin' Pastels (105542) 
Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7.

DivaSC52 Give Thanks for Autumn Harvest


 Happy Saturday! Time for another sketch challenge with Utah Divas International. I hope you are enjoying a beautiful fall day wherever you are. Here in central Florida we are looking forward to slightly cooler temps; we've been in the high 80's this week but are supposed to drop about 10 degrees tomorrow. Not quite "fall", but I'll take it!
With fall on my mind and some time on my hands, I stamped these images from Autumn Harvest with StazOn ink. I then used coloring pencils and along with Gamsol to blend in the colors. If you are adverse to using odorless mineral spirits like Gamsol, baby oil is a good substitute and leaves the colors looking very vibrant. Not familiar with this technique?  Click here to be directed to a helpful tutorial.
Here are a few more notes about the card:
  • When you need a sentiment but not the rest of the stamp, use your Stampin' Write Marker to ink up the portion you need. The "Give Thanks" you see here is a part of the Gobble, Gobble stamp from the Holiday Mini catalog. 
  • Use a Stamp-a-ma-jig to help line up your images. I would have never been able to line up those words without it! 
  • To visually soften the edges of bright paper, use a Stampin' Sponge to add ink to the edges. It's easier to see on the circles of this card, but I added color to the main panel as well.
  • Change the color of a fiber by rubbing ink or chalk onto it. The same Stampin' Sponge was used to add color to the twill tape, as well.
Thanks for stopping by!
Stamps: Autumn Harvest, Gobble Gobble Ink: Chocolate Chip Stampin' Write Marker, StazOn Black Paper: Always Artichoke, Mellow Moss, Very Vanilla, Creamy Caramel Tools: coloring pencils, odorless mineral spirits, paper stumps, Stampin' Sponge, 1 1/4" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, Stamp-a-ma-jig Embellishements: Linen Thread, Twill Tape, colored pearl stickers
Need supplies? Click here to shop Stampin' Up! 24/7 - Thank You!

Party Table treats


I try hard not to use my Big Shot every day that I create, but let me tell you... it's tough!
I was stamping and cutting out these leaves from our Autumn Harvest stamp set and thought how cute they would be attached to a place setting at a Halloween party or at Thanksgiving dinner. My mind flitted past the current promotion on the place setting die. The smart-alek in me thought about how much food is usually consumed and how funny it would be to give everyone a dose of TUMS as a "gift". (Ok, so maybe I'm the only one who thinks that would be funny...) My next thought, of course was that I had to come up with a cute container.
The Pillow-Box die was my answer today. I used the leaves I was working on (inked up with a Versamarker so that I could heat set some Iridescent Ice embossing powder and make them sparkle). For additional color and layering, I added a crimped piece of cardstock as a belly band for each container. One thing I loooooved about this project is that (aside from the box) I used scraps of card stock from the Earth Elements color family.
If you don't think the TUMS idea would fly in your family, you could always be nice and put mints, tea bags, a small note or game in there. But where's the fun in that? ;) kidding......

Big Shot (113439), Pillow Box Die (113466), Paper Snips (103579), Crimper, Linen Thread (104199), VersaMarker (100901), Iridescent Ice embossing powder (101930)
Stamps: Autumn Harvest (110372)
Card stock : Earth Elements (105566)
Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7 - thank you for your business!

Stampin' Up! Shimmer Paint on a Skeleton!


My boys helped me to paint this skeleton and I couldn't resist adding a little shimmer to him!

I used a sponge dauber to tap some of the shimmer paint all along the edges of the skeleton pieces. It gave those pieces a grayish cast (perfect for a skeleton!) and also shines a bit in the light. Who says this stuff is just for cards?!

Pop-up Three Tier Cake Bigz XL Die


This die is one of the 3 items on promotion through the week. Here's how it works!

DivaSC51 Flock Together


Saturday means it's sketch time over at the blog for Utah Divas International. I've always posted the sketch here, but have noticed over the last two weeks that the sketch is the size of a gnat no matter how I set it up within blogger. Sorry about that, I'll keep trying to figure out why it's doing that. But in the meantime, know that when you click the above link and are directed to the UDI site, the sketch will be posted there along with links to other participating Divas.

I've had a lot of fun playing with punches this week, but for this card I used my 5-petal flower punch (currently on sale!) as intended. As a flower... imagine that!

I kept the card very simple and let this Flock Together Designer Series Paper do all the work. A little bit of So Saffron (used for both the scallop trim and the flower) breaks up the green a little. With such interesting paper I kept the embellishments simple too with just a little bit of Organza ribbon and silver brads. A simple greeting will also allow me to use this card for a Thank You, Hello.. pretty much anything! And now that I have this nice, respectable card made... I can go back to playing with my paper punches! Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Bella's Bloom (111600)
Ink: Garden Green (102584), Barely Banana (101170)
Paper: Garden Green (102584), So Saffron (105118), Flock Together Designer Series Paper (114018), Whisper White (100730)
Tools: Scallop Border Punch (112091), 5-Petal Flower (109041), Modern Label Punch (116630), 1/2" circle punch
Embellishments: Silver Brads (104336), Whisper White Organza ribbon (114319)
Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7!

Paper Punch a Cardinal in the pines


On Ellen Kemper's blog the other day I noticed her cute cardinal - isn't he adorable? And, yes - he is also built using the Stampin' Up! Ornament punch. it's just amazing how many things one can do with that punch, isn't it?

When I got around to making the cardinal today I realized that I needed something to replace the branch in her photo. I just didn't feel like dealing with the gazillion lizards we have outside. (Seriously, they're crazy and will jump on you. Blech!) In her photo, a small branch covers where the body meets the tail feathers. I realized that our Tabletop Cutter, a guillotine style cutter, would be the perfect tool to help me make some pine boughs. The trimmer cuts paper so fine it practically shaves it. I had some scraps on the table from trimming my card edges down and my pine was born. (Makes me a little homesick for Georgia... now that I think about it, I never got attacked by lizards there....)

Here's how it came together:
Bunch your paper strips together. Here I've folded a few long strips of Old Olive in half.
Put a glue dot on the bend and attach one end of a strip of brown paper. Here I'm using a scrap of Dusty Durango cardstock.
Wrap your strip around the end just a few times to cover the end of the "pine needles".
Use a 2nd glue dot to secure the end of the Dusty Durango strip and attach the pine needle to your project.
And, that's it! Hope you enjoyed this post - if anything it's a great way to use up scraps! Now it's back to the craft table to figure out how to make pine cones :)

Supplies (including the cardinal, bold items for the pine needles):
Card stock: Real Red (102482), Basic Black (102851), Whisper White (100730), Crushed Curry (115319), Old Olive (100702), Dusty Durango (115321)
Tools: Ornament punch (116794), Scallop Circle punch (109043), Heart to Heart punch (113694), Paper Snips (103579), Tabletop Paper Cutter (106959), Mini Glue Dots (103683)
Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7.

Stampin' Up! Ornament Punch


Today's card shares a fun "other" way to use our new Ornament Punch (featured in the Holiday Mini catalog). This was an easy card to put together - so easy that even I sat down and made 5 of them. I also used our (retired) square punch to make a window for an additional pot of flowers within the card. I love finding new ways to use my tools! Enjoy!

Need a Holiday Mini catalog? Contact me and I'll be happy to send one to you. Or click here to download a .pdf file.
Stamps: Sincere Salutations (115068)

Ink: Soft Suede (115657), Rose Red (101778)

Paper: Sahara Sand (105328), Bermuda Bay and Soft Suede (In-Color textured -115719), Whisper White (100730),  Thoroughly Modern Designer Series Paper (115673)
Other: Ornament Punch (116794), Linen Thread (104199), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), Square punch (ret.)

Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7. Thank you!

Flyin' my way? Holiday Bird Punch Art


I'm a kid again today as I play with my punches and make creatures. Today's challenge at Stampin' Addicts was to use our Ornament Punch to create something. I also wanted to use the My Way punch currently on promotion so that you can see it's versatility and I came up with this guy. Love it!
He looks ready to warm up in Florida, doesn't he? *grin*
The Ornament punch was used for his body. The smallest arrows of the My Way punch were used to create the tails on his scarf, the tip of the medium arrow was used for his beak and the top of the large arrow was used for his hat. To give you an idea of how he came together, take a look at this picture. You can click on it to enlarge it. Have fun creating. I hope you'll post a comment here and share your work with us! Enjoy!

Got Crow's Feet? Paper Punch Crow


Yeah, me too! But I call them "laugh lines" - thank you very much!
One of the things that has helped me earn these lovely lines is the joy I find in creating. Often, I'll run across a funny sentiment or a way-too-cute image and it just brings out the giggly girl in me. The crow on this card (and the sentiment shared with it) definitely brought out the chuckles.
Using punches to make creatures has always fascinated me and with the current Punch Promotion, this is a great time to stock up! The trio flower punch could certainly be used to decorate the brim of her hat! One note: Yes, you could cut the items free hand - punching just makes it faster and easier!

To my Friday ladies - we'll be making this card this week. Be sure to RSVP by Thursday if you plan to attend.

The inside reads "Don't worry, crow's feet don't hurt". LOL Credit for this design and the sentiment goes to Ellen Kemper. Thanks, Ellen!

Stamps: Itty BittyBirthday (110994), Autumn Days (115452)
Ink: Really Rust (102549), Close to Cocoa (103139), Stampin' Write Marker Basic Black (100082), Signo White Gel Pen (105021)
Card Stock: Basic Black (102851), Creamy Caramel (102514), Really Rust (100661), More Mustard (100946), Close to Cocoa (101341)
Punches: 1" circle (109046), 1 1/4" circle (104403), Scallop Circle (109043), Small Oval (107304), Large Oval (107305), Wide oval (112082), Boho Flower (110711)
Other: Hobby Blade (102449), Button, Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), Black Hemp (ret.)

Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7! Thank You for your support!

DivaSC50 World Card Making Day


Happy Saturday! Today I'll be having a lot of fun celebrating World Card Making Day with 9 of my stampin' friends. They are all headed over to my house for a morning of crafting. Or, at least, that's the plan. I'm pretty good at planning classes and taking care of everyone, but take me to a crop and I don't accomplish much. I'm too busy chatting with everyone and oohing and aahing over their  projects :)
Aside from these special plans for today, it's also the day we play along with the Utah Divas Int'l sketch. Now, I did the sketch as you see it here. What I neglected to notice was a little note on the left hand side that reads "top". That's right... it was supposed to be a top-fold card. I'm just going to pretend that I was thinking outside the box and planned my card this way....

I hope that we've inspired you to play along. It's the perfect activity for World Card Making Day! Thanks so much for stopping by! Comments are welcome and don't forget to check the UDI site for the links to more Diva sketch cards!

Stampin' Class A Cardinal Christmas Choice #4


Today's card is our 4th and final choice for the stamp-a-stack on Oct 18th. Yesterday's card was a cute one and I like to have a little variety, so I knew I needed to add a more formal card to our choices. This image from A Cardinal Christmas is gorgeous just stamped, you could just leave it alone and it would be ready to go. But, of course, I couldn't leave it alone (big kid that I am!) so I played around with watercoloring the image. Additional detail was added to the card with a strip of cardstock run through the Big Shot in our Petals-a-plenty embossing folder.

This card takes a little more work than the other choices, but it's still a good choice for the class and it's one that, I believe, your family will be happy to receive this holiday season.
Please remember that RSVPs are due no later than the 7th (that's next Wednesday). Click here to e-mail me if you are ready with your choices and would like to reserve your spot.

Stamps: A Cardinal Christmas (111760)
Ink: StazOn Black, Real Red (103133)
Paper: Real Red (102482), Basic Black (102851), Always Artichoke (105119), Watercolor paper
Tools: Corner Rounder (109047), Aqua Painter (103954), Big Shot (113439), Stampin' Up! Textured Impressions Folder Petals-A-Plenty (116824)
Other: Silver Brads (104336), Earth Elements Watercolor Crayons (106696), 1/4" Always Artichoke Grosgrain (109035)
Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7!

Card Class Christmas Ornament Choice #3


I love this card! Ok, so maybe that's wrong of me to say... I should let you make up your own mind :)
But I really enjoyed making this card. The reindeer is from our stamp set "Sparkly & Bright"; doesn't he fit perfectly into my punched out ornament? In case you are not familiar with this punch, it is a new one for us and is featured in our Holiday Mini catalog. It has a number of uses (I'll be showing them to you over time) but this time I'm using it as intended and providing yet another easy but adorable card choice for our stamp-a-stack on October 18th.
Don't forget to stop by again tomorrow where I'll be showing you the 4th and final choice. And, yes, it's also a Christmas card but with a completely different feel. See you then!
Stamps: Sparkly & Bright (115346)
Ink: VersaMark (102283), Real Red (100052 marker)
Paper: Real Red (106545), Old Olive (100702), Merry Moments Designer Series Paper (115672), Whisper White (100730)
Tools: Ornament Punch (116794), Heat Tool (100005), Crop-a-dile (108362)
Other: Silver Cording (109866), Basic Eyelets (105320), Silver Embossing Powder (109131)
Need supplies? Click here to shop 24/7.
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