Sunday, January 10, 2016

Challenge Chicks' January Challenge

It's The Challenge Chicks' first challenge of the New Year, and Bev has challenged us to a "Snowy, Frosty, or Glitsy" card.  I used one of my all-time favorite snowman stamp sets, Paper Smooches' Swanky Snowdudes, for a stand-up card with snowbanks made from Tim Holtz's sparkly adhesive-backed glitter paper.  Its flurry-filled sky was sponged using a scalloped circle for a mask, and I added a few trees made from scraps of white card stock colored with Copics to match the snowman images.   It's a fast, simple card made from a 5 1/2 x 12 piece of card stock that when folded still fits in a standard sized envelope.   Here's what it looks like closed...

Join us on Facebook, or see the challenge gallery on Splitcoaststampers under keyword CHXJAN16.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Challenge Chicks' October Challenge

I just LOVE October!  There's so much to love about it, but I especially love that it signals that Fall has officially arrived and Halloween is just around the corner!  Bright, happy colors make Halloween one of the funnest for stamping and decorating.

I've seen lots of cute witch's boots on blogs, Pinterest, and Splitcoast Stampers (this one was my favorite!).  Most of them were cut with a Cricut or Silhouette, but I decided to try drawing my own template.  The whole idea started with some Heidi Swapp papers I got for 50% off at Michael's.  The purple and white pinstripe just reminded me of a pair of boots with a stacked wooden heel... and I thought I could make it work for this month's Challenge Chicks' 3-2-1 challenge.
  • 3 layers
  • 2 embellishments 
  • 1 sentiment
  • optional "twist"--pink

Card stock forms the base for a second paper-pieced layer made from the various patterned paper sections of the boot.  The third layer is the sparkly trim, including the scallops made using a circle punch, and the narrow glittery strips that frame the boot shaft.

I cut three more boot shapes (one from card stock, another from patterned paper, and a third, reversed, also from patterned paper) to form the back side of the card.  It would have been fine to use card stock only, but the patterned papers were cute, they make the project look more finished inside and out, and they're thin enough that they aren't too bulky.  Once they were all glued together, I scored about 1 1/2 inches from the top, and glued the finished card front to the top of the finished card back.  I used a crop-a-dile to punch holes for the lacing...the top two holes go through all the layers, and the rest go through the front only, so that the card can still flip open.

I had a sheet of long-ago stamped sentiments and images from an old SU set (I think it is called Fright Night?!) so I just used my tag punches to punch them out, adding patterned and glittery paper accents to dress it up a little.  Finished it off with some twisted ribbon and a blingy button, my two favorite embellishments.

Be sure to check out the rest of the team's projects!  We'd love for you to play along!

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Hello, friends!  So happy to see you!  Lookie!  I'm stamping again!  :)

I took a nice, long, much-needed break from blogging and the pressure of deadlines, and spent some time just crafting for fun.  I even set aside stamping altogether to try some other hobbies like spinning and knitting, painting and mixed media.  The art and Bible journaling brought me full-circle right back to stamping, so when I was invited to join The Challenge Chicks, I was happy to say yes.

This month's challenge is hosted by Jeanne, and the theme is watercolor or ink splats!  I recently got some new water-based Dylusions paints, so I did a little test-run on a tag to see how I like 'em.  It's fun to experiment on a smaller, less intimidating project before jumping into a larger journal-bound page.

I used a paint brush to lay down the first layer of paint in London Blue, then finger-painted a swash of White Linen and Vibrant Turquoise to create an interesting blend of colors.  I added some texture with Faber-Castelle Whipped Spackle and a Tim Holtz stencil, repeating the finger-painting process with diluted paint so that the colors were more transparent.  Spraying with a mister and creating "splats" with a drippy paintbrush, then blotting the puddles with a paper towel to lift the color helped bring out some really interesting patterns that look like the deep blue-greens of the ocean.

The sea turtle images are from a Gina K stamp set, Under the Sea, stamped with Memento ink and colored with Copic markers.  The sentiment is from another Gina K set, Gifts from the Sea.  A little Donna Salazar Mixed Media ink in honey softened the edges and tied the colors together.  A few rhinestone "bubbles" and a ruffly ribbon and it's finished.

The Challenge Chicks:
Anna Wight
Bev Gerard
Holly McMillan
Lydia Fiedler
Kelly Schirmer
Kittie Caracciolo
Jeanne Streiff
Diane Zechman
Vicki Garrett

I'm taking some Jane Davenport art journal drawing classes, and have a few pages in progress, so I'll share those when they're finished.  Might even give you a peek at some fibery goodness every once in a while too!  All of these things have been part of my healing journey after the loss of first my mom (August 2014) and then my dad (March 31).  I am very grateful for the crafts themselves and for the communities and supportive friendships that go along with them.

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time!  xo


Monday, December 16, 2013

Paper Smooches Special Blog Hop

Kate (owner of i {heart} papers) suggested an idea to Paper Smooches' Kim Hughes to create some stamps and dies to support our rescued furry friends. They worked together to create some really fun dog rescue products! A portion of the sales will be donated to Home for Good. Kim asked us to share these fun products with you, through our projects.

To add extra fun to our blog hop...we are offering a prize!
  • TWO winners will be chosen at RANDOM from any of the design team blogs.
  • The prize:  A Lucky Dog stamp set, Paws for a Cause stamp set and Dog Icons dies.
  • Just leave a comment on any of the design team blogs listed for your chance to win! (you do not need to comment on all blogs to qualify, but it increases your chances) 
  • You have until midnight MT on Wednesday, December 18th to leave a comment. 
  • Please check the IHP Blog on Friday, December 20th to see if you are one of the TWO lucky winners.
My card for today celebrates the unconditional love that exists between a dog owner and "man's best friend!"  The heart-shaped paw print, heart printed designer paper, and heart sentiment inspired a heart-shaped cut-out to frame the design.  I stamped some doggie bones on a chalkboard print from Authentique's Irresistible paper pad to make a coordinating background paper.  A grosgrain bow, pleated satin trim and a rhinestone doggie collar add some bright red Valentine color.  

Paper Smooches Paws for a Cause and Lucky Dog stamps
Spellbinders heart and scalloped heart dies

Blog Hop Participants:

Saturday, November 30, 2013


I'm sure many of you put a huge dent in your Christmas shopping this long Black Friday weekend...since tomorrow is December 1st, the Christmas countdown will officially begin!  With Thanksgiving behind us I'm ready to embrace the season.

This card celebrates lots of lovely ways to say Merry Christmas!

Wplus9 Pretty Poinsettia and coordinating dies
Authentique "Joyous" designer paper
Authentique "Irresistible" designer paper
Memento Pistachio and Lady Bug inks
Wplus9 Timeless Tags 2 dies
hemp twine

Warm Cider Spices

I've had these cute little paper mache` bags in my craft stash for a while.  They're only about 4 inches the photo they look much larger than they actually are.  They're perfect for a little bag of potpourri or mulling spices.  Since it's been a little cool here for the last few days, I have been craving some warm spiced cider, so now I'm all set!

Wplus9 Pretty Patches: Apple stamp set and coordinating die
Wplus9 Heartfelt Holiday stamp set
Wplus9 Timeless Tags 2 dies
Memento Pistachio and Lady Bug inks
Authentique "Joyous" designer paper
Tim Holtz distress ink
Maya Road ivory crochet trim
silk ribbon
hemp twine
2 mm dimensional adhesive squares
1/4 inch scor tape

Friday, November 29, 2013

Warm Winter Wishes!

Hello again!  I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Ours was great!  We had a surprise dinner guest! My friend, Deleene, and her husband David moved up to Pax River, Maryland for his 3 year twilight tour, while their son remained here in Florida in college at USF near Tampa.  He was planning to stay in his shared apartment for Thanksgiving since he'll be visiting his parents in a few weeks for Christmas holiday, but with all his roommates gone, decided at the last minute to make a Thanksgiving weekend trip up to Jacksonville.  Since it was my first time cooking gluten-free turkey dinner, I was a little apprehensive about how it would all turn out.  To my relief, everything tasted great, although it took a little longer than I expected!  In years past I kinda had a rhythm to shuffling it all in and out of the oven and timing it to all ready at recipes changed the order of things, but hopefully with practice the gluten-free version will flow smoothly too!  This is the one day of the year I really wish I had two ovens!

Yesterday and today have been a bit chilly, even in Florida, so that made it a little easier to get into the mood to stamp a snowman for today's "Let it Snow" Friday Free 4 All challenge, hosted by my friend, Wendy.  I used the rock-n-roll technique on a stamp from Wplus9, and scribbled on some eyes and a nose with a multiline and a Spectrum Noir marker.  Couldn't help but think when I was done that the medallion would make a fun package decoration!

Wplus9 Heartfelt Holiday stamp set
Wplus9 Lacey Layers stamp and coordinating dies
Memento Gray Flannel, Cocoa, Nautical Blue and Lady Bug inks
Authentique "Joyous" designer paper
Tim Holtz distress ink
Spectrum Noir alcohol marker for nose
Copic multiliner for eyes
faux suede ribbon
hemp twine
heart-shaped button from stash
dimensional adhesive

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Don't forget, there's still time to shop Kate's i {heart} papers Black Friday weekend sale!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Get Ready for ihp's Black Friday Sale!

There are so many special people for whom I am thankful!  All month long I have been meditating on my blessings, and a handmade card is certainly one way to express that gratitude, especially when it is one with a fancy fold that is much more special than a store-bought card.  I followed Beate's tutorial to make this vertical diamond fold.  Here's what it looks like opened:

Cards like this are so fun to make, especially with designer paper packs that make the mix-and-match of coordinating prints such a breeze.  Although many of you are already in the throes of winter storms, here in Florida the leaves are still changing, so this color combo caught my eye.  I suppose our late change of season is one reason that I have such a hard time getting into Christmas card crafting before Thanksgiving.  I really dislike "fast-forwarding" through the holidays!  I love that the sentiment in this set is one that is useful year round!

Of course, the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year.  I am definitely NOT a Black Friday kind of gal...I'd MUCH rather sit in my pi's and shop from the comfort of my cushy chair via my keyboard!

IHP is celebrating Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a 20% off store-wide coupon (in stock items only and not valid on gift certificates) on all orders $50 or more, valid NOW through 12/2, Cyber Monday. Use coupon code Black20DT13 at checkout. All orders will ship on Tuesday December 3. Enjoy!

Lawn Fawn "So Thankful" stamp set
Authentique "Strong" designer paper
Memento Peanut Brittle ink from the Snowcones Assortment
Tim Holtz distress ink
Spellbinders Fancy Tags Three die
want2scrap coordinating bling
alcohol markers (to tint bling to match)
Kaisercraft pearls
1 inch gold satin/grosgrain ribbon
wool felt for hand-rolled flowers
white ink to highlight edges of flower petals
dimensional adhesive
glue dots

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happiness is Homemade

How was your Halloween?  It was a busy day, but a quiet night here!  We only had about 30 or 40 trick-or-treaters, but we had a blast looking at their cute costumes and the pure joy on their faces.  My favorites are the tiny ones that toddle up or come rolling up with their parents pushing their strollers.  So adorable! Definitely one of my favorite holidays!

As October comes to a close and the page of the calendar turns to November, Thanksgiving is already on my mind.  That's what inspired today's card.  I just *love* apron stamps, so this was a great excuse to use one of my favorites!

So much has changed since last year, I must admit that I am filled with a sense of adventure and also a little uneasiness when I think of revising our collection of favorite family recipes to try to make them allergen-friendly.  I really wish I could just "cheat" for one meal, but the elimination-provocation diet doesn't quite work that wouldn't be worth risking a reaction and feeling yucky for a week afterward.  I'll have to find a way to keep it "legal" and as close to the original character of the recipes as possible.  Quite a challenge with limited ingredients and also limited experience as a gluten-free/Paleo baker, so I am thinking I need to start early and experiment!  ;)

Flourishes "Fresh Baked" stamp set
Memento Nautical Blue ink
Spectrum Noir markers
Authentique "Strong" designer paper
Twinkle Goosebumps bling
1 mm and 2 mm foam adhesive dots
craft blade and mat

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Keep Calm & Carry On!

I am happy to finally get to play in one of the SCS Hope You Can Cling To challenges this month!  Way back when I was a physical therapy intern, I did one of my rotations at M.D. Anderson, so this cause is one that is near and dear to my heart, especially since my mom had her mastectomy last year.

My card is for Joyce's "Subway Art with Heart" challenge.  This Flourishes stamp set was a good fit for it.  Lately I can really relate to the sentiment, "Keep Calm and Carry On!"

Flourishes "Just My Type" stamp set
Wplus9 "Damask Delight" background stamp
Memento Tuxedo Black, Angel Pink inks
pink tinsel-edged ribbon
a button from my stash
sparkly black twine

Of course, since Mom's surgery, I've been particularly conscious of the need to do my monthly breast exam, and also my annual mammogram.  It was a scary thing to find a lump at the beginning of this month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month!  It took a whole lot of "Keep Calm and Carry On" to not run with that fear and let negative thoughts take hold...after a couple of weeks of extra doctor appointments, mammograms, and an ultrasound, I got the all clear.

One of the positive things during all of that was the praise I received from my nurse practitioner for my progress on my gluten-free journey.  I had not seen her since my annual physical in March, shortly after I went completely gluten-, dairy-, soy-, corn-, and refined-sugar-free, about three weeks after I had injured my gastrocnemius muscle.  She was really impressed that I've lost a total of almost 50 pounds, all through lifestyle modifications alone. In fact, she was even able to half the dosage on one of my medications!  It tickled me when she told me that if I weren't blogging about my journey, I should be!  Well, here we are!

I'm very grateful for her encouragement, and for my Functional Medicine doctor who has been advising me along the way.  I am still having reactions to an as-of-yet-unidentified  food trigger, so he has instructed me to further modify my diet by removing "nightshades,"  which includes tomatoes, potatoes, paprika, chili powder, and peppers, including cayenne...thankfully peppercorns are still on the menu!  At this point it is rather like hunting for a needle in a haystack, especially since sensitivity responses (unlike full-blown allergies) are a delayed reaction (usually extreme fatigue, headaches, facial swelling, and sinusitis).  Our next step is to do some food sensitivity testing so that I can get the remaining offending foods out of my diet and allow my digestive system to heal, which will in turn boost my immune system.  I feel so much better already, but I'm looking forward to feeling really healthy!

Thanks for visiting, and for reading about what Life's been like lately!  Blessings to you!