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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Ton Challenge Blog: March Edition!

Good morning, friends! Today is March 1, which means that we have the start of another challenge for The Ton Stamps Challenge Blog. The theme this month is:

LUCKY. Appropriate, right? 

Now, I don't know about you, but I've never sent a St. Patrick's Day card (haha).... but cherry blossoms are supposed to bring good luck, and I adore the Always Cherry Blossom set, so I decided to dig that out of my still-unfinished craft room (wah) and put it to use! I started with a panel of A2 sized aqua card stock that I die cut twice using the Stitched Rectangle dies to create a frame. Then, I stamped the pretty cherry blossom branch using white embossing powder around the edges of the panel. I colored in the images using a white colored pencil to give it a soft, ethereal look. 

For my greeting, I initially wanted to use the lovely "good luck" greeting from Lucky Tulip, but found that it was a tad long to fit on my stitched rectangle. Lucky for me, (see what I did there? ;) ) the Scripty Alpha set came to the rescue! I stamped the "good luck" using Hot Tourmaline ink and the Scipty Alpha Lower, then trimmed (while simultaneously cringing)  the "wishing you" and "in your  future endeavors" to create my own perfectly-sized sentiment! The last step was to add a few dots of Oyster Gray Nuvo drops to the centers of the cherry blossoms. 

And that's it! Nice and flat, easy to mail, and super soft and spring-y. The promise of spring always enhances my love of pastels and white. Nice and clean for a new season!

Now, it's your turn!! Use your stamps from The Ton to create a "lucky" card, then link it up to the Challenge Blog's link-up to be eligible to win a generous $50 gift certificate! Have fun, and good luck!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

PTI February Blog Hop!

Hi friends! Happy Saturday. Today is February 25, which also means that it's PTI blog hop day! The inspiration photo this month is absolutely incredible...

 Feb Blog Hop Inspiration

Seriously, wowzers. Those deep, rich fuchsia, saffron, charcoal, and plums are just stunning, and they definitely got the creative juices flowing. I have other things I should have been working on, but I couldn't resist playing along...

To start, I used the beautiful Fresh Bouquet stamp and die set. (To think I somehow thought that I didn't need that one... Crazy talk, I tell you! #givemealltheflowers) To bring out those beautiful bronze embellishments in the inspiration photo, I die cut and heat embossed the floral spray twice on watercolor paper using Bronze embossing powder from Hero Arts. I watercolored the pretty flowers and berries using my Zig markers (though I think this could just as easily be done with the solid stamps included in the stamp set!). I am nit-picky enough that I felt the need to color even the outer edges with my charcoal Zig marker so as not to get that unwanted pop of white. There isn't any white in the inspiration photo, so I didn't want any white on my card. 

Now, I have a confession to make. I made the mistake of stamping, embossing, and watercoloring these pretty flowers before I die cut them. Then I die cut them and, while the die is mostly open, there is a large section that is solid metal, thus making it very difficult (nigh impossible) to get the die positioned perfectly over the image. I won't give you exact details as to my reaction when I pulled the die off not one, but BOTH of the die cuts, but suffice to say sailors might have blushed had they been in my craft room. Did I mention this was at 11:30 last night? So... I started all over again. BUT! Silver linings... I get to tell you to die cut FIRST with this particular set. And, I was able to take a comparison photo to show you what a difference adding that charcoal coloring around the edge of the die cuts, rather than just leaving them white. It really makes the card feel totally different without those white lines. My husband told me I was crazy for staying up til 1:30 am redoing them... but for the sake of art, one might lose a little sleep. I honestly like the coloring better on my original sprays, so I might try coloring charcoal around the edges to see if the incorrect die cuts will still work, but c'est la vie. 

After my stamping and die cutting fiasco, I decided to die cut some simple foliage using the Garden Garland die and some pretty bronze metallic card stock I found at my local Joann's. Just the exact right color to match the bronze EP. I added my foliage to my watercolored sprays, popped them up on the Smokey Shadow card base, then turned to the sentiment. I die cut the Thanks from Graceful Greetings using Smokey Shadow card stock, then heat embossed the coordinating sentiment using the same Bronze embossing powder.

I'm really loving how this turned out. The springy temperatures have been bringing out my inner CAS gal, using lots of white space and clean lines, but it got cold yesterday, so these rich, deep colors really just got the juices flowing. Thanks for a marvelous inspiration photo, PTI! I hope everyone is enjoying the photo as much as I am. I can't wait to see what beauties are waiting in the link-up! Have a wonderful weekend, friends! 

Friday, February 24, 2017

It's still February....

.... so that means I am still allowed to post a valentine, right?

Yes, I've been in the throes of unpacking these last 2.5 weeks. The new house is really coming together quite nicely. We are still getting our other house emptied of boxes of non-everyday stuff, so every time I think I have things relatively unpacked, hubby brings in ten more boxes for me to organize the contents... sigh. My craft room is looking pretty darn good considering that we've only been here for 2.5 weeks, but I'm sure I have a couple of boxes o'stuff that I don't remember lurking about somewhere. However, the crafty essentials are all set up, and I was able to make a valentine for my sweet, hard-working hubby after the kiddos went to sleep. 

My New Year's Resolution was to make 20 cards with products I had purchased but not used before buying anything new in 2017... well, the no-spend isn't going exactly as I had planned (whoops), but I am making a concerted effort to make as many cards as possible with sets that have previously lain untouched. My PTI cards from earlier this month definitely fit that criterion; hubby's valentine was the same. I focused on a set that I purchased before Christmas by Neat and Tangled: Lumberjack Love. I have always teased my burly, plaid-wearing, strong-as-an-ox, woodworker hubby about looking like a lumberjack, so this set was absolutely perfect for his valentine. 

I started by die cutting and stamping the majority of the pieces in the Lumberjack Love stamp set and coordinating dies onto some watercolor paper using Archival black ink. I then watercolored all of the images with my Zig markers and wet paintbrush, being sure to give the cutie patootie little lumberjack some beautiful auburn hair, just like my hubby. :) 

Because this was going to be hand-delivered, I decided that I wanted to make a shaker card. Not the most masculine of cards, but the detail lover in my hubby enjoys the construction of the shakers as much as he does the card itself. I die cut the scalloped heart on a panel of gray card stock, intending to use the negative space. I then die cut the same scalloped heart, but also cut the solid heart from the center to create a frame using some red foil card stock to really make the heart pop and inlaid it within the gray panel. I backed the whole shaker with some pretty red gingham patterned paper (I love to purchase and hoard patterned paper. I know I'm not alone in this, and it makes the disease easier to face.) that I bought ages ago and never used. I have now used 1/4 of a sheet and feel so much better. Ha!

I stamped my punny sentiment (I'm trying to get better with those, I really am) on the bottom of my gray heart panel, arranged my little lumberjack scene, and hastily placed it on his bedside table so that he could see it when he woke in four hours. (I work late into the night sometimes.... I love the quiet house.) I think it's safe to say he liked it, because I woke to a snapchat, facebook, and instagram post about it, as well as some pretty flowers that I know weren't there the night before. :) 

Well, that's all for me today. I'm going to be scrambling over the next several days trying to get my craft room finished so that I have plenty of time for the new Daily Color challenge coming in March. The PTI anniversary is also happening next month, and I always enjoy playing along with the challenges, so be prepared for another mile-long post with my challenge entries!! Can't wait! Have a stupendous weekend, my friends! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

PTI 2017 anniversary festivities!

Hello, friends! Long time, no see, huh? Well, we have spent the last several weeks prepping for and moving to our new house, so my crafting and blogging have been on hiatus. I was sooo happy when I learned that Papertrey Ink was going to move their anniversary festivities to March, because I knew at that point my new craft room would certainly be completed (at least to the point that I would be able to participate). Well, the stars aligned just right (aka, my children were little angels and my hubby was tolerant of the boxes o'stuff that lay untouched for the last week) for me to be able to play along for a few of the challenges for their anniversary festivities for THIS month, so here are my projects! I kinda went backwards, starting with the more recent years (I only got up to 2012) and going back towards 2007.


This one was inspired by the pretty project that Nichole showcased for Sentiment Signs. Since I don't have that stamp set, I decided to use a similar layout and colors to Nichole's pretty card. One thing I love about the PTI challenges is that it gives me an excuse to ink up sets that have been sitting on my shelf unloved. In this case, last year's anniversary set: Painted Petals. (This also fits the requirement for the 2016 challenge with the use of the Painted Petals set!) 


This project was inspired by the post revisiting the Year of Flowers collection. I don't have that set either (I sold it long ago... how I wish I had it back! Wah.), but I found the lovely posies in the Botanical Blocks series to be quite similar in feel. I watercolored a pretty pink peony, then layered it on some Amethyst Allure Bitty Dot patterned paper. 


This project was inspired by Wreath for All Seasons. I recently purchased Twig Wreath set and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to put it to use. I love the fresh, springy colors in this one! It also works for the 2015 challenge with the use of the Twig Wreath set that was showcased for 2015! 


I don't have many, if any, of these older sets. Most of them were sold off to fund my new purchases (haha!), so I have been "inspired by" the anniversary projects for most of my projects today. This one is no exception; I used the Make It Market Summer Fruits mini kit as a replacement for the First Fruits set released in 2009. I simply die cut several of the pretty, pre-printed images included in the kit, layered some plaid patterned paper and a strip of orange shimmer card stock. The Smokey Shadow background was looking a tad bare, so I used a white Prismacolor pencil and my T-ruler to draw a chalkboard-esque rectangle around the edge. 


For this project, I was inspired by Birds and Blooms, released in 2008. I don't have this set, either, but I was reminded of the pretty branches and birdie in the Spring Woods set that has, sadly, lain untouched since I purchased it. I really love the Spring Rain and Berry Sorbet color scheme on this project. The background was blended with some Spring Rain ink around the edges, then the lattice stencil from the Garden Gate kit was placed over the top and some more Spring Rain ink blended to create a very subtle background. This set is definitely going to get some use now that I've inked it up! I might just have to get Winter Woods, too! 


For this challenge's final project, I was inspired by the nautical themes of Out To Sea to pull out and ink up my Guiding Light set. These lighthouses are so beautiful in their graphic simplicity... Just love them all. I die cut a stitched oval from one of the Noted die sets, then subtly blended some Spring Rain and Blueberry Sky ink towards the top. The lighthouse was die cut and stamped using Soft Stone and Smokey Shadow inks. I added the sentiment and some seagull silhouettes, then finished it off with a little white twine bow to really give it a nautical feel. 

 Well, that's all for me today! I know I should feel lucky that I got any time at all after just having moved a couple of weeks ago, but I am still a little disappointed that these cards were the only ones I got to make. I actually have several of the stamp sets shown for the more recent years! Oh well, hopefully I will get to play along with next month's festivities, as well! And I plan to do a craft room tour of my new room as soon as I get everything looking the way I want it... which is taking longer than I anticipated, because I get distracted by things I find while I'm organizing! Yikes.

Hope you all are off to a wonderful start to your week! See you back here soon!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hello, Sunshine!

Good morning! We are in the throes of packing up our old house and painting at our new house right now, and so I haven't been able to get into my craft room quite as much as I'd like lately. I have just been sneaking a few minutes at the end of the day, trying to use some of my new products, since my New Year's Resolution was not to buy anything new until I had made 20 cards with my previously-unused products! It's taking quite a bit longer than I thought....

Anyway, this Botanic Hello stamp set from Mama Elephant immediately grabbed my attention...  Just begging to be watercolored. I had teal, sunny yellow, and gray colored pencils out on my desk for a different project and thought what a pretty and unusual color combination! Since I only get snatches of time to play at my desk, I decided to reach for my Zig markers instead, since they are definitely a speedier coloring method. 

I started by heat embossing the beautiful focal image from the Botanic Hello set onto some Canson Montval watercolor paper. I love this paper because you can manipulate the color, adding and taking away layers of color while using lots of water, and do so without pilling the paper. I colored the flowers with a pretty yellow, then added some darker orange to the centers and pulled out the color with my wet paintbrush. I then colored the leaves with the pretty turquoise and added gray to the word "hello," then fussy cut the entire image. 

For the card base, I used an A2 panel of pretty coordinating turquoise card stock and stamped the corners with the floral edges of the "Hello" stamp using some turquoise ink for a tone-on-tone look. After I had finished stamping the turquoise panel, I popped up my fussy cut image with dimensional adhesive, then I added a few sequins here and there for a bit of sparkle. I wish I had added some Spectrum Noir Shimmer pen to the letters, just to add a bit more dimension, but oh well. 

I have one other project that I have created to show you before the big move officially begins and my craft supplies are boxed up (wah!) until the house is somewhat in order. I will be back this weekend with that post! Hope you all have a marvelous day! Thanks for stopping by, friends! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Ton Challenge Blog: Love

Good morning! If you remember, during The Ton's Anniversary Release, we started a new Challenge Blog... 

Today, the Design Team is introducing this month's challenge:

LOVE. How appropriate for February, right? 

For my card, I wanted to do something a little more bold and graphic than my usual floral, pastel watercolors. I started by heat embossing the heart from Bokeh Burst: Heart using some white pearl embossing powder, then watercoloring the interior of the heart with a shocking pink Zig marker, then the "burst" exterior with a pretty sky blue marker, using a wet paintbrush to smooth everything out. 

Next, I heat embossed my sentiment, from Brushed: Love onto some vellum (for some reason I can't get enough of these beautiful large sentiments heat embossed on vellum) using silver sparkle embossing powder and fussy cut it. I heat embossed the "you to the moon and back" onto a strip of turquoise card stock, then flagged the end with my scissors. 

I die cut a frame from some similarly colored foil card stock using the Stitched Rectangles dies, then popped it up around the edge of the watercolored panel. I popped up the fussy cut sentiment and sentiment strip using dimensional adhesive, as well, then added a smattering of sequins in Don't Wait On Me Fuchsia, Fairy Pink, and Light Blue Topaz

And that's it! Fairly simple and straightforward, and definitely fitting the "love" theme. (My giant "love" is so subtle lol!) Now it's your turn! Pull out your lovey-dovey stamps from The Ton and create a masterpiece of your own, then link it up to the new Challenge link up here. You have until February 28, 2017 to link your project to be eligible for the $50 gift certificate to The Ton Stamps! Have fun, and good luck! Can't wait to see your entries! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

PTI Blog Hop, January 2017!

Hi there! Yes, this is my second post for today. I always seem to forget about the Papertrey Ink Blog Hop... until the 25th of each month, when I receive an email from PTI with the inspiration photo. Usually, by that point, it's far too late for me to get a project done, photographed, and blogged, but today, somehow, the stars aligned just right and my kiddos napped just long enough for me to (ignore my other duties and) get a card done! 

The inspiration image for today really inspired me. I absolutely love the chalkboard look, and that's exactly what this image made me think of:

Blog Hop Inspiration

Isn't it just so pretty?? Anyway, here's my take on it:

I started by die cutting a panel of Smokey Shadow card stock (I have already packed up my black card stock. For shame!) using the Noted: Scalloped A2 Vertical die. I then stamped my greeting from Fancy Pants Sentiments using Versamark and heat embossed it with white embossing powder. I stamped the coordinating flourishes using PTI's white pigment ink to add to the chalkboard feel. 

For the pretty flowers, I used the Black Magic technique, first stamping my blooms from Forget Me Not using the same white pigment ink from PTI, then coloring over the top with my Prismacolor pencils. I added a few little flourishes here and there with my white gel pen, as well as filled in the centers with some sparkly orange gel pen. The final step was to mount the scalloped die cut onto an Amethyst Allure card base and call it quits!

I'm so happy I was able to get a card made this month... Thank goodness for a long nap! Now, back to packing... le sigh. I seriously need a magic wand to just magic all of our stuff into boxes, and then magic those boxes into the appropriate rooms of our new house. This is so tedious. I'd much rather be playing with my goodies. :) Have a fantastic day, friends! Can't wait to see what everybody else has come up with for this one!