Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March is National Craft Month

Did you know March is National Craft Month? I didn't until recently and think it is perfect because March is the month I go on an annual craft retreat.

While we didn't pick March for our annual retreat for that reason, I think it is serendipitous that I get to have four days dedicated to crafting this month instead of the hour or two here and there between other commitments. You can see a few of my recent retreat photos here (and here is one from a couple of years ago when we were snowed in).

I usually try to work on a bigger project while away and this year tackled something that has been waiting for seven years (yes, I'm hanging my head in shame as I type these words). This is not an original project idea by any means, and some of you may recognize it immediately. In December 2007, Ali Edwards created a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas card spinner that you can see here.  It was love at first sight for me and I starting planning a CASE of the project, collecting all the pieces I needed to make my own.

Here is a first peek at my (almost) finished project.

I pulled out one of my favorite Christmas decor pieces to help set the mood for this Christmas project. This Kringle Christmas Goose is a very special gift from my mom many years ago. I'm getting a little side tracked, but the artist who created this whimsical goose is Patience Brewster and you can spend hours scrolling through her website here.

I seriously thought this project would be organized on Thursday afternoon/evening and finished by the end of Friday, leaving plenty of time to work on other things. The truth is, it was Sunday morning before I stepped back and knew I had done as much as I could on the mountain and the finishing details would be done at home.

I had created a Word document of the Clement Clark Moore poem so that I could trim it to fit on 32 ATC cards and a couple of transparencies.

The cards were cut from a variety of Teresa Collins Christmas lines and embellished with stencils, modeling paste, stamps, dies, Wink of Stella, glitter tape and felt pieces.

Even though the papers were from different lines, they went together nicely and kept me to a simple color palette of cream, kraft, red & white.


I am really looking forward to putting this little spinner out next Christmas!

Even though the month is so close to being done, to help celebrate National Craft Month let me know if you would like a copy of my Word document by leaving a comment or sending an email.

It is never too early to start Christmas shopping and I'm thinking this Dash Away Dashing Santa is the perfect addition to my Santa collection.

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Papertrey Ink March 2015 Blog Hop

I hope you have stopped by while on the Papertrey Ink March 2015 Blog Hop. If not, head over to Nichole Heady's blog for all the necessary information and see the amazing cards that have been linked up.

Here is the inspiration photo we had to work with this month and I'll admit my head was spinning with ideas and I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one.

Blog inspiration

In the end, a floral wreath that highlighted the gorgeous, fresh aqua & yellow color palette won out.

The wreath from Birds & Blooms is stamped with Aqua Mist, Hawaiian Shores, Harvest Gold and Lemon Tart inks before being die cut and adhered to a Hawaiian Shores panel.

The second photo gives you a better look at the woodgrain embossed panel that was engineered from the leftover pieces of a Horizontal Stripe Cover Plate die cut.

A simple Swoosh Thanks die cut from Harvest Gold card stock provides the sentiment.

With Anything Goes as Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog this week, I am also linking this card up over there.

Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog

I know there is a lot to see on the Hop, so don't mind if you head off now, but if you have a minute I am going to show off my newest craft tool.  If you know me in real life, you know I am a "late adopter" rather than a "trendsetter", so it may come as a big surprise that one of the newest stamping tools is sitting on my desk.

Yes, I bought a MISTI!

There are tons of tutorials on Youtube or you can see it in action at the creator's website, My Sweet Petunia.

One of my crafting friends, Melody Rupple from A Paper Melody, brought her new MISTI to our retreat a couple of weeks ago. I watched her use it, gave it a try and I fought the urge to buy it immediately. It took me two days once home to give in and I am so glad I did.

On the left is a wreath stamped using my stamp press and on the right is the one made with the MISTI. The biggest selling point for me was the ability to re-ink and stamp the image a second time without worrying about lining everything up. My old eyes can usually line up a large image with a stamp press but there is no way I would have been able to perfectly align this image for a second stamping without the MISTI.

I'm off to see how the photo image inspired everyone else today. Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Muse #109 + Curtain Call: Jelly Bean Challenge & The Challenge #27 + NBUS #4

It is a quiet Saturday night around here after everyone was running around in 20 different directions last night and for most of the day. Three of us are now home catching up on TV and surfing the internet while my husband is still trapped in the infield oval of the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the NASCAR races. Did you know they have RV camping in the middle of the race track?  Every time I talked to him today it was with the noise of cars racing in the background.

The quiet evening meant I had time to finish a couple of cards. I've been wanting to play along with The Challenge from Lesley Croghan for a while and was happy to find I haven't missed the deadline for The Challenge #27.

My translation of the sketch and colors is about as literal as you can get, but this pair of butterfly dies as been sitting on my desk forever, waiting to be used. How handy that Darnell is running a new Never Before Used Schtuff challenge, NBUS #4, starting today. I'm sure everyone reading here is already familiar with the delightful and generous Darnell, but if not please head over and say hi.


I tend to make top fold cards, but had a Smoky Shadow card base cut already. I love that this orientation gave me the opportunity to run my flags on the inside of the card.

This second card is inspired by the jelly bean colors from the Curtain Call: Match 15 Jelly Bean Challenge and the sweet little birdhouse image from Muse #109, which were morphed to create this thank you card.

The clouds and windows are touched up with Wink of Stella for a little shine and glitter.

With Stefan away until tomorrow I expect to get a little more crafting time before I have to put together his belated birthday dinner together. Steak, sushi and a blueberry cheesecake are on his wishlist.

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Freshly Made Sketches #178 + Seize the Birthday

It was my dear husband's birthday yesterday and this is the card I made for him after my daughter snagged the one I'd made using Avery Elle's Surf's Up Volkswagen van image. I'd share a photo, but he always takes his cards to the office and it looks like it is gone already.

Along with a Porche and a Lamborghini, the Volkswagen bus is on his list of dream cars. He likes to horrifiy the kids every time we pass a particularly rundown one by asking if it has a For Sale sign.

The sketch from Freshly Made Sketches #178 was the starting point for my design, although I squared out the circle panel and move the banner in front for the sentiment.

The stamps & dies are all from PTI's On the Farm stamp set.

This card is also being linked to Seize the Birthday where there is always an Anything Goes option.

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MIM #205: Confetti Cluster Stamping + Seize the Birthday: Focus on the Sentiment & a crafting weekend

I really didn't mean to disappear for a couple of weeks but a landscaping project, new soccer schedule, and an annual retreat all conspired to keep me away from blogging. I finally have my supplies back in the office and was thrilled to play along with Lizzie Jones' Confetti Cluster stamping challenge for Make It Monday #205. You can check out her tutorial here

I computer generated a mask for the "happy" sentiment and stamped a number of small images from a few different stamp sets (Birthday Style, Topiary Trio, Birds & Blooms) to create the main part of the sentiment. Once it was done, the panel was finished with a Swoosh die cut and then adhered over an embossed panel.

This card is also being linked to the current Seize the Birthday challenge where the Toppings option is to "Make the Sentiment the Focal Point".

Our Badge

Do you want to see a few photos of our home away from home? Even though our retreat spot on Palomar Mountain is only an hour away, it really feels like a different world. There was even a little snow hanging around from the storm two weeks ago when we arrived but it quickly disappeared with the Santa Ana winds and high temperatures that came in for the weekend. 

I am used to palm trees and succulents, so seeing the daffodils in full bloom on the mountain was a treat. If you take a close look, you can see the trees are just starting to bud.

This acorn stuffed tree is the work of very busy woodpeckers that we heard all weekend.

Just in case you can't see the acorns in the bigger photo, here is a close-up of the stuffed holes.

Edited to add an Audubon link on the acorn woodpecker.

The farmhouse is for eating, reading, relaxing and sleeping and the green studio is where all the creative fun happens.

The studio saw basket weaving, loom weaving, scrapbooking, card making and mixed media art projects before it was once again time to pack up and head home. Is it wrong that I'm already thinking and planning for next year?

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, March 1, 2015

CTS112 + CASology 135: Mini & Muse #106 + Simon Says

The blog has been a little quiet as I abandoned the family last week to rendez-vous with a couple of friends in Los Angeles for an impromptu girls trip.  After a week of restaurants, shopping, museums and maid service I am having a hard time getting back into menu planning, laundry, carpooling and all the other mundane day-to-day stuff, but a package waiting on my desk has made the transition a little less painful.

I combined the CASology Week 135: Mini challenge with CAS(E) this Sketch #112 to make this card. I love the new Swoosh stamps and dies from PTI!

The Amy Tangerine paper with the mini print is cut with the Hello die before a second die cut is made from red cardstock and the two pieces nestled together.

My second card was inspired this card from Shona Chambers as the Guest Designer for Muse #106.

I love that the sentiment takes center stage and is surrounded by hearts and the silvery shimmer on Shona's card and used these elements to put together my card.

I watercolored a panel with pink & lilac paints before cutting it with the heart border die. The larger white heart was in my diecut basket, leftover from Valentine's Day, so I used it as a sentiment panel for the Technique Tuesday stamp.

A silver shimmer diecut "you" replaces the word on the stamp.

This card is also being entered in the Wednesday Stamp Challenge at Simon Says Stamp, where Anything Goes this week.

Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog

Thanks for stopping by,