Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Can you believe it?

I'm actually  posting two days in a row!  Call "Ripley's Believe it or Not".

Anyway, since I got my mojo somewhat back the other day, I decided to keep it going and sat at my desk last night again, sketch in hand, and ideas flowing!

I decided to play with Cas(e) This Sketch # 104

Seemed simple enough right?

I decided this time I wanted to play with my stamps.  So I perused my stamp sets and came across this pretty stamp set from Stampin' Up.

It's a retired set that I had recently purchased from a c-worker who is a former Stampin' Up demonstrator.

I pulled out my CTMH Pigment inks in some pretty pinks and greens and stamped away.  Love the look of these two step stamps, and the pigment inks complimented the set perfectly!  I love the end results!

Now what should I play with?

Monday, December 29, 2014

The return of my mojo!

So it's been forever since I have posted.  When the preparations for the holidays started to roll around, I lost any bit of mojo I had.  This was the first Thanksgiving/Christmas without my mom, and it took all I had to keep moving forward for the sake of my family.  The last few months are a blur as I tried to tread water and keep it together.  I did make it through  both holidays, but it was definitely tough!

Yesterday I sat at my desk and slowly started cleaning the mess that had accumulated there.  As I slowly organized and purged, I felt a twinge of creativity.  "Baby steps" I said to myself, so I decided to color.

What better image is there to color than an Art Impressions stamp?  I had this Birthday Hat image lying around that I bought months ago, but hadn't played with.  So I took it out, stamped it with my memento ink, took out my Spectrum Noir markers and started coloring.  I could feel the tenseness leave my body as I actually started to enjoy the process.  I kept the card itself simple, but the time this one was completed, I had another card planned in my head.  Let's hope my mojo is here to stay!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Feeling Grateful

I actually had some free time to sit at my desk uninterrupted last night and in that time got three...yes, you heard right, THREE cards done.  Well, almost three.  Still need to put a sentiment on the last one, but for all intents and purposes it's done!

Both these cards were made with Close to My Heart Stamps.  The first card uses the Always Grateful stamp set and features some first and second generation stamping.  For those who don't know what that means, when you ink your stamp and then stamp on your paper, that's first generation.  If you then stamp again, without re-inking, the faded image you get is second generation. The fading makes the trees appear they are at a distance from the more vibrantly stamped trees in the foreground.  Love how this one turned out!

My second card also features stamps from Close to My Heart.  This time I used the Feathers stamp set.  I took three of the images and three colors of ink and randomly stamp them on white cardstock, creating a fun background, which I made the focal point of this card.  A simple stamped sentiment from the Always Grateful stamp set and it's done.  

I am feeling very thankful that I had time to create!  I hope I find more time again soon!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Holidays are coming!

Like it or not, the holiday season is fast approaching.  I personally would like to stay in fall for a bit longer, but I know in a blink of an eye Christmas will be here, with the long, dreadful winter on its heels.

So in that spirit, I made a Christmas card today.  I was just in the mood to experiment and play.  So I got my water color paper out, my Tim Holtz distress inks, and a brush and played with some colors (Faded Jeans, Broken China and Seedless Preserves) until I was happy.  Once that dried I sprayed on some Platinum Pearls Color Mist to give the background a nice sheen.

Then I stamped this adorable Snowman image from Art Impressions onto Neenah Solar White cardstock then colored with my Spectrum Noir Markers.  I assembled the snowman shaker (the stamp set comes with an action wobble spring) and I played with it for a few minutes before assembling the card.  Yes, I did giggle!

Anyway, I decided the snowman needed some snowdrifts to sit in, so I free handed a couple drifts and added holographic embossing powder to them.  At this point, everything on my desk was shiny and sparkly, as well as my hands, my shirts, my face, and my hair!  

I assembled the card and added the sentiment that came with the set.  Quite a cutie if I must say so myself!


Monday, October 6, 2014

It's been awhile...

During the last four years, I begin the school year with 6 weeks of hell that the school calls Soccer Season.  During those six weeks, my son eats, drinks, and sleeps soccer.  If there isn't a game, there's practice.  There is some form of soccer occurring daily.  Throw in piano lessons for my daughter and just the pains of getting back into the routine of school and you will understand my "hell".

Well, now the soccer season is coming to an end.  It's bittersweet as my son will be graduating this year.  Unless my daughter decides to pick up up soccer next year (which is unlikely), the "hell" that is soccer season is over forever.  Depressing as it is, it does mark the start of the Fall Season, which is my favorite!  Love all the pretty colors and  cool, crisp days.  Makes me smile.

On the bright side, I will have more time to sit at my desk and play with my stamps.  I did some more organizing over the weekend, and actually managed to get this card completed.  I utilized two stamp sets from Newton's Nook Designs, Wagon of  Wishes and Love a' la Carte . As well as some rich inks from Close to My Heart to create the background. Simple card, but a great way to usher in the season!

Happy Harvest!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Countdown to Christmas

It's another week, and there's another sketch challenge at Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2!

Here's this week's sketch.

I decided on an elegant Christmas card for this challenge, using this Christmas Poinsettia digital image from A Day for Daisies.  Lots of fun layers on this card and I used papers from My Minds Eye The Merry Days of Christmas and Welcome Christmas from Pebbles, Inc.  Reds are such a challenge to color, but I was happy with they way this finally turned out (only took three tries! LOL).

I think I'm going to go back to Halloween for the next card.  Black is more my color!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Halloween Fun

Just stopping in for a quick post and a card!

A couple weeks ago Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2 was sponsored by Dilly Beans Stamps.   I decided to check out Dilly Beans and am I ever glad I did!

Perusing the Dilly Beans store, I happened across the Halloween stamps (OK, I didn't "happen" upon them, I sought them out on purpose)!  As soon as I saw this image I envisioned him peaking out a window, hence the inspiration for this card.

Fairly simple but fun nonetheless!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Two for Saturday

I know it's two for Tuesday, but it's Saturday and I ain't waiting until Tuesday to post!

I decided to check out a new to me digital stamp store, A Day for Daisies.  They are sponsoring this week's challenge at Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2  All I can say is WOW!  Digital stamp overload!! What a selection!  I wanted them all, but settled on a couple Halloween images and a Christmas image.

So, since Halloween is closest, I decided to play with this image called Monster Molly and created a card to go with the sketch challenge.

So here is my take on the sketch.  Gotta' love googly eyes!

And since this image is stinkin' cute, and I LOVE Halloween, I played with it some more!

Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pumpkin is Back!

Have you heard?  Pumpkin is back at Dunkin' Donuts! I love PUMPKIN everything - coffee, lattes, muffins, cake, donuts, everything but pumpkin pie. Go figure!

So my friend and I celebrated and drove to DD for our first fix of pumpkin for 2014. Of course we got our Pumpkin Coffee and our Pumpkin Latte iced since it was a gazzillion degrees today.  Really too hot to enjoy pumpkin, but I suffered through it.

Why am I talking so much about pumpkins? Well, that was the inspiration behind this card I made for Newton's Nook Designs Inky Paw Challenge #13.  Been awhile since I played with Newton, so it was long overdue!  I used two stamp sets for this card.  Love a la Carte and Chicken Scratches.  I made one of the background paper with the honeycomb stamp in the Chicken Scratches set and used the Love a la Carte set for the pumpkin and the sentiment. Cute card for fall, or anytime you crave a little pumpkin!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday, Monday

Happy Labor Day!

It's the unofficial end of summer and it's going out in a hot soupy mess!!  What's a girl to do on a gross, sticky day off??  Create of course!

So I decided to play with this sketch from CAS(E) this sketch.

This sketch had me stumped at first, so I figured I should clean off my desk since it's been WEEKS since I've seen the top of it.  In my organizing and cleaning, I found some Magic Mesh I received as a freebie in one of my classes at CKC.  As I picked it up I knew immediately what I'd do with it!  So I just cleared about a 10 inch space on my desk and started to create.  I colored this cute Happy Bugg Cupcake digital stamp from Tiddly Inks.  I picked the perfect colors from the Pale Pink shades of my Spectrum Noir Markers to color her hat and dress.  Of course no wings would be complete without a little bit of Wink of Stella to make them shimmer!!

Now to go clean up my mess, again!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nuts about my BFF!

Yesterday was one of my dearest friend's birthday!  She is my friend because she's crazy, just like me.  I mean LOCO crazy, I mean bat-poop crazy, I mean certifiably insane crazy, like me!  OK, we are both just a little nuts, but we always have a good time together, and she knows how to make me laugh.

So what better image to make her a card with than this one from Art Impressions??  This is just how much we both laugh when we get together.

Everyone should have a friend who makes them pee themselves, and I'm fortunate to have several!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Super Sunday Card!

Ok, I know it's really Monday by the time this is posted, but I DID make this card on Sunday!

So I didn't get picked for the DT over at Tiddly Inks (insert big sad face here), but it's all good.  I know my day will come when I will be picked for a Design Team again.  I've been out of the game for almost 6 years. It ain't gonna' happen overnight.  I"ll keep chugging away and doing what I enjoy most!

Anyway, just because I didn't get picked doesn't mean I'm not going to play with Tiddly Inks' awesome designs.  I don't think that will ever happen since I have such a love affair with these stamps!

I decided to play with the My Super Boy stamp set this time and combine it with Operation Write Home's Sketch Challenge #236  The sketch lends itself perfectly to this image and the finished project is perfect for any Super Boy in your life!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just Chicken In.

Nope, I don't need spell check.  I did type Chicken.  And I'm just "chicken in" really quick to share a card.

How cute is this Chicken Scratches  stamp set from Newton's Nook Designs?  Stinkin' cute if you ask me.

This was a quick and easy card, easily put together, to let someone know I was thinking about them.  It really doesn't get any easier than this!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Getting Fiddly with Tiddly!

OMG breathe!!

That's what I had to tell myself when I read that Tiddly Inks was holding a Design Team call!  I knew right away that I wanted to apply. How could I not? I am in LOVE with Tiddly Ink images!  It was the first badge I put on this blog when I started it a year ago.   It's the site I turn to again and again when I need a new, inspiring image to color and play with.  But what would I do?  What would I create?  How would I create it? My mind just kept spinning!  It's been so long since I've been on a design team, but it should be like riding a bike, you don't forget how, right?  What if I'm not good enough?  What if they don't like me?  What if nobody sits with me at lunch??  Wait, what?  Oh, never mind.

So after some time I decided I would use this adorable image from Tiddly Inks Checking the List digital set, but what would I do?  I colored the image with my Spectrum Noir markers and let it sit for a few days, still thinking about just the perfect project to use it on.  Then it came to me, I would make one of those box cards, like the one I made my mom for Mother's Day and this cutie would be the star of the show (you can view my Mother's Day box card here if you don't regularly read my blog),    I pulled out my Basic Grey 25th and Pine papers and a few embellishments from my stash and got to work.  I am not sure if you can see it in the picture, but I added some shimmer to her hat and dress with my Wink of Stella clear glitter pen. I am very happy with the finished product, but then again it's not hard to create something so cute when  you are working with a Tiddly Ink image!

Oh, and because I was inspired, and because the rules of the DT Call said I could, I created another card with another image!  This time an easel card using the Be My Mummy image.  I've worked with him before and you can see that here, but the creative juices were flowing, and me being me, decided I needed to make a Halloween Card as a preview to this year's series of cards!  Hey, I love Halloween!  Don't judge me!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cupcake anyone?

I was poking around the Art Impressions blog today to leave some love on everyone's cards for last week's challenge and I stumbled upon a new to me sketch challenge site called Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2.  They currently have an awesome sketch challenge with a twist.  This is the sketch:

and the twist was to use polka dots.

So my mojo started churning (is that what mojo does?) and I decided to make a card with this adorable image from Tiddly Inks called Bake me Some Love which I colored with my Spectrum Noir markers.  I found these pattern papers in my stash - not sure who makes them as I've had them a LONG time. I used the Whimsical Flowers Die from Simon Says Stamp for the flower and the sentiment is from Newton's Nook Design Love a la Carte stamp set.  I was quite happy with how this all came together!

Now to go take some Tums for my churning mojo!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Shakin' some Santa Booty!

I spent last weekend in Lancaster at the Creating Keepsakes convention with some friends.  I love this convention.  It's great being in a place with people who "get it".  Non crafty folks don't seem to really understand how we creative folks could sit for hours and get ink and paint on our hands and cut and trim papers and pictures.  No, coloring stamped images with alcohol markers is not "paint by number".  It's a therapeutic process that only we "crafters" can understand!

So while at Creaking Keepsakes, I visited the Art Impressions booth.  I simply LOVE their whimsical stamps.  Their Girlfriends line so reminds me of my circle of girlfriends -nutty, comical and keeping it real! Of course I picked up a couple of sets, including this Santa Shake set from their new Shake your Booty line. How stinking fun is this??

In poking around the Art Impressions Blog I found this great "Line an EmBOSS' Wet or Dry Embossing challenge.  So using the Holiday Words embossing folder from Sizzix I created this card.  I love that Santa's butt wiggles on the inside of the card.  Sure to bring a smile to anyone's face!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Smiling again

In an effort to move forward and heal my heart, I decided that for awhile I would only work with stamps that make me smile.  I approached my desk hoping that my mojo would return and there in the corner were new, unopened, un-fondled stamps that I had ordered prior to my mother's passing and that I had forgotten about in the cloud I've been in since.

So I rifled through the stamps and came upon this set I ordered from Tiddly Inks called Chloe and Peeps.   Well, a smile immediately returned to my lips and a decided to play with it.  Definitely a mood lifter as I was able to concentrate on my creation.  This little character is just too cute.  The pattern papers are from Studio Calico - Darling and Dear and I used Spectrum Noir markers to color the image.  It's cute and it made me smile, even if just for a bit.

Now to play with something else to make me smile!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Just a quick post today with a quick card.  Trying to get back into the swing of things here and making it a point to save time out of the day  for my therapy, playing at my desk.

A few weeks ago I won a  gift certificate to The Paper Trail and with it I got this stamp from Magenta called "Framed Daisies".  I stamped the image on heavy weight card stock and then colored it in with my Spectrum Noir markers and did some paper piecing for the frame.   I found the little die cut pieces from my stash (leftovers from a card making class I took at Creating Keepsakes convention last year).  The pattern paper comes from a My Minds Eye Paper pack I had in my stash (I think, it's kinda' old). But anyway, the card was quick, simple, and good therapy!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Life's Journey

So whoever regularly reads my blog probably has noticed that I have been missing in action for the last couple weeks.  So this is catch- up time and a card that got lost in the whirl wind (spoiler alert, you will probably need a tissue).

For those who don't personally know me, my mom was diagnosed back in December with congestive heart failure. She was 83 and her lungs had been filling up with fluid since about Thanksgiving.  I convinced her to go to the hospital where they made the diagnosis, put her on some good medications and within a few weeks she was feeling better.  Her color was good, her chest wasn't rattling she was walking around, a little weak, but still up and at 'em (well, at least as well as an 83 year old could be).  Here is a picture of her and my dad from Christmas.

Ain't she just the cutest?

Over the next several months however, mom became weaker and weaker and shortly after her 84th birthday in February, she became almost completely bed bound and dependent on oxygen.  She took all her meals in her bed and only got up to walk to the bathroom and to sit for a little while in the chair in her bedroom.  She kept her spirits up as much as possible, but by Easter she was angry, depressed and lonely.  I would go visit her as much as I could and spent hours in the chair in her bedroom just "being" with her.  Eventually we had to hire a home health aide for a few hours a day.  It was good companionship for my mom and gave a much needed break to my dad who, at 84, was her primary caretaker.  However, every day she became weaker and more frail.

Late June my family and I went to my mom’s house for an overnight visit on our way to the beach, however, that night and she took a turn for the worse. She became unresponsive and we called the family together.  We spent the night by her side, keeping vigil.  At one point my niece was sitting on the bed between my mother and my father and took this picture.  This is what over 60 years of marriage looks like.

The next morning my mother awoke as if nothing happened and asked for her breakfast. She had no memories of the night before, didn't remember the paramedics and police in her bedroom didn't know that the family had spent hours by her bed, she just wanted her toast.

That day I worked with my dad to set up hospice care.  We knew how this was going to end, and we needed to make mom and dad as comfortable as possible. We met with nurses, social workers, and aides that next day.  There is a special place in heaven for hospice workers as one was nicer than the next.  I knew mom and dad were in good hands when I left to return to PA on June 19th.  I gave my mom a big kiss, told her I loved her and said I'd be back the following week.

Little did I know that was the last time I would see her.  On the morning of June 27th my brother called me to tell me that my mom had passed in her sleep.  I was devastated.  My mom was my best friend and my confidant.  Not a day went by that I didn't call her, most days several times.  The last few weeks have been a blur to me, but there is one thing that has stood out, and that is the amount of love and support that I have been surrounded with by my family, my friends, my community, my co-workers.  I am blessed.  The journey without my mom will be hard, but I know that I will make it with the help of many.  This card is dedicated to all of you who have prayed for me and my family, hugged us, cooked for us, made us laugh, let us cry or just kept us in your thoughts.  I appreciate each and every one of you.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Keeping cool!

It's gonna' be a hot, sticky day here in Northeast PA.  But I'm not complaining!  Just a few short months ago I was looking at this:

Bring it summer.  I'm ready.

But, if you're hot, here's another image to keep you cool!

These penguins are just too cute for words!  Another image from the Newton's Nook Wild Child set.  To make the background, well technically the foreground, I embossed some snowflakes on watercolor paper then did a resist watercolor using Tim Holtz Broken China and Faded Jeans inks.  I punched a scallop circle in the corner then mounted it on some white card stock on which I had stamped and colored my image. I added some diamond Stickles on some of the snowflakes to add just a little bit of shimmer.  So cute!

Feeling cooler now?  Christmas is only 183 days away!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Going in Circles!

As soon as I saw Operation Write Home's sketch challenge for yesterday, my mind started to run in circles.

I almost immediately knew what I wanted to do!  I decided to make the circles into windows with the little insects from  Close to My Heart's Buggy Love stamp set peeking out.  I have the green card stock on dimensional adhesive to help make the circles feel more like windows.  These cute insects add a touch of whimsy to the card. Just too stinkin' cute.  I added some Wink of Stella to the each insect for a little shimmer.  I'll probably recreate this in layers for submission to OWH and also without the Wink of Stella, but I was happy how this one turned out!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Flag Day

I wrote a couple weeks back how I wanted to start making cards to send to Operation Write Home. Well, I am happy to report that I'm making steady progress in that endeavor and my goal is to have a box full of cards to send by the end of the summer.  (I'm hoping before, but I'm trying to be realistic with my time, or lack thereof!)

Anyway, one of OWH's needs is for Missing You cards, which was the inspiration for this card.  I thought the map paper from American Crafts DIY Shop 6 x 6 paper pad was the perfect backdrop for a "missing you" card for one of our heroes. The stamp is one one of those dollar Studio G stamps I picked up at Walmart.

I hope the card one day will find its way to someone and brighten their day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Time to celebrate! Why?  Well, it's my coworker's birthday for one, and as usual, I got pegged to make the card!  Keeping with the "why are men so difficult?" theme, I kept it somewhat clean and simple.

Happy Birthday Jeff, hope it's a great one!

I'm also celebrating because once again I was honored by Newton's Nook Designs when my Wild Thing card was picked as a "top pick" in Newton's Nook Inky Paws challenge #10.  Again, I am  humbled and honored, but I have to give all the credit to the stamps, they make it easy to be creative! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Gloomy Monday

It's a gloomy Monday morning here is Northeast PA.   After a sun filled weekend it's hard to go back to work when it's dreary.  So I'll turn my thoughts to rainbows.

I decided to play along with CAS(E) this Sketch again.  Here is this week's sketch challenge.

I decided on a simple one layer card with lots of stamping and lots of colors using my Oodles of Doodles stamp set.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this set?  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I took a look at CASE This Sketch Challenge #78 a few days ago, shook my head and said "nope I could never come up with something for that sketch!"  I closed the page and went on my merry way.  BUT, the thought of the sketch kept popping up, taunting me, daring me to get out of my comfort zone and take the plunge.  It was like Darth Vader trying to lure Luke Skywalker to the dark side.  I tried to resist, but the force was just too strong and unlike Luke, I succumbed to its temptation.

So here is the sketch in question.

I decided to try some stenciling with this card, something I've only tried previously a few times with lackluster results (or at least lackluster to me).

I pulled out my Mariposa stencil from Crafter's Workshop and my Whimsy Exclusive Inks Mini Pigment Pads Set from Close to My Heart and some sponge daubers and inked away. I love the feeling of pulling up the stencil and seeing how it turned out on the card - exhilarating yet frightening at the same time.  Once I got all the butterflies stenciled on the side of the card, I wasn't too happy with all the white, so I got out my Tim Holtz Broken China ink, watered it down on my craft mat, loaded up my paintbrush and flicked away.  Then I finished it off with a greeting from Little Yellow Bicycle. I think if I made this card again I'd mask off the butterflies, but I was still happy with the results.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sunday, Fun-day!

Yesterday afternoon I was able to escape reality for a bit and spent a couple hours with two fellow card makers.  It is always nice to create with others who "get it" and share your passion.  I was sad when our impromptu session ended, but I was able to get two cards complete!  Yeah me!

I made this card for two challenges - Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge  and Newton's Nook Inky Paws challenge .  You already know how I feel about Newton's Nook Designs, but how stinkin' cute is this image??  It's from the Wild Child stamp set.  You should really hop on over to Newton's Nook Designs and check out all their stamp sets! 

Anyway, the challenge was to use wood, cork or metal in a project.  I thought this wood grain paper worked perfectly as the background for this card.  I used my Prismacolor Pencils to color the image and sponged the "sky" in the background to give the image some texture.  The sketch was the perfect way to highlight this cute image.  

Now it's Monday morning and it's back to the harsh reality of life.  I'll post my other card tomorrow.  Still needs some details that I'm hoping to work on tonight!

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lullaby and Goodnight

Shhh....can't you see the baby is sleeping?

How precious is this stamp set from Newton's Nook Designs. ?  So stinkin' cute.  But what set from NND isn't adorable?

Lot's of fun techniques going on in this card.  First, I used my water color paints to make the background. Then I stenciled on the stars using modeling paste which I mixed with Gelatos and glitter.  I stamped the image on a separate piece of  paper, colored it with my water colored pencils and then cut it out. The final step was to stamp the sentiment and the grass from the same great stamp set.

Isn't it "dreamy"?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Today, this Memorial Day, I decided to take part in Operation Write Home's sketch challenge #226 and make a card to send to one of our heroes protecting our freedom. While I know that technically Memorial Day is the day to honor our fallen heroes, I decided the best way for me to do that was to support our current heroes. 

Between the festivities of this weekend, I've spent a lot of time on Operation Write Home's website and have decided to take the plunge and start making cards to send to our troops.  It's a great cause and kudos to Sandy Allnock for not only founding OWH but also for her tireless work with this great organization!

So here was the sketch to work with:

And here was my take:

I have a couple different techniques going on with this card.  I took a large background stamp from CTMH and inked it up with two different colors of Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Fired Brick and Broken China).  I then used the same two inks to create the water color background in the main panel.  Loved how this all pulled together!

So go on over the OWH's website and check it out.  Join me and make some cards for a great cause!