Blog Candy Alert: I'm celebrating my 8th year of blogging!
Join my celebrations here.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Piling On one more card for 2013!

It's the final week of 2013, I can't believe it! It's also the final week of our "P is for..." Challenge at Pile It On (deadline January 4). I couldn't resist making one final card! Our sponsor for the month of December is Jellypark, so I used her Penguin with Woolly Hat digi stamp.

I piled on five "P" items: Penguin, Pocket, Polka Dots, [liquid] Pearls, and Postage Stamp. You can check out all the beautiful DT projects, including my other Penguin card, and join the challenge here at Pile It On!

I made a lot of these "Diagonal Double pocket cards" this year, as we mostly gave Gift Certificates. I got the idea from my mom, who had learned the technique at Scraps of Love. It's a variation of Claudia Rosa's tutorial at Splitcoaststampers. I like it because the card look good without or without the gift and is a fun way to use a double-sided paper, although in this case I used a one-sided paper so that I had white sheet on the inside for the message. This striking black-and-white paper is from a Recollections collection.

For the pearl accents, I used black and white Opal Liquid Pearls, and a gold Viva Pearl Pen. The penguin was painted with the same liquid pearls, it worked really nicely. The hat was paper-pieced with a shiny white paper, and detailed with a gold pen.

The sentiment piece was embossed/cut with a Christmas present (well, a post-Christmas-sale present, from my mom!) A.C. Moore had this and other specially-priced Pagemap/Spellbinders die sets, and this set goes along with a Pagemaps set I already own. And Mom bought herself a present too! We had such a nice visit.

I cut the foil stamp from a white card covered with a gold Rolo wrapper using my Xryon sticker machine, and popped it up with foam tape. I stamped the "warm wishes" sentiment with Staz-on. The middle fold was decorated with a lacey tape, and I added some scrap white ribbon just for good measure. The penguin is on an Action Wobble.

I'm entering this into the following Challenges:
Alphabet Challenge: W is for Whatever You Wish
Animal Friends Challenge: Anything Goes with an Animal
Crafts 4 Eternity #156: Something New (the die is new & this is my newest favorite fold)
Crafty Calendar: Cold and Frosty
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Bling

Thank you for visiting and hope you'll join us at Pile It On,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My first Crafting with Dragonflies DT project -- Christmas Tags

So, like many of us, I keep quite busy in the online crafting world: I'm a sponsor/DT coordinator, on 3 design teams, and volunteer twice a week at Paper Playful. However, I just couldn't pass up the invitation to join the Crafting with Dragonflies team. Hey, why the heck not?!
This is my first challenge as part of the DT. Our theme for this fortnight (I know that not a word we Americans use, but this is an Australian-based challenge & I really like the word!) is Christmas Tags. So, no cards, tags only!

I used Santa in Chimney by QKR Stampede to make tags for some little presents for our nieces and nephews. We visited them last month, and my Mom had bought them all sweet little ornaments, so I cut the boxes with my Silhouette (using a design by Lori Whitlock) and added the paper-pieced tags.

I pieced the image in three pieces: the base, which includes the chimney; his body and coat (which I digitally paper-pieced with a textured-red digi paper); and his bag, which was cut from a shiny green paper. I heat-embossed the names (I have a tutorial here). I used white flocking and Polar White FlowerSoft for Santa's beard and trim.


Here is a sample of the lovely ornaments Mom sent:

Inspiration/Challenges:
All Crafts Challenge: Anything but a Card
Anonymous Stamps Challenge: Anything Goes (optional theme: Deck the Halls)
MarkerPOP Challenge: Happy Holidays + Copics
Miriam's Crafting Blog Monthly Challenge: Homemade Gifts
My Craft Creations: Always Anything Goes
Perfectly Rustics: Christmas Gift


Many thanks to the Crafting with Dragonflies team for welcoming me into the fold. Hope you all will join us for this challenge! Thank you for visiting,


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Paper-Pieced Penguin

The Pile It On Challenge is having its yearly December-long challenge, this year with the theme P is for...! The challenge will actually run 5 weeks, December 1 - January 4. You can enter as many times as you like, providing it is a new challenge made with our rules in mind.

I piled on four "P" items: Penguins, Polka Dots, Liquid Pearls, and Poinsettia. 

Our sponsor for the month of December is Jellypark, so I used her Penguin with Woolly Hat digi stamp:


The penguin and snowflake cut files are from Santa's North Pole Workshop set by SVG Cuts. I used SCAL to make the borders ... don't you think the ones on the inside look like the back of a line of penguins‽

The fabric poinsettias are from my stash, and although the one on top was already pre-glittered, I added some gold Stickles for extra shimmer.

The Notch-Swing card design was self-designed; If you'd like to try it yourself, the cutting file are available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.

Inspiration/Challenges:
Crafting By Designs: Christmas/Winter
Digi Sketch Challenge: Paper Piecing (2nd entry)
Fab 'n' Funky #195: Cute critters
Jellypark Friends Friday Challenge: Christmas
Left of Center Creative Challenges: LOC or No People
Shopping Our Stash #121: Holiday Or Winter (the fabric poinsettias are from my stash)
Simon Says Stamp (Wednesdays): Anything Goes
Simply Create Too #51: Snow or Use Only White
Sweet Pea Stampers: Lots of Texture
The Crazy Challenge: Snowy winter

Update: This was the random prize winner for Fab 'n' Funky "Cute Critters" Challenge!

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us this week at Pile It On,

Anything Goes at Sunshine Mail

Happy December! It's time for a new Sunshine Mail Foundation Challenge. Our theme is "Anything Goes" and the only real rule is that you send in at least one card (it doesn't have to be the card you enter in the challenge; Donation guidelines here).

Our sponsor is Deasy Designs, so I used one of their freebies:
 It's on an Action Wobble:

Inspiration/Challenges:
Action Wobble Challenge: CAS card
Crafty Ribbons #72: Anything Goes with Ribbon
Creative Card Crew: Sweet Treats
Digi Sketch Challenge: Paper Piecing (2nd entry)
Simon Says Stamp (Wednesdays): Anything Goes (2nd entry)

Thank you for visiting,and hope you'll join the Sunshine Mail Challenge,

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cacti Christmas

Our theme this week at Pile It On! is Non-Traditional Christmas, either non-traditional colors or a non-traditional image. I played with the idea of Christmas being traditionally being portrayed as a snowy time; my folks live in Arizona, and lots of people decorate their cacti!

I used a digi stamp from our sponsor, Milly with Toffee Apple by Pink Gem Designs
I've hand-cut my own step cards before, and I've even designed my own version in SCAL to cut on my Silhouette, which is why I was very willing to pay the 99¢ for this Side Step Card by Lori Whitlock from the Silhouette store. Funny story: a local crafting friend got a Silhouette around the same time I did, and we laughed that some of the first files we bought were cut designs we've hand-cut in the past! Nothing like experience to foster commerce.

I also used the Cactus Set by Sarah Bailey, which I layered with both sides a Core'dinations cardstock and a shiny red paper. I bought the caramel apple brads last year at Scraps of Love, and the geckos are from a punch also purchased there.


Challenges:
ABC Christmas Challenge: Winter Wishes
A Gem of a Challenge #107: Sparkle + Pink Gem digi
Aud Sentiments Challenge #94: Any Sentiment
Creative Corner #45: Heavy Metal
Crafter's Cafe #38: Metal
Crafty Creations: American Thanksgiving/Christmas
Flourishes Timeless Tuesday: Winter Scenes
Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge: Warm Christmas
Stampin' For The Weekend: Feeling Festive
Stamps & Fun = Creativity: Digi stamp


Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us this week at Pile It On,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Layered leaf Notch-swing card

Ya'll are going to get tired of my notch swing cards...I'm just having too much fun playing with my Silhouette machine! I've pre-cut some front panels from my favorite DPs, and this lovely yellow pattern from Graphic 45 worked well for this week's colourQ challenge.



I also used my Silhouette to cut the leaf overlay embellishment (you can read more about my process in this post.

For the the sentiment, I created it in SCAL using the Georgia font and the "Union" tool. I cut it from a yellow paper and used chalks to add some dimension. I sprayed it with a matte coating to set the chalk, and used orchid Liquid Pearls for the border.

If you'd like to try it yourself, this Notch-Swing card design is now available for purchase as SVG files in my Etsy Shop.

Inspiration/Challenges:
Chalk N Stock: Anything goes just use chalk (on sentiment)
colourQ challenge: Color combo #215
Connie Can Crop: Leaf it up to me...
Creative Card Crew #49: Pearls
HIMCR #124: Die Cuts


Thank you for visiting,

Leaf Overlay card

Although I love my SCAL software, I really enjoy the "Internal Offset" and "Subtract All" tools in the Silhouette Studio software. My husband suggested this layered design, and although I've only gotten it to work well with their free Moroccan Background, I'm having fun making different shapes with the same design. For this overlay card, I used Silhouette's free Maple Leaf shape.


I bought a paper pack of Autumn colors at JoAnn's, which gave me a nice mix of colors for this one. I added some gemstones and a wooden embellishment that I painted with a gold leaf pen.


Inspiration/Challenges:
Craftitude #53: Anything Goes/Falling Leaves
Crafty Catz: Anything But a Square
Suzy Bee's Bloomin' Challenge: Shaped Card


Thank you for visiting,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Shine On! -- Anything Goes at Sunshine Mail

It's time for a new Sunshine Mail Foundation Challenge (November 15 - December 1). Our theme is "Anything Goes" and the only real rule is that you send in at least one card (it doesn't have to be the card you enter in the challenge; Donation guidelines here).   

We're also having a big giveaway to collect lots of cards for a bunch of request special requests. We all make so many cards, we can definitely send in one or two to give a child a smile! You can enter the giveaway here.

Our sponsors are Di's Digi Downloads and Big Heads Stamps, two really fun digi stamp companies, and I used Renoir by Big Heads:
The outer frame is modified from the Frame 2 cutting file that came free with my Silhouette software. I used baker's twine to sew the border onto the frame.

I digitally placed the polka dot background (digi paper by Mel Stampz) into the image, but I also fussy-cut the image out, for a bit of dimension. The umbrellas are printed on a shiny white paper, same as the outer frame. I colored the image with Copics, and heat-embossed the sentiment (Verve Stamps) in gold. The cloud is popped up with foam tape.

Inspiration/Challenges:
Crazy 4 Challenges: Let's frame it
Ooh La La Creations: Stitching
The Paper Girls: Cut it out! (Die or Fussy Cutting - This has both)

Thank you for visiting,and hope you'll join the Sunshine Mail Challenge,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crafting With Dragonflies GDT / Card with Stickpins + Things with wings

I'm pleased to be guesting designing along with the talented Crafting with Dragonflies team for their two-week Card with Stickpins + Things with Wings challenge.


I made the quilted background with scraps, and placed the white frame over it. I made the overlay in SCAL and cut it on my Silhouette. I added "score lines" to give a stitched look; I inked the piece with Antique Linen distress ink to bring out the "stitching". The ribbon and twine are from my stash; in fact, those little pieces in the corner were all I had left! Glad I kept those little bits. The mesh ribbon is from May Arts. The stick pins came pre-beaded from Recollections. The tiny butterflies were cut from scrap paper using SU!'s Beautiful Wings Embosslits die.

For the large butterflies, I used my sticker machine to adhere fabric to cardstock, and stamped the butterflies using dye inks. I then I punched them out with the stamp set's matching punch, both discontinued from Stampin' Up. The sentiment is from the same set; I stamped it onto a scrap of Shrinky Dink plastic, cut it into a banner shape and punched some holes, and then shrank it in my toaster oven.

Inspiration/Challenges:
Addicted to Stamps Challenge #69: Punches and dies + Stamping
Crafting with Dragonflies: Card with Stickpins + Things with Wings
Hiding in my Craft Room: Super Scraps
Jo's Scrap Shack Challenge #25: Things With Wings
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Use Ink

Update: This got a Top 3 spot at Jo's Scrap Shack.

Many thanks to the Crafting with Dragonflies team for letting me join them for this fun challenge. Hope you all will join us! Thank you for visiting,

Happy Movember!

Are you familiar with the Movember Foundation? They promote Men's Health, and every November they fund-raise by having volunteers grow their mustache! Well, they ask the men to grow their mustaches...women can participate as well. Because I support Women's Health organizations, I'm happy to help out my brothers obtain the same kind of specialized care.

This year, a H.S. friend has set up a group with some of her girlfriends, and her photo on their Movember page inspired this card:

The notch swing card was designed in Sure Cut A Lot (SCAL) and cut with my Silhouette electronic die-cutting machine. All of my Notch Swing Cards are archived here

If you'd like to try it yourself, this card design is now available for purchase as SVG files in my Etsy Shop.

The Mustache Silhouette SVG is from BeaOriginal, and I used foam tape to adhere it to the polka-dot-embossed paper (Jo-Ann's) . The opposite side of the central swing piece was heat-embossed with a stamp from TPC Studio's Retro Technology set. The ribbon is from American Crafts, the flowers are Prima, the mini brass brad is from Burlin & Co., the white cardstock is from Recollections Metallics line, and the whimsical DP is by .

Be sure to check out my friend's Movember group, the Edgar Allen Mos. You will will a big kick out of my color inspiration!

Inspiration/Challenges:
Crafting By Designs: Anything goes
Scrapbook Stamp Society: Black & White + 1 Colour [I won the runner-up prize! Thanks!]
Scrapping4funChallenges: Anything Goes
WordArt Wednesdays: Anything goes + Uplifting

Thank you for visiting,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

MaMaw Goes Skiing -- Using our tools at PIO

This week at the Pile It On Challenge, we're showing off our crafting tools! I have accumulated quite a few over the years, and really only used a relative few. Our sponsor is Inky Impressions, so I used their fun MaMaw Skiing digi stamp:


The tools I used for this card were my Silhouette cutting machine, the BigShot (for the die-cut flower), and a Martha Stewart punch. I also used my deckle scissors, and a needle to sew on the buttons.

The notch swing card was designed in Sure Cut A Lot (SCAL) and cut with my Silhouette electronic die-cutting machine. All of my Notch Swing Cards are archived here.

It's one of my favorite go-to designs, as you have lots of room to decorate! 


The center rotates on small slits or notches. You can do this with dies, but it's a cinch to  cut it with your electronic die-cutting machine! I cut a bunch of them on different papers and mix-and-match.

You can decorate the inside too!
If you'd like to try it yourself, this card design is now available for purchase as SVG files in my Etsy Shop.

Inspiration/Challenges:
C.R.A.F.T. #232: Christmas
A Creative Romance: Winter Blues
Divas by Design: Use a digi
House That Stamps Built: Snow fun
Inky Impressions #133: Dies and Punches
Jingle Belles: Holiday Traditions (I made this for a former co-worker, who has a tradition of taking the train up to the mountains by herself on weekday afternoons in the winter; Although she's been injured several times and is in her 70s, she still skis whenever she can! She was a professor at the University where I worked, and I remember that she'd get back in time for her night classes. A real inspiration for all of us.)
Top Tip Tuesday #113: Seasons
Paper Shelter Challenge #136: Winter fun


Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us this week at Pile It On,