Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Good day everyone! Today starts another challenge at Inky Impressions. It is not my team's week to provide the DT cards, but I like to try to do a card anyway to keep my routine going. I wasn't sure that I'd get one done this week, however, as it has been a hectic two weeks around my house. There has been a lot of stress as we've been dealing with refurbishing what had been my Mother's house getting it ready to sell. We'd had renters in it since my Mother's death, and they badly abused the property, leaving us with a lot of work and expense. I also had two out of town trips (one day turn a rounds), and peas and beans had to be harvested from our garden, shelled and gotten into the freezer, so I've not been in my crafting room very much. In the end, I was able to get in there long enough yesterday to get this VERY simple card done for posting (although the more I look at it, the more I wonder if I should have skipped posting it).

This week, at Inky Impressions, the challenge is BUTTONS. We'd like to see any piece of paper crafting using buttons.  One lucky random winner will win a $10 gift certificate to spend at the on line Inky Impressions store!!  

As I said, my card is very plain and simple this week. I used yesterday's sketch from Tuesday Morning Sketches, my adorable inky image, a couple sheets of patterned paper and some card stock. I am not totally happy with the results, but it is what it is.  More than likely, knowing myself as I do, I will rework this card later when time permits. 

I stamped the image (Chatterbox Lili LA11-CL07) onto X-Press It brand card and colored all of it except the blouse with Copic markers. I paper pieced the blouse by stamping just that portion onto red dotty paper and cutting it out (yes, even the tiny pieces under the phone cord and by her knee). I do like how my image turned out. I think Lili is rather pretty.

I then cut the image and matted it with black card. I matted the red dotty background paper, as well as the blue DP, with black . The sentiment is a clear stamp which I cut into an oval shape using a Nellie Snellen die (any oval shape die will work; I just happened to have the NS die out at the time). I tried matting the sentiment with black, but that made the piece a bit too big. I realize now that I probably should have inked around the edges with black to give it more definition. You know what they say about hindsight (smile). I added the buttons and the blue corner.

Now, don't let my lack of creativity deter you. This is a wonderfully "easy" challenge (who doesn't have buttons?), so we'd love for you to join our challenge. For better inspiration, hop over to the Inky Impressions Challenge blog and have a look at what this week's DT team has created. Some super lovely cards over there for you to see.

Take care.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Last TMS Retro Sketch

Hi there friends. This week is our last sketch from the past at Tuesday Morning Sketches. I hope you've enjoyed our birthday month and a look at all the oldie but goody sketches that we've been sharing with you. Here is this week's sketch from the past:

While our sketch may be old, our sponsor is brand new!  Your Next Stamp is here and I am so excited.  Have you seen this store?  Wow!  Great stamps, great dies and the owner is such a sweetheart!  She has provided each of the DT members with a darling image to use, so do go visit.

I have colored my image using my Copic markers. Isn't she cute? The sentiment was also sent along with the image, so I decided to use it, keeping the card very "open ended" for when I need one. Depending on the sentiment/verse I put on the inside, this card can be used for anything from a congratulatory card to a birthday greeting.

Starting with a white card base, I pretty much followed our wonderful sketch completely. The designer papers and the brown card stock all came from my stash, so I don't have manufacturer information for you -- sorry, but I realized I do need to start using up some of the vast stash of papers that I have, so no dipping into the newer pads that still have names attached. The three buttons (two orange and one brown) came from my small button box,

This is a clean and quick but great sketch, and a super card for me to have on hand for those "oops" moments when I realize I've had one of my senior moments and am suddenly needing one. As I said, the simple sentiment on the front can apply to various occasions.

I hope you will have a chance to visit Tuesday Morning Sketches this week and see the cards that my fellow DT members have made. Then, I hope you will join us in our last birthday bash challenge. Next Tuesday we will have a brand new sketch as Melissa, our wonderful "boss-lady" has been busy designing and getting ready for a fabulous new TMS year.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Out of My Comfort Zone

I think I may have mentioned before that I get together with a girlfriend every other Wednesday to craft, shop, do lunch -- whatever we're in the mood to do. She lives about 60 miles away, but we have fun, so it is worth the trip. Yesterday was "that" Wednesday. My friend is a bit of a crafting "shopaholic" so I never know what new things we are going to have to play with until I get there (smile).

So, before going on with my story, let me review a few things. This will come as no surprise to many of you, but  I (1) tend to be a bit OCD, so stick to clean lines, symmetric, balanced layouts, and an organized style; (2) tend to be rather conservative in my design approach; (3) many of my cards tend to pretty much look similar. I think my cards are pretty, but I don't tend to be overly adventurous or experimental -- um, sadly the word stodgy is popping into my head (yikes, please say it isn't so!).

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. My girlfriend and I decided yesterday, based on some recent purchases of hers, that we were going to venture out of our comfort zones. We had no real idea or direction in mind, but as I looked at the embossing folders and dies she had, my Muses kept whispering grunge (OK, they were actually having to yell since that style is so totally alien to my general nature).

White base card smudged with brown ink was already a stretch for me (sigh), layered with black and then the embossed kraft (also smudged with the brown ink) was really pushing it (LOL)! The embossing folder, I believe, is a Tim Holtz design. Topped all of that off with some Spellbinder dies (also smudged) and a couple of colored rhinestones (you can't quite catch them in the photo, but there is one on each side of the sentiment die and one holding the hands of the clock. Not a whole lot of "design work" going on, but a giant leap for me since I was starting to hyperventilate and go into a panic attack at this point (not really; just kidding). It was actually kind of fun to go in a totally different direction, get messy and abandon all my normal restraints -- at least for this one time -- however, I think I'm going to leave grunge to that adorable Tim Holtz and just go back to being my comfortable, stodgy self. That's what truly makes ME happy!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Inky Birthday Challenge

July seems to be a very popular month for birthdays (or so it seems to me). In my own family, July has been full when it comes to celebrations -- and they all seemed to have been clustered into a one week span. My sweet mother-in-law just celebrated her 88th birthday on the 22nd. My Daddy's birthday was the 21st, and my sister's was the 20th (although both now celebrate heavenly birthdays). Ah, and there are more, but I won't bore you with family history (smile). This week at Inky Impressions, our theme is birthdays. We would like to see a birthday card made by you -- whether celebrating a first birthday or a 101st, everyone loves getting a special card on their special day!

This week we are sponsored by the fabulous

Who are offering one lucky winner a ribbon bundle in gorgeous shades of pink

Isn't little Lili cute with her fist full of balloons, and her party hat? I've printed her off to Cryogen card this time. I thought the bit of sparkle in the Cryogen paper added to the festive, party feel. I've colored Lili with my Copics, of course, and then cut her into an oval shape, bringing the balloons out of the oval by hand cutting around them. 

As I oft do, I've started with a white card base. I then put a layer of green card on top and then the designer paper is from My Mind's Eye "Hootenanny" pad. The background circle is cut from green card using Joy Craft die 6003/1004 (gotten from Dutch Paper Crafts). I used a piece of pink card from which I punched the two corner pieces and also the mat for the circle sentiment. I printed the sentiment off from the computer (digi stamp) and then colored the three little flowers with my pink Copic and added tiny pearl beads to their centers. I added a larger pearl to each of the two pink corners.

I hope I've inspired you in some small way and that you will join us this week in our birthday card challenge. Click over to the Inky Impressions challenge blog for full details and to see the inspiration cards created by the other DT members.

Challenges Entered:
Addicted to Stamps and More - Photo Inspiration
Divas By Design - Anything Goes
Ladybugs Crafts - Birthdays
Papertake Weekly - Die-ing for a Die
Challenges 4 Everybody - Anything Goes
Avenue 613 Create - Anything Goes
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion - Birthday

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Morning Sketches - Still Celebrating

Hi blogger friends. We are still celebrating our birthday month at Tuesday Morning Sketches with another "oldie but goody" sketch from our past. This is our sketch for this week's challenge:

I believe the first time we used this sketch was during the fall or winter (originally #169) and the DT all did wonderful Christmas and fall cards to inspire you. This time we are in the middle of a heat wave (smile), but our talented DT members have provided equally inspiring cards to pique your creative talents!

We are also being sponsored this week by CC Designs, and I believe there is a prize of 3 digital stamps for some lucky person.

My image (Swinging Love by LOTV) is on X-Press It brand card and colored with my Copic markers. Isn't that just the sweetest image? I cut the image using a Spellbinder circle die and then cut a blue mat using the Spellbinder scalloped circle die. My two designer papers are from My Mind's Eye "Playdate" 6 x 6" pad, and the scalloped border is from the KaiserCraft "Save the Date" 6.5" square pad. I've started (as I usually do) with a white base, matted the first DP with blue card. I then cut my second DP, which I also matted with blue, and adhered the scalloped border to the bottom. The blue and yellow roses are by Recollections, and the two small red buttons are from my stash. I typed and printed "BFFs Forever" from my computer and cut it into a fish tail banner shape which I "waved" by rolling it over the barrel of my craft knife before adhering to my card.

I hope you like my colorful little card, and I also hope you will visit the Tuesday Morning Sketches blog to have a look at what the other DT members have done. Then, as always, we hope we'll inspire you to join in this week's challenge. We always enjoy seeing what everyone else does with our sketches.

Challenges Entered:
Brown Sugar Challenge - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers Challenges - Anything Goes
Created With Love - Dogs
Kaboodle Doodles Challenge - Anything Goes
Paper Playtime Challenge - Patterned Paper

Monday, July 22, 2013

Inky Impressions Bookmarks

Hi everyone, it's Jenée here with a little Inky inspiration for you. The following project is really fun to do, and a wonderful way to use us some of those scraps in your scrapbag! I'm going to share with you two corner bookmarks that I've made using Lili's Stuffed Bunny. First, let me show you what I've done and then we'll get down to some of the particulars.

Since I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel (not to mention it would be a very long post), I am going to direct you HERE for wonderfully clear and easy instructions for the basic bookmark shape. The instructions by Beate at the link I've provided are clear, concise and VERY easy to follow.

I stamped Lili onto X-Press It brand card and colored her with my Copic markers. I actually colored the entire image (all the way to her little feet) and did a really nice job of it (if I say so myself), so I ended up making two photo copies of my colored image onto white card using my computer's copier. This allowed me to keep the original (for a card, perhaps?), but have the image for the bookmarks (thus the reason my two images look exactly the same on both bookmarks).

The designer papers, as well as the cardstock that I've used, have all come from the scrap bin. I've also used two different Spellbinder shapes to cut out the images. I wanted to mat my images once cut, but the next size die in each of the Spellbinder nestabilities that I used were too large, so I simply traced around the same die that I used to cut the image and hand cut the mats. I've used two different Martha Stewart punches to create the borders at the bottom of each bookmark.

You really can make these as simple or as fancy as you'd like. The shape and style of the bookmarks lend themselves to quite a lot of flexibility when it comes to decorating them, and of course, any of the little Inky Impression stamps would look adorable. I hope I've inspired you to have a go at making a few of these yourself -- and if you do, I'd love to see what you do, so please drop me an email with a picture or a link (

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Time Inky

Now this is more like it! Last week Inky Impressions challenged you to start making your Christmas cards -- a difficult task for this southern gal who is just beginning to enjoy the sunshine and summer temps. So, this week Inky is taking a 180 degree turn and asking you to use the SUMMER as your theme. HA! That's more my speed (grin).

I had a mental concept of what I wanted to do with this adorable image and summer themed card -- only my Muses decided different. This doesn't look a thing like my mental picture! The wonderful thing about the Inky Impressions stamps, though, is no matter what, you are going to get a cute, wonderful card. I used Beach Bound Lili. What is more summer than a trip to the beach?

I started with a white card and then layered yellow card on top. I then added a piece of DP from DCWV's summer 12 x 12" pad (it is several years old, so probably not still available). The strip down the side is also from that pad and is embossed swirls that reminded me of the sun. Unfortunately, most of it is covered by my image, but there is enough still showing to give the feel and concept I was after. I cut out my colored image using a Spellbinder die (S5-158, Timeless Rectangle). Although I had not planned on using ribbon, I simply have a hard time with baker's twine (my original plan). I don't know why I have a mental block about that element as I see so many other's use it quite artfully and tastefully. Anyway, the twine was nixed, so I had to substitute the ribbon instead. I finished the outside off with two small seashells and a pair of sun glasses by "Spare Parts."

Hope you will visit the Inky Impressions challenge blog and will join in this week's challenge.

Tuesday Throwdown - Anything Goes
The Crafting Cafe - Summer's Here

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Morning with Animals

Hello everyone. I hope you joined us last week in our birthday celebration at Tuesday Morning Sketches. We gave away some fantastic prizes! If you didn't get to play along with us, then I hope you can join us this week. It is another judged challenge -- which means that in addition to our wonderful sketch, there is a twist. Can you guess what it is? First, let me show you the sketch.

Pretty neat, eh?  We're still having fun with some older sketches. We would like to see you use the sketch AND use an animal image. If you have followed me for a while, you already know that I don't consider animals to be my forte! I consider them more my Achilles heel, but I try to rise to the occasion when force to (grin).

We are also being sponsored this week by My Creative Classroom, so a really nice prize in the offering. My Creative Classroom is an online arts and crafts learning center. Their interactive and in-depth courses are instructor led and filled with wonderful projects and techniques to help you get the most out of your supplies. Their Summer Semester is in full swing with over 40 Workshop classes to choose from. They also offer Library classes which feature retired classes at 40-50% off their original price

I have used this little bear with present from Magnolia stamps. It was part of a pre-Christmas release, but works wonderfully for my birthday card, too. I have stamped the image onto X-Press It brand card with Momento tuxedo black ink and colored it with (ah, need I say it?) my Copic markers. I then cut the image piece into a rectangular shape and matted it with blue card.

My card is white base with a blue matted piece of designer paper from My Mind's Eye Hootenanny 6 x 6" pad. I don't "do" baker's twine, or ric-rac, so I've replaced that element on my card with green dotty ribbon and a flat bow. I printed off my sentiment from my computer and then cut it with one of my Spellbinder label dies. By placing the bottom portion of my die over the words, I was able to cut the bracket tag. I've also matted it with the blue by tracing around the same die I used for cutting and and then hand-cutting it.

Hope you can join us this week. We'd love to see your animal card. Stop by the Tuesday Morning Sketches blog and have a look at what the other team members have created this week. Then, visit their blogs and leave a little love. Warm fuzzies are always appreciated -- ok, pun intended there as a reminder to use an animal on your card if you join our challenge this week (smile)!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

IIC #116 - Christmas in July

Good morning everyone. I know what many of your are thinking -- a Christmas card already? In our part of the world, the weather has just turned warm (ok, HOT), and few of us are ready to begin thinking Christmas. We are thinking more in terms of beaches and swim wear, flip-flop shoes and shorts. None the less, the holiday will arrive all too soon and many of us will be scurrying around trying to get our cards ready for mailing, so we at Inky Impressions would like to give you a nudge to get started early.

For my card, I have used Nickie's Winter Wishes digital stamp which you can find HERE in the Inky store. I have colored Nickie with Copic markers on X-Press It brand card. My card base is white. All of my DP are by Echo Park from the Very Merry Christmas 6 x 6" pad. I matted the green piece, the stripy piece and the dotty piece with black card, and I matted my image with green. The snowflakes were punched using a Martha Stewart snowflake punch and then coated with Stickle's crystal glitter. I tied my gold ribbon by Offray into a double bow and added a pewter colored Christmas tree charm. Lastly, I cut out my round sentiment and colored around it with my red Copic marker.

Please visit our Inky Impressions challenge blog and have a look at what the other team members have made to inspire you. Then, we'd love to have you join us this week in our Christmas challenge -- hey, you know its coming, so you might as well get started (smile).

Divas by Design - Use Charm(s)
Fab and Funky Challenges - Christmas in July
Crafty Sentiments Design - Christmas in July
LEJ Designs Challenge - Christmas in July

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Tuesday Morning Sketches

This week is a bit special for Tuesday Morning Sketches. It is our birthday, and in order to celebrate, we are providing not one but four sketches (because its our 4th birthday) for you to use. Oh, you don't have to use all four of them. Nope, nope. Just pick one of them for your challenge entry. However, if you feel so inclined, you can use more than one (or all) and double, triple or quadruple your chances to win our prize. Yes, you read correctly. You may enter one card per sketch this week.

Do the sketches look familiar? They are all sketches from challenges during this past year. In addition to those wonderful oldies but goodies sketches, we are also offering a slew of prizes this week! (By the way, "slew" is a good old Southern word used to mean lots and lots - smile!) Don't believe me, well just hop on over to the Tuesday Morning Sketches blog and have a look for yourself. I bet you'll be chomping at the bit to get into your craft room to work on your challenge entry.

I used the sketch on the bottom right for my little card. I also used one of Jessi Fogan's  hand crochet mats (isn't it lovely??). Jessi has generously provided a set of those beauties as one of the prizes (6 ovals - 2 white, one each pink, chocolate, cream, and KRAFT; 6 small circles - 2 white, one each pink, chocolate, cream, and kraft).

My flower fairy image is an acrylic stamp by Elizabeth Bell through Belles 'n Whistles. I stamped it using Momento ink and colored it with Copic markers. I then used a Spellbinder die to cut the circle. I lightly inked around the circle with Tim Holtz spun sugar distress ink. I have told you before that I color my images and then pick out my paper. Ninty-nine percent of the time, this method works, but I was afraid I'd really goofed this time round. I had to search hard and long to find paper in my stash that contained both purple and pink colors. I tried going with one or the other, but just wasn't happy with the results -- nope, in my mind's eye, I needed something with both colors. Much to my relief, I finally found the paper I used for my background in what was left of a very old (think at least 9 years) pad by DCWV. The paper has a bit of glitter and shine in the design.  I cut the purple border using a Cheery Lynn border die (B159, Francesca, purchased through Dutch Paper Crafts). I added pink ribbon and a double bow. 

I do hope one of our sketches will appeal to you and that you will join us this week in our challenge. Take care and have a great day!

Challenges Entered:
Craft-Dee Bowz July - Anything with handmade bow
Paper Makeup Stamps - Digi Make Over anything goes
House of Gilli - Bright Colors
Markerpop Challenge - Anything Goes
Pinspirational Challenge - Photo Inspiration
Party Time Tuesday - Things with Wings
Papertake Weekly - Something Old (the background papers)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy 4th

I don't usually make 4th of July cards -- although we do like to celebrate the auspicious occasion with the usual cook-out and fireworks. However, this year I'm making somewhat of an exception and have created this red, white and blue card to celebrate an announcement. I was selected to join the design team for Inky Impressions Stamps. I am still pinching myself and keep wondering if maybe they didn't make a mistake. I look at all the wonderful designs and designers who are currently on the Inky team and keep wondering how I am ever going to measure up. However, the announcement was made today on the Inky Impressions Challenge blog, so I'm going to go with it and enjoy the journey (smile).

I have so adored these Inky Impressions stamps for some time. Their facial expressions are just the cutest ever. Most of the images are rubber, but they do have (and are continuing to add) digital images for those of you who prefer that format. 

The little cutie that I've used is called "Independence Day Lili." She also comes with two small words, USA and LOVE, which can be stamped directly onto her shirt or separately and paper pieced to her shirt -- or, like me, you can leave them off all together. Since I am using the card more as a celebration and announcement of my new position, I opted to leave the words off.

I did stamp Lili with Momento ink and colored her with my Copic markers. I also added yellow Stickles to her sparklers to make them, duh, sparkle (grin). My card base is white card layered with the star DP which has been matted with red. The two DPs came from my scrap bags. They evidently went together, but have no idea which brand or if from a specific pad. Although Lili is colored in patriotic colors and the DPs are also red, white, and blue, I felt the stars on the background and the words on the strip were encouraging words (for me) for my new assignment!

Anyway, although my first contribution will not appear until next week, I hope you will take a look at the Inky Impressions challenge blog. 

This week we are honoring 4th July, and the theme is 

Red, White & Blue

You don't have to base your creation on Independence Day, just use the three colours.  The winner will receive a $10 gift certificate to spend in our on-line Inky Impressions store.

Simon Says Challenges - Patriotic
Creative Belli Blog - Stars
Crafting by Design - Your Country's Colors
Divas by Design - Cute
Hambo Hoedown - Red, white, blue
Paper Pretties - Red, white, blue

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Where Did Monday Go?

Good morning! Here it is Tuesday again, so time for another wonderful sketch and challenge at Tuesday Morning SketchesThis week is sponsored by Doodle Pantry.  Owner/Illustrator Laurie Wilson is such a super sweet lady.

Our sketch for the week is 
I know it looks similar to last week's sketch, but it IS different, so no back linking to  last week's card. We want to see another wonder card with this new sketch.

As cute as our sponsor's images are, unfortunately I only have a few, and none of them are birthday themed. Since I needed a birthday card, I've used this sweet Sassy Cheryl image instead. After coloring my bowlegged cutie with my Copic markers, I used one of my Spellbinder circle dies to cut out the image. I used the Spellbinder scalloped die for the background.

The DPs for this card are from My Mind's Eye 6 x 6" pad called "Hootenanny." I've used a white card base, pink card for matting, the MME papers and white ribbon to build the background for my image. The vertical strip is from the same pad, and I punched both sides with a Fiskar border punch. 

I hope you will take the time to visit the Tuesday Morning Sketches blog and have a look at all the lovely cards my DT mates have created this week. Of course, we hope you will be inspired to join our challenge this week. We do so enjoy seeing all the beautiful cards that you all share with us.