Monday, April 19, 2021

Flowers, Always, and Always

One of my favorite artists, Claude Monet (1840 - 1926), is often quoted as having said, "I must have flowers, always, and always." His work certainly conveys that message. Most of us don't give flowers a second thought but they truly add so much to our world. I think that is why we enjoy creating with them. Here in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, many of the cacti are in bloom and the desert is alive with signs of spring so I am using flowers to celebrate with a birthday card for a friend.

My card was inspired by two specific challenges. The first is Double Trouble #82, running from Monday, April 19, through Sunday evening, May 2, 2021. There are always three "Things" to this challenge. And participating in each Thing gives you additional chances toward winning the random prize.

1. Thing 1 (required) is to include flowers in your project. This is a perfect challenge to create something special for Mother's Day or another special occasion. I chose to create a birthday card.

2. Thing 2 (optional) is to link your card to "Make the Cards #13". This is a fun card challenge with a twist so you may wish to review their guidelines before you create. This challenge begins on Monday, April 19, and ends on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at 7:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time.

3. Thing 3 (optional) is our fun twist. In this case we are presenting a "Candy-Coated" color board below designed by "Make the Cards". 

I decided to go with a Slimline design. Onto a white card base, I added a panel of bright aqua cardstock, followed by a die-cut stitched scalloped panel cut from Kraft. The flourishes, flowers, and sentiment were all die-cut from white cardstock and then colored with Copic markers. I used the two red-violet colors for the flowers and the two blue-green colors for the flourishes. I purposely gave the flourishes a worn look hoping it would resemble verdigris.  To break up the color a bit, I kept the sentiment white. 

The elements were added to the card base. A few flowers were added directly to the card, a few were added with thin foam tape and a few with regular foam tape to achieve varying heights. To finish, white pearls were added. The inside was decorated with a flower and flourish. With the naked eye, my colors are a good match to the Color Board but my photography seemed to affect the colors. After the photos were taken, I added Wink of Stella to the flowers. I have found it does not photograph well so waited to add it.

We hope you'll join us at the DTC82 Blog and also at the MTC13 Blog for these challenges. You could win that random prize!

Inks: Copic Alcohol Markers
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Baked Brown Sugar & Tempting Turquoise
Dies: Spellbinders (flowers & sentiment), MFT (flourish)
Misc.: Pearls and foam tape from stash

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Be You!

It's wonderful to have spring again in all its glory. In Arizona, certain cacti are in full bloom. Their orange, white, and yellow blossoms abound and the honey bees are everywhere! Many of the Hummingbirds have left for northern climates but we still have plenty of desert fauna remaining. 

I had this pad of patterned paper in my stash and it reminded me of spring. I am submitting this to Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #415, a weekly challenge that is running from Monday, April 5, through Sunday evening, April 13, 2021. Here is their inspirational sketch:

I decided to use black cardstock for my card base because of the black and white striped awning on the flower cart and the bodies of the butterflies. I added the butterfly paper to the card base, then added a strip of pink gingham paper, which is the reverse side of the butterfly paper. I used a die to create the small scalloped borders. I matted the sentiment panel with black cardstock. (The sentiment panel comes from the paper pad.) Two butterflies were die-cut from black cardstock. In keeping with the sketch, a smaller one was added to the card front and dressed up using pearls and Glossy Accents. The shine from the Glossy Accents really enhances the dark butterflies but did not photograph well. The inside of the card was lined with a panel of white cardstock and decorated with a die-cut scallop strip. The second larger butterfly was added to the inside. There is sufficient space remaining to write a personal note. 

Give this challenge a try by visiting the AHSC415 Blog!

Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White & Basic Black
Paper: Carta Bella "Flower Garden"
Dies: Mama Elephant (scalloped border) & RCD (Dancing Butterfly Trio)
Misc.: Glossy Accents, pearls & foam tape from stash

Friday, April 9, 2021

Just for You

Color My Heart Color Dare Challenge #439 has begun! This is a biweekly challenge, ending on Thursday evening, April 22, 2021. Below is the inspiration photo to help you with the challenge. I selected a bright pink, called Melon Mambo, as my color of choice.

Mini-slimline cards are beginning to appear on card blogs so I played around with my paper and images to create a mini-slimline card (3" x 6"). But then I decided to adhere the white card base to a black cardstock panel (4.25" x 6"). So now my card is neither mini nor slim and it's too tall to be A2. The front of the white card was dry embossed then decorated with stamped flowers that were fussy cut. I decided to introduce pink with the ribbon. The stamped sentiment on two die-cut ovals was purposely offset when adhered and the inside of the card was decorated with a small flower from the same stamp set and a pearl center. In keeping with the pink theme, I added rhinestones and pearls to the front of the card. Because I don't care for the way Wink of Stella appears in photographs, I waited until after the photos to add it to the two black flowers. 

If you're new to color challenges, this challenge is a great way to start. Visit our
Color Dare Blog for ideas and inspiration.

Stamps: CTMH "Floral Celebration" (flowers) & Stamp of Approval "All About You" (sentiment)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Basic Black & Melon Mambo
Die: Jeanine's (small oval frames)
Embossing Folding: Stampin' Up! ("Parisian Flourish")
Misc.: ZIG Wink of Stella (clear), Stampin' Up! Striped Organdy Ribbon (Melon Mambo); gems & foam tape from stash

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Celebrating Your Day

It's time for another biweekly sketch challenge! Try Stampin' on Tuesday Challenge #501 is up on the blog beginning Tuesday, April 6, and ending on Sunday afternoon, April 18, 2021. This sketch includes an optional twist to create a birthday card.

Using a favorite paper collection from my stash, I adhered panels of coordinating patterns to a green card base to match the sketch design. For the focal point, I fussy cut a flower from the paper, touching it up with Copic markers, and adhered it to a die-cut square. This was added with foam tape to the card front. The bee was also cut from the paper and added. I finished the card by stamping the sentiment and adding it with foam tape. The inside was lined with white cardstock and decorated with patterned paper and another bee.

Visit our TSOT501 Blog to view the Design Team's projects. We hope you'll join in our challenges.

Stamp: Stampin' Up! "Gorgeous Posies" (sentiment)
Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black & Copic Alcohol Markers
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Smoky Slate & Just Jade
Paper: Dare 2 B Artzy " "Honey Bloomz" Collection
Die: Rubbernecker (stitched squares)
Misc.: Foam tape & SU! Rhinestones (champagne)

Monday, April 5, 2021

Fish and whales and sea turtles, oh, my!

Double Trouble Challenge #81 is up on the blog beginning Monday, April 5, and ending Sunday evening, April 18, 2021. This is a biweekly challenge with a prize for a random winner. There are always three "Things" with Double Trouble challenges:
Thing 1 (required): Trouble Maker has asked to see your favorite summer getaway spot or vacation destination.
Thing 2 (optional): Double Dare is challenging you to create a project that will also fit the requirements for Challenge #516 at Cupcake Inspirations, Dreaming of Summer.
Thing 3 (optional): Twisted Sister has added her twist by suggesting you place your sentiment in a cloud or speech bubble and earn another chance at the random draw prize.

My favorite place is the seashore. I love everything about it. I grew up in a military family and we lived on the Florida coast plus a few occasions living in the New England and the Mid-Atlantic states but always near the water. I have been enjoying water activities much of my life. While living in Kansas, we retired and my husband wanted to give desert living a try. So we landed in Phoenix, AZ, rather than returning to Florida. While the desert climate is much to my liking, I still miss the beaches. Vacations see me on my way to Florida to visit family and friends and take in the seascapes.

I was inspired to make my vacation destination card for a family member who also loves the sea. I have made this fun fold design in a portrait orientation before but never landscape. I followed a newly posted tutorial for a tri-fold card but as I cut out my pieces, I realized the tutorial had an error in the measurements. After checking measurements several times, the final product is slightly larger than A2 and the tutorial is incorrect. As card makers and paper crafters, we just roll with it, right? I used patterned papers and cardstock as listed below and assembled the card. The intended greeting from my stamp set was too large for the card so I created a smaller computer-generated sentiment using the same message as the stamp set. The speech bubble was simply hand-cut. Wink of Stella was added to the sea turtles. The inside of my card was decorated with another whale image and another sentiment from the set.

I hope you will view the Design Team cards at both the DTC81 Blog and the Cupcake Inspirations #516 Blog and join our challenges.

Stamp set: Stampin' Up! "Whale Done"
Inks: Stampin' Up! Pacific Point
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White & Pacific Point
DSP: Stampin' Up! "Whale of a Time"
Punch: Stampin' Up! (whale punched from DSP)
Dies: Mama Elephant (zigzag border), Lawn Fawn (zigzag rectangle)
Misc.: Foam tape

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Birthday Fishes

Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge is a weekly challenge. Challenge #414 began on Monday, March 29, and is scheduled to end on Sunday evening, April 4, 2021. Their sketches provide inspiration for card designs. I stuck with the window concept but shaped it a bit differently than the sketch suggests, and, instead of flowers, I used a school of fish.

Hoping to give the look of a ship's interior (aka shiplap), I cut a panel of wood grain patterned paper and enhanced it by sponging it unevenly with gray ink. This toned down the brown hues and weathered the wood. It now coordinates nicely with the silver hexagon frame and the blue cardstock. I added this woodgrain panel along with a white panel to a blue card base. To create the porthole, I die-cut a hexagon frame from silver foiled cardstock, adding six brads that look like screws. The ocean view was cut from patterned paper along with the sea turtle. I like the way the turtle is looking directly at the window. I used thin foam tape for the turtle to add dimension. Next, I adhered the porthole to the card, also using thin foam tape. The sentiment was stamped, matted, and added to the card with foam tape. 

The inside was lined with a white cardstock panel and decorated with patterned paper and an additional sentiment, "My love for you is bigger than the ocean." Can you guess why I added the fussy-cut sea turtle to the inside? Yep. A blue thumbprint. I stamped some tiny fish around the sentiment and on the inside of the card. I thought the water needed some sparkle so I added very tiny silver discs to the scene and clear Wink of Stella to the sea turtle.

See the great cards made by the Design Team by visiting the AHSC414 Blog

Stamps: Stampin' Up! "Whale Done" (both sentiments)
Inks: Stampin' Up! Pacific Point; DOX Hickory Smoke & Spiced Marmalade
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Pacific Point, Silver Foiled Card
Paper: Stampin' Up! "Whale of a Time" & "In Good Taste" (woodgrain)
Dies: Spellbinders Classic Hexagons
Misc.: Brads from stash, ZIG Wink of Stella (clear) & CTMH thin foam tape

Monday, March 29, 2021

Coloring Fun

It's the fifth Monday in March and that calls for a special event at Double Trouble Challenge Blog! While we always have a biweekly challenge beginning on the first and third Mondays of each month, when there is a fifth Monday in the month, we enjoy having a one-week challenge themed as "Something, Anything, Everything". 

As usual, there are three "Things":
Thing 1 (required): Trouble Maker has set the theme as indicated above, which is Anything Goes.
Thing 2 (optional): Double Dare encourages you to link your project to any previous partner.
Thing 3 (optional): Twisted Sister hopes you'll demonstrate your coloring skills with any medium.

This challenge begins on Monday, March 29, ending on Sunday evening, April 4, 2021. Check out our Challenge Blog for guidelines and specific information.

For my project, I adhered some die-cut rectangles cut from pink cardstock and silver foiled cardstock to a pastel card base. I stamped and colored an image then fussy cut it and adhered it with foam tape. I finished it off with some tiny silver pearls in the centers of the roses. The inside was lined with a panel of white cardstock, also die-cut to match the front panels. I added some additional stamped and colored elements for decoration. The sentiment will be added when I am ready to use the card.

I linked my card to The Paper Funday Challenges #27, which is currently underway and ends on Sunday, April 4, 2021.

Visit the DTC80 Challenge Blog to play along and you could win a prize!

Stamps: Simon Says Stamp "Floral Bliss"
Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black and Copic Alcohol Markers
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Pool Party, Strawberry Slush & Silver foil
Dies: Kat Scrappiness "Fancy Scalloped Rectangles"
Misc.: Silver pearls (2 mm.) & foam tape from stash

Friday, March 26, 2021

Pleated Curtain Technique

It's time for another biweekly challenge at Color My Heart Color Dare. Challenge #437 begins on Friday, March 26, and ends on Thursday evening, April 8, 2021. What makes this challenge a little different from our usual challenges is that you get to pick the colors. All you have to do is follow the 3-2-1 Recipe pictured below. I selected tones of pink, yellow, and green as my Three colors, vanilla and brown (woodgrain) for the Two neutrals, and pink glitter paper for my One item.

I have been trying to use paper from my stash so selected paper that gave me my colors for the challenge. The three main colors and the two neutrals can be found in the paper's design. The pleated curtain technique is an old favorite of mine and having recently seen it demonstrated again I decided to revive one of the many styles. This is also called Pleated Drape or Pleated Skirt in addition to other terms. (Click HERE to see another style.) 

For this card, I simply pleated a strip of patterned paper then adhered it to the woodgrain panel and finished the top edge of the pleating with a pink glitter punched border. The rose, leaves, and butterfly were fussy-cut from the patterned paper and added with foam tape along with a few embellishments. The entire piece was added to a vanilla card base. The inside was decorated with additional fussy-cut images. I decided not to add a sentiment until I am ready to use the card.

Visit our Challenge Blog to see the cards made by our Design Team. We'd enjoy seeing your interpretation of our challenge, too!

Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Very Vanilla
Paper: Stampin' Up! "Mosaic Mood", CTMH Glitter Paper (Ballerina), & woodgrain from stash
Punch: Martha Stewart Loopy Border
Misc.: Foam tape & enamel dots from stash

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Fancy Butterflies

For crafting fun, join us at Try Stampin' on Tuesday Biweekly Challenge #499. This challenge begins on Tuesday, March 23, and runs through Sunday evening, April 4, 2021. While the challenge requires the use of a sketch, there is an optional element to include butterflies in your project. I tilted the sketch and created my card with a landscape orientation.

             Original                          Tilted

Using a patterned paper collection that has been stored in my stash for several years, I added a gray panel to a white card base. Next, I added a die-cut stitched rectangle in a yellow print directly to the gray panel. Using foam tape, I added a smaller die-cut rectangle in a gray, white, and yellow design. In keeping with the sketch, I added some angled strips of silver glimmer paper to represent the banners. For the optional theme, I die-cut two butterflies - one from the yellow paper and another from silver glimmer paper, adhering them so the wings are slightly lifted. A few rhinestones were also added. The inside was decorated with a smaller yellow butterfly and some silver glimmer paper. No sentiment was required by the sketch, so I omitted a stamped greeting until I use the card.

We hope you'll take a look at the
TSOT499 Blog and join our challenge!

Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Smoky Slate & Silver Glimmer
Paper; Stampin' Up! Eastern Elegance (retired)
Dies: Paper Rose (stitched rectangles) & RCD (Large Fancy Butterfly)
Misc.: Foam tape and rhinestones from stash

Monday, March 22, 2021

Happy Day Flowers

Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #413 is live beginning on Monday, March 22, and ending on Sunday evening, March 28, 2021. 

Onto a white card base, I added a lavender die-cut stitched panel. Using the same die set but a slightly smaller die, I added a panel of dotted paper. I stamped three of the floral "bunches", colored two of them with Copic markers, and then fussy cut them, adhering them to the top and bottom edges of the card with foam tape. Using the third bunch, I colored three flowers then fussy cut them to decorate the inside of the card. The sentiment was die-cut from yellow cardstock and the shadow was cut from black cardstock. It was adhered to the center of the card also using foam tape.

You won't be disappointed with this challenge so visit the AHSC413 Blog for details and a look at the Design Team samples.

Stamp: Little Acres "Lots of Poppies"
Ink: Copic Alcohol Markers
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Basic Black, Wisteria Wonder & Daffodil Delight
Paper: LDRS Creative "Pastel Patterns" (yellow dot)
Dies: The Stamp Doctor (sentiment and shadow) & Paper Rose (stitched rectangles)
Misc.: Foam tape

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Big Pink Bow

Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #412 is underway. This weekly challenge began on Monday, March 15, and will run through Sunday evening, March 21, 2021. Following is the fun sketch for this week:

Onto a white card base, I added a die-cut panel in green, then a rectangular panel in pink, and then topped with a panel of patterned paper. I thought of a myriad of items to use on my card other than a bow but then I came across a small roll of pink burlap in my stash and my bow for the card was born! I added the pink and white striped ribbon to the card, followed by the burlap bow. The sentiment was stamped then cut with an oval die. A few pink pearls were added and the oval was added to the card with foam tape. The inside was decorated with a small pink bow cut from pink cardstock.

Visit the
AHSC412 Blog for details on entering this challenge.

Stamp set: Stampin' Up! "Parcels and Petals"
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Mint Macaron & Melon Mambo
Paper: CTMH "Lovely"
Dies: Sunny Studio (scalloped rectangle), Jeanine's (oval mini frame), Frantic Stamper (small bow inside card)
Misc.: Stampin' Up! Striped Organdy Ribbon (Melon Mambo) & pink pearls from stash

Monday, March 15, 2021

Have a Blast

We're celebrating a magical event at Double Trouble Challenge #79, beginning on Monday, March 15, ending on Sunday evening, March 28, 2021. As usual, there are three "Things" to know about the challenge. Thing 1 (required) is to include something magical in your project. This includes fantasy items such as unicorns, fairies, mermaids, etc. Thing 2 (optional) is to link your project to our partner's challenge at Dies R Us #165, which runs concurrently. Thing 3 (also optional) is our twist. We're asking you to use at least one die. In addition, DTC79 will be selecting a randomly-drawn winner so you could win a prize!

Onto a gray cardstock base, I adhered the constellation map paper. The space dragon, the planet surface, and the tiny Planet Earth with the moon circle were all stamped, colored and fussy cut. The images were adhered to the patterned paper using foam tape. Some small stars were cut with a punch from silver glimmer paper and adhered to the card. The sentiment was stamped and cut with an oval die (that was purchased in the DRU store the last time I played in their challenge). The inside of the card was lined with white cardstock and decorated with a few stamped and colored planets.

We hope you'll join us for this biweekly challenge. Visit the DTC79 Blog and the DRU165 Blog for all the details.

Stamps: Whimsy (Space Dragon & planet surface)
Inks: Distress Oxide (chipped sapphire) & Copic Alcohol Markers
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Smoky Slate & Silver Glimmer
Paper: CTMH "Aurora"
Die: Jeanine's Art "Frame with Ovals" (JAD10052)
Punch: Stampin' Up! "Confetti Stars"
Misc.: Foam tape

Friday, March 12, 2021

Happy Birthday to Joyce

Color My Heart Color Dare Biweekly Challenge #435 is open as of Friday, March 12, ending on Thursday evening, March 25, 2021. We're giving St. Patrick's Day a nod by challenging you to create a project using shades of green with one color of your choice. Black, white, most neutrals, metallics, and glitter are free to use. You are not required to create something specific for St. Patrick's Day. I used various greens with pink as my color of choice, adding metallic gold.

I have a friend, Joyce, whose birthday is February 29th. Except for Leap Years, she celebrates on the 28th. This is for her. I saw a fun fold on YouTube that was new to me and liked the card but the presentation did not include measurements for the specific card so I just guessed my way through so the card would fold into A2 size. Once the card base was folded and decorated with various patterns in green, three flowers were stamped, colored, and fussy-cut. The foliage was die-cut from gold foiled cardstock and gold-toned stick-on gems were added for the floral centers. I elected not to use a sentiment on the front, but stamped one inside and decorated the inside with more gold foiled foliage.

We hope you'll join us for this biweekly challenge by visiting the
Color Dare Blog!

Stamp: Ranger "Letter-It Birthday"
Ink: DOX Rustic Wilderness & Abandoned Coral
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Garden Green & Gold Foil
Paper: Stampin' Up! "Forever Greenery" & CTMH "Mix-in"
Dies: Frantic Stamper "Wreath & Swag Components"
Misc.: Foam tape and gold "gems"

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Latched Hearts Gatefold Card

Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge # 411 is underway. This is a weekly challenge that began on Monday, March 8, and will end on Sunday evening, March 14, 2021. I always enjoy participating in AHSC challenges because it was the first challenge I ever attempted and it was the first challenge where I eventually won a Top Three designation. I was so new to card making!

This sketch just begged to be used for a gatefold design so I obliged. I also created the card with a portrait orientation rather than a landscape. Inspired by the heart in the sketch, I went with a heart motif as well. The die-cut hearts interlock when the card is closed, creating a latch. I found using a heart shape requires patience when unlatching the card. I created a standard A2 card base with the double gate closing in the center, embossing each door to add texture. 

Using a set of heart nesting dies, I cut five images, alternating between a solid color and a Hound's Tooth check pattern and attaching them to the front gates. The three solid-colored hearts were added to the left gate with glue applied to the left half of each heart. Likewise, the two patterned hearts were added to the right gate with glue applied to the right half of the heart. Carefully nestle the hearts so they fit together. In keeping with the sketch, I added a sentiment but placed it below the focal image so it would not interfere with the latch. The sentiment banner is attached only to the left gate. Because the card is in soft colors, I added a few white pearls for interest and dimension. The inside of the card was decorated with coordinating die-cut hearts.

If you're looking for a card challenge I hope you'll visit the AHSC Blog. The Design Team always contributes plenty of inspiration to get you going.

Stamp: Concord & 9th "Say Hello"
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Perfect Plum & Pale Plum
Paper: LDRS Creative "Pastel Patterns" 
Dies: Spellbinder's Classic Hearts
Misc.: Stampin' Up! Embossing Folder ("Parisian Flourish") & pearls from stash

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

A Really Big Greeting!

Try Stampin' on Tuesday Challenge #497 begins today, Tuesday, March 9, and ends on Sunday evening, March 21, 2021. This biweekly challenge is usually based on a required sketch with an optional theme except when we have a "Mix-Up" Challenge. This "Mix-Up" Challenge gives you the opportunity to choose either the sketch provided or the suggested theme. You may combine them as well, so that provides you with three choices. We hope you'll play along with us!

I elected to use the sketch and the theme together while keeping the card simple. I tilted the sketch onto its side for a landscape orientation rather than a portrait. The sentiment is so large, that I created an A6-sized card rather than the usual A2. Onto a white card base, I added the inverted scalloped frame with a yellow mottled background paper. Then I die-cut the floral paper to say, "hi". In keeping with the sketch, I added the background paper bands using the same floral paper. The inside of the card is decorated with additional coordinating paper with sufficient space to add a personal message.

We hope you'll join us at the TSOT497 Challenge Blog for the challenge fun!

Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Whisper White and Elegant Eggplant
Paper: Stampin' Up! "Painted Blooms" Collection (retired)
Dies: Lawn Fawn (inverted scalloped rectangles) & Winnie & Walter (sentiment)