Monday, January 29, 2024

A Wee Bit o' Love - Valentine

My grand-nephew, "Penny", loves animals and always enjoys receiving mail so I created this Valentine for him using Sketch #562 from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenges. This weekly challenge runs from Monday, January 29, 2024, through Sunday evening, February 6, 2024. (I also made a card for Penny's brother, "Oz", that can be viewed HERE.)

I have had this border die of Scottish terriers and knew it would be a hit with Penny. My family runs deep with Scottish heritage so I selected tartan paper for the strips. The variety of tartans seemed to work with the Scotties perfectly. In keeping with the sketch, I added a stamped sentiment. I wish that stamp had said "A wee bit o'love." The hand-drawn hearts represent the cord element seen in the sketch. 

Also included was a strip of patterned paper with "x" and "o" symbols, then tiny gem stickers in four colors (red, silver, gold, and green) were added to the dogs as collars. The inside was lined with a panel of white cardstock decorated with tartan strips and one Scotty left from the border strip on the front. 

For fun with sketches, stop by the AHSC Blog!

Stamp: Concord and 9th "All Wrapped Up"
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White, Basic Black, Crumb Cake, Real Red, Midnight Muse
Paper: Doodlebug "Hello Again", Paper Rose "Winter Plaid"
Dies: Cottage Cutz "Scotty Dog Border", Hero Arts Infinity (ovals)
Misc.: Honey Bee Gem Stickers; CTMH thin foam tape

Sending Good Vibes - Valentine

February 7, 2024: Top Three at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #562!

Welcome to another Double Trouble Challenge. This is Challenge #158, beginning on Monday, January 29, 2024, and running through Sunday evening, February 4, 2024. Let me remind you that this challenge begins on the fifth Monday of the month so is only one week in duration. Most importantly, this is an "Anything Goes" event - but read on for more information.

Our challenges are comprised of three "Things":
Thing 1: Trouble Maker is giving us a little break. She's making this a Something-Anything-Everything Challenge. That means Anything Goes! You will earn one chance in the random drawing by submitting an Anything Goes project.

Thing 2: Double Dare is hoping you'll link your project to any one of our previous partners. A list with links is provided on the DTC 158 Blog. You will receive a chance at our random drawing for each previous challenge partner. (I have linked my project to Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #562.)

Thing 3: Twisted Sister never rests from her duties. She has decided that National Kazoo Day needs recognition. To accomplish this, and for another chance at our Randomly Drawn Prize, use something musical in your project. This can include a Kazoo or other instruments, sheet music, musical notes, etc., using stamps, dies, embossing, etc. (I decided to create a piano keyboard, which was inspired by the AHSC sketch below.)

The Double Trouble Design Team has created projects based on the above information. Be sure to take a look at the DTC Blog and join in!

I come from a family of musicians so I knew my keyboard had better be accurate or I would have to hide my card! To create my Anything Goes card plus a musical theme, I hand-cut 11 white strips to a width of 7/16" each so they would fit evenly across the card. I adhered them to a panel of black cardstock. Next, I cut eight black strips. Based on the dimensions of a traditional piano keyboard, I calculated the black keys should be cut at a width of 5/16" each and greater than 67% of the length of the white keys. 

I carefully placed and adhered the black keys as found on a piano. My niece pointed out that black keys should not all be centered between white keys. Who knew? So I had to correct my mistake and slightly move six of the eight black keys to their correct positions. Then I learned that black keys are actually slightly tapered and not perfectly rectangular, but I did not make that change. When did this younger generation get so smart? And, by the way, I am the only member of a large family who does not play at least one musical instrument.

The panel of pink patterned paper was added followed by a black horizontal strip as seen in the sketch. The sentiment was stamped and then combined with a fancy die-cut heart in silver glimmer paper. A few silver gems finished off the design. The front panel was adhered to a white card base, decorated inside with pink and black paper and a silver flourish.

We look forward to seeing your project! Thank you for visiting my blog.

Stamp: Simon Says Stamp "Just Miss You"
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White, Basic Black, Silver Glimmer
Paper: Doodlebug "Hello Again" (pink)
Die: Unbranded Fancy Heart
Misc.: Honey Bee (gem stickers); CTMH thin foam tape

Friday, January 26, 2024

Simply Geometric - Masculine Card

Color My Heart Color Dare Challenge #585 is open for some card-making fun. This biweekly challenge runs through Thursday, February 8, 2024. Our challenges always include color and this time we're asking you to play Tic Tac Toe using our color board below. Just pick three colors in a row and use them in your card design. Once you have selected the three colors, you may select additional colors but they must be on the color board. If you use colors not on the board your card will be disqualified but you are free to add black, white, neutrals, and metallics to your card. Your colors do not need to be a precise match with CTMH products but please use the closest colors from your stash.


My color choices work in two directions on the color board. I selected a diagonal - Papaya, Limeade, and Lagoon, then added Harbor and Shortbread, which meant that the third column was also included. The framework and shapes of my card were cut using a die set. The frame was adhered to a panel of Papaya cardstock, followed by the shapes. As I assembled the card, I thought it was taking on a masculine appearance so just continued with that idea using a simple die-cut greeting and coordinating shadow with foam tape for dimension. I also added the metallic studs to the card front. The completed panel was adhered to a white card base decorated on the inside with a bit of scrap cardstock.

We hope you will join us at the Color My Heart Color Dare Challenge #585. The Design Team has cards displayed to inspire you. A biweekly challenge begins every Friday morning so there is always a challenge in progress - that's non-stop paper crafting!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Cardstock:  Stampin' Up! Basic White, Pool Party (sub for Lagoon), CTMH Shortbread, Papaya, Harbor, and Limeade
Paper: Photoplay (dotted scrap)
Dies: Altenew  "Hello and Hugs" (hello greeting & shadow), Kokorosa (framework die)
Misc.: Honey Bee (metallic studs); CTMH thin foam tape 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Love You - St. Valentine's Day

It's time to make cards for family members to celebrate St. Valentine's Day, so I have been making a few Valentines in advance. This sketch, from the weekly Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge, offers the opportunity to create another Valentine. This is Challenge #561 and is scheduled to run through Sunday evening, January 28, 2024.

Flowers are always appropriate on cards so that paper was my first selection, and then finding additional patterned papers was next. After cutting the shapes, they were adhered to a panel of scrap cardstock. I thought my careful selection to fit the majority of two large flowers into the largest shape was just right because I had also managed to capture a bit of the leaves. That is... until I added the additional elements. My sentiment circle was going to cover the leaves. The color of the leaves, a deep blue-green, was the reason I selected the pinstripe paper. It was time to tweak the plan. 

The silver metallic circle was adhered along with the stacked hearts stamped with a tiny sentiment and then a set of leaves fussy-cut from the floral paper was adhered. This was still in keeping with the sketch and added the color I wanted. A few silver pearls were added and the card front was adhered to a white card base. The inside of the card was decorated with leftover paper scraps and another silver circle with a dragonfly silhouette. The dragonfly was originally die-cut to use with the sentiment but I went with the leaves instead.

I think this sketch design is a great way to use up scraps from my stash so I am planning to use it again. I am also sure that my sister-in-law in Florida will enjoy receiving her annual St. Valentine's card!

Be sure to visit the AHSC 561 Blog!

So glad you stopped by to view my card. Your comments are welcome.
Thank you,

Stamp: The Stamps of Life "Candy Hearts 2"
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White, Silver Foiled, Bravo Burgundy (retired)
Paper: Altenew "Enjoy the Ride" Collection, Honey Bee "Pinstripes & Polka Dots - Winter"
Dies: The Stamps of Life "Candy Hearts 2", Hero Arts Infinity (circles), Kokorosa (dragonfly on the inside)
Misc.: Honey Bee (silver pearls)

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Thank You (Tulips and a Dragonfly)

01/21/2024 - Weekly Favorite at Splitcoast Stampers

Welcome to Stitches and Smudges. Join me in creating a card using a sketch for inspiration. The sketch is shown below. You are free to interpret the sketch as you wish regarding colors, shapes, themes, etc., so have some fun with it! 

Be sure to include a sentiment - or space for a future sentiment - as shown in the sketch. Details and guidelines are available at the Try a Sketch on Tuesday Challenge Blog. This is Challenge #639, running through Sunday evening, February 4, 2024.

Lately, I have been trying to reduce the volume of paper in my stash. I have a large area for my hobbies but I have reached the point where enough is enough. I found this paper pad - it's not very old and I thought it would work nicely for a few cards. 

First, background strips were created from floral paper. The edges were sponged with ink to give them depth and then matted with coordinating patterned paper. To a white card base, a panel of coordinating paper was added, followed by the three strips. The strips were added directly to the card front without foam tape so I could pop up the sentiment and not add too much height. 

The sentiment was stamped and added to a strip of dotted paper then adhered with 2 mm. foam tape. Finally, the dragonfly was die-cut from more of the dotted paper. The inside of the card was decorated with paper scraps, leaving sufficient space for a personal message. To finish off the card, crystal gem stickers were added.

Be sure to join me at Try a Sketch on Tuesday Challenge #639 to share your crafting talent with the Design Team.

Thank you for visiting my blog. When you leave a comment, it makes my heart happy. 

Stamp: Altenew "Elegant Sayings"
Ink: Stampin' Up! Crisp Cantaloupe
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White
Patterned Paper: Honey Bee "Modern Spring" & PhotoPlay "Autumn Greetings" (dotted paper)
Die: Kokorosa (dragonfly)
Misc.: Foam tape; Honey Bee Crystal Stickers

Monday, January 15, 2024

Love You - Valentine


Sometimes I find it challenging just to keep up with my favorite challenges, which is often the case with Atlantic Heart Sketch Challenges. A weekly challenge, beginning every Monday morning and ending on Sunday evenings, following is the sketch. This is Challenge #560 ending on Sunday, January 21, 2024.

After selecting a pretty striped paper to cut on the diagonal for the first layer, the yellow linen-textured cardstock backed with black pearlescent cardstock was added. The squares in the sketch were replaced with hexagons, my favorite shape in cardmaking. The smaller hexagons were die-cut from patterned paper, also backed with black pearlescent cardstock.

The center hexagon consists of black pearlescent cardstock. The paper pattern was an unusually large image for cardmaking use so I trimmed away a small portion to adhere to the hexagon. I did not care for the plain white portion above the three flowers the white portion was cut away, leaving part of the black hexagon exposed. I was satisfied with the result so left it.

The completed card front was adhered to a white card base and the inside was decorated with a bit of scrap paper and die-cut hexagon rings. The five black hexagon-shaped stick-ons were added for interest.

Thank you for stopping by... please leave a comment. Happy New Year!

Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White; Doodlebug (textured yellow); Paper Papers "Pearlescent" (Black) 
Paper: Doodlebug "Hello Again" Collection; Paper Rose (preprinted sentiment)
Dies: Spellbinders Hexagons
Misc.: Stampin' Up Hexagon Stickers, CTMH thin foam tape

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Wishing You Frosty Fun (Winter Card)

Time for another challenge at Double Trouble #157. This challenge runs through Saturday evening, January 27, 2024. As is customary, there are three "Things" to our challenge:

Thing 1 (required): Trouble Maker has decided on a Wintry Country Feeling using either a stencil or embossing folder.

Thing 2 (optional): Double Dare is hoping you'll link your card to our partner's challenge at Farm Quest Challenge #44. Just be sure to check out their guidelines.

Thing 3 (optional): Twisted Sister is suggesting that you include a winter sport in your design. She wants to see one of the following: skiing, sledding, sleigh riding, tobogganing, or skating. There is also a "January Special" - include a hat in your design in observance of National Hat Day on January 15 to be entered into a special random drawing.

This was truly a challenge for me because I didn't have much in my stash that represented winter sports. I have also been trying to use up my existing supply of patterned paper so have not purchased much lately, which can be limiting. Using an evergreen stencil, I used two shades of green ink, then fussy cut the resulting image and adhered it to patterned paper representing a night sky. 

Two snowbanks were added and popped up with foam tape in both 1 mm and 2 mm heights. The skate in the foreground was die-cut from white cardstock and trimmed with glitter paper. The skate blade was cut from silver holographic paper. The entire card front was adhered to a card base of blue cardstock. The blue color is also present in the night sky but did not photograph well. The inside was lined with a panel of white cardstock and decorated with glitter paper. The sentiment was stamped and adhered along with the winter hat, and tiny rhinestones were added to the sky and the evergreens.

Be sure to visit the Double Trouble Blog to view the Design Team's cards and to play along with us. Don't forget to visit our partner's blog, too, Farmquest Challenge Blog #44

Thank you for stopping by.

Stamp: The Stamps of Life (sentiment and hat)
Ink: Stampin' Up! Boho Blue, Shaded Spruce, Parakeet Party
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White, Boho Blue
Paper: CTMH Glitter Paper (Mulberry), Stampin' Up! Glimmer Paper (silver), Honey Bee "Winter Wonder" (sky), SBC "Holographic" (skate blade)
Dies: Kokorosa (ice skate and bow)
Stencil: Newton's Nook (Evergreens)
Misc.: CTMH Bitty Sparkles, CTMH thin (1 mm) foam tape, 3M (2 mm) foam tape
Size: 5.5" x 5.5"

Friday, January 12, 2024

Hello - Color Challenge

It's time for another biweekly challenge at Color My Heart Color Dare. This is Challenge #583, running through Thursday evening, January 25, 2024. The color board is shown below and features a Fancy Five color array. At least three of these colors must be used.

I was on the horns of a dilemma because I had placed an order for some of these colors and to replenish others but my order was delayed at the FedEx Hub in Kansas. What to do since I did not have "at least three" of the required colors? As my deadline approached I finally went to my scraps and selected papers that I believed were a close match to the color board and quickly constructed the challenge card. My colors may not be a precise match to Mulberry, Periwinkle, and Mink, but they're as close as I could get them using my existing stash.

I thought about keeping this card 'Clean and Simple' but as I discovered a few patterned paper scraps, I just had to use them. The white cardstock panel was embossed for texture. A few strips of paper were adhered to a scrap of cardstock then trimmed to size and adhered to the white embossed panel as if to underline the greeting. I wanted to add dimension to this decorative unit keeping it at less than 1 mm. By backing it with another scrap of cardstock I was able to keep within that measurement.

The greeting was die-cut from black pearlescent cardstock and added to a coordinating die-cut shadow of patterned paper. This was popped up using 1 mm foam tape. Five pink-ish gem stickers were added for interest. The card front on the black mat was adhered to a "Mulberry-ish" colored card base and lined with a white cardstock panel. The inside of the card was decorated with a few banners from the same scraps as used on the card front.

Visit the CD 583 Blog to see the Design Team's cards. We hope they inspire you. Color Dare Challenges begin each Friday and run for two weeks so we always have an open challenge.

Thank you for visiting my blog. 

Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White plus scraps; off-brand of Pearlescent (black)
Patterned Paper: Scraps from various collections
Die: Pink & Main "Hello" w/shadow
EF: Spellbinders "Loops"
Misc.: Honey Bee gem stickers & CTMH thin foam tape

Monday, January 8, 2024

Feel Better Soon

It's time again for another weekly challenge at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenges. This is AHSC #559, closing on Sunday evening, January 14, 2024.

Several weeks ago, a family member, Susan, age 82, fell down the stairs in her home, resulting in a concussion, broken shoulder, and numerous bruises and sprains. She recently returned home from her stay in the hospital and is undergoing a long recovery. A few family members decided to send her cards or call her every few days. My turn to send a card is next week, so this sketch presented the perfect opportunity to make my card for Susan.

From patterned paper, the image was die-cut into an arched window shape, then backed with black cardstock, also die-cut. The background panel was embossed for texture, and then three strips of coordinating patterned paper were adhered. This was added to a vanilla card base. The image was added with thin foam tape. To finish, the pearls were added along with the pink die-cut bow and a sentiment. The inside of the card was decorated with paper scraps and another pink bow.

If you enjoy sketch challenges then AHSC #559 is for you!

Thank you for visiting my blog and I enjoy reading your comments. 

Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Very Vanilla, Basic Black, Sweet Sugarplum, Boho Blue
Patterned Paper: Altenew "Enjoy the Ride" Collection
Dies: Hero Arts Infinity (Nesting Arches), Kokorosa (Bows)
Embossing Folder: Spellbinders "Loops"
Other: Paper Rose preprinted sentiment
Misc.: CTMH thin foam tape, Honey Bee (pearls)

Monday, January 1, 2024

Extrovert or Introvert?

Extrovert or Introvert?
Probably more of an Ambivert!


Introvert or Extrovert
The Double Trouble team is having a bit of fun with you and hopes you will play along. Here is a summary of their Challenge #156:

Thing 1 (required): Trouble Maker says, "January 2 is World Introvert Day. Whether you are introverted or extroverted, Thing 1's requirement is to create a project to show us your personality through one of these two background choices. These choices are the Introvert - calm, soft, pastel  OR  the Extrovert -  loud, bold, bright."
Most people are actually ambiverts - people who kind of exist in between introversion and extroversion depending on the situation. Being an ambivert myself, I decided to create two cards - one for my extrovert side and another for the introvert. Both cards are for both challenges - participants are not required to submit more than one card. 

Thing 2 (optional): Double Dare has the link to Try a Sketch on Tuesday #638 so you can join our partner's challenge as well and earn another chance in our random drawing. Both of these challenges are biweekly and will end on Sunday evening, January 14, 2024.

Thing 3 (optional): Twisted Sister will give you another chance in the Random Drawing if you use the sketch below, provided by our partner. This sketch was used to design both of my cards.

To create the extrovert card, I used bold striped patterned paper for the background. Instead of using two squares from the sketch, I switched out the shapes by using a rectangle from patterned paper and a die-cut ring from cardstock. After all, extroverts aren't fearful of making changes in the sketch design shapes. The flowers and leaves were fussy-cut and adhered using thin foam tape to create additional levels of dimension. The card front was adhered to a white card base, decorated with coordinating paper.

Materials for Extrovert Card
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White; Cardstock Warehouse Blu-Raspberry
Paper: Altenew Collection "Enjoy the Ride"
Dies: Hero Arts Infinity (circles)
Misc.: CTMH thin foam tape & Pink Fresh pre-printed sentiments

To create the Introvert card, I selected a soft tone-on-tone patterned paper for the background, adding the squares cut from coordinating patterned paper. The top square was backed with cardstock and I used a round sticker for the floral design, adhering the square with thin foam tape. The sentiment was adhered, also with foam tape, then enhanced with a fussy-cut butterfly. The card front was adhered to a white card base, decorated with coordinating paper.

Materials for Introvert Card
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Basic White; Cardstock Warehouse - Blu-raspberry
Paper: Doodlebug "Hello Again"
Misc.: CTMH thin foam tape, Paper Roses pre-printed sentiments

Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoy reading your comments. Wishing you a Happy New Year!