Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Favorite Projects of 2014

Hahahaha! .......And so, with nothing else to do, I craft!  :)
"I have noticed that what cats most appreciate in a human being is not the ability to produce food which they take for granted --- but his or her entertainment value."
                                                                            ----------------Geoffrey Household

Hi, Friends.....

Seems like lots of the real bloggers do a retrospective at the end of the year reviewing their own favorite projects.  It's always kind of fun to get another look at their terrific work again!  

As I was putting mine together, I noticed a couple of things taking shape.  This year-in-review was really a look at how I had grown as a crafter over my first year of blogging and also about discovering what style is beginning to become "mine". 

I didn't limit my favorites to the Top 10 or to one per month.  I have snagged one or more from each month that I really love, or that I think say something about me as a crafter.  Besides, since this was my first year of blogging, many of you might not have seen my earliest cards. :)

Here goes......way back to February when I started my blog with my very first card I ever posted.  I still love this gold heat-embossed rolled doily and the glass flowers.  Completely unmailable, but it went hand-delivered to a friend who was just home from surgery.  Already, you can see that I am enamored with heat embossing!!  :)

This other one from February shows my CAS side.  (I am soooooo schizoid!!!  Ha.)  It also is beginning to reveal my love for pink.  My experimental and messy side is showing with the splatters.  That technique is still really scary to me, though, because I never know what it will look like. 

Here we are in March with another rather fussy pink card.  Even now, I am far from mastering the shabby chic genre that I admire so much, but you can see that I was trying in a few of my early cards. 

Another try at the shabby look in this bridal shower card.  I really love this one.....almost white on white, but not quite.  Flowers and butterflies are showing up a lot in my work.  :)

Now on to April with this gift box I upcycled from a Priority Mailer.  I don't do a lot of altered projects, but I like how this one turned out.  Still kind of the shabby look.

Mother's Day in May with a vintage card for my dear Mom-in-law.  Not shabby enough to be chic, but lovely Graphic 45 image.  Gold has shown up again along with more flowers.  :)

Back to more of a CAS look and one of my favorite cards ever.  I am beginning to dabble in using watercolors in some of my images.  Flowers, again.  :)  Also, starting to use sketches and loving fresh color combos.

Here I am in June with a fun little card.  You can see a bit of my whimsical sense of humor in this one I made for a "travel" theme.  This was a sketch, too.  I was really getting to love having a pattern to follow.  I find that really helps me get going.

This June graduation card is about as CAS as I can ever manage.  I really love that wonderful clean look, but can rarely pull it off.  I think it's because I love to put stuff on my cards and can't leave them alone.  :)   Love how this one turned out.  So fun. 

Nothing in July really struck my fancy for posting here.  Summer doldrums, I guess....but I made up for it in August!

This bird at dawn card in August is a favorite of mine.  I hadn't really stamped pattern paper much before to make a background, but loved how this turned out.  It foreshadows my love for backgrounds.  I also love the silhouette look.  And it is pink!  :)

Here is one of my very favorite cards.....kind of CAS , and following a sketch.  Also, another one with a fresh color combo and watercolors on the image.  The buttons are different for me.

Still in August, this card shows my real and genuine jump into background techniques!!  Thanks to MFP Tutorial Time Challenges (bring them back, please!!!!) I was brave enough to try something new.  SO glad I did!!

This September mixed media card shows my wacky and weird side.  It was so fun to play with so many papers and inks and other products.  The result was definitely ....umm... "different"... but I LOVE it.  :)

Still in September, I have a favorite autumn leaf card, showing one of my molten gold, of course!

October bring us more background fun with this card using an Add a Little Dazzle metal punched leaf that I also heat-embossed.  LOVE!

I also began making shaker cards in October.  The little bat stamp I used for this card stole my heart and I had to buy him.  I loved how fun making shakers turned out to be!!!

Even though this one, also from October, reminds me of a vintage funerary card, it really is not supposed to be one.  Ha.  It was one of my first sanding and chalkboard-look cards.  I fell in love with this look. 

I have just one card from November to share.  I made some little shaker bundles and used one for this simple cut-out Christmas tree shape.  I discovered that I LOVE a simple triangle for Christmas trees.  Naturally, I had to add gold to the snowy dry-embossed background and to the star.  :)

In December, this fun little gift card holder was my first attempt at using a digi-image.  I had so much fun making this little project.  My new Wink of Stella glitter pen made it even more fun!!!

December also found me in full swing with my backgrounds.  Love this molten Christmas card with the snowflakes enhanced with embossing powder and another simple triangle tree. 

So, there you have my favorites.  I hope some of them are your favorites, too!  What I learned about myself is that I love both the simple (almost CAS look), but I also love a rich elegant look.....either using a shabby look or my more recently developed background techniques.  

Thanks for walking through this year of projects with me.  You readers and your comments mean more to me than you can imagine.  Your encouraging words inspire me and help me to understand which styles and techniques are most effective for my particular kind of art.  Thanks always for your feedback.  I am looking forward to the coming year!!!  

May you and your loved ones have a very blessed and happy New Year!!!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Oriental Sketch - Scraps on my Table 3

"Don't think that I'm silly for liking it, I just happen to like the simple little things, and I love cats!"
                                                           -------------------Michelle Gardner

Hi, Friends......

I am here with my third post of the day to share a card for the MFP Oriental Sketch Challenge  As you might know, I really enjoy the simple geometrics of these Oriental sketches.  This one is lovely, as they all are.

The prize this time is an awesome Tigers stamp set that I would LOVE to win.  You know me and cats...of all sizes!!!  We'll see if the luck of the draw goes my way.....crossing fingers! :)

One terrific thing about these simple shapes is that I can use scraps and snippets for them.  In fact, that is always a personal challenge for make the geometrics on the Oriental cards entirely from scraps.  Here I used scraps from three different patterned papers from the old DCWV Far East stack and bits of two colors of mulberry paper.  Technically, this isn't a "Scraps on my Table" card since I keep all my Oriental papers and scraps together in a designated box... (Gasp! She actually has something organized!!!) ...but it is still a "scraps and snippets" card.  :)

I used stamps from several sets on this card.  MFP Works of Art for the background Chinese characters and MFP Lucky You for the circular coin image both in Simon Says Stamp Khaki ink, and some unnamed hummingbird and flower set that had been on the dollar rack at JoAnns.  The hummingbird is in Aged Mahogany Distress Ink.

I Versamarked and then heat embossed the flowers and foliage with some Hampton Art metallic green embossing powder.

You can see the pretty sheen in the photo below. 

That's all I have for you this time.  Hope you enjoyed my card.  Stay warm and safe!!!


Thank you for the honor of entering this card in the following challenges:
1. MFP Oriental Sketch Challenge #59
2. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge #11 - Anything Goes
3. Hiding in my Craft Room Challenge #180 - Freestyle
4. Pixie's Snippets Playground Weeks 156-157
5. Shopping our Stash Challenge #182 - Thrice as Nice

Winter Thank You - Scraps on my Table 2

"Sometimes he sits at your feet looking into your face with an expression so gentle and caressing that the depth of this gaze startles you."
                                                                    -------------Theophile Gautier

Hi, Friends.....

I am back with the second post of the day.  I made several cards in the last day or two and am now catching up on posting them.  :)

Seems like I am always needing thank you cards, and most especially at this time of year after receiving so many wonderful gifts from friends and family!  So when I saw that Mark's Finest Paper Sketch with a Twist had a Winter theme, I knew a thank you card was in order.....and I had the scraps and snippets right on my table for making it.

Here's the sketch they gave us this time:

Here's my take:

I went for a rustic, distressed style this time.  I had a scrap of DCWV patterned paper looking at me and also a snippet from Echo Park's Winter Wishes collection.  I pulled out the letters from that same collection to spell out my greeting.

I wanted to enhance the patterned paper, so I stamped and heat-embossed some snowflakes with an image from MFP's Calendar set.  I also added some opalescent white sequins that have a pale pink sheen at just the right angle.  I liked how these went with the subtle pink in the paper.

I tied a bow around it with some light blue plastic raffia.  I don't really care for this stuff, so I have been trying to use it up.  Despite my indifference, what do you bet I will end up being sorry to see it gone???  Ha.  I still have some, though, so it will be a while yet.

Hope you liked my Scraps on my Table 2 card.  I am loving using some of these up! 

Ding Ding Ding.......New Follower Introduction Time!!!
I meant to do this introduction on my previous post, but this will work.  I am now at 76 followers on Google Friend!!  Hip Hip (Oh, please stop talking abt my hips after I've been eating so many Christmas goodies!!!) Hooray!!!

Karen Lunagirl is the genius behind Lunagirl Moonbeams which specializes in the most wonderful vintage images.  She runs challenges, which is how I recently got acquainted with her site, and has amazing collage packages you can order.  It is a joy to visit her website!!  Thank you so much, Karen, for becoming a follower.  I appreciate your support!!  This ginormous smile is for you!!!

Thanks to each of you for stopping in.  Your sweet comments keep me inspired and encouraged!!!


Thank you for the honor of entering this card in the following challenges:
1. MFP Speedy TV Sketch with a Twist Challenge #120 - Twist: Winter

2. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge #11 - Anything Goes  
3. Hiding in my Craft Room Challenge #180 - Freestyle
4. Pixie's Snippets Playground Weeks 156-157

5. DRS Designs Challenge #154 - Winter Wonderland

Flower Silhouette - Scraps on my Table 1

"Pure herring oil is the port wine of English cats."
                                                     ------------Honore de Balzac

Hi, Friends.....

I bet I'm not the only one who has been trying to clean up their craft table lately!  Am I right?  I have a myriad of scraps and snippets, bits and pieces of things that I cannot bear to I have determined to use a bunch of them this coming year -- starting now! 

I found this flower silhouette in my heap the other day. (Actually it was upright in a little plastic box.....I absolutely refuse to confirm or to deny whether I have a true "heap" on the other side of my craft mat!)  It was a failed Perfect Pearls experiment that I had heat-embossed with sparkly powder.  I fussy cut around the image to make it usable, at last.  

The tags, from a cute but neglected little K&Co. tag-pad were falling off the edge of my table onto the couch beside were also nearby.  Although I try to keep these handy, I hardly ever can find them use them.  Happily, the colors seem to be right for my image.  I stamped the tag on the left with an Oriental character background from the MFP - Works of Art set, using Simon Says Stamp ink in Khaki.

The navy background was another failed Perfect Pearls attempt.  The image never looked that great, so I wiped off the PP with a synthetic cotton ball....which only served to smudge it!  But I actually kind of liked the gentle, shimmery gold aura it left.  With the corner-punching, I think it looks nice behind the tags.  

Here's an angled shot to show the shimmer and shine.

I wrapped some thrift store metallic gold yarn around the card and mounted the whole thing on a premade DCWV shiny, glittery gold card base.  

As you see, I scored big on using bits and pieces from my heap (figure of speech only, still neither confirming nor denying!)  on this card (YAY!!) and I think it actually turned out kind of pretty.  Let me know what you think, too!!! 


Thank you for the honor of entering this card in the following challenges:
1. MFP Speedy Fox and Friends Challenge #242 - Round those Corners 
2. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge #11 - Anything Goes  
3. Hiding in my Craft Room Challenge #180 - Freestyle
4. DL.Art December Linky Challenge - Anything Goes
5. Pixie's Snippets Playground Weeks 156-157

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wedding Card - White on Pastels

Perfect use for Santa hat after Christmas.

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."
                          -------------Leonardo da Vinci
Hi, Friends.....

Did you have a nice Christmas???  We sure did.  We ate together with friends at their house.  We packed food over there and combined it with things they made and had a feast.  I thought we might miss out on our usual white Christmas since our weather has been so temperate lately.  But just like magic, snow fell on Christmas Eve day and we had a white Christmas after all.  More is predicted for the next 24 hours and then temps are supposed to drop to near zero.  Brrrrr!  Winter seems finally to have arrived. 

Today I am sharing a wedding card I made for the son of some friends.  The couple are getting married on New Years Day.  For this one, I pulled out a white premade DCWV embossed card with this lovely floral pattern.  Is it a rose?  I am thinking it is.  

I tried out something different for my background this time.  You know how I like to experiment with messy and gooey background techniques, right?  :)  So I adapted this idea from one of my many failed experiments from a different technique I was trying.  I was pretty sure I could use this for Plan B, if the other one didn't work.   Well, guess didn't work and so here I am!  Ha.  

I squeezed out some Tombow Multi Mono liquid glue onto a non-stick craft mat.  With a wet craft sponge, I spread the glue out somewhat evenly in a rectangle slightly larger than this card.  Then I turned this card over and laid the embossed side on the glue and brayered it.  I removed the card and let the glue dry.  This particular glue stays sticky when dry (which I generally hate!!) but which was exactly what I needed this time!  I dabbed on small amounts of Perfect Pearls (Pink Gumball and Green Patina).  Using a big round fluffy brush, I brushed the powder around to cover all the gluey, gooey area.  Then I took a synthetic cotton ball and lightly brushed off any excess so it wouldn't get on the bride and groom.....bad form!!  (It's one thing for us crafters to be wearing bits of shimmery powder unevenly on our faces and clothes, but most people don't consider it as fashionable as we do!)   I also picked off of my card the bristles my brush had shed. (Do you think it has anything to do with buying cheap brushes?????  Ha.) 

In the photo below, you can see a bit of the shimmer that the Perfect Pearls impart.  LOVE!!!!  So glad I got a whole bunch of different colors for half-price at JoAnn's!!   I have an idea you will be seeing more of this technique.  :)

My sentiment is from the Mark's Finest Papers set called Lily of the Valley, which I stamped in Distress Ink - Bundled Sage.  I mounted it on some vellum and picked out a vellum butterfly I previously had made and had in my stash.  I like it in place of a bow.  And I like how the vellum doesn't draw too much attention away from the delicate background.  

Hope the happy couple will like their card.  Let me know what you think of my new technique?  Hope you are enjoying this week between the holidays!!!  Maybe I will get snowed in and have to craft 24/7.  :)


Thank you for the honor of entering this card in the following challenges:
1. MFP Speedy Fox and Friends Challenge #242 - Round those Corners
2. Dreamweaver Stencils December Challenge - Cute and/or Quick
3. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge #11 - Anything Goes
4. Word Art Wednesday Challenge #163 - Anything Goes
5. Lunagirl Moonbeams Challenge- Winter in Pink

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to each of you.  I pray you have a blessed and joyful holiday season!!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11

See you in a day or two!!!  :)


Monday, December 22, 2014

Two-Minute Way to Dress up Gifts

"A catless writer is almost inconceivable.  It's a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys."
                                                                   ----------Barbara Holland

Hi, Friends.....

I am here with a done-in-a-snap project.  I needed a quick gift for a couple I recently met, so I packaged up some homemade goodies in a plain gold tin.  (I buy these at thrift stores throughout the year.  They are always cheap and you can find some really pretty ones. I try to get patterns and solids.)  The white envelope holding my handmade card seemed too bland, even with the gold writing.

Out came the dazzling gold crinkle ribbon that my friend, Karen, sent me.  (THANKS, Karen!!)  I secured a little snippet of this gorgeous stuff to the envelope with Beacon 3-in-1 and embellished with foam snowflakes.  I think it added just what my gift needed.  This quick project is easily adapted for other gift-giving occasions besides Christmas, too!  Cool!!!

Okay, I am off to a bridal shower.  Merry Christmas to each of you!!!


Thank you for the honor of entering this quick project in the following challenges:
1. Vandicrafts Artistry Challenge #22 - Anything Goes w/ CAS option
2. Dreamweavers Stencils December Challenge #18 - Quick &/or Cute
3. Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge #208 - Whatever is Still Urgently Needed for Christmas
4. Monday Morning Challenge #1 - Anything Christmas or Winter
5. Allsorts Challenge Week 290/291 - Last Minute Gifts

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Molten Christmas Tree

"Cats are smarter than dogs.  You cannot get eight cats to pull a sled through snow."
                                                             -------------Jeff Valdez


Hi, Friends......

I am back with another of my molten background cards.  You can see other examples here (including a description of the technique) here, and here.  

For this card, I dry embossed some red cardstock using the Darice Christmas Tree embossing folder.  Then I Versamarked all over and heat embossed with some copper embossing powder, repeating the process several times to get a good molten effect.  Sorry for the shadowy photography!! 

 Here's an angled shot so you can see the shimmer of the metallic embossing powder.  Yum!!!  I added some pretty little rhinestones here and there for more sparkle.  :)

 Here's a close-up for a better peek at the molten look.  LOVE!!!  

This doesn't look very coppery.  My camera doesn't do well with colors when I am trying to show the shimmer.  (One or the other, Jeeves, but not both.  Yes, sir.)  But I think you get the idea after seeing several of these cards, right?

I mounted this panel onto a red card base.  Overall, it is almost a monochromatic look with the shimmery copper over the red cardstock and the red/orange tone rhinestones.  I like how it turned out.  

Let me know what you think, too.  I appreciate you taking time out of your busy holiday schedule to visit me.  I love reading your comments!!!  Hope your Christmas week is lovely!


Thank you for the honor of entering this card in the following challenges:
1. Vandicrafts Artistry Challenge #22 - Anything Goes w/ CAS option
2. Sparkle N Sprinkle December 2014 Challenge - Anything Goes with loose glitter, embossing powder, and/or flocking
3. Double Click AKA Abusybee Challenge #11 - Happy Holidays
4. Monday Morning Challenge #1 - Anything Christmas or Winter

Snowy Church Scene

Ah...the foibles of husband-wife communication.  Ha!
 "We humans are indeed fortunate if we happen to be chosen to be owned by a cat."

Hi, Friends......

I am here with a card that I made inspired by one that Kristine Werner shared in the Online Holiday Card Class 2014.  I won an entrance to this class from Walter & Winnie (Thanks, W&W!).  It was fun, although it came at a super-busy time for me.  I will have to revisit many of the lessons at a later date....and maybe use the ideas for other times of the year.

I rarely do background sponging, but I gave it a try with some Black Soot Distress Ink onto some royal blue cardstock.  I was amazed at how easy it was and how much that added to the sky!  Remind me to try this more often!!!  Then I splattered the background with some Heidi Swapp Color Shine in white.  I hadn't done that very many times, either, so it was a bit scary (what if it looks horrible????)...but fun, too.

Next I pulled out one of my very first rubber stamps.  It is special to me because Hubby purchased it and a couple of others for me over 25 years ago.  The tranquility of this nostalgic church image seems reminiscent of a simpler time and place and makes this stamp one of my favorites, even now.  I stamped and heat-embossed in white.  Then I placed a few clear rhinestones in the sky.  I tied a silver ribbon around the blue panel and mounted it on a white card base.  

Still....something was missing........GLITTER GLUE!!!  lol....  Oh, my goodness, I LOVE that sparkly, gooey stuff!!! 

I added a few dots of silver glitter glue to the sky and called it good.  I mass-produced around 10 of these, which made the entire process go a lot faster.  Hope you like how it turned out.  A few of you reading this blog might find one in your mailbox!  :)  


Thank you for the honor of entering this card in the following challenges:
1. Vandicrafts Artistry Challenge #22 - Anything Goes w/ CAS option
2. Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Anything Goes
3. MFP Friends of Speedy TV Challenge #147 - Blue and Silver
4. As You Like It Challenge - Favourite Christmas Image and Why
5. WOW! Embossing Powder Dec. 2014 Monthly Challenge - Memories

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Hanukkah

"Everything comes to those who wait......except a cat."
                                                                            ------------Mario Andretti

Hi, Friends.......

I am here with a Hanukkah card I made for the dear gentleman who lives next door to us.  (Thank you to Chana at 613 Avenue Create Challenge Blog for reminding me about Hanukkah beginning!)  My design for this card is simple, but I added a touch of elegance with my molten background technique that I detailed in this post.  I think the gold is perfect for the Festival of Lights.

For this card, I used my Darice Circle Interlock embossing folder and heat embossed all over with gold.  I wanted the design pattern to show up a little better, so I brayered Versamark over the surface and heat embossed with a deep blue that matches the cardstock.

The sentiment is from the Fall and Winter Holiday Sentiments set that was a prize from A Creative Journey with Melissa.  (THANKS, Melissa!!)  I backed it with some DCWV glitter cardstock and mounted the whole thing on some Coredinations blue cardstock. 

Also, in keeping with the holiday, I saw this adorable Hanukkah paper plate craft on the Ain't She Crafty blog.  I thought our neighbor would enjoy Little Peach making a craft for him, too.  Here she is....hard at work with some glitter glue.

With some help and coaching from her mommy, here she is with her finished project.  Cute, huh?  :)

Ding Ding Ding.......New Follower Introduction Time!!!!!

Ellie of My Creative Moments runs the Monday Morning Challenge where I entered my One-Sheet Wonder cards, but Ellie makes some *gorgeous* cards, herself.  Her Winter Song card that is top on her blog right now is one you do not want to miss!!!  Thanks so much, Ellie, for your support and encouragement in becoming a follower here.  This ginormous smile is what spreads over my face whenever I get a new follower.  This one is for you!!!

Thank you all for stopping by.  I appreciate each and every one of you and especially love to read your comments!!!   Hope you are having a lovely holiday season!


Thank you for the honor of entering this card in the following challenges:
1.  Vandicrafts Artistry Challenge #21 - Anything Goes w/ opt of squares (but no squares this time)
2.  Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Anything Goes
3.  Inkspirational Challenges #71 - Anything Goes with Gold
4.  Scrapbook Blessings Club December Linky Party - Anything Goes-Happy Holidays
5.  Frosted Designs Friday Challenge - Holiday Project, No Red or Green