Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Flower Challenge #59: Use a die!


Welcome, my friends!  I've been away for so long - I've almost forgotten how to do this blogging thing!  I'm happy to be back in my craft studio, and couldn't be happier for our August's theme for The Flower Challenge:  use a die!  I have so many gorgeous dies, and aren't afraid to admit that it might be a favorite crafty supply.  So let's get to it, shall we?

I'm using the option of making a slimline card today ... you don't have to, but I found it gave me more real estate for this gorgeous Altenew Craft-a-Flower: Cistus!  You know I have to say it again:  with CISTUS LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS BROTHERS???

My die-cut Cistus were started with half-sheets of Ranger water color card stock, a few favorite colors from my Altenew water color pan set, which were applied rather willy-nilly to the card stock with a big wet brush.  After it dried, I picked up a scripty background stamp, adding it here and there with grey Versafine ink.  I then arranged my dies, and ran them through my Platinum 6 die-cut machine, layered up my blooms, and arranged them to my liking.  

You'll see just a bit of grey peeking through... it's actually my card base, and the background panel is another piece of water color card cut in two using a simple swoopy hill die from Paper Smooches - sadly no longer available.  A smattering of Pinkfresh jewels, and my card is complete!

Here's a peek at my lovely left-overs ... 

I hope to see you in The Flower Challenge #59 gallery!  Won't you also join me as I take a look at all the loveliness my teammates have creating here?  We have a wonderful guest this month - I'm so happy to also call her my friend:  Therese Calvird!!!  Oh my goodness you won't want to miss her fabulous die-cut card!

Thank you for stopping by!
=]  Michele

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Christmas Kickstart Challenge #53


By now I've figured out what most inspires me to make a card: a photo inspiration!  I'm so loving all the bits of inspiration I found in Christmas Kickstart's Challenge #53 photo inspiration ... here's a closeup of it:

Right down there in the bottom right corner... that shaggy stool just called out for my Pinkfresh Studio Festive Llama!  complete with his colorful poms!  I'm so surprised they pulled this one from their product line.

I also had an impromptu play date with my friend Cat!! 
Thanks for being so willing to answer my video-call, my friend! 

As Cat and I chatted, I showed her my 'what do I do with it now?' bin of wonderful
snippets - I found this fun white-on-white heat-embossed panel!  
Kismet, I think!  It's an after-Christmas 2020 purchase from 
SSS called Outline Merry.

I'm going to get this card into the Christmas Kickstart Challenge link, and then I'm going to see if Cat has her card posted - why not come along?  Hey, and play along, too!!

=]  Michele

Sunday, August 1, 2021

CAS Mix Up August 2021 - Guest Designer!

Jenny is our host for CAS Mix Up August 2021, and I'm so pleased to be invited to be her guest!  Thank you, Jenny!  Here is the fun technique Jenny has chosen for us:

After looking through my stencils, I found a few open enough to make this technique work well.  Jenny has shared a few videos to watch over at the CAS Mix Up blog post.  But here is how I found stamping through a stencil worked best for me:

    Step one:  cut an A2 panel of card stock, apply a bit of repositionable tape to the 
    back, and adhere to a sheet of MISTI grid paper, centering as best you can.

    Step two:   Add your choice of stencil [an open design is recommended] and use     washi tape to keep in place.  This is also a good time to position your chosen                stamp, too - today I'm using MFT's Roses all Over cling stamp today.  

    Step three: I then picked up the grid paper, with stencil attached, and fit it into         a clipboard for blending. 

    Step four:  After blending, place the grid paper back into your MISTI, and stamp     repeatedly, right through the stencil, until you are happy with the coverage.  It is      imperative that your blended ink is completely dry before stamping!!!  

My panel was trimmed down using a Pinkfresh Studio Stitched Rectangle die.  I found a fun die for my sentiment, and here are the results!

Here's a look at my inks, and the embossed panel I use for a little lift, 
without adding foam squares.  This Altenew Happy Birthday die has such a fun font - I did a mop up of water-spritzed Scattered Straw ink to add the color.  Leave it to Waffle Flower Crafts to have enamel dots to match!

and a closeup:

Okay, I'm so excited to see what Jenny and the CAS Mix Up team has created, aren't you?  See you there!?  Thanks again, Jenny!

=]  Michele

Friday, July 30, 2021

Altenew Inspiration Challenge July 2021

Nicole has such a gorgeous photo for Altenew's July Inspiration Challenge!  I saw the perfect 'fireworks' in my Altenew Beautiful Heart set, that has really gotten a LOT of attention this month ... today I paired it with a wonderful sentiment from Altenew's Cherished Memories, and heat embossed it in gold.

Today is the last day of my get-away staycation!  I've missed you all so much, but have seen and loved all that you've created!  I will be back to visiting, and leaving some comment-love on Sunday, August 1st!  

=]  Michele


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Playing Cards with Friends - Christmas in July!

Hello, friends!  It's time for another Playing Cards with Friends session.  But before I introduce July's friend, allow me to introduce our newest bird-family members:

Meet two of the five new Tree Swallow nestlings, at two weeks old, 
about a week before they left the nest box!  
They are now flying solo, and learning to hunt bugs on-the-fly with their parents!

Ask, and you shall receive!

Now, back to my Christmas in July guest...

My July card-playing friend is Jen Shears, a wonderful friend, and card-maker, who blogs at Jen Shears Designs.  Most often Jen can be found posting on Instagram @jen_shears where you'll be treated to very cute cards, but let me tell you - this girl has a green-thumb, too! Be sure to follow her there, I envy her cut-flower garden - and the friends and neighbors who receive her most wonderful bouquets!

When Jen accepted my invitation to play cards, I couldn't have been more happy to plan our Christmas in July theme with these parameters:

We will both use Papertrey Ink's Two Feet Deep 
with Red, and Kraft as our main colors, 
and one of the PTI Limitless Layer sets!

OKAY!  With those three things in mind, I headed into my craft studio and completely forgot the last guideline: Limitless Layers!!!  UGH!  But it's too cute not to share, and there's always room for one more Christmas card, right? 

Studio Katia European Window die, with a few hand-cut snow drifts of vellum.

So, back to the drawing board I went! My friend Jen is a downhill skier - how could I not use these darling skis from that set?  AND I remembered the Layers!  Sadly, this set of layer dies is no longer available.  sorry.

Hmmm.  I wonder if Jen will use the skis, too?  Let's not wonder any longer!  Join me, as I head over to visit Jen's blog here.  

Thanks so very much, Jen!  I sure hope we can make our dream of card-playing together for reals happen one day - I cannot wait to come back to the PNW - and appreciate you keeping 'my room' at the ready!  wink! xx

=]  Michele

I used MFT Natural cardstock as my 'white', and Neenah Desert Storm as my kraft.
Here are the inks used today:

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

CAS Mix Up July 2021

I'm briefly interrupting my unplugged stay-cation to play cards with my friend Coni over at CAS Mix Up July 2021 - here's the fun theme Coni has chosen ...  

My AI's really don't see the light of day often ... but I love how they worked on my PTI Linen vellum, Coni!  Hope you like it, too!  

Here are the inks, I've used...

With the help of a little pipette [thank you Tom] I was able to add a bit of interest, and depth to my Altenew Modern Poinsettia after embossing, without disturbing the original inking!  I've chosen gold heat-embossing as my one other Mixed Media element.

Here's a little closeup...


Okay back to my regularly UNscheduled day!  I'll be back soon!

=]  Michele

P.S.  Nearly forgot to add this one to the CAS Christmas Challenge, too!  Thank you for the reminder Christine! xx

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Flower Challenge Reminder #58


You may have noticed I haven't been around much?  I've been
stay-cationing with my husband, which included shutting down, and tuning out  blogging, social media, and crafting!  But I have enjoyed seeing the wonderful cards you have all made - from the sidelines!  Here is a little something I got done before shutting down! 

It's time to remind you that there is still time to enter 
The Flower Challenge #58 - Add spots, or Stripes!

I found the perfect bloom to wear the spots today - complete with a few stripes 
of its own design!  
Because it's nearly six months 'til Christmas, another card for my stash!

Yes, it's one of my favorite tropical Christmas blooms again...
the line design of this Altenew Modern Poinsettia combo provided the stripes I was
looking for - but those dots?  All mine, added with two shades of
pinkish red for my spots!

Have you played along?  You know you can play again, right?  But be sure to read the rules about how many times, okay?  I don't want to be the one to lead you astray!  Find our link, and rules here!

=]  Michele

Hey! Since this card features a Poinsettia, I'm sending it over to Linda, our host at