Thursday, May 29, 2014

Come on, baby...

Yep, you guessed it!  "Light my fire!"  Tell me you've had this happen, too: I had a dream about this card, complete with smoke.

Another PCC - this time for Winnie & Walter's Play-date #2 with this gorgeous inspiration:

Winnie &Walter is my go-to, little black dress, of sentiment stamps... this time, paired with Mama Elephant's Sketchy alphas and my own silly sense of humor.
AND I know it's a stretch BUT I'm submitting it to  Retro Sketches #116  They have some very fair "fine print" - so we'll see if it flies =]

I'm nearly late!

Another quick post for the Reverse Confetti May color challenge - yikes, I'm cutting this really close! It was not a great photo taking day yesterday with all the rain - but I promised to accentuate the positives!

And, just to let you know I do have cardstock:

The three colors are so subtle here ... sure hope this is reads well in blogger-land =]

I know what the song says, but, I NEVER eliminate the negatives...

... from my craft-room anyway =]

Color challenges are, well just that, for me - challenging.  I never have the right colors in my 6x6 stash and usually go where my imagination takes me.  Cue the PCC's - don't say I didn't warn you =] 

Reverse Confetti has combined gorgeous colors this month... and the bouquet of flowers *sigh* really longs to be on my kitchen island...


I felt no words were necessary - my interpretation: 

I'm wondering this morning... why did I buy all these pads of patterned paper again?  I will accentuate the positive on another PCC, coming to a blog-post near you, soon =]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hi, honey bee =]

Wow. If the cue word from CASology this week doesn't scream SUMMER! Personally, I would BEE happier if the sun would shine just a little bit today.  I know the garden needs the rain, but the tomatoes need sunshine [almost] as much as I.

Deepti did an amazing job with her inspiration card - go right now and check it out ... wow... by hand!  I had a little helping-hand with a Paper Smooches die, and a rolled flower die from MFT. Yes, there may be a few more Paint Chip Cards [PCC] from me this week - hope you don't mind.  My motto is "when the chips are down - create something" =]

Hope it's sunny in your yard today =]

Second helpings

There are some challenges that just beg to be done a second time, don't you think?  That is how I felt about CAS(E) this Sketch #77.  Tom likes frogs.  I LOVE babies =]

Inside sentiment: 
. . . two eyes of wonder, and a button nose. 
Proof of God's existence with ten precious, pink toes.

This one's for you, babe =]

Tom is my husband.  Before I start to list all the things that are wonderful about him, I'll restrain myself... the list would be too long.  The weather in Michigan, though warming up, has been rather wet.  Our back yard pond has overflowed it's banks and it's a mess BUT guess who is happy about it?  Tom... and the frogs =]  When I showed him the newest challenge for CAS(E) this Sketch he immediately saw lily pads.  Sooooooo... this one's for you, babe.

It will be perfect for the housewarming party we'll be attending soon =]
Hoping everything is great at your pad, too =]

Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Thank you" doesn't seem sufficient

Tomorrow we'll celebrate, and remember, those we've lost in service to our country.  To those who serve today, and all the families who are missing you, I thank you.  God bless.

Friday, May 23, 2014


As if you couldn't tell this, I'm new to blogging, challenges, and CAS design.  So, just when I felt I was getting the hang of it, remembering the white space, restraining myself - this happens:

Now, please, don't misunderstand me, I love this card... LOVE IT.  Love Wida's creations, each and every one.  But this totally blew my mind.... which brought me to my Iron Butterfly-inspired title =]
Here's my take:

I found this little bundle of die-cuts from K&Company in my stash.  This was the most difficult composition I've made in a very long time.  Thanks, Wida Miller.... and why do I always associate the movie Ghost with your name?  OHHHH!  That's it!  See if you can figure it out =]

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last chance, and 1st Hello [photo example]

This morning I received two important messages among the mess in my in-box:  from Watercolor for Card Makers Class, a notice that today is the last day to post comments or entries to their gallery [of gorgeousness]. 

Next, and really the best, the most recent edition of Debby Hughes' lime light photography posts.  It has been photo-life changing =]  I need lots of practice, and a white board for the backdrop as you'll see in the photo of my card.  I use my dining-room table for my set-up because it has the best lighting from the East.  I've got to get to it pretty early though or it is too bright!  I'm trying, Debby!!

Made this little card with my newest Mama Elephant "Sweet Havana" stamp arrival, the wonderful Winnie & Walter 'hello' and a technique learned in class - loved it! 

And, of course, the CASology challenge keeps knocking at my brain.. . hmmm... is it CAS enough?  Am I brave enough?  [Crud.  Now I have Mick Jagger in my brain!!!  Could be worse things, I guess.]

Will be searching for a cheeseboard... if you know Debby's creations,
you'll know exactly what I mean =]

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

More flowers?

Just in case =]  I love this Challenge at CASology and wanted to add a little more punch =]

Ali Edwards stamp - Martha Stewart punch
Week 96 - Flower
MFT Gerber Daisy die for flower centers and accents
Hey! Before I leave you today, I wanted to tell you about our new arrivals on Monday!  Yesterday, I experienced a whole lot of "empty nest" syndrome - for real =]  Ta Daaa - the first three, of eleven total, that made that big leap into this scary world of ours:

If this isn't the epitome of Totes Adorbs, what is?

If a little thank you can mean a lot...

Can a tiny bloom be as sweet?  I think so =]  I have a new friend in this fun blogging world - she'll know just who I mean when I say "merci!"  This one's for you!

I've again taken that little Hydrangea punch from Martha Stewart out of hiding to make the leaves for this tiny little bloom - an adhesive metal accent from CLOUD9Design. 

I wish I could give credit for the bits of embossing on the white background - you know me and my BHITR [blog-hopping-in-the-round].  It's as simple as getting a hammer from the tool-box, placing a piece of cardstock inside, and giving the folder a few gentle strategic whacks from the reverse side. Sending a big thanks to "Ms. Ingenious" as well. . . wherever you are! You'll be seeing it again [and again =].  Let me know if you know who she is, okay?

I'm hoping the ladies at the CASology challenge think this qualifies as a FLOWER as I'm submitting it for Challenge Wk. 96. =] 

I better do another, just in case =[

Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Challenge!

Well, new to me =]  Does anyone else blog "in the round"?  I go to one, which leads me to the next, etc., etc.  I really can't tell you how I got here, but I did and am so happy I did - Cure for the Monday Blues.  Here is their current challenge #17, and wouldn't we all love that nursery?
This was what I came up with... hope it qualifies, and that I get it linked in time!! 
See you tomorrow!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


I just kind of love tiny things =]  This little thing just turned out so much better than I ever thought it would - Jennifer R. told us this might happen =]

A little Amy Butler stamp from K&Company I picked up a while back.
The embossing folder is a Cuttlebug - tres magnifique! Non?
[I wish my Mum were still with me. She would love this and I needed help with that French =]

Hello Faux!

Faux water coloring that is =]  I went straight to my old faithful Hero Arts "Blossom Art" for my homework.  Completed the flower, assembled the card, then decided to add a sentiment - honestly, I almost didn't do it - it was scary =[  With a fave Winnie & Walter, I should not have been so afraid... perfect [to me anyway =]

I'm adding a little close-up to show the detail of the leaves I cut so they could be lifted a little.
Talk about scary?  No sweat. =]

Friday, May 16, 2014


My homework during the Watercolor Class for Card Makers Class has often ended up looking like a dog's dinner and come very close to ending up in the bin.  Today, I attempted to rescue a few.  The first actually comes from Day 1 and the incredible Laura Bassen where she demonstrated a really cool technique of laying down stripes of Distress Ink onto an acrylic block, then capturing that very wet color to a piece of watercolor paper. At the end of my play time, I had a very wet watercolor paint set.  Sooooo... I took a piece of watercolor paper [or two] and pressed it onto the set... yes, right onto the paints themselves.  I promptly set them in a box to dry, where they've sadly been UNTIL today:

The background was the first pressing which I embossed; the die cuts are from the second pressing! 
It almost looks as if the die cuts are cut from the background, but no, they are not!
I'm submitting this in two challenges.  Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge is "Die Crazy", and CASE Study 191 - "Splash!" Another for Splash with a little free hand coloring with watercolors, a few Martha's butterflies cut from the leftovers from above, and Heidi Swapp gold:

And 2 other "rescues" for Die Crazy:

This time I actually cut from the background watercolor paper I created with Debby Hughes.
Have a great weekend, everybody - hope the sun shines where you are, and you get to color.
=] Michele

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Another sentiment-al day =]

Yesterday was wonderful.  Today, I'm faced with an extraordinary stack of cards that need to be dealt with.  By that I mean finished.  I write a personal sentiment for each card, then it gets packaged inside a cellophane envelope with an envelope, or box if dimensional, and a copy of the inside sentiment tucked into the outside so it doesn't have to be opened to be read.  Phew!

I have around 150 cards packaged at this moment, with another twenty or so here...  I'm wondering about selling them in a craft fair.  So.  Does anyone else do this?  Successfully? =]  I haven't purchased a greeting card of any kind in about five years.  So, when I see the prices in the stores, I wonder how anyone can afford to attach a gift!  Please share! 

Here is my pre-packaged 'mess.' 

Funny thing about that chicken...  I sometimes submit to the sketch challenges, we've talked about that.  I won't mention which one, just because I don't want to embarrass myself.  I thought the sketch was of a really far-out, funky looking chicken... turns out it was not.  Go figure.  I happen to like far-out, funky chickens =]
Go stuff your envelopes, Michele =[

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My luckiest day!

Today, I celebrate love, and second chances.  It is this date, 19 years ago, that I married for a second time.  I didn't take this decision lightly, my friends.  Tom has given me such love - that I sometimes wonder if I even deserve.  We are so different, yet make a great team.  I didn't give him babies, but oh does he love those six grand-babies - All the joy, none of the "clean up." 

Here is the card I made for Tom to celebrate our day:

I came across a challenge blog this morning that I wasn't aware of - Time Out Challenges whose challenge uses words to inspire [you know that my favorite inspiration].  This week the words are:
"Time flies/Love lasts"
Could it be more appropriate?  =]

Monday, May 12, 2014

Retro. . .

. . . Me?  From the web: The term retro refers to clothing, style, and design which is outdated. Generally to be considered retro, something must be between 20 and 25 years old. Hey!  I qualify - two or three times!  Retro Sketches, however, are fresh, new, and fun every week. 

Here is the sketch from the wonderful, amazing Laurie Willison.. who rocks my card-making world with every card =]  I've attempted to incorporate a little technique from one of the Watercolor for Card-makers Class in which you white emboss, then color.  I could not have been more simple in my interpretation =[  But the fussy cutting!  Come on!
It's a very stormy day here in Spring Lake, Michigan.  I apologize if the photo is a bit dreary -
Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink for coloring; the little lanterns from American Crafts Terrace Collection; "little moments..." sentiment from American Crafts Dear Lizzy stamp set. 
My Mind's Eye In Bloom 6x6 paper.  Coats silver thread - I never tire of it =]

Something so simple...

... can be so challenging, right?  Take sketch #75 from the CAS(E) this Sketch Challenge.  Now, they leave plenty of room for interpretation in their challenge, while remaining true to the CAS style.  But wow...
I'm kind of in love with white right now so, I give you 'Heart & Flower' - did you get them?  =] 
White flower [MFT Hybrid Camellia] cut from the same paper as my card base [Neenah solar white 110#], and a little silver embossed heart atop a die cut bookmarker from Paper Smooches.
The ampersand embossing folder is from Stampin' Up.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

It is always wonderful to be acknowledged for something you hold dear... children, thank you.  Retro Sketches, this shout-out is wonderful, too =] 
Some paper pads just make it so easy to combine patterns... which I admit to having a problem with, being all CAS-loving.  This one, "2wenty-Thr3e" from Cosmo Cricket, has been a fave.  And the Meadow Dragonfly die from Memory Box has made many an appearance on my card table. 

Have a beautiful day, with kids or cats, it's dirty job, but someone has to do it!!  Hope you get to play cards, too.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Vicki Dutcher, our Muse =]

This week of classes has been wonderful.  It's taken priority over just about everything.  Over at the Muse challenge 66, we're inspired by the fabulous Vicki Dutcher... need I say more?  So here is my take on her beautiful, wonderfully inspirational card:

The flower is the Hybrid Camellia from MFT and, of course, a little W&W sentiment =]
Pulled out a Martha Stewart punch for the butterfly - it has been awhile, and I missed that little guy.


... to make a card using the second background stamp/watercolor sample I did on Day 2.  It has been staring me down for a few days =] 

"No matter which letters of the alphabet I use, I'm stopping by to say "HI" and "LUV U."
I've totally fallen for the sentiment stamps from Winnie & Walter's Big and Bold set.  The little 'bonjour' is from an old Basic Grey set - one of the first I ever purchased!  It's been around a while =]
Yesterday's Watercolor Class was just amazing.  Until Monday when this class started, I never realized how little I use colored inks.  Needless to say, I have a newfound respect for Distress Inks.
I'm keeping a list of items I'd like to purchase - it is not good =[ 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

For Julie Ebersole

An unusual cast of characters from my desk helped to do my 'homework' today.  Julie E. did a great job inspiring me to use a pencil eraser [I even used the cap], some Distress Ink and a die that does a partial cut... The butterfly die she used reminded me of a flower punch from Martha that only partially cuts! Can you see them?!

My husband saves those little white bottles for me from his dental lab. Between the two of us, we do our share of reuse/repurpose, let me tell you. That little bugger dispenses the tiniest little droplets of water - but its cap was the star of my card today =]  Ta Da:

Thanks to all the great teachers today. [I have a bit more homework to do later =]

Silence IS golden

CASology has a weekly challenge that really uses the best inspiration for me: a word.  One Cue Word can so quickly get my create juices going. Even better than a sketch.  Here is the card I made the week I was a guest designer [who can guess what the cue word was?]:

This week their Cue Word is METAL.  I've recently had my opinion of gold converted and fallen for Mama Elephant and their Sketchy Letters.  Here is my entry:

And take a looky-loo at Mother Nature's Wink of Stella-ish glow on those African Violets!!!  Phenomenal =]
We've finally had a warm-up in Michigan - thank you very much.  Time to open some windows - a little birdsong never spoiled my idea silence.  And I'm off to Day 4 of the Watercolor Class.
Enjoy your day - hope you get to color  =] 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I'm pretty new to challenges...

... so to receive honorable mention is a pretty nice treat to wake to this morning... thanks to all who voted, and thanks to our fabulous hosts at Muse.  Here is the card I entered:

When Tom and I built our home, a friend of mine gave me a Benjamin Moore paint-chip bundle... I've been having so much fun with it.  You'll see them again =] Just love the color names!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Hero - Debby Hughes!

Imagine my surprise with this morning's Watercolor Class!!  I never peek to see who will be the teachers for the day =] 

Debby is an exceptional teacher... doesn't hurt that I get to listen to her wonderful accent - I know, Debby I have the accent!  I do hope we'll see her again, really soon.

I really had to dig for a background stamp.  I had better luck using them with this watercolor technique, than regular stamping. Could be the Distress Inks I used.  Here are my first attempts:
With an Hero Arts alphabet background stamp - Spiced Marmalade ink
Using an Hero Arts Hounds-tooth background stamp
Turns out, my first try was a charm [orange on right].  Here is what I created with it:

Aga and Jennifer are awesome, too!!  Jennifer, I didn't have masking fluid, so I'll try that one later =]
Coats & Clark silver thread. Fab sentiments from Winnie & Walter!


Sentiment: "... and you, and YOU, and YOU! [sigh]. . . don't get around much anymore."

I've sent a few cards for the 3rd of Virginia's View Challenge to stitch.  Well, you've seen what I have to work with.  That 40 year old foot pedal is going to get the boot one of these days.

This card literally came to me during the night - then again, and again.  Never to be ignored:

I found the outline on the internet, printed it on thin paper, sewn with a simple stitch, then carefully tore away the paper.  The thread is Coats & Clarks, silver star brad from Recollections, and that wonderful little sentiment that I use ad nauseum is from an old Holiday set from PTI - on a Paper Smooches tab. I missed my mitten - drats!

Here's another entry using one of my own color challenges I promised to tackle - remember?  ORANGE - It's growing on me.  No sentiment needed here . . . it could be a little naughty hee, hee =]  Have I mentioned my other color/hate relationship?  GOLD! [apologies to Debby - I'm trying!!]

Up, up and away!

I thought I'd have a dozen or so cards to post after yesterday's class... then Monday happened =]  Yeesh... I guess it could have been worse. 

After actually painting along with Jennifer, Laura, and Kristina [how cool is that?] I let everything dry nicely and then the hate set in. 

I had no luck with the stencil but know that it's totally my own fault and not Jenn's - she has incredible teaching skills.  I don't think I left it wet enough for the color to pool under the stencil.  I'll be giving that another chance.

Next, Laura.  Oh Laura how I covet your. . . supplies =[  I have two [don't hate me] Distress Ink pads.  I've only ever used the Orange Marmalade at Halloween and the Brick Red...?  So I did my best, but you'll see the shape of my acrylic block made a difference, too.  Then there's that oops - see it? 
Kristina's process was one I was familiar with so I'll share a little something I put together that I'll call a fusion of several methods:

To me?  It doesn't get much better than coloring, and paper dolls =]