Sunday, August 31, 2014

CASology Week 110

Cue Card: Letter

To my knowledge, Tom did not ever 'letter' in any team sport.  But, after nearly twenty years of study, he graduated Summa Cum Laude at Love U =]

For CASology Wk. 110 and the birthday boy:

and the little heart die [that I've lost] along with the tiny snowflake, from W+9. 
Yes, lost it . . . this is me crying>  =[

For you...

I had a few ask for a photo of Tom's Dulce de Leche cheesecake... because you asked so nicely:

Very, very creamy, and caramel-y - tasting a bit like a Milk Dud with the hot fudge sauce.
No card today... must.  go.  for.  a.  very.  loooooong.  walk.  =/

Friday, August 29, 2014

Muse No. 82

Another really quick post... then off to party with the birthday boy - yay!!  A big juicy burger will make my man happy... the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake I made for him will be the bonus =]  I cannot even venture a guess at the calories in this monster... 40 oz. of cream cheese, and 7 eggs - let's not get into the sugar!!!  I'm gaining as I write about it =]

For Muse No. 82 from the lovely Bobby!!  And, guess what???!!  She's another Michigan girl - YAY!  I've sent an email, received a reply and we ARE going to meet some day, soon, Bobby!

Here is Bobby's inspiration card - gasp!

I adore your embossing, Bobby, but no go... I don't have a single stencil - yet!  So this just came out of my MFT play-day yesterday.  Hope you like it!

From Nightshift Navy CS - I cut two layers of the Polka Dot cover plate die and then removed some of the dots and replaced others with another shot of Blueprint 18's stars, and Clearly Besotted's sentiments. 

I wonder if any of the rest of you just get hooked on something new and can't stop playing with it over, and over?  Undoubtedly =]

Getting Sketchy at MFT

I'm loving all the new goodies from MFT's August release.  It was so easy to Get Sketchy this time =]

Cuttlebug embossing the two-piece card front from MFT's Blueprint No. 18 really gives
that white background dramatic impact, don't you think?
Loving the sentiment from 'Remember' - Clearly Besotted - along side that lovely star. 
Some version of this will be my design for Operation Christmas Card this year.  I try to send them at least 50 cards each year.  I'd bet anything I could find a few little elves around here to help me, too!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Less is More 186 - Second helping

A totally different take on Sketch 186 this time.

Couldn't resist this little monkey =]  Totally adult rated sentiment inside for my wonderful Hubbie's birthday tomorrow!!  For Less is More - I'll keep that private - if you don't mind =]

[I know you're all dancing right now =]

Welcome back to the "Neighborhood"

I hope you don't tire of this little row of houses.  It is perfect with all its imperfections and a fussy little bugger to stamp!  The set is called "Home Phrase" by Heidi Grace. Lucky me, that I found mine at JoA.'s a long time ago.  It's been very good to me... a little win with it this week made me doubly glad to use it again today.  Besides - who can resist a "welcome mat?" 

Here is the sketch they've given:


For Less is More Week 186:

Would this not be perfect for a new neighbor named "Matt!" =]
There could be seconds, if allowed!  Good thing for me they aren't fattening =]

The Card Concept

The Challenge No. 17 photo:

Who doesn't just want to move into this bedroom? 
Come on!!  On second thought... I may not be able to close my eyes =/
Using a Clean & Simple design, a gorgeous MFT Peony die and Pierced Rectangle, green cardstock, the perfect Technique Tuesday sentiment, and a little wispy coverlet of vellum... I give you:


W&W Playdate No. 3

Pardon me repeating myself, but... Winnie & Walter?  What's not to love =]  This time, I stamped their lovely Big, Bold & Blessings Family stamp over a little background paper I created on my PC... love doing that - then - created a family tree with a little tree trunk die from PTI.  Re-cycled that bit of fab twine they send in every loving little shipment =]  Oh, and those little t.y. tags?  They will show up somewhere... thanks!

For Play-date No. 3 using this sketch:

Inside sentiment: "My favorite family-time memories begin, and end, with you!"

Winnie & Walter Playdate Day One

share the love graphic SSS
It's no secret around here that I really favor W&W's wonderful word stamps... be it Big and Bold or little typeface, I use them daily.  Well the girls are playing with SSS this week, so I wanted to play, too!

For Day 1's Rainbow palate?  I did it!!  I used every little word from The Big, Bold, & Blessing and the large Family - at least once PLUS a few from other sets!!  For you, Shay and Julie:


A Color Box stack provided every color necessary except for blue.. but hey, violet's in there, right?
Darn! I forgot the punctuation!  Hope you overlook the imperfections in my stamping... I decided it was okay, 'cuz whose family is perfect anyway?  My tag line: "The Walton's we Ain't!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Favorite Things Color Challenge #8


I have had more than a little fun with those spectacle dies... in fact I may be making a spectacle of myself  =/  Couldn't help a second helping.  Hope they don't mind at MFT!

For Challenge #8 I found a nearly perfect match of colors in a 6x6 Pack of DP from MME called Lime Twist ... nearly empty now - which hardly ever happens here, so you'll know I've loved them.  See if you agree that it works.  This design is a little sneak peek at this year's Christmas Card design =]

 MFT Gerbera Daisy and Spectacle dies; kraft, orange fizz, fuse green, and night shift blue CS.
Inside sentiment:  Hope you can see how fabulous you are... no bifocals required!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

CASology and coffee

... go together like peas & carrots, Fred & Ginger... you get my point, right?

A quick one that popped into my caffeine laden brain this morning... another one that almost missed the boat!  For CASology Week 109: Java -

Inside sentiment: Your Pot or Mine? As long as we are both full of "beans" what does it matter?
Well. Lookie there ... will be adding this to CAS(E) this Sketch!
Perhaps I was channeling  Leigh all along!

The Creative Blog Hop

You just could not imagine my delight, or the honor I felt, when I received an email from none-other-than Tracey McNeely asking me if she could introduce me to the blogging world - WHAT?  I fell in love with Tracey's style and grace very early on when I discovered reading/following card blogs. Read all about Tracey here and please do spend some lots of time looking around.  Tracey is a design team member at many of the favored challenge blogs, and her style is CAS which I've found to be my favorite.  Tracey provides me with plenty of inspiration with her gorgeous creations..  and she's Canadian as are my grandparents! As I climb my family tree, I'm hoping to find a connection =]

Tom and I have three grown children who have blessed us with six adorable grand kids.  They all live pretty close so we do enjoy getting together as often as their busy lives allow it.  When we share a meal, improvisation is necessary to seat 14 people.  Here is the result of a little crafty innovation: one side chalk-board, the other for crafts!!


Ready for Thanksgiving dinner semi-picnic style =]

After dinner, Anna 9, Lola 8, Sam 7, Madelyn 6, Drew 6, and William 5 get to make their placemats for the next gathering - Christmas!!

I'm happy to say these guys really look forward to the cards I make them for their birthdays =]

So now, in The Creative Blog Hop style, here are my answers to the four "getting to know you" questions:

1. What are you working on right now?
I just started blogging in May 2014.  After struggling with a name, I came up with a fun take on a sign that is posted in many stores in the States today where your legal age is checked - they call it "getting carded."  I try to make it a fun place to share the cards I've created for the challenges I submit to. I'm working on a new Christmas card design, too, that I'll share later. While blogging, I throw in a little bit about my life on occasion, too.  Like nesting baby wood ducks for a cute factor:

Challenges are a great way to hone my skills and an outlet for what I call my Pun-y style.  In fact, when I found CASology I believe I found my niche. For example for Cue word WOOD:

I love that Melissa hasn't curbed my sense of humor - in fact I think she's embraced it looking at her Magic card!  Which leads me to:
2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?
It is a little bit of work imagining myself worthy of being included in a genre!  But, as I get more comfortable with CAS and learn from all the greats out there who have perfected the style, I do find that I'm a little bit "out there" with my designs, and really do love it when I receive comments that tell me some of you really do "get me!"  By the way, I'm not always trying to be pun-y... I do have my soft, and sensitive side, too!  I still love it when there is a card in the real mail box and send cards often.  I really look forward to participating in Operation Christmas Cards each year.  Here is one I designed in the past.

3.  Why do I create what I do?

I've been encouraged to be creative since I was a tiny little girl who was given a new box of crayons on each birthday - I cherish the many hours spent with my Dad who taught me to outline, and how to blend colors to make new ones, or add a rosy cheek!  Mom taught me to sew my own clothing, or a new outfit for Barbie!  Today, beyond a stitched embellishment on a card, the machine is hiding in a closet.  Card-making opened a whole new world to me about five years ago.  Now, there is no going back, as I love it so.
4.  How does my creative process work?
Words.  Words are definitely important to me... I'll admit to having an alter-ego who would love to write children's books some day.   Whether a Cue, or a quote, a term used, a photo posted - much more than a sketch.  I know it sounds crazy, but I even dream about cards now.  For example:

I seriously woke up with this card in my head... sadly, my sewing machine is ancient - 41 years old - and drops stitches often... no one seems to mind my imperfections which is really why I love you all! 

Finally I come to the best part... introducing you [like they need introductions!] to my chosen three FABULOUS Creative Bloggers!!  Yay!  I was just thrilled when they accepted my invitation =]  I must admit I lured them in with virtual pie... oh yes I did!  Peach pie to be exact...SEE: 
I've already shared how new I am to Blog-Land.  I have found such fulfillment creating cards, but even more in the friendship and bond from these fabulous like-minded gals who stop by with a sweet comment or encouragement.  In no particular order, 'cuz I love them all. 
Amy Rohl
Amy Rohl - Ink about Me 
Design Team Member - My Favorite Things
Amy's is the first blog I head to during the MFT release blog hop!  Her eye for color combinations, composition, and design are spectacular. If I'm honest, I am drawn to CAS design because I fail miserably when it comes to cards with more than one layer!  Amy excels at it... I hope to learn by following her creative example. I also hope to learn even more about her, and how she started.
I love My Favorite Things products, by the way.  Please do check out Amy's use of their fabulous Blueprints dies, and fabulous stamps.
Amy Tsuruta - Tsuruta Designs
Current Design Team Member for:
Of that long list, CAS-ual Fridays and Curtain Call are two challenges I try really hard to submit cards to.  Amy never fails to inspire me with her creative brilliance and you can find her everywhere with the sweetest comments.   We've quickly become email friends. Which is funny because I'm in Michigan and Amy is in Seattle... there are at least three time zones between us! She is up way before the chickens, believe me!  And, like me, she's a coffee drinker!

 Michelle Williams - Amusing Michelle

Since I share a name with this wonderful lady, is it a coincidence that she also has a sense of humor?  For a very long time I would comment on Michelle's blog and sign it as "One L" - I wonder if she ever figured that out?  Michelle is another fabulous designer that I follow through CAS(E) this Sketch, CASE Study, and The Fusion Card Challenge.  She is also faithful at making sweet comments on many blogs.  Living in Brisbane, Australia it does get a little more tricky to email... it's often midnight or later when my responses reach her... I try to be very quiet though =]

They will all three be sharing much more with you next Monday, September 1st.  In the meantime spend some time at each blog... you will not be sorry... pack a lunch!

I hope I didn't lose anyone along this very long way!  To say "Thank You" just doesn't cover it, ladies. 

Tracey, we will meet some day!  Y.P.O.M? As I travel back in my Canadian family tree, I wouldn't be surprised if we end up cousins, but 'til then, I feel you are so my adopted little sister!!  Being youngest of nine - I've been waiting a long time for one =]

Amy R., I'll continue to learn and hopefully grow to be great at composition thanks to you.   I cannot wait to play with my newest MFT goodies I won during the August Release! Love new toys =]  In fact, you may want to look around here today.  I've had a busy crafting week- end.

Amy T.  I will be coming to Seattle again and cannot wait to continue our bonding experience- and maybe back to that fab restaurant we talked about? Or will it be The Cheesecake Factory - Hmmmm? Wherever, there may be lots of coffee =]

Michelle Two 'L's' thank you for your ready acceptance to my invitation to be one of my three guests.  I also have traced my paternal branch to Canberra... one never knows! =]

Most importantly, thank you to those of you who stop by on occasion, are kind with your sweet comments, and generous with your time, hearts, and friendship.  Hope to see you here again soon!

Much love... Michele one L
[I think there's a new Beatle-esque song there! =]


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Case Study 4th Anniversary and Cristina Kowalczyk

Love that Case Study is featuring past design team members during the Anniversary celebration ...I'm so happy to, once again, be dazzled by Cristina's brilliance - aren't you?  Here is her card for this week:

Cristina makes a great point when asking:  "...why don't we use the backs of cards more?"  I did have that darling little bicycle stamp, but I've been thinking of a dear friend from my years of living in New York.  Dolores is still one of my dearest friends even though she now lives in South Carolina and I'm in Michigan.  We often laugh and say, "the neighborhood has gone to hell without us!" which is the inside sentiment for my card.

For my take on Cristina's fabulous card, and Case Study Week 3:

There is a little hidden message included... see if you can find it!
Heidi Grace, and SSS stamps, colored a bit.
=] Michele

Reverse Confetti - August Color Challenge

I've made an entire collection of birthday cards using a phrase I've coined recently:

"So what, if you've hit the "bifocal" birthday. . ."
Using RC's dies made the perfect edge for a prescription pad, and ruffled gold edges for this little tiny hanky for a tiny little clutch purse - a girl can never have too many purses, can she?
Inside sentiment:  "Blow your pretty little nose, and let's go make spectacles of ourselves!"

Saying Goodbye to Seize the Sketch =[

Since everyone knows by now that I'm pretty new to this Challenge World, I'm awfully sad to say goodbye to Seize the Sketch.  It is particularly challenging to me to use a sketch for a design, especially when several layers are involved.  Cathy has really given us an awesome sketch for the grand-finale!

Here are my sentiments. . . exactly:
Inside sentiment: Already [insert sad face here]
A gorgeous daisy from MFT double stamped; first in black on the card base, and then again in green lifted on the 2" square. Add the perfect sentiment from Technique Tuesday.
I'll be watching for all of you fabulous ladies elsewhere, to be sure.  Thank you, Lesley!

My Favorite Things


MFT's Color Challenge #8 has plenty of Autumn colors in it... and it certainly is starting to look a little Fall-ish in my neighborhood.  Love Fall, but what comes after?  Not. So. Much. I've embraced these gorgeous colors with my silly sense of humor =]

Inside sentiment: "Let's go celebrate YOU and make spectacles of ourselves!"
After hours of playing, I finally found a way to make those bifocals focus!!  Loved designing those two-tone glasses using the Spectacle dies; also, my first Blueprint die set from my August Release goodies.  Thanks again, Kim, for your generosity - that $75 prize made a very large dent in my very large order =]

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fusion Bright Floral, and a little more Time Out

I have a favorite flower - though I don't grow them in the yard!  SO happy to see these beauties in the Fusion Bright Floral challenge.
I've chosen to use the sketch this week and have brought back the Ranunculus stamp from Hero Arts - it just takes my breath away!  My thumbs were green by the time I completed this, by the way =]
I've stamped them twice, once on the front of the card base in black, then again on water-color CS which, after coloring in, I cut out with W+9's circle dies, then aligned them over the first stamped image.  The sentiment is SSS, the yellow CS is to represent the darling yellow enamel painted coffee-can vase in the photo and, finally, a little green floss to mimic the green ribbon.
Another inking and, voila, another little something for Time Out!  My 'twist' is to use this very floral stamp instead of the more graphic border stamp Anita used, and obviously using warm colors instead of cool ones, and then the bit of fussy cutting the portion of the image for use as a border - Wow, I really did the twist, didn't I?  Hope I don't get a 'time out' for not following the lead =] 
A bit more paint-my-own water-colored cardstock for the top layered 'love' - the under layer is cut from white CS and then white embossed, to match the embossed stamping.  Once again, sorry the photo doesn't do.

Time Out with Anita in France!

In my fondest dreams, I'd take time out with Anita for real!  I was so happy to see her beautiful face at Time Out this week!  At first glance, her gorgeous card for CASE-ing at Time Out Challenge #12 reads CAS and graphic to me.  And me, without one border stamp!!

MFT to the rescue!  The FedEx man dropped off my latest goodies from their August release! Not only did I grab some new goodies, I always check out their 'Sale' sections where I found this beauty - you might know how much I dig hounds-tooth?  There's hope for me yet...

Inside sentiment is one I love from MFT,  a quote from Christopher Reeve:
"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."
My "twist" is to use scraps.  Never one to waste [one scrap], I used a 4x4.5" piece of water-color paper, embossed the hounds-tooth image with white Hero Arts EP, then used DI Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint for the coloring. The extra DI I had on the acrylic block allowed me to dredge a scrap of WC paper through it to die cut Hope the second time.  I love these W+9 word dies and use them over, and over again.  For the life of me, I couldn't make a third layer look great.  I re-stamped the hounds-tooth over the CS on the inside using only Versa Mark... love that look and must remember it more often.  Heidi Swapp epoxy dots and splash.
Please forgive my terrible photograph... I've been battling a pinched sciatic nerve all week... barely could sit comfortably to craft, let alone wield a proper camera angle =/
I do hope you all have had a fantastic week of crafting!  I may have second helpings of Anita-ness =]


Monday, August 18, 2014

CASology Week 108 - Do you believe?

I'm so late getting this post done... I feel like Alice's rabbit!!  It's actually quite magical that I've finished in time =/  For CASology Week 108 - PRESTO!:

W&W magical words; Mama Elephant's fantastic Sketched letters;
MME's Top Hat.  And selective embossing with Cuttlebug Swirls.
Inside sentiment: 
"I believe in the power of prayer, the comfort of friendship, and the magic of love.
I believe in us."
Levitation?  It's MAGIC!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Card Concept #16 and a little Time Out

I loved each and every DT inspiration card at The Card Concept #16... well, honestly who could help but be inspired by this photo:

But.  Colleen's card really called to my hydrangea-loving heart.  And I may have just the Martha Stewart punch to help my cause... I'd give anything to have the one Colleen used.  Hmmm... ebay?

Since I've chosen to use those tiny little bitty butterflies, it will also qualify for Time Out's Celebration with a side of butterflies - kismet!  Maybe arranged kismet =/

There is an overlay of vellum on the MFT CS base- though I do wish I'd had a bit bluer CS, it is a gorgeous color. W&W words to the rescue, as always.  A different hydrangea punch from Martha Stewart for the butterflies.

Second helpings - border die cuts

Make it Monday #175 - Hmmmm are seconds allowed?  There I go jumping in without reading the rules!!  Anyway:
I would have given anything to have [find] a jingle bell for the horse!

Make it Monday #175

I love PTI.  The products, the style, the blog.  Those "Sneak Peeks" though just make me want IT ALL!  Which I know I can't have.  I have purchased several Christmas sets from PTI that just never get old, even after two or three years, I find a way to make them fresh.

Make it Monday challenge #175 came with the best gift... a video with the lovely and talented Danielle.  Do check it out, please.

So here is my first try... you know there will be a least one more, right?

Well. I was in the Christmas mood, wasn't I?
Love how the partial embossing looks a [little] like snow =]
Attempted a two-tone inking on the sentiment with SU inks - Not bad!

A Michigan Mitten =]

I will tell you that thinking about Christmas this early in the year is a little... shall I say it?  Ingenious!!  Kate, Judy, and May over at CASology all gave me the inspiration to get cooled off and think Stripe-y =] 

However.  I was totally thinking about a certain friend in Oshawa, ON when I created this card =]  This one's for you, Tracey!  We will make that play-date happen - hopefully before we need mittens!!

Wait!! This will totally work for Virginia Lu's Challenge #6 Shapes!  Love when spontaneous good stuff happens.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Clicking Cameras

Teri, over at Moxie Fab World, issued a challenge for Clicking Camera Cards.  I hope it makes you smile, even if it is a little "cheesy"  =] 

I found these darling little camera clips @ JoAnn's.  Using Reverse Confetti sentiments, along with the SFYTT #15 - plus, a few thoughts of my own for the inside. 
Fancy Pants DP surely made my job easier!