Friday, July 31, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time! Christmas in July at 12 Kits of Occasions!

Hi there - thanks for stopping by!  It's 12 Kits time again! 

Our hostess this month is the wonderful Cathy Weber!  Cathy's kit is packed full of fun Christmas treats - though, as a Michigan girl where Summer is way too short, it was a bit tough to get into the Christmas mood - so I turned down the temperature on the AC =]

Here is a little peek of all the goodies we had to play with:

This is where my imagination took me for my Christmas in July ... thank you, Cathy, for such a gift-filled kit!



Be sure to visit our 12 Kits of Occasions Blog for all the Christmas treats from Cathy and our team-mates!  OH! and an extra gift this month?  Lisa Elton of My Paper Tales is our guest - she'll make magic with this kit, for sure!
I truly hope your Summer has been as
magical as any holiday season!
Thanks for spending some time with me today ...
always so appreciated!
=] Michele

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tracey McNeely Premier at Muse #126

It won't be a surprise that I'd want to play cards with Tracey ... though I know she's 'on the move' I know she'll appreciate that I've given her darling Muse card, with blending, a go!

Here is Tracey's card - don't you love it?

Not one penguin in the ocean of stamps sets that I own!! I did have another darling set that will do the trick!

Since I've used the MFT Cool Day set with its matching dies, a MFT Stitched Circles die-cut for the shape of my blended-stenciled 'waves' [compliments of the Brackets stencil from ARTplorations]I'm just going to pop this into the mix at the MFT Sketch challenge, too!  [Look really closely - you'll see it, I promise!?]

I'm so happy to be on this team with you Tracey!  Thanks for the darling inspiration this week, and I'm thinking of you =]
I'm off now to see how Tracey has inspired the rest of you Muse Club players... thanks for stopping by, and for playing cards with us at Muse!
=] Michele

CAS[E] this Sketch #134

Chrissy has done it again, folks!  Challenged my little creative brain and it needed it! Take a looky-loo at this sketch:

Mind blown?
I'm finally getting the chance to break out my July SSS kit!  It was waiting patiently in my stack of mail when I arrived home from our trip.  It hasn't seen the light of day since ... and it is so full of wonderful Oceanside goodies. 
I've created a little whirlpool of the patterned papers from Authentique right down to the bottom of the sea.  Add one cute little anchor paperclip and, AHOY Matey... okay - she's gone overboard!! But still CAS... I think?

The sentiment is a die cut from PTI Wet Paint II ... 'anchor me' compliments of Word and my PC.
That's a wrap for me today ... can't wait to see what Chrissy has inspired you to make. See you in the CTS #134 gallery!
Thanks for hanging out with me for a bit today - always tickles me when you do...
=] Michele

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Paper Players!

When I saw this card Lisa Elton created for The Paper Players, I think I actually swooned!  Just look at these gorgeous papers with their vintage feel, and Lisa's incredible talent for making every card look perfect in its design:

A sweet little posy, and that darling, tiny little bow - you will teach me how to tie a bow some day, right Lisa?

I recently purchased a large stash of Glitz Christmas papers [yes, it is Christmas paper!]  One had just the vintage feel I wanted for my card for The Paper Players challenge #255 - a sketch from Sandy:

Okay: the tag, the narrow panel, the vintage-feel paper, an embellishment, die-cut, and string!! Check!

Thanks, Lisa, for the inspiration!
Paper: Glitz 'hello December', cardstock SSS; dies: tiny bow from Mama Elephant,
PPP Stitched Tags, Paper Smooches Borders 1 for pea vine, and Green Thumb 2 dies,
and Green Thumb stamp set for Pea Pod.  The sentiment, all mine.
Hope you're having a lovely, Summery day!  Thanks for sharing a few moments with me ...
=] Michele

Playing cards with Chriss Blagrave!

Before you get really excited, no, I'm not in Austin, Texas - in my dreams - but I am playing cards with my sweet friend today... here is how this happened:

Chriss Blagrave, of Botanical CafĂ©, and I began having phone-chats last November. Over our coffee this morning, I asked her if she'd seen Donna Mikasa's fabulous card for MFT - an homage to a beautiful card by Karin Akesdotter's beauty here.  After heaps of gushing - both of us wondering "how do they do this?" - we decided to challenge ourselves!!! 

I thought about the lovely MFT Balloon String background stamp they used, and knew I had several stamp sets with strings but some had words and sentiments... hmmm, could they work? 
Attempt #1:

 Kinda okay - I liked the frame, as Karin had done, the white heat embossing I love ... but it's missing all those lovely spaces created by the cross-over strings.  Which brought me back to a search of my stamp-stash to a very old American Crafts stamp collection called Terrace - one lonely string stamp, and a whole lot of Versa-mark stamping later:

Attempt #2
I loved Donna's ocean creation with all the waves colored in many shades of gorgeous colors. Karin's rolling hills, and plains brought our recent holiday to mind:  Purple mountains Majesty, Waves of Grain, and many wonderful memories.
I hope that Donna and Karin see these and know that they have been CASE'd today.  Thanks for inspiring me, and Chriss, to try something out of our comfort zone! Love you girls, and your fabulous designs! 
So, there you go, Chriss! I can't wait to open the link for your cards!!!  Thanks so much for playing cards with me today!  One day we will do it for reals - I promise!!!
How about you guys?  Is there a card that you'd like to CASE?  I'd be overjoyed to play cards with you, too - any day of the week - just let me know!  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Marika Rahtu - Muse: ChristmasVisions 12

Only for Marika would I dare show my [lack of] water-coloring skills!!  But I simply had to play along - and practice makes perfect, right?  Lots more practice to come, rest assured!

Since Marika sent us all those darling gifts, I felt a thank you card was in order!

Using two of my favorite Purple Onion stamps, and a Winnie & Walter pressie, and with distress inks on my palette, for Marika, for ChristmasVisions #12:

Now I must get back to thinking Summer again!!!  A view from my window:

Thanks for stopping by!
=] Michele

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Anita Bowden Premier, and a birthday girl at LIM

Neets is making her premier at Muse this week!  How could I not play along with her gorgeous inspiration?  See what I mean:
Bloomin' beautiful!
I spent a bit of time catching up at Anita's blog Neet & Crafty and found that a certain someone is celebrating a birthday at Less is More - decision made!!
I've drawn my inspiration from Neets' colors and design, the line drawn SSS flowers [snippets that only needed a touch of color], and dots - mine in the form of dotted vellum from PTI - over a card base of Fog-grey cardstock from SSS to mimic a bit of Neets' darling stamped grey dots.
For Chrissie's birthday celebration at LIM 234, and Muse #125:
Congrats to both wonderful,
and lovely ladies!!!
[remember I am a DT at Muse - so NO votes!!]

Thursday, July 23, 2015

CAS[E] this Sketch #133

While I had that darling little leaf from Impress in my inky little fingers, I spotted my 'homework' for CAS[E] this Sketch #133 and BINGO!  See what you think of this darling from Gayatri Murali:

Actually, when I spotted/grabbed this little wood-mount from the shelf at Impress, there was a card already made showing it's possibilities - gee - I hope I haven't totally CASE'd it =\
Well, by now you might guess I LOve yellow with grey, so I feel Gayatri was speaking to my heart in her sketch - here goes:
My leaves are stamped on a panel of Ellen Hutson linen vellum, using the Impress Harvest Fresh Ink first with random stamping, then after drying [too impatient for pigment ink] with my heat tool, I stamped again using SSS Smoke dye ink.  The sentiment was stamped with Archival Black ink - it was a little birthday gift from SSS, their It's your Birthday sentiment stamp.
I know you'll make magic with Gayatri's wonderful sketch.  See you in the gallery - she writes with hope in her heart...
=] Michele

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Becca ... for her party! and a little Time Out!

Becca Cruger aka The Damsel of Distressed - is that clever? - is not one to worry about any ol' birthday getting her down.  No sir, she has embraced it, and thrown herself a big week-long party!!!  Now you know I couldn't resist that!

For you Becca!!!  Party on!

"Whether 21 or 72 - all you really need is LOVE on your birthday!  Okay cake and presents are good, too!"
[The leave is a newbie from Impress, stamped with their Fresh Ink - harvest.]
Now, since I've included that cute little dragonfly, I'm sending this one flying over to Time Out - I've so been a lax about playing there for weeks since gearing up for our vacation - where the challenge is Nature with a Side of Animals [or thankfully insects!!!]
The leaf is a newbie from Impress and stamped with their Fresh Ink - harvest.]
Happy birthday, Becca!  I hope you will take the dragonfly as inspired by your cool bird ... it does fly!!

So happy to call you ...

... my friend, amy Tsuruta

After many, many emails, several phone chats, and blog loving back and forth for over a year, I was lucky enough to meet I.R.L. this teensy [I've never felt so tall] little bundle of awesomeness who drove at least 30 minutes into Seattle to pick me up at our hotel for a fun-filled few hours of breakfast, coffee [surprised?] and shopping at Impress, too! 

I can't thank you enough, amy and will treasure that day spent with you, and Kimberly, FOR EVER, and EVER!!  I cannot wait until next time!

I thought I'd share a card I made with just one of the sweetest treats amy brought for me ... did any of you play in the Summer Coffee Loving Cardmaker's blog per chance?  or is it simpler to say did any of you NOT play?  amy kept teasing us with fun coffee goodies on her blog, and Facebook page.  I kept drooling over the Starbucks menus - yep, that's me the re-cycler!  GUESS WHAT I GOT?  Plus a too cute little Petite Sweet from Sweet Stamp Shop that is perfect...

For you, my sweet friend, and second helpings at CTS #132:

Hope you like what I've done with it ... there is lots left,
so you'll undoubtedly see more! 
Had to include that sweet little tag set we all 'had to have' - can't wait until we three have that play date with that one - shhh!
Until next time: hugs, and a million-and-one thanks
=]  Michele

CAS[E] this Sketch #132

I am back! and so happy to be crafting again =]  I have so many new goodies, I had a hard time choosing which to use for this fab sketch from N@t Ali ... check it out:

OH the possibilities, right?

First up, and little something made from a gift from the 
fan-tabulous Kimberly of Weinerhoneymooners!  [and there is a second helping coming from amy T.]  We had such a fun feel-like-I've-known-you-forever kind of visit while visiting Seattle! 
For Kimberly and CTS#132:
This Hero Arts stamp set came with a fun metallic gold ink cube, but I chose to heat emboss it with Ranger fine gold.  The sentiment is one from my first visit to Impress,
stamped on MFT Fuse Green!!!
Thank you, Kimberly, for the goodies, breakfast, coffee and even the water for the road!!  You are a fun, sweet, generous person and I am so honored to call you my friend!
That's Kimberly on my left ... what a spunky, fun, fabulous girl!
More about that cutie on my right soon!

I have missed seeing all the wonderful cards you've made for the last two sketches ... but I know you'll have no trouble creating just wonderful cards with this week's sketch!  My team-mates have surely done wonders with it, so be sure to visit them, too, please  - and thank you, as always!
=] Michele

Monday, July 13, 2015

Muse: ChristmasVisions #10 - a Joy-filled day!

Muse: ChristmasVisions
Chriss Blagrave has combined a few of my favorite things into one darling card for Christmas Visions #10:  embossing, for one and - ahem - I DO live in the Mitten State!!  =] 
Here's Chriss' darling card:
Seems like my brain is still on vacation, but I managed to put together a card that might pass - here you go, Chriss!
If you look closely, you'll find an embossed background using a MFT Sweater knit;
embossed Swiss Dots on the mittens, and the word Joy, a bit of twine and appropriate colors.
I hope everyone had a fabulous Monday... bring it, Tuesday!  We've got this!!
OH! and thanks for 'stopping in' ... I love it when you do!
=] Michele

WAit... What? Who? ME?

The first time I read Kelly Latevola's "CASEing Genius" she featured the fabulous Marika Rahtu, from Me and Minime Crafting - someone I follow faithfully, and whose work is truly worthy of the word genius.  Since then, I've been reading Kelly's feature regularly, and enjoying Kelly's own brand of genius at coloring - mad coloring skills! I just love learning more about others in our paper-crafting world.

You cannot imagine the surprise when I received an email from Kelly announcing that she'd like to CASE me - oh my goodness!  Shocked, and excited, that's what I am, Kelly, and I can't wait to see you work your magic on one of my cards, and which one you'll choose - thank you so much for this honor...

=] Michele


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Make it Monday #217 - Laurie's Custom Borders

After being gone for 11 days, I have finished all the un-packing, and laundry, so I had a little fun in my craft-room today... I so missed it - as I've missed all of YOU!  I'm catching up with my Bloglovin' posts so I'll see you at your blogs soon!

After watching Laurie Willison create her darling card with custom border here in her PTI video for Make It Monday, I couldn't resist getting out those PTI veggies again =]

For Laurie, and PTI Make it Monday:


Though I haven't grown radishes in the garden, how about a little peek at the beans? [for Shona] 
Wow! have they climbed while we were gone!
=] Michele

Thursday, July 9, 2015

CAS[E] this Sketch #131

I've gotten so I'm excited for the challenge that Chrissy Larson provides for me with her wonderful sketches - see what I mean:

Here's where my mind took me with a few Winnie & Walter Lola's leaves, and one big brilliant hug:

I know Chrissy's sketch will inspire you to join in the fun at CTS this week - be sure to check out all the goodness over at the team blog, okay? 
=]  Michele

Thursday, July 2, 2015

CAS[E] this Sketch #130

Leigh Penner is a fantastic card designer - doesn't surprise me that she's equally talented at sketch design!  Here is her sketch this week:
Going a little rogue with this, Leigh ... I just know you won't mind a bit.
A few new goodies from SSS last week, one from their latest release called Explore Nature  - I bought the set that included the stamps, and matching dies.  Here is what I came up with, using another SSS die set to create Leigh's fun curvy edge.
I adore the less-than-perfect font of this fantastic Emerson quote.  As in nature, imperfections can and will abound - just like my intentional coloring outside the lines with a seasonal trio of Distress inks, and lack of coloring in chosen areas. 
By the time this post hits blog-land, Tom and I will be enjoying nature in the Great Northwest - 2,686 miles from home.  Though coffee, dinner, or lunch with a few blogging friends will take priority for a few hours along the trail - more on that soon, I promise!  To say I'm excited would be an enormous understatement!
So where will Leigh's fabulous sketch take you this week?  We always look forward to taking that journey with all of you in the CTS gallery.

=] Michele