Saturday, December 25, 2021

Missing you dearly.

Merry Christmas!!

To those of you that, like me, get a little bit blue at Christmas time, I'm sharing a card that says it perfectly through my eyes, anyway...

To those we miss more with each passing year, you will always be here in our hearts.

 To you, my friends, all our best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

=] Michele & =]> Tom

Papertrey Ink: Deer to Me stamp/die bundle
Altenew label die for sentiment
TH Sizzix tree dies
SU Subtle Texture EF

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Inspired By #200 - inspired by YOU!!


We're celebrating our 200th challenge this week and ending the 2021 Inspired By year by shining the spotlight on our 2021 challenge winners!!  Yes, that's right we are all so inspired by the wonderful talents that YOU crafters share with us each week!

Each member of the IB Design Team has chosen a card from the winners and attempted to make it our own!  Wish me luck - I chose Ashwini's card from January 2021 IB#159!  But there was NO WAY I could hand draw my bird as Ashwini did!

Here is a reminder of the prompt from that week:

Ashwini's gorgeous card:

Of course, I was inspired by her darling bluebird!!  Here is my attempt at recreating her lovely card, while giving it my own spin... 

Since my DT card that week featured a Bluebird, I've chosen another favorite feathered friend!  This little Chickadee was created using a PTI Feathered Friends 2 die set.  All I had to do was paint it to look like a Chickadee - I turn to Cornell's Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds for wonderful photos of birds!

I found a pretty grey, and rustic painted wood design paper from Craft Consortium in my stash.  My sprigs are compliments of The Stamp Market, the Hydrangea blooms from SSS, and both were 'splat painted' with some watery inks, and a small piece of acetate.

Have you noticed yet that the only stamped bit on either of our cards is on the sentiment??  Mine is an old label stamp set from Altenew but never goes out of style.

I loved CASEing Ashwini's card - but believe me, I would have loved recreating ANY of your beautiful winning cards!

So!  Ready to play along??  All you have to do is choose one of the winning cards from the tab at the top of the Inspired By blog, tell us what inspired you to choose it, then recreate, but make it your own!   We are so excited about this challenge that we're giving you until January 5th to make your card[s].   There are prizes that will be randomly chosen from those playing along*!  Until then, happy holidays my friends!!

Let's go see who inspired the rest of the team, shall we?  
=]  Michele

* I am giving away one of my all-time favorite die sets... the Altenew 3D Poinsettia that was used to create this card... good luck!  But be sure to tell me if you already own it!  wink!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Flower Challenge #63 Reminder


Certainly, by now you have posted all of the cards you've made to mail, but perhaps there is a neighbor, or family member you'll have the opportunity to hand-deliver a card to over the holidays?  If it includes a flower - and we do hope it does - we'd love to have you share it with us in The Flower Challenge Christmas #63 gallery!

I have another variety of Amaryllis to share with you!  This time, I found a lovely one on the internet called Spartacus: 

Here are the Copics I used today...

Those striated petals were harder to do than I'd hoped. Adding a few back in using a white jellyroll pen worked pretty well:

More of that lovely wood grain card stock, and an ancient PTI sentiment, that I've die cut from several colors and stacked a bit off so they would peek out.

You have a few more weeks to participate - and more wonderful inspiration over at The Flower Challenge blog from the DT and special guest, Stef Perry.

Thanks for stopping by - I know time is being stretched this time of year!
=]  Michele

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

I DO Believe!

Hello friends!  Hope your holiday prep is going well!

A week or so ago, SSS had a little free-with-purchase die available - I thought it was just the 'cherry on top' that our little handmade paper Christmas Village needed!  It's a bit small but cute just the same.  Here's how Santa and his reindeer fly ... 

This is just one of five little houses we made and display each year!  
I cut two of my Santa and reindeer from Neenah #110 paper and sandwiched a slim wire between the glued layers.  I found just the place in our 'birch trees' make from paper straws to stick it!
Can you spot him?  I can almost hear 'dash away, dash away, dash away all!'

What better time to cut another for a card?  Perfectly sized for that!

Another wonderful SSS 3D embossing folder, Steel grey paper from MFT, swiped with Versamark, and heat embossed in Ranger fine detail silver embossing powder.  The Dash away All dies set also includes this crescent moon, and a wonderful swoosh of stars - saving those for another day.  
The foil paper comes from Michael's.  
This 'Believe' is a Pinkfresh sentiment stamp/die from Simple Joy - now discontinued. 

Okay.  Now I must dash - and I know you are all just as busy with last minute makes, and bakes!  Enjoy!  
=]  Michele 

Looks like there may be a few more left at SSS.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Inspired By #199C - Tweet Winter

Hello everyone!  Welcome to Inspired By #199 - I have chosen #IB199C this week, but I know there are a few coffee lovers out there in blogland so I'm sharing this one, too!


I can never resist a tweet little bird - though I've left this sweet little White-Breasted Nuthatch out of my design today.  I treated myself to a wonderful bundle of new products from Wplus9 a few months ago, and finally was able to get another one inky.  This lovely guy is from Vintage Ephemera - I've tweaked him a bit to give him a Tufted Titmouse look.  I'm quite sure Dawn won't mind.  

His perch is another branch from Altenew's Leafy Canopy - 
which I miss-stamped, but think it added to the charm.  Before die-cutting, I fussy-cut his topnotch, then did selective die-cutting from his neck down.

Would you believe that postage panel also Wplus9 started out as a simple piece of white Bristol paper?  I first blended it with a combination of Distress Oxide inks:  Speckled Egg, and Hickory Smoke to be specific.  The taupe-y brown is CP Over Coffee - well I guess I brought the coffee into the mix after all!  then I took a little piece of acetate, picked up, and dropped in puddles of watered-down leftover inks!

So, will it be coffee, or the bird that inspires you to play?  Oh, maybe the Sketch, you say?  We will love them ALL!  Now let's go see the lovelies from my teamies...
=]  Michele

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Christmas with Marcia!

Michigan was kind enough to give us a break from snow for a day of play!  Marcia, and I had to take advantage of it!  We shared our supplies, enjoyed lunch [and the most wonderful dessert - Tom is ready for more!] and then crafted a little bit more!  Unless we get another break in our usual Winter, it will be Spring before we are able to gather again.  boo, hoo!

Marcia gifted me with a lovely sprig die from SSS, and I had just ticked off another embossing folder on my very long wish-list!  Those are the things we'll both be using today.  Ready.  Set. Go!

First up - a card made with the gorgeous Tim Holtz 3D Poinsettia... it was destined to stay this gorgeous Winter white!  A pretty satin ribbon, and simple gold-embossed sentiment from PinkFresh.

This extra dimension was attained by embossing two of the panels, 
then fussy-cutting one of the images and popping it up over the embossed panel 
with foam squares.

Next up, that wonderful gift from Marcia!  SSS Etched Berry Branch... and a mini-slimline card...

Two of the branches were die cut from SU Old Olive card stock, then I 'gilded'' them, 
and those sweet little berries.  Another new embossing folder - this time from Spellbinder: Slimline Flora.  Another Winter White card.  OH I nearly forgot to mention that 
pretty oval which is one layer from Spellbinder's Candlewick Ovals.  It was tenderly smooshed into my Versamark embossing ink, then into Altenew Rose Gold and heat embossed.

Only Marcia will know that this sprig was layered, trimmed, and
put back together seamlessly! 

Our guest list would be a mile long if only we could whisk you all here for a crafty Christmas day!  Thank you for stopping by - now let's go see what Marcia made!!

=]  Michele

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Playing Cards with Friends - December 2021

Well, my friends, here we are, weeks away from Christmas, and before we know it, the end of another year!  Where did the year go?  I haven't a clue, but I do know that I've been blessed by your presence in my blogging life.  Especially those of you who answered 'yes' to my invitation this year to Play Cards!  It has been such fun, and I hope all of you have enjoyed getting to know some of the talented card makers in my life.

LeAnne Pugliese is a long-time blogging friend, fabulous card maker, and Stampin' Up representative.  She is so talented, and fun - and you may recall I dropped by unannounced this Fall - she doesn't mind one bit if you stop by to say hello!!  [OH, and if you drive more than 1400 miles, John even buys your dinner!!  thanks again, you two!]

Here was my assignment for our play-day:

  • Christmas decor
  • non-traditional colors
  • background die, or embossing folder
Okay. Time for my last Playing Cards with Friends of 2021 - here is a little behind the scenes start to my 'non-traditional color' idea...

You all doubt me when I say I'm color challenged, but it's true!  When I saw this packaging from Altenew, I thought their examples were beyond strange!  So, I made myself sit down with a bunch of their inks and stamped away.  Don't tell them, but I think I've created the ugly-sweater versions of Christmas ornaments!!  LOL

Popping them up on my favorite embossing helped - and you know
I felt 100% better after adding that little slip of vellum, and another 
sparkly sentiment - 'tis the Season, alright!

LeAnne, thanks so very much for ending my year with a smile.  I'm on my way over to see your card right now!!

Thanks, friends, for stopping by, and for visiting LeAnne, too!

=]  Michele

Monday, December 6, 2021

Angela made me make it!

PinkFresh Studio sponsors a fun hour on YouTube hosted by Mr. Jeff Lindberg - it doesn't happen every Saturday, but oh you don't want to miss even one!  Jeff is joined by some of the most wonderful crafters in our blog-o-sphere!   You can find the replay here!   

Last weekend Angela Simpson was Jeff's guest - a fabulous card-maker who guest designs for many of our favorite companies and shares her work on Instagram @mycraftyperspective, and her blog: My Fresh Perspective 

Okay, you came here for a card, right??  Here is my playful take on Angela's card:

PinkFresh Studio: Garden Roses stamped on vellum and white heat embossed;
Braided Oval cut from Neenah #110 Solar White - I used another oval, 
from Spellbinder, to cut out the center.  A few green enamel dots from Altenew.
All stripes are cut from The Stamp Market card stock using my paper trimmer.
The greeting is also from The Stamp Market, silver embossed.

I know you're dying to see Angela's card, so I'll just say thanks for stopping by, and send you on your way to YouTube where you'll see Angela's card, and one from Mr. Jeff, too!

=]  Michele

Saturday, December 4, 2021

The Flower Challenge #63 - Christmas!


There's still time to get a few more Christmas cards made, my friends!  We are hoping you might make a few with flowers, as it is time for our 
I've already represented the Poinsettia as my favorite Christmas bloom, but today I have another that equates to the holiday, in my mind - besides her gorgeous Christmas cacti blooming, my mom grew one bulb every year!  Have you guessed?  
Why it's the Amaryllis of course!

MFT sentiment, and EH wood grain card stock

Today I've colored this Mondo Amaryllis as a Royal Velvet variety, in deep rich reds.
I love finding photos on the internet to use as my inspiration.

Here are the Copic markers I used today.

We have a wonderful guest joining us for Christmas, my friend Stef Perry!  So be sure to check out her gorgeous card, and all the beauty in our DT gallery today!

Thanks for stopping by!
=]  Michele

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Inspired By #198C - Winter Love


ahhhhh Winter Love - even if only for the love of cocoa, I sure hope you'll be inspired to play along!

Here's my card:

Pigment Craft Co. These Hands*, and companion dies; a very old, much-loved embossing folder that I'm sure is no longer available!

Yes, I do like my liquids steamy, and pinks pale, like this pale rose one from Bazzill! 
and here are my inks:

There is another Holiday photo inspiration, and a Sketch that might tickle your fancy, too!  Stop by Inspired By today to see them, and the wonderful cards from our team!

=]  Michele

*Also available at SSS!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Color Hues #31 Guest Designer!

I loved receiving the invitation to play cards with the fabulous
Color Hues team for Challenge #31!
Thanks, Nancy - and thanks to our Hostess, Cindy!

Here are Cindy's very appropriate final color picks for December 2021!

That's right - this challenge will run from now until December 29th!  Lots of time to play, and tons of inspiration from their designers!  Ready for my card?  You can see all the inspiration I needed to make my Red and Green choices right outside my studio window!  I'm having lots of feathered friends visiting daily!

A wonderful Berry Sprig set from Pigment Craft Co.*, stamped three times, and their sentiment, too!

Since the coordinating dies cuts the 'you' separately, why not use the CH31 colors there, too?

These are the inks I've used today.

Now, may I dedicate this one to each and every kind person who takes the time in their busy days to stop by my lowly little blog for a visit?  You can't know the joy it brings me throughout the year!

Okay.  Now it's YOUR turn!  Lots of ways to use Red and Green at this time of year!  We'll be ready for you in the Color Hues gallery!

Ho, Ho, HO!!  
<=]>  Michele

* Pigment Craft Co. products can be purchased at Simon Says Stamp!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Inspired By #197 - a color challenge!


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!

While we're all enjoying lots of yummy leftovers this week, the team at Inspired By is shaking things up a bit: a COLOR challenge!  Read all about it here, then pick and choose the colors you're inspired to use for your cards!

There is an abundance of beauty in this #IB197 photo!  I had an unused, brand spankin' new group of wonderful Wplus9 products that, in my humble opinion, were meant for this week!  You'll let me know if I'm wrong, right?

I was drawn to the dishes in delft blue, the gold in the table runner, and those gorgeous flowers [and wine] in Merlot!  The perfect colors to choose for this 
Wplus9 Flora & Fauna 3 set - I was lucky enough to grab a special bundle @dawnwplus9 offered when these products released!  OH do I love it when a company includes a die for their main sentiment, too.  You'll find the blue and gold repeated in the Scripted Backgrounds.

So!  Which colors will you be inspired by?  Believe me, if I [the color challenged one] can do it, anyone can!  My teamies have offered even more inspiration on our Inspired By blog!  Always a fun read - you know, over that second piece of pie! 

=] Michele

Friday, November 19, 2021

Playing Cards with Friends November 2021 - giving thanks!

Hello my friends!  It's time for me to Play Cards with another wonderful friend!  I'm so thankful my guest for November is Lindsey Larsen - perhaps you'll know her better by her blogging name Occasional Crafting.  Lindsey can be found guest designing for many companies, and challenges, and is also a member of the Pretty Pink Posh design team - but seriously, her cards are really gorgeous no matter whose supplies she puts her beautiful heart into!

Lindsey and I were on the 12 Kits of Occasions team together for years.  I was so happy to meet her on one of our wonderful road trips - my gosh, it's been years ago, but those hugs remain imbedded in my memory, my friend!  

Here are the parameters I chose for us... it is the month of giving thanks.  Lindsey and I share a love of leaves, so this was an easy assignment:

  • Leaves in any color
  • a thank you, or Thanksgiving card   
I have an abundance of leafy sets to choose from, but this one, called Grateful Autumn* from Memory Box, called my name - or maybe it was the sentiments?

This gorgeous image was stamped in WOW embossing ink, and heat embossed with Altenew's Rose Gold embossing powder.   I used just the slightest bit of water as it is stamped onto Neenah #110 card, and a few Altenew dye inks for water coloring.  I didn't want to lose a bit of the image so I used a double-stitched rectangle from Wplus9 for cutting, and the littlest of all the rounded rectangles from Altenew for my sentiment.

Please join me as I dash over to Lindsey's?  I cannot wait to see which of her leaves she used today!

I'm so thankful that you accepted my invitation, Lindsey!  and thankful to all of you fellow card makers for stopping by today!  BTW  I've already started on my 2022 calendar - hint, wink!

=]  Michele

*I know someone will be curious about this older stamp - here it is!  Grateful Autumn xx

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Inspired By #196

I just couldn't resist the #IB196C inspiration at Inspired By this week!  Isn't that the sweetest Advent Calendar ever made?  I brought out lots of old sets this week, and though the name here is 'Neighbor Tag' I did resist making a tag!  But! I couldn't resist making TWO cards!  There is so much to be inspired by in this photo - see if you can find what caught my eye...

All of you seasoned card makers will recognize my old SSS Village Dies c. 2014 - today I paired them with a set from PTI's c. 2015  Warmest Wishes for the mountains, and trees.  Each was stamped in Versafine black, clear embossed, and simply water-colored.
Trying to keep my layers to a minimum for mailing.  You can see that the mountains, and glittery stars, have been inlaid - the rest are lifted just a bit with a scrap of card stock.
The same supplies were used for this next one...

Popping out those teensy window bits and swapping them between the white and kraft houses was a feat, but well worth the fiddling, don't you think?

November will bring you two Holiday themed inspirations, and a Sketch - we know you all have very long card lists - how about playing along while making?  We love having you!  Lots of lovely cards from our IB team this week - see you there!

=]  Michele 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Color Hues #30 Silver and Gold

Hello, my friends!  I was delighted by the happy news from a friend telling me I'd had a win over at Color Hues with my orange and brown card!  I couldn't have made that card without a little corny help from another friend - thank you, Michelle!

So with joy in my heart, I sat right down to make another entry!  Carol gave us the most Seasonally appropriate color scheme this time:  

I took those colors down a different path...

... armed with these Copics:

I gave this gorgeous Penny Black character a gold hat and scarf, 
and gloves with a silvery grey coat!  [which I'd totally wear!]
First, it was stamped in Copic friendly ink, of course, then I gave her a bit
of a gloomy snowy day - and added a bit of cross-hatching for interest with a grey Prismacolor pencil.  I'm getting quite daring adding those little bits of script, right?
All restamped with WOW embossing ink, and heat embossed with Ranger fine detail silver, and gold embossing powder.

Okay.  It was not complete without one silver, and one gold, snowflake!  This may be my favorite of all the Christmas cards I've made this year!  Thanks, Carol!

=]  Michele

Penny Black: Christmas Wishes c. 2018; Wplus9 4 Bar Stitched Rectangles; The Greetery Pretty Postmarks