Friday, January 29, 2021

For Kari

Every once in a while I'm given another good reason to be on Instagram ... @kariavan recently lost her Dad.  I know that sorrow, many of us do.  Since Kari's Dad was a big bear and chocolate fan, she's asked for cards featuring both - 74 cards to be exact, one for each of his years on this earth.

Biggest hugs, Kari - hope you like it!

Of course there are tears...

Take care of your sweet heart, my friend!

=]  Michele @mfergu01

Waffle Flower Crafts: Sweet Ice Cream, Big Bear from Books & Coffee, Cutaway Alpha dies, Plaid Play.  Sentiment: Altenew Starry Flowers

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Inspired By #159 - tweet messages!


You'll have no trouble seeing where my inspiration came from - isn't he the tweetest?  Twice a day, we feed a family of eight some very pricey live mealworms - they are very willing to pose for photos!  

I digress... you came for a card, right?  I'm happy to oblige - enter IB#159:

This little guy is a die set from PTI, and a very tweet gift from a friend!
I cut the main parts [body and wing] from Bristol paper, and water-colored him with Distress inks.  A perch, and sentiment, from Altenew's Weekend Doodles, and splashes and splats to recreate the background from our IB159 photo.

Are you a bird watcher?  If not, how about those flowers, or the colors?  We'll love anything you send our way, as long as we can see how you were inspired!  I'll bet my teamies have lots more ways to inspire you to play!

=]  Michele

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Start with a grateful heart ...

When I want to jumpstart my creativity, it's always helpful to start with a grateful heart!  While I'm at it, why not use one of the new stamp sets I have waiting in the wings?  

Here's how I did it... starting with a full 8.5x11" piece of Neenah 110# cardstock, and this fab prize I won from Shirley Bampton's guest spot at Christmas Kickstart.  It's her Layered Poinsettias - truly The Bee's Knees!

I'm always surprised when I open Stamplorations stamps.  Why?
Because the graphics are smaller than the actual stamps, that's why!
and I love it!  Today, I imagined Shirley's Poinsettias as 
any flower that might grow in the garden - in these fun CP ink colors:

I started with an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of Neenah 110# cardstock
that I'd scored at 4.25" and 5.5"

Then cut 4 A2 panels, and added four sentiments from The Stamp Market's Lovely Labels, in Versafine Onyx Black ink.  After mounting them onto four card bases, here are the results:

I just love how they turned out!!  Thanks, so very much Shirley for this wonderful prize - and for turning my frown upside down today! xo

=]  Michele

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

"You're so cool...

 ... and I'm not even mad about it!" J.A. Ebersole - Artic Pals circa 2018  

Hi my friends!  Just wanted you all to know that I'm still kicking - thanks to all of you for your visits, even though my cards have been limited lately.   I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm having an even worse case of the Winter Blues than usual.  What better time than this to do a little tidying up in my craft room, right?

As I was changing out my calendar, I stumbled across a particularly incredible photo and thought "this would make the coolest card - how can I recreate it?"  Well.  Like this:

Julie's artic pals did the trick, and a bit of water coloring - rudimentary at best.

THIS guy, says it all!

Have a really cool day!

=]  Michele

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The CAS[E] this Sketch Grand Finale!

I am so very honored to have been a member of the CAS[E] this Sketch team for all these years!  No doubt there will be tears shed before the end of this post!

Here it is... so happy it is a Retro one from April 2013 and was the introduction of Donna Mikasa as a CTS designer!  To Donna, and all the fabulous Sketch designers, you made my 'job' so easy, and extra fun!  With that, and with great sadness, I present our final Sketch #405!!:

 and my final card...

Okay.  here comes the tears ... Chrissy, thank you for the invitation I received in January 2015 to be on your CTS team!  You gave a newbie a chance, and I'll be forever grateful you did!  I have created 1,182 CTS cards since my first entry in 2014!  Love and hugs to you my friend, and to each and every member of this wonderful design team - past, and present! 

Thank YOU, my bloggy friends for every bit of kindness you've sent my way each Thursday - and thank you for every card you shared with the CTS gallery over the years!  We're inviting you to play ONE MORE TIME, and you have TWO weeks to do so!

=]  Michele

Did you know that ALL of the CTS Sketches are on Pinterest?  
I can assure you that I will be using those Sketches for inspiration forever! 
hope you will, too!

Altenew:  All the Encouragement stamps and dies

Inspired By #158 - heartfelt thanks


Hearts are a beautiful symbol of love, and thanks, don't you agree?  It's so important to know that hearts aren't just for Valentine's Day!  Every day is perfect for saying I love you, and thanks for loving me back!  

Here are just a few of the adorable hearts you can be inspired by this week!  You can't know how badly I wanted to make a felt heart - get it??  But, I was determined to find a way to capture the lights and darks of that heart-shaped vine wreath without twine!

Tell me if this will do...

Circa 2015 - SSS Roses for you

Stamped on kraft card stock, clear embossed, and colored with 
Prismacolor white, and cool grey pencils

Oh for the love of grey... I'm sure you don't mind if I keep the inside sentiment of love, and thanks private? 

I can't wait to see which of the hearts you, and my IB team have chosen... join me?

=]  Michele

The wonderful wood grain debossing is a favorite that is no longer available from Lil' Inkers.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

CAS[E] this Sketch #404

I'm sure you've heard the sad news?  My heart is aching.  But as we near the close of CAS[e] this Sketch, I decided I could really stretch the boundaries a bit ... like I didn't always??  LOL  Here is 'Two Ls' wonderful Sketch: 

First, I flipped, next I embossed, then I blended that new Altenew Tranquility Rose layering stencil again!  Here are the results of my shenanigans...

The inks I've used:

Last of all a little closeup of those lovely layers:

Can you believe this was created with stencils? I'm so happy Altenew has released a few of these gorgeous 3D embossing folders - this one is called Angled Mosaic!  You'll be seeing it a LOT!  

For all of you that have been faithful players, and constant support for Cas[e] this Sketch, how about playing along with us as we say goodbye?  You know we'll be so grateful!  Let's go find more inspiration, shall we?  CTS404

=]  Michele

Inspired By #157 everything is A-Bouquet!


A-bouquet ... get it?  in place of A-Okay?  is this thing on???

OH did I need a little positive thinking this week!  Something wonderful to celebrate: we have TWO new members of our IB Team to introduce so be sure to read all about that on our IB blog.  Welcome to you Cindy, and Silke - so happy to have you join us, and can't wait to get to know you better!

Our photo inspiration was the perfect excuse to do some mindless/mindful die cutting with a few colored card stocks in my stash.  Altenew Wildflower Garden to the rescue!  I was inspired by the darling flowers, colors, and even my sentiment... everyone needs to hear these words on occasion...

I hope you'll join me as I head over to IB157 to see what our new team members have created!  Of course I know the whole team will see this photo through different eyes, and styles!  

=]  Michele

MFT Prestige Cardstock Sampler
Catherine Pooler Twilight ink for sentiment

Monday, January 11, 2021

Playing Cards with Friends: Coni Longley


Welcome to the January 2021 edition of Playing Cards with Friends!  I'm delighted to have one of the sweetest gals in blogland join me today - Coni Longley of Which Craft!

Coni has a wicked fun sense of humor - my kind of gal!  We have such awesome phone-chats, when we talk about anything, and everything - including cards on occasion!  Her birthday is this month, too - so here are the parameters I put in place for our card-playing session:

·         Altenew Craft-a-flower Tulip dies

·         cut from paper that has been smooshed with any colors of Distress Oxide inks

·         Birthday card – in honor of your special day!

My card started with these Distress Oxides:

... which I smooshed onto acetate placed in a clipboard. The inks were spritzed with a good mist of water, picked up with a scrap of acetate, and dabbed onto my water color card stock.  

After drying, I strategically placed all my dies onto it, and ran it through my die-cutting machine.

I just so happen to have a lovely new debossing plate from Altenew, so
I couldn't help but plant my tulips there!
 Here is my card, Coni!!  Can't wait to see yours!!

Thanks so very much for Playing Cards with me, Coni!!  Love, and hugs!
and thanks to all of YOU for stopping by today!  Now let's go see Coni's card, shall we?
=]  Michele

                   Craft-a-Flower Tulips 
Pretty Pink Posh sequins

Thursday, January 7, 2021

CAS[E] this Sketch #403

I'm ready for the first CASE this Sketch of 2021 - how about you??

It's a beauty from Donna ... and it just so happens Santa brought me a package I could premier using her Sketch!    

It started by choosing a few inks, and grabbing my blending brushes, and this lovely new set of Tranquility Rose Stencils from Altenew... 

The stripes from Donna's Sketch were made by cutting my finished panel, and embossing the smallest two with a Stampin' Up subtle texture embossing folder.  Here's a little closer look...

After all those strips were reassembled, I placed my card in my Mini MISTI and stamped a sentiment from MFT* with the darkest of my oxide inks.  

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see Donna's card ... shall we?  See you there, and then I'll see you again in our CTS403 gallery, right?

=]  Michele

*MFT Flowers in Bloom for sentiment

Inspired By #156 - let's cele-bear-ate!


Happy New Year everyone!  Hope you've made it through the 
2020 Holiday Season with joy!  I have been nearly invisible
around blogland, and social media for weeks.  But don't think for a moment I haven't enjoyed every creation that made it to my inbox!
Here is our first Inspired By Challenge for the new year:
IB#156 with a little play on words!
Let's Cele-bear-ate! 
Here is how I was inspired by that cute photo:
  • I was inspired to use my favorite SugarPea's Hey Honey Bear 
  • used my Arteza markers to add that fun fur
  • stamped colored and die cut just the perfect hat from Wplus9 ... 
  • I've also given him a striped sweater by extending the lines of the stamp
  • then used the die to 'lift' his head for dimension 
  • Last buy not least, I added lots of snow, and splatters, too!

I do have so much fun with this guy... hope you won't ever tire of him!

So what will inspire you to play along with IB156?  Nobody said you couldn't use just his stripes, or that hat!  BTW there's also a Sketch, which you'll find at the IB blog. We can't wait to see your take on our first Inspired By challenge of 2021!

=]  Michele

SugarPea Designs:  Hey, Honey!  stamps and dies
MFT Warm & Feathered Hugs - for that sentiment
Wplus9 Holiday Cheer - for his hat!