Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Second Helpings!

 Just a quick little card, because I just couldn't resist this darling guy after all!!

For IB184 Penguin Love - second helpings!

This sweet MFT gift-giver was the perfect choice for that sweet tummy tattoo
This older SU embossing folder worked its charm for my snowy background.
All I had to do was emboss, swipe with my Versamark ink, and emboss in white!

We have plenty of room in our IB184 gallery - and we're saving a spot
just for YOU!!!

=]  Michele

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Something to celebrate!

 Of course I'm talking about the milestone celebration at Freshly Made Sketches!!  500 SKETCHES!!!  Congratulations on ten fabulous years, my FMS friends!

Speaking of friends - I've followed Linda Callahan for years and am delighted each week with every one of her brilliant FMS makes!   AND she designed this fun FMS#500 for us, too!

Linda shares my silly sense of humor, 
and happens to love this guy as much as I do...

As much as I love this big bear, I love another guy even more - today is my husband Tom's birthday!!  So OF COURSE I invited him to help make this card for FMS - he did the coloring today!!  [don't you love his shading?]

I'm off to celebrate the rest of his special day with him ... lots of cheers to ten more years of fun at Freshly Made Sketches!!

=]  Michele

Sugar Pea: Hey Honey, The Stamp Market's card stock, Stemmed Leaves, and All Lined Up sentiment. a very old Lifestyle Craft embossing folder.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Inspired By #184C - Penguin Holiday!


You cannot even imagine how hard it was not to use IB184, instead of this IB184C - our Christmas option - today!!  But these guys are so fun, aren't they?  

I was totally inspired to try a background blend of these fabulous reds:

It turned out better than any I've ever done - I think using Oxide inks always makes blending easier, don't you?  Ready to see it?  Here you go...

These little penguin friends are from MFT's Sweet Holiday Penguins.  The snowy hills are ages-old dies from SSS.  After adhering the hills, to the background, I sent it through my Platinum 6 with a Pinkfresh Studios' Stitched Rectangle die... their stitching perfectly matched those on the hills!  A few gold heat-embossed stars, and a bit of snow, and my card is complete!

My only question for you is this: which will you be Inspired By?  This Christmas version? or the ADORABLE IB184??  Join me at the Inspired By #184 post to make your choice, and to see which photo my teammates chose to use!

=]  Michele

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Pigment Craft Co. Guest

Welcome friends, and fellow card makers!  I'm back today to share more of the wonderful products from the August release at Pigment Craft Co.  If this is your first time visiting,  HERE are all the details from release day!

Ahhhhh Autumn - what's not to FALL in love with?  Cooler temps, and a more color-filled world - at least in my little corner of the world!  Which brings us to my cards - and the sweet Hello Autumn Split Sentiment & coordinating die

I took full advantage of this fabulous Latte Heart cover plate
to create my very first FULL shaker!  A shaker full of sequins I've had
since the sequin rage was new - it's about time I used a few of these PPP in
Lime Sorbet, Marigold, and Tangerine.  I'm happy to share a step by step instruction,
if any of you would like that - let me know in the comments!
I created this fun glitter embossing powder by mixing some WOW glitter, with
some clear embossing powder!  

While I had my box of embellies out, I found a wee baggie of 
the teensiest seed beads, in all the right colors.  Undoubtedly leftovers from
one of the fabulous 12 Kits gals!  and the perfect size for a tiny shaking leaf - one made using
both the Falling Leaves Shaker dies, which cuts the outline to build up a well,  
and Falling Leaves die, which I used to make the backer to hold it all in easily.

You've no doubt noticed the gorgeous Cozy Stitches background - one among the many released this month - you might know it has indeed become a favorite!  So here she is again...

As much as I adore orange - pumpkins, and gourds, in these shades always jump right into my arms at the Farmer's Market!  PCC's Pumpkin Patch stamps, and dies 
made them so fun to recreate! and the Latte Heart Elements, and dies were the perfect little sentiment for them. 

There are a few more, but I'm saving them for my post on the Pigment Craft Co. blog today!  Hope you take another few moments to stop over there to see them!  Thank you!

=]  Michele

Remember!  There is a free gift with qualifying purchase, and shipping codes on the 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Playing Cards with Friends August 2021

I am so happy to announce my playmate for August!  Lisa Elton from My Paper Tales!  You all know her gorgeous style, but she also is a wonderful friend.  We're very happy to include our friendship with our 'best guys' who have their love of photography to keep them busy when we all get together.  Which is a nice way of saying we get some crafty alone time!

It's been over a year since we've been able to share a weekend, so it's extra fun to have a little bloggy crafty time with Lisa today!

Okay - are you ready for our assignment?  If you didn't know it already, today is August 20th which is National Lemonade Day - yeah, there is a day for that!!  So with that in mind:

·         Must use Lemons, or Lemon Yellow

·         A die-cut sentiment, or tag with sentiment

·         Copic, or water coloring

Easy peasy, LEMON squeezy!   Here is how my card came to be - with a wonderful background stamp [I borrowed from another sweet friend!] from Pinkfresh Studios, and stamped with a CP Melon Ice ink to do a little no-line coloring with a gazillion Copics!  Here is a closeup so you can read that teensy sentiment strip!

My fun die-cut sentiment is from SSS, cut from a snippet of aqua card stock, and layered onto a shadow layer of vellum.

Yes, Lisa, I really do - love and miss you guys tons, but so happy that we got to Play Cards this Summer after all!

Now, I cannot wait another single second... let's go see Lisa's card!
=]  Michele

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Inspired By #183 - Flower Me in Summer

Now, tell me, who wouldn't love to have this gorgeous arrangement full of Gerbera Daisies??  also the can, the tray?  I'd take it all, thank you very much!  But today, I'll be celebrating those gorgeous Gerbera's by using one of my go-to sets from Uniko!

Today, my attention was drawn to the gorgeous silvery, sage-y leaves in the IB183 photo, too.  I used the coordinating Gerbera leaf dies, cut from PTI's Stormy Sky card stock, and stamped the detail layer in SSS white pigment ink.  A smattering of my favorite gems from Pinkfresh and my job here is done!

If you haven't read about the new Christmas card option from Inspired By, you better check it out - of course, our Sketch option is also a way to get the creative juices going!  I'm on my way there to see which option my teammates have chosen, and to see the Christmas Option IB183C - you'll come, too, won't you?

=]  Michele

These are the inks used today, followed by a bit of detail coloring with pencils.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Waffle Flower Crafts - Unexpected Supplies


Three of my favorite crafty humans [Jeanne Jachna, Darnell Knauss, and Nora Noll] are challenging us to scrap our stash on our cards for August's challenge!  You'll find all three of their own darling cards using things from their stash HERE

I've had this little bag of Jingle Bells in my stash for about 30 years.  They were part of a Martha Stewart Christmas wreath ... mine involved real Buckeye nuts sent to me from a business associate from Ohio, and these little bells!  I have to say I was happy to NOT get out the drill press for my card!  But I do wish I still had a photo of my 'wreath!'  Oh well.  You're here for the card, right?  lol

Here's a closeup of the bells - and my decorating hamsters, who have kindly strung them on twine for me!

I snipped one of the Wonderful Christmas sentiments in order to change my message to say "Deck the Halls with jingle bells & Holly"  It wasn't hard to do.  Much busier than my usual style, but I feel like the patterned paper, with its Holly dictated the design.  I'm okay with that for a Christmas card!

=]  Michele

Waffle Flower Winter Hamsters combo; Wonderful Christmas sentiment combo; Stitched Diamond Panel die cut from red card stock; and a snippet of very old Dear Lizzy pattern paper.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Pigment Craft Company - Guest Designer

Hi there, my friends!  So happy you've stopped over!  I have been given the honor of representing Pigment Craft Company, and their fabulous August Release, as a guest designer!  I can't wait to share my makes - but before I do, I must tell you that the release is now live, and there is a free gift with qualifying purchase, while supplies last!   You can see ALL the lovely new products in this release in the Pigment Craft Shop.

I will also be hopping on Instagram this morning, and there are lots of chances to win prizes there - a $100 gift card @pigmentcraftcompany and $25 gift card from each of my fellow hoppers!  I'd love it if you would follow me over there @mfergu01

Are you ready to see my projects?  Let's do this!

First up is a cozy card using PCC's Latte Heart background stamp, with a few bits of my favorite grey added using Latte Heart Elements, and Sweater Season sentiment stamps, and coordinating dies!  This cozy background was easy to ink in multiple colors by simply covering all but one row of hearts with a post-it mask! 

Don't those grey dots highlight the grey sentiment nicely?
How about my little yarn accent for an extra cozy touch?  And a bit of icy
sparkle using some PPP sequins, and an old favorite stitch line for the finish!

That darling inside sentiment is from another new set: Split Sentiments: Autumn the newest addition to Pigment Craft Company's Split sentiment sets with coordinating dies - you'll see more of that later in August - wink!  and yes, that IS the set in the photo at the top!

Next up:  a wonderful layering stamp set called: These Hands Warm Easily, and their fun coordinating dies, which I've used to cut that fun steam, and cuppa .. but there is another available which cuts the entire stamped piece - shown here - and those fun little flowers on the sleeves!  It makes it so fun and easy to add dimension, and depth.  I've used the layers to create gloved hands, warming up with a cuppa!

This fun background die, called Quatrefoil Background, is just one of many 
Pigment Craft Co. is introducing this month.  You all know I haven't met a background die I didn't love!  Don't think I'll miss the chance to use those leftovers - I'm seeing rice for a wedding shaker!

I'll be back with more cards using the new goodies on August 24th, 11 am EDT as a guest here, and at the Pigment Craft Company blog - hope you'll come back!

Now off you go to @pigmentcraftco Instagram for the Hop, or Pigment Craft Company for the SHOP!  They have a few discounts with qualifying purchase, too, so check that out!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
=]  Michele

All the inks used today are from The Stamp Market, or Catherine Pooler.  If you have questions, please email me!  

Sunday, August 15, 2021

CAS Mix Up August 2021 Reminder

Just a quick little post, with lots of photos - reminding you how fun Jenny's technique is for CAS Mix Up August 2021!  There was just a teensy bit of a mix-up with my cards this month, but it IS a MIX UP challenge, right?  So if my card looks familiar, don't question your memory, okay?  lol

While searching through my stencils, I found this one from Altenew, called Rose Bouquet, that hadn't been used!  How did that happen?  It was great fun for blending different colors, and stamping with another never-before-used cling stamp from Hero Arts! The GORGEOUS  Hello is a two piece die from Pigment Craft Co. and was cut directly from my stencil/stamped piece, and popped up with thin foam strips.

I shared my MISTI set up on August 1st.  
It's a time-saver to do your stencil work, and take that grid paper right over to my 
my MISTI for stamping!

Here are is that stamp, and the inks I've chosen today.

After stenciling, don't forget to spritz and save that leftover ink
onto a few pieces of paper for later!  One never knows when the CAS gals
are going to ask for one of these fun mop-up techniques!

It's been so much fun playing along with the CAS Mix Up gals again - thanks a million, Jenny, for the invitation!  Thank all of YOU for stopping by!  Now let's go see all the reminder cards, shall we?

=]  Michele

The Flower Challenge #59 reminder...


It's hard to believe that we are midway through the month of August already!  I'm here to deliver my quick reminder that you still have time to get out those fun dies you know you have, and share a card or two with us at The Flower Challenge #59!  Have you joined the slimline bandwagon?  It's an option this month!

Here are two cards using another layering die set from Altenew's Craft-a-Flower collection of die sets: 

Do you have a favorite?

Aren't they gorgeous?  Using nothing but colored card stock, and dies!  I adore this die set - so much so that I've left them sentiment-free but left space for an addition later as need be.

I just know you have a die set you love - why not join us?  We'd love to have you!

=]  Michele

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Altenew's Pair a Flower Contest

I'm not sure this will qualify for Altenew's Pair a Flower Contest - perhaps because the 'real' bloom is no longer available for a pose!  Instead, I will share the photograph my husband took, which was my inspiration.  It is in black-and-white. Well what does a girl have to lose?  I'm starting with a closeup of my card!  That debossed panel was a stinker to capture in a photo!

You can see where my inspiration came from,
and my attempt at bringing this lovely photo to paper!

Here is my card with a 'stand in' for the gallery photo - 
taken in black and white, of course:

and finally, my card...

The star of my design is the lovely Sunflower Daisy - stamp & die bundle - stamped in a few of my favorite colors, of course those would be shades of grey!
The black card was cut using Altenew's Rounded Rectangles, and then
debossed with their Dotted Swirls die.  The very last items I should mention are the stem, and sentiment ... both borrowed from their Exotic Tulips set.  

That's it for today, thanks so much for dropping by.  I've had the pleasure of hosting a cousin for a few days.  Tracy is another crafter - we've found so many shared genes - she was kind enough to bring some of the wonderful die sets she has gotten recently from a few of her favorites from HSN.  However, you will have to wait until Halloween to see them - it's killing me not to share!

=]  Michele 

Inspired By #182 - M.I.C. K.E.Y. MOUSE!


Okay!  Are you all caught up with the fun new way to play at Inspired By??  We think giving you not one, but THREE ways to be inspired is a bonus - and what a great way to get your Christmas cards made?  OH what's that?  You don't know about that?  Get yourself over to the Inspired By #182 blog right away to learn all about it!

I just love the fun Disney arrangement of Mickey Mouse items in our IB182 photo, so I'm sticking with the original photo, and have a few favorite sets with mice in my stash to play along!  Today, Waffle Flower Crafts Little Artists, and Grow Happiness came together to provide all the little items I needed for this MOUSE'd fun slimline card...

Monsieur Mouse-net has a favorite bloom in my garden that got all the
paint on his palette!  The fun Whimsy Alphas are c. 2016 from Wplus9 - I'm happy to report they are still available, as are the dies!  I may have added a bit more doodling fun to a few of them.   Did you catch how I turned his ears into a Mickey Mouse Club staple?  "Here's your ears!"

Next month, I'll be using the C-option for my Inspired By cards - but for now, I sure do look forward to seeing how many of YOU will be switching over now!  It sure is a fun way to add to your Christmas card stash!  I wonder if my teammates have?  Let's go find out, shall we??

=]  Michele

Friday, August 6, 2021

Storybook Coloring with Daniel West

I attended as much of the Card-maker's Christmas Summit as I had time for.  The first session was taught by Daniel West of Del & Artie fame.  Daniel taught us how to use a storybook style of Copic coloring on a few of those darling Colorado Craft Company's Anita Jeram illustrated stamp sets.  I am the owner of a few - wink.

Here's are the two cards I made using Daniel's style - it's really about NOT blending, and perhaps exaggerating some of the shading.  He does it so much better so go looking for him, please.  @delandartie on Instagram... and blog:  Del & Artie (delandartie.com) 

I've had the worst luck.  After stamping these images, I lost the rest of the stamps for the set - oh you know I've looked everywhere.  I'm hoping some day they'll just magically appear, stuck to the bottom of some other set.  For these cards, I've borrowed some fun sentiments from another set - yes.  there are more.

We're busy blooming butterflies - so don't think I've disappeared again if I don't get to you right away!  It's a busy time on our front porch!  Stop over if you can!

=]  Michele

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Inspired By #181 - Fintastic Birthday!

Hello my dear friends!  We sure missed hanging out with you all!  I'm well rested, and ready to start playing cards again, even though I've got lots of cobwebs to clear!


Before I show you my card for IB#181, I want to tell you that there is something a little different about Inspired By starting with this first August post!  SO be sure to read all about it at the Inspired By blog for all the extra fun you can have playing along with us!

I have a fun birthday card for you - I've been inspired by that shark, and his ocean-scene cake!  

Will you be inspired as I was?  OR will you choose from TWO other options now available through December?  Curious?  Let's head over to the IB#181 post to check out what's new, and also to see which option my teammates have chosen, shall we?

=]  Michele

AveryElle Sea-Prise! stamp, and Make a Wish die.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Flower Challenge #59: Use a die!


Welcome, my friends!  I've been away for so long - I've almost forgotten how to do this blogging thing!  I'm happy to be back in my craft studio, and couldn't be happier for our August's theme for The Flower Challenge:  use a die!  I have so many gorgeous dies, and aren't afraid to admit that it might be a favorite crafty supply.  So let's get to it, shall we?

I'm using the option of making a slimline card today ... you don't have to, but I found it gave me more real estate for this gorgeous Altenew Craft-a-Flower: Cistus!  You know I have to say it again:  with CISTUS LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS BROTHERS???

My die-cut Cistus were started with half-sheets of Ranger water color card stock, a few favorite colors from my Altenew water color pan set, which were applied rather willy-nilly to the card stock with a big wet brush.  After it dried, I picked up a scripty background stamp, adding it here and there with grey Versafine ink.  I then arranged my dies, and ran them through my Platinum 6 die-cut machine, layered up my blooms, and arranged them to my liking.  

You'll see just a bit of grey peeking through... it's actually my card base, and the background panel is another piece of water color card cut in two using a simple swoopy hill die from Paper Smooches - sadly no longer available.  A smattering of Pinkfresh jewels, and my card is complete!

Here's a peek at my lovely left-overs ... 

I hope to see you in The Flower Challenge #59 gallery!  Won't you also join me as I take a look at all the loveliness my teammates have creating here?  We have a wonderful guest this month - I'm so happy to also call her my friend:  Therese Calvird!!!  Oh my goodness you won't want to miss her fabulous die-cut card!

Thank you for stopping by!
=]  Michele

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Christmas Kickstart Challenge #53


By now I've figured out what most inspires me to make a card: a photo inspiration!  I'm so loving all the bits of inspiration I found in Christmas Kickstart's Challenge #53 photo inspiration ... here's a closeup of it:

Right down there in the bottom right corner... that shaggy stool just called out for my Pinkfresh Studio Festive Llama!  complete with his colorful poms!  I'm so surprised they pulled this one from their product line.

I also had an impromptu play date with my friend Cat!! 
Thanks for being so willing to answer my video-call, my friend! 

As Cat and I chatted, I showed her my 'what do I do with it now?' bin of wonderful
snippets - I found this fun white-on-white heat-embossed panel!  
Kismet, I think!  It's an after-Christmas 2020 purchase from 
SSS called Outline Merry.

I'm going to get this card into the Christmas Kickstart Challenge link, and then I'm going to see if Cat has her card posted - why not come along?  Hey, and play along, too!!

=]  Michele