Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Docrafts Gorjuss - I Gave You My Heart, Pink Paislee- Switchboard Chipboard stickers, Copics, enamel dots, patterned paper

 I'm hitting another busy patch at work (and life in general!), so I thought I would pop in with a quick update and a card share. I've actually got a whole pile of finished cards to share, but I haven't had a chance to take any pictures yet. I'm hoping to snag a minute a bit later this week to do so.

I hope you're all having a great week!
Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Warm-up Holiday

Though I'm still enjoying fall, I'm also trying to get going on my Christmas cards. These past two years, I really underestimated just how much time it takes to create some 30+ cards - which resulted in a rather stressful marathon crafting session or two. This year, I want to enjoy the process more, so I decided to start making cards much earlier.

My first card is a warm-up card, created with The Greeting Farm's Hoppy Hello stamp set. Aside from adorable images, this is a smaller (and cheaper) set that has a few cute punny sentiments. Since the two bunnies are wearing scarves, I figured they'd be right at home on a Christmas card.

I started by stamping out the bunnies and coloring them in with Copics. I wanted both bunnies to be white, so I used a couple of blue markers to add in some shadows. This adds depth to the image and makes the white really pop up. I colored their scarves in red and green, then added some details with a white gel pen. I fussy-cut them and set them aside while I worked on the rest of the card.

I used a retired MFT STAX die to cut a couple of rounded rectangles out of patterned paper and white cardstock. The white cardstock was my background scene. I stamped some snowflakes and hills with soft blue ink (tough to see in the image, but it does show in person), then adhered the bunnies to the card. There was a bit of room left between them, so I stamped and colored a little present. I added it to the card with foam squares.

For the sentiment, I decided to combine a stamp and a die. I cut the Merry out of red cardstock, and stamped "Christmas" in brown ink. I adhered the die to the front panel. I matted the front panel to the patterned paper panel and adhered both to a Spruce notecard from Lawn Fawn.

And that's it! A simple and easy Christmas card to get me going.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Chatty Sunday: Impulse buys and pacing

Today, I'm combining a chatty Sunday post with a card - mainly because my chat has to do with one of the stamps I used on the card. The card itself is nothing really special. It's very simple and it doesn't feel completely finished, but I really wanted to share it because it's a great way to illustrate my ramble-y chat.

The drinking mice on the card are from Penny Black's Homemade stamp set, which features several absolutely adorable images of mice and making/eating home-made goodies. I first saw this stamp set a couple of years ago, when I got into card-making. I immediately fell in-love with it, but it happened to be out of stock in the store I was shopping at, so I never got it.

Over the next few shopping tricks, it never ended up making it into an order. Sometimes I'd put it in the cart, but then take it out because I needed another stamp more. Other times, I'd just write myself a wish-list reminder that I should get it when I had a budget to spare. Whatever the reason, I didn't get the stamp set right away, and then forgot about it in a flurry of brand new releases.

Recently, I came across the Homemade stamp again and -  to my surprise - found it just as interesting and as inspiring as it was two years ago. I was amazed that a stamp with an image I'd seen at least a hundred times was still something I wanted in my stamp collection. So, I bought it! And I'm incredibly pleased with my purchase. I've already thought of/planned out several cards featuring the stamp set, and I'm really looking forward to making them happen.

Inspired by this, I immediately ran to browse other Penny Black stamps and see if there was another set or two I just had to have. Of course, I found about a hundred and even went to fill my cart to the brim with awesome stamps. But I didn't complete my purchase.

You see, a little while ago I'd narrowed down one of the biggest behaviors that make me overspend and go way beyond my budget -- impulse buys. If there's a new release or a new sale going on, I find myself mighty tempted to go overboard. And then one purchase leads to the next, as I discover that I missed getting something or something that was out of stock is now available. It's a bit of a vicious circle - one that's just terrible for my budget.

So, I took a step back and decided to apply my new buying tips:
- I wait a few weeks between placing things in my cart and actually buying them.
This seems like a small step, but it's a HUGE help. Those few weeks give me a chance to really think about what I'm buying and decide if it's worth investing in. There have already been several stamps that I felt like I absolutely HAD to have at release, but then I changed my mind a couple of weeks later. Likewise, there were a few stamp sets that didn't seem like a big deal, but I continued to feel inspired by enough to buy.
- I don't shop sales.
I appreciate a good deal just as much as any crafter does, but every sale ends up with me filling up my cart with piles and piles of supplies. Sometimes I luck out and get awesome deals on things I adore. But most of the time, I end up with just way too many supplies that get looked over or forgotten. Paying full price (or close to full price) gives me less supplies, but it makes me value them more - not to mention stops me from getting overwhelmed by new goodies.
If there's a sale or discount code when I'm placing my order, I make use of it. Otherwise, I don't worry about it.
- I make only one order per month.
I find it easier to stay on budget if I limit myself to making just one order. Having to get everything in one trip really makes me re-examine just how much I need the things I'm adding to the cart. Some months, I find myself getting new stamps, dies and embellishments. Other months, I'm stocking up on staples like adhesive, cardstock and ink. I'm able to balance things better and find myself making much better use of my supplies.

So! My next Penny Black haul will have to wait a little. But, I'm sure I'll discover many must-have sets to fall in-love with while I wait. In the meantime, I'll be making good use of Homemade and creating several projects I've got bouncing around my creative brain.

Happy Sunday to you all, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Merry & Bright

 Lawn Fawn - Party Animal, Lawn Fawn - Cozy Christmas (sentiment), Lawn Fawn - Let's Polka 12x12, Lawn Fawn - Stitched Journaling Card die, Lawn Fawn - Puffy Cloud Borders die

Just a quick update today!

I'm getting started on some of my Christmas cards and I just had to share this card, using some Lawn Fawn goodies. I chose a palette that's not traditional, but still looks festive and fun.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

MFT- Masculine Congrats

Looking over my card stash, I noticed that I did not have a whole lot of masculine cards - which is a shame because I happen to have a lot of males in my circle of friends and family! Sure, a good majority of my cards are gender-neutral and could be used for anyone. But sometimes it's nice to have a purely masculine card to give away to a loved one.

I thought I would start with a congrats card, as I had very few cards in this category.

I grabbed a piece of plaid patterned paper and trimmed it to 4x5¼", then matted it with a piece of brown cardstock that was just a bit larger than the paper. I adhered it to a standard top-folding A2 card base (4¼x5½").

I wanted to keep things really simple, so I die-cut a little tag with Tag Builder Blueprints 2 die. I also die-cut a little circle fastener out of the same brown cardstock as I matted the patterned paper with. I adhered the two together, then stamped my sentiment and bow-tie using Terrific Ties stamp.

I decided to embellish the card with some cork stars, so I die-cut a few stars with dies from various blueprints dies. I adhered the stars to the card with foam squares and added a few enamel dots.

A very simple card, but a fun one nonetheless.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chatty Sunday: Old/retired stamps

Last year, I really underestimated how long it takes to make Christmas cards for the whole family - which lead to a week of marathon card-making, lots of frazzled nerves and forgetting what my cards even looked like a week later. So, I decided to be better organized this year and start my card-making early -- as in this weekend early.

Going through my supplies, I noticed two things:
1) My collection of Christmas/Winter stamps is MASSIVE, second only to my "sentiments" section, which has a rather large variety of actual themes. I've got enough Christmas stamps to make a card for all of my friends/family for the next couple of years and not use the same stamp twice...
2) Several of the stamps in my collection are now retired. I expected a few of those, as they come from companies that retire their stamps very frequently. But a few were a surprise, and left me thinking.

If you've read my blog, you know that using old/retired supplies has been a challenge for me. On one hand, I really want to use my old supplies - I didn't get them so they can sit pretty in my crafty stash. On the other hand, I worried that seeing projects with unavailable materials will leave readers and fellow card-makers frustrated. Or (worse yet!) they will turn into uninspiring projects that everyone has seen and done a million times already.

But as I looked over my Christmas stamps/supplies, I found those worries faded and got quieter. Instead, I was excited by all the possibilities and couldn't wait to jump into creating. What changed? Well, some of it has to do with my new mentality of focusing on doing (read about it briefly here) and making use of things that inspire me. And the rest is the fact that I was making cards for friends and family - people who won't know which stamp set I used or whether it was retired. They'll just care that the card was made with them in mind.

I wondered if this feeling of excitement and inspiration would carry over to my other supplies and I found - much to my delight - that it did! I saw my old/retired stamps in a brand new light. Some of them I couldn't wait to use and I already have a million ideas for. Others would take a little extra thinking and planning.

So, I developed a little list of questions I ask myself about each retired stamp:
- Does it still inspire me?
If I can think of a card (or 3) just by looking at the stamp, it's a keeper. I took the time to jot down a few of the most promising ideas in my notebook, and grabbed a few stamps to highlight in the upcoming weeks.
- Is it a staple?
Some of my stamps aren't necessarily things I would use all the time, but they're very necessary. A good example are sympathy stamps or pattern stamps. I don't make a whole lot of sympathy cards, but it's useful to have a few sets dedicated to the occasion. Likewise, I tend to use patterned paper over making my own patterns, but I may use that long stripe stamp in the future.
- Can it challenge me?
I've got a few stamp sets that are not in the same style as the majority of my cards. Some are vintage, others are a more modern/graphic style - neither of which necessarily mesh with my cute/bright/cartoony card style. But I would like to challenge myself to use them in a card or art journal layout.

The majority of my old stamps fit into one of those 3 categories. And the few that don't are things purchased during massive sales or things I received as a random gift. I've set them aside for now. I will look at them again next year, and if they don't inspire me, I will give them away.

All in all, this left me with a very positive feeling about those old/retired stamps. I'm inspired to use them and looking forward to sharing bits and pieces in my blog.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 9, 2015

MFT- Fall Doodle

It's another lovely autumn day here, with changing leaves and a sprinkling of rain. I wanted to share another autumn-inspired card, this time using a very simple design and some retired supplies.

I started by stamping the cute girl from MFT's Doodle Garden - Happy Harverst stamp set. Now, this set is retired, but it features a super cute stamp that I didn't get a chance to ink up yet. So, I stamped her out in brown ink and colored her in with Copics. I went for a slightly brighter palette, adding some contrast to make my shading look a little more dimensional. When I was done, I carefully cut out the image, leaving a small white border.

Since I was using a retired stamp, I decided to go all out and use a few of my other retired supplies. I die-cut a scalloped rectangle out of Lawn Fawn's Into the Woods paper (retired) and a corresponding flair (also retired).

I wanted to keep the card pretty simple, so I adhered the patterned paper to a kraft A2 card base (4¼x5½") with foam tape. I grabbed a small white rectangle (tip: this is one half of an A2 card panel cut in half - I use it to line my darker card bases for easy writing). and stamped a sentiment from the stamp set. I adhered it to the patterned paper, adhered the girl on top and added the flair. Lastly, I scattered a few warm-toned enamel dots.

Thanks for reading, and happy autumn!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

CC Designs - Fall Thanks

Continuing on with my ode to autumn, I'm sharing another fall-inspired card today. This card uses a stamp set from C.C. Designs' Roberto's Rascals line called Latte Sue. Aside from a fab outfit (really! I would wear it all the time), this stamp features a fun stone bench and some falling leaves.

I started by stamping out Sue onto some marker paper with brown ink and coloring her in with my Copics. I went for one of my favorite combinations - blue + cream/tan. After I was done, I trimmed the paper down to a rectangle. Since the paper was a very bright white, I wanted to soften it a little with some creamy color. Originally, I was going to just use my distress ink and a blending tool, but I wanted to make sure I didn't get ink all over the image and creating a mask was going to be too much work.

Since the image had a lot of small and intricate parts, I decided to instead use my Copics to color in a background. I used a few E markers to create a semi-distressed and dotty frame. I really like how it turned out! After that was done, I matted the image onto some navy cardstock.

I found a great patterned paper that had the same creamy warm tones as my image. I cut it down to 4 by 5¼" and matted it with a piece of navy cardstock that was just slightly larger than the paper. I adhered the matted panel to a white card base (top-folding A2 - 4¼x5½"). I added the stamped panel with some foam tape.

For my sentiment, I used the Many Thanks stamp set from Simon Says Stamp on a strip of white cardstock I colored with my Copics (so it would match the panel). I cut it into a flag shape, then matted it with some of that navy cardstock and adhered it to the card with foam tape.

Lastly, I scattered a few fall-themed and sparkly clear sequins across the card.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 5, 2015

MFT- Harvest

Autumn is my favorite season. I love the cool air, the rainy days and the gorgeous changing colors of leaves. It's like spring, but without any pollen or bugs. So, I make it a point to thoroughly enjoy every second of fall for as long as it lasts.

I thought I would celebrate fall this week by sharing a few season-inspired cards. Aside from celebrating the wonderful season, it's also a great segue into Christmas cards -- something I've really ought to get started on.

Today's card features a Birdie Brown stamp set called Harvest Mouse. I just love this set! It features several adorable mice in fall-related activities. Quite a few of the images could be easily modified to become winter-themed. Jennifer McGuire has a video that showcases how to alter this stamp set - the mouse carrying a present would be perfect for Christmas!

For my card, I kept things relatively simple. I die-cut a rectangular panel from white marker paper and a stitched rectangle out of patterned paper. I stamped the mouse with leaves in the bottom right corner of the white panel. I used brown ink to soften the image and add a bit of warmth. I stamped the sentiment above it.

To color the image, I used my Copics. I kept the palette warm and added a dotty background using a few of the same colors I used for the image. I adhered the patterned paper to a white A2 top-folding card base (4¼x5½") and added the white panel on top with foam squares. As a last touch, I added a few fall sequins.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Happy World Card-Making Day!

Happy World Card-Making day, everyone! I hope you all got a chance to get creative today and make some awesome cards.

My card today features the super cute Happy Pandas set from My Favorite Things, Stitched Duo 1 die from Pretty Pink Posh and a cute heart from one of MFT many Blueprints dies.

Thanks for reading!