Saturday, January 27, 2018

Our Little LuLu is Fit as a Fiddle

Because so many of you kind souls have asked, I wanted to let you know our little LuLu is fully recovered and back to her happy, active self.  Here she is with our dear, sweet Wally, living the Golden Retriever good life.

Her meds healed her tummy and she's now taking daily omeprazole to prevent acid reflux.  She hasn't had another bout since, but it wasn't all that frequent to begin with.  We'll wait and see.  We've always been careful with Wally and LuLu's diet, easy on the people food, paying heed to the long list of foods dogs aren't supposed to eat.  It's a mystery.

When they hurt, we hurt.  Love hurts, but it's worth it.  If only we didn't care so much...  Thank you for caring, too.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Little Things Twice

It's probably time I shared these cards I made the week after Christmas, don't you think?  I went a little nuts with my Lil' Inker "The Little Things" stamp set, stamping and cutting out bunches of birds and leaves and flowers.  Very simple with no coloring, but certainly lots of cutting.  There's a matching die set available, but I honestly think it was quicker to stamp out lots and cut at my leisure.  I was in no hurry.

There's something about the simple, almost primitive folk-artsy look of these stamps that appeals to me.  I made five cards, one after the other, but I'll only share two of them.  The first is more involved -- lots of leaves to make a wreath, both stamped and cut out, with a few flowers placed here and there.  Stitched and framed with a make-believe bird for fun.

The second card is more clean and simple, and it uses the Lil' Inker "Silly Stitched Die Set", as well.  The die set comes with rectangles and circles.  The circles make the stitched pattern, but do not cut out a shape.


So, yay, I added three birthday cards, a thank you card, and a hello card to my stash.  Really trying to get ahead and this simple stamping helped a lot.

I hope you've enjoyed a stamp happy week, or any kind of happy week, and are looking forward to the weekend soon to come.  If I get some cards photographed I'll pop in next week.  Take care!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Sparked by a Sketch Challenge

Welcome to Monday, friends!  I'm playing along with Power Poppy today.  It's a sketch challenge, and I do love a sketch.  I find them inspiring, rather than confining, and there's always room for interpretation.  I used the Lavender set, one of my well-used favorites.  Lots of images and sentiments to work with.

There are several sketches to choose from.  This is the one I used:

The entire page of sketches with Power Poppy samples can be seen here.

I used lace for the scalloped edge element and replaced the oval with a sweep of lavender stems.

Coloring is Copics on X-Press It Blending Card and all images are cut out.  Other whites in the design are from a pack of textured whites I've had forever.  A Wal-Mart gem of a find.  The word, "Lavender", was stamped in SU's Kiwi Kiss, a perfect match for the patterned paper.  I tried to match the lavender color, as well.


The Copics used for coloring:

Power Poppy Power & Spark Challenge:  Grab a Map

Hopefully, I've covered all the details.  There are so many pictures here I tried not to blather away with too many words.  There's a summary of details in the recipe below.  Have a wonderful day!

Stamps:  Power Poppy Lavender  Paper:  X-Press It Blending Card, textured white, Heartfelt Creations Delicate Asters designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, SU Kiwi Kiss, Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Lace, Memory Box Stitched Circle Layers, Sue Wilson Pierced Flags

Friday, January 19, 2018

Daisies in Pink and Yellow

I'm back!  Here's a card that will wake you up in the morning.  It was sent to someone awesome who can't decide whether her favorite color is pink or yellow, so I combined both.

I stamped a whole panel of Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Surface paper with Verve's "Simply Amazing" stamp set, embossed with white and watercolored with Tombow markers.  The die cut "awesome" is Verve's "Amazing Adjectives", cut from green glitter card stock.  I added green glitter die cut leaves, as well.

There are more details below which I think will sum it up.  It seems like I've been on the computer all day, so I'll keep this short and sweet and wish you all a happy weekend.  Take care!

Stamps:  Verve Simply Amazing  Paper:  Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Surface, Neenah 110 lb white for sentiment panel, other white for card base, green glitter paper  Ink:  Versamark, Memento Tuxedo Black, SU Pixie Pink, Tombow markers for watercoloring  Accessories:  Verve Amazing Adjectives dies, Spellbinders Long Classic Rectangles, Little B Bouquet (leaves), white embossing powder, Scotch brand foam mounting tape

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Double D Challenge: Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

First order of business -- announcing the random winner of the prize I offered in our previous Double D Challenge.  As stated in my post, all challenge participants were eligible and I let do the job.  Here you go:

Yogi (Art with Yogi), come on down!  Thanks for playing along with your very pretty card!

A reminder to everyone:  Be sure and check the Double D blog and all the designers' blogs for more winners.

This fortnight we're doing "Kitchen is the Heart of the Home", and the inspiration board is full of wonderful ideas.  There are so many ways to go I could hardly decide, so I ended up with a card that incorporates several parts of the board.

You can see the board below -- the aprons, the green cupboard, the wood plank in the lower left corner photo, the colander in the middle lower photo, the red here and there throughout.  I used a little bit of all of it.

Since we're still celebrating Double D's birthday month, there are two prizes for two random winners:

The stamp set I used is Power Poppy's Sage Advice.  Colored with Copics.  The apron is a Frantic Stamper die -- Kitchen Dress A2 Card Maker.  I used just the apron, the buttons, and the heart.  Stitched the sentiment panel onto the apron and added die cut ric rac.

There are so many cute team samples, you just have to check them out at the Double D blog.  Unbelievably fun stuff inspired by this challenge.  I can't wait to see yours!  More details below.  Have a good day!

Stamps:  Power Poppy Sage Advice  Paper:  X-Press It Blending Card, Neenah white, Memory Box Dill, Bazzill Brown, scrap of old gingham paper, Snap Wood & Notebook Basics designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Frantic Stamper Kitchen Dress As Card Maker, Taylored Expression Ric Rac Borders, Die-namics Stitched Rectangle Frames, Scotch brand foam mounting tape

Monday, January 15, 2018

Watercolored Azaleas

Hello again!  How about starting off the week with a watercolored Azalea?  Probably one of Power Poppy's best selling stamps, but I'm just guessing.  They're so pretty!

I made this card for someone amazing, as you might guess.  Stamped in Ranger Distress Tea Dye ink and watercolored with an old never-been-used set of SU's Watercolor Wonder Crayons.  Do they even still sell them?  Hanging my head... I've had two sets of those watercolor crayons for years and just now used them for the first time.  What is up with that?  They're actually very nice watercolor paints.

I picked up ink from the crayons with a wet brush.  The progression of color on the blooms is Summer Sun, Pumpkin Pie, and Ruby Red.  Interesting how it turned out with those colors.  Garden Green on the leaves.  When all was dry I did the stamen filaments with Gansai Tambi white paint.  Since the image was so soft I kept the rest of the card soft and simple, as well.  More details in the recipe below my signature.

Have a happy day and I'll see you again soon!

Stamps:  Power Poppy Azalea  Paper:  Arches 140 lb cold press watercolor, soft yellow, vanilla Bazzill  Ink:  Ranger Distress Tea Dye, Palette Noir  Coloring:  Stampin' Up! Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor paints  Accessories:  Sequins, Scotch brand foam mounting tape

Saturday, January 13, 2018

No Card, Just Some Info About Commenting and Following

😖  Having trouble leaving comments on Blogger blogs?  It works, but the process is slow.  I've noticed that the problem lies with embedded comments, but the pop up window works perfectly.  Slick as a whistle.  Therefore, I've changed my comment setting to the pop up window.  If you have a Blogger blog, you might like to affect this change, as well.  If you have any tricks up your sleeve, please share.

😌  Also, I've finally managed to get the Followers widget to work on my blog.  See it there in the sidebar with pitifully few followers.  I don't know how they managed without the widget being there, but I thank them.  If you like to follow blogs in that format, it is now available.  Thank you!

😃  Other options for following this blog:  Subscribe by email, Bloglovin', or Feedly.  My favorite is Feedly and it's what I use for following my fellow bloggers.  You can see the tiny green Feedly widget in my sidebar.  Click on that or Google search "Feedly" to get yourself set up.  It's free and easy.  You can follow any blog and set them up in categories.  I've divided blogs into stamping, challenges, photography, and sketches categories.  Updates are virtually instant.  LOVE Feedly!

That's it for now.  I hope this information is useful and helpful.  I'll be back Monday with stamping.  Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Feathers and Frame

Perhaps you know there's a new challenge blog in town:  Darnell's "Twofer" Challenge.  The idea is to make two completely different cards for different purposes using the exact same stamp.  I thought it sounded like a lot of fun!  There are specific, but easy and clearly stated rules to follow, including the fact that we are to include both cards in one photograph, so I'll start off with that.

The prompt this time around is "feathers".  They can be dies or stamps, with or without birds attached.

I made a birthday card with an embossed panel and designer paper.  Coloring was done with Copics.

Full details, birthday card:
Stamps:  Hero Arts Three Song Birds, Inque Boutique Sentiments  Paper:  X-Press It Blending Card, other white, blue Core'dinations card stock, Echo Park Fine and Dandy designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Sizzix Flowers embossing folder

With a few changes I used the same stamp for a Christmas card:

I hope it looks enough like a Christmas card.  The frames and poinsettias were already made up and in my stash, waiting to be used.  The poinsettias and some of the enamel dots are covering up the stamped flowers.  Frame and image colored with Copics.  I used a white gel pen and glitter on the red frame.

Full details, Christmas card:
Stamps:  Hero Arts Three Song Birds, Power Poppy Bough Wow Wow (sentiment)  Paper:  X-Press It Blending Card for bird panel, Neenah 110 lb white for colored frames, Echo Park The Story of Christmas designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Impression Obsession  Rectangle 6-in-1 Frames, Poppystamps Small Blooming Poinsettia, enamel dots, Stickles Stardust and Golden Rod glitter glue, Signo Uniball white gel pen

I made the frame for the second card specifically so I could play along with The Sisterhood of Crafters "Frame It" Challenge.

I'm pretty sure it took longer to write this blog post than it did to make the cards.  I'll come back and visit again Monday.  You all have a nice weekend and I hope you can find time to do whatever makes you happy.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My Sweethearts

Do you think they like each other?

A few days ago our little LuLu had an episode of all-night vomiting that ultimately turned bloody.  Blood from the other end, too.  Don't worry, that's as graphic as I'm going to get.  She was a very sick little girl and we were all worried about her, including Wally.  She's better now, but we're keeping her relatively quiet and on a restricted diet for the time being.  Our vet believes she has gastric ulcers, which are fairly common in Golden Retrievers.  It would explain a lot.  Did you know dogs can take omeprazole (generic Prilosec)?  Always check with your vet first, of course.

Wally is giving her plenty of tender loving care.  They melt my heart.  When I'm sick (thankfully not often) they give me this same kind of therapy.  It's why I like living in our Golden Retriever bubble.  It's peaceful here.

I routinely receive emails from Shutterfly -- "Your memories from this week six years ago", etc.  It prompts me to click and revisit those stored images.  I always think I have my favorites on calendars and in photo books, but there are so many of Wally and LuLu, and when I look at them with fresh eyes the "awwws" just keep coming.  I brought the photo below back to the computer.

Six years ago this week.  Love.

Monday, January 8, 2018

I Challenged Myself to a Challenge

Since I'm having such a struggle getting in the stamping groove this year I thought I'd give myself a jump start with a challenge.  I always mean to do the CAS Watercolor Challenge, so now is the time.  Their theme this month is "birthday" and, of course, clean and simple and watercolor.

Due to a goof, the embossed border is wider and further up than intended, but that's seems to be the way it's going for me lately.  Try to picture it with a narrower border at the very bottom edge.  Got it?  Much better, right?  Nevertheless, I think it's usable and I had great fun with the watercolor.

Now, here's a shock -- it's a one layer card.  I used Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Surface paper, which is plenty heavy enough for a one layer card and, as with all watercolor paper, the color does not bleed through to the other side.  The painting is done very loose style, not my usual way, but it sure was quick and I actually like it a lot.  Ink moves like crazy on this paper.  That can be good or bad when it comes to watercolor, but I'm finding it a good thing now that I know what to expect.

One handy dandy tip I'll point out:  See the card edges where the gold cord wraps around.  There are tiny notches there, barely noticeable at first.  I did that with a 16th" hole punch.  It helps hold the cord in place so it doesn't slip around all cockeyed on the one-layer card.  Also, there is a dab of Aleene's Tacky Glue under the cord knot. 

The stamps are Power Poppy -- Vibrant Thanks for the flowers, and Party Time for the sentiment.  Watercoloring was done with Tombow markers.

So, here's that challenge link:  CAS Watercolor Challenge -- Birthday

Thanks for dropping by today!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Double D 2nd Birthday/Anniversary Celebration!

Call it a birthday, call it an anniversary, the Double D Challenge is two years old this month and we feel like celebrating!

To kick off the celebration we're asking for anything birthday or anniversary-themed using the inspiration board as a guide.
Visit the Double D Blog to see prizes.

I'm offering a prize today, too.  PLAY THE CHALLENGE TO WIN.  See the end of this post.

Many of my Double D teamies are offering prizes today, so be sure and visit everyone to see their stipulations.

All our participants have made this a very successful and fun challenge for us.  Of course, Diane and Darlene, the Double D originators/administrators, deserve tons of credit and thanks and love.  After all, they're the ones who provide us with fabulous inspiration boards such as this:

Cute stuff there!  I especially love the birthday cake and I had a whole card made up with a starry cupcake and striped candles, all in colors matching the cake in the inspiration board... and then I made a hideous card with it.  Seriously.  Hideous.  I was so disappointed I didn't want to start all over with the cupcake so I went in an entirely different direction.

I was happy to have finally gotten the kick in the pants I needed to color this very detailed and, oh, so pretty butterfly from my Penny Black "Touch of Whimsy" set.

I stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black on X-Press It Blending Card and colored with Copics.  Stamped several smaller images from the set, as well, but didn't want it to look too busy so I used them sparingly and left a lot of white.

Finished with ribbon and a Tutti Designs Butterfly Strip.  The Butterfly Strip was cut in white and colored with a B02 Copic marker.


Since it's a birthday party, I have a cute little birthday mini-stamp set and a perky pad of paper which I thought coordinated nicely with it.

I'm sharing the love with our Double D challenge participants.  At the end of our current birthday/anniversary challenge I'll let select a winner from among everyone who plays along.

I hope you can join us.  Have fun!

Also sharing at The House that Stamps Built "Things with Wings" challenge.  Thank you!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Birds and Flowers and Happy New Year!

Hello, friends, and happy 2018!  Are you ready for a fresh start?  I generally feel super charged at the beginning of a new year.  However, I'm off to a slow start in terms of stamping.  I'm reading similar stories on many of the blogs I visit, so at least I'm not alone.  It will get better eventually.

Today I have two birthday cards I made in the middle of the busy Christmas season, so I was happy to have everything I needed to keep them simple, but pretty.  The die is Tutti Bird Tapestry, which is retiring, but I'll always think it's the prettiest thing.  You know how I feel about birds and flowers, sigh...

In the photo below you can get a better look at the alcohol-inks-on-acetate background behind the die.  Playing with alcohol inks is on my 2018 to-do list, but these backgrounds were made for me by my friend, Nancy.  The Bird Tapestry die cuts were shared by my friend, Sherri.  See what lovely friends I have?  Thanks girls!

The second card has a more subtle background, but still very pretty.  I like warm colors.

Moving right along...  I will be here Wednesday with the Double D Challenge.  Wishing you all a happy new year!