Thursday, December 28, 2023

Catching up with Sophie

Hello friends.  I believe it's time for a year end wrap up as we prepare for a fresh start in 2024.  I can't say 2023 was the best year ever.  We had some heartbreaking losses including, as you know, our beloved Goldens, Wally and LuLu.  In spring we lost a sister-in-law in a tragic accident.  In December we lost a dear friend.  We've had illnesses, some temporary, some progressive, some cured.  However, it was not all bad.  On October 9 we brought home our little Sophie and she has been working to brighten our spirits ever since.

She's still just a pup, not even 5 months old, and has a lot of excitement and energy in her.  I don't want to curb her enthusiasm or dim her spirit, but she can be a handful at times.  A 35+ pound handful.  She gained 15 pounds in a month and has a lot of growing yet to do.

December 13.  Our friend down the street has two Goldendoodles.  Bailey has been very kind and gentle with her, but Lynus tends to be a little snappish.  He had a serious crush on LuLu and I'm sure he'll come to feel that way about Sophie soon enough.  Pictured below is Sophie's attempt at making friends with Lynus.

December 17.  Princess Sophie.

December 21.  Enjoying a backyard full of maple leaves, including the one in her mouth.  Rich raked after this picture.  You can imagine how that went.  It's been a while since we had such an eager helper in the yard.

December 24.  After she was fully immunized Sophie had her first trip to the marshy playground that Wally and LuLu always enjoyed.  She's cautious about new places, but is learning the world is full of wonder.  I chose this picture so you could see her swoosh.  She has a pronounced fur swoosh down her back which gets thicker and swooshy-er as time goes on.  More of the cream color is showing up, too.  I find myself very curious as to how she'll look when mature.

December 24 again.  Sophie found a treasure in the Great Outdoors.  She's wearing LuLu's harness, walking the same trails Wally and LuLu walked.  She even resumed excavation of the hole LuLu started.  I said to Rich, "that's LuLu's hole", and we each had a moment.

Every dog is unique and Sophie sure is her own little self.  She's a feather soft bundle of charm and personality, and her story is just getting started.

Happy new year to all!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Peace in the Neighborhood

Hello, friends!  Sneaking one more card in before Christmas.  I hope you're all ready to settle in.  Maybe you're traveling.  However you spend Christmas may it be a beautiful day.

Our week has been full.  Heck, the whole month has been non-stop.  Very little of it is Christmas activities because we keep that simple, but we enjoy the quiet time.  I see peace and quiet in the folk artsy simplicity of this last card I made for Christmas.

Tim Holtz Christmas Cutouts dies, kraft cardstock and retired Stampin' Up sandable cardstock.  Love that stuff and wish they hadn't retired it, so now I'm hoarding it, tsk tsk.  It looks like a sky draped in fabric.

I have bunches of never-been-used Christmas dies and stamps that will have to wait till next year.  Sales and temptation... but these things give me so many hours of happy time.  How can I feel bad about that?

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Double D Challenge: Winter/Snow Scene

Snow makes for such a beautiful scene, especially in the countryside.  Just look at the mood board Darlene has prepared for our newest Double D Challenge:  Winter/Snow Scene.

There's a cute stamp set for a lucky random winner, and as always the team votes for the top creative winners.  Be sure to visit the Double D blog for full information.

It was the beginning of Christmas rush time when I made this card with a Cottage Cutz die called Silent Night Forest.  I thought it would be so easy to make multiples with this die.  However, I managed to have everything going every which way due to glue stuck on my fingers, wearing a wrist/thumb brace, and the die cut having too many skinny parts.  So much for that!

I added clear Stickles glitter to the stars, and some dimensional snow glitter to the forest floor, then spritzed all of it with sheer shimmer spray.  It's all so very sparkly, but frustratingly difficult to photograph.

The background is blended inks, gradient blue to deep purple.  You don't even see the deep purple in the first photograph, so here it is again (below) without competition from the blues.  The camera gets so confused with blues and purples.

I do love playing with inks, sigh...

Wait till you see the gorgeousness on the Double D blog.  My teamies really know how to make a snow scene!  I hope to see you there, too!  Happy holidays

Monday, December 18, 2023

Poinsettia Washi

Hi there!  We're back in the Christmas card workshop today.

When my friend, Nancy, dropped by recently I was whining saying that I still had to make a lot of Christmas cards and didn't know how I was going to get them done in time to mail.  Well, she reminded me about the Pinkfresh Poinsettia Washi tape die cuts she gave me a while back.  I'd made a bunch with the stamp set she loaned me and they were some of my favorite cards this year.  So I got to work with the washi die cuts and made the following four cards.

The Poinsettia parts were all prepped by Nancy.  I made a dry embossed shimmery background and a banner for the first card:

A gold frame and shimmery Joy from my card parts on the next:

Mintay designer paper made an easy background and frame for the next card:

For the final card I've arranged a bower of poinsettia parts on an embossed background of mini-poinsettias.  The pink oval was pulled from my card parts.

That's it for now, friends, but I'll be right back for the Double D challenge.  After that I'll have one more Christmas card and then I'm done for a while.  Sophie will be happy about that!

Merry merry!

Friday, December 15, 2023

Mostly Mintay

Hi!  Just one card today and Mintay designer paper did most of the work.  Well, maybe not most of it, but a lot.  I pulled older dies from my collection and arranged a sentiment panel.  It's nice to have dies and stamps that get used over and over through the years.  The mini-slimline is 3 1/2 x 6.

Because of the designer paper, the card is very similar to one I made a few years ago.  I'll have to remember to not send it to the same person, and I do remember who that was.  Funny the things that stick with you.

Thanks for sticking with me!  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Birds and Berries -- Three Cards

Hi friends!  I took the time to color all the stamps in Heartfelt Creations' Festive Berry and Birdies set which I picked up before the shop closes (at the end of the year I think).  I don't have a lot of Heartfelt stamps, but have admired many sets and this is one of them.  I purchased the coordinating die set as well, and used it on two of the cards I'm sharing today.

They were all so very easy and quick to color.  All three cards have the Spellbinders Fluted Classics Rectangles in common.  The first has a background covered with designer paper, but the image panel itself is clean and simple.

Just a bit of designer paper peeking around the edges of this next one.  I stamped and colored directly on the paper without using the coordinating die.  Coloring is with Copics.  Keeping it simple.

It was a dark day for picture taking.  Rain, rain, and more rain.

The last card is the simplest of all.  However, it has issues as I'm wearing a wrist/thumb brace and it really gets in the way of the finer maneuvers.  We won't even talk about that as I'm here to have fun and all that other life stuff can take a back seat for now.

Be merry and enjoy your day!

Monday, December 11, 2023

Santa & Friends -- Two Cards

Hello again!  Back with more Christmas cards, this time of the Cottage Cutz variety.  These are the cards that make me smile and that's the most wonderful thing.

First up is Santa w/Reindeer Buddy.  They're the friendliest pair, waving a holiday hello.  The sentiment is an older set from Power Poppy, and the speech bubble is from another Cottage Cutz set.

I pressed the bubble into foam on the backside to give it more of a bubble effect.  Colored with Copics.  The stars and dark red background are glitter paper.  You may be able to see there is glitter on Santa's trim, but it's much more sparkly in real life.

Next, we have a Cottage Cutz combo of Peeker Snowmen, 'Tis the Season, and Icicle Set.  Designer paper for the fence, and a stencil for the brick wall.  Can't help but smile right back at them!

'Tis the season, for sure.  I hope you're having a merry one!

Friday, December 8, 2023

Big Poinsettia

Hello friends!  It's time for me to get back in the saddle.  I stepped away long enough to make and mail a significant number of Christmas cards while still trying to be a good dog mom for Sophie and manage a whole lot of other things that continue to crop up.  I keep hoping things will level off... maybe in the new year.

Today I have two cards made with the Altenew Poinsettia 3D -- a gift from the sweetest friend.  The poinsettias on each card were brushed with Distress Oxide Inks, then rested on miscellaneous foliage die cuts against an embossed background panel.  I'm truly not happy with the sentiment flag on the first card.  In fact, it was covering up something else I didn't like and, well, I won't go into that whole long story...

The second card is simpler.  After I stamped the sentiment I inked up the stamp and used it to stamp the foliage over and over, reinking frequently.  That's how it got the mottled look.  Also, I water-spritzed the poinsettia after adding color.


I will come back to this poinsettia in 2024 as I hope to NOT be this far behind again.  Right.  I believe I said that last year, but there's nothing wrong with being an optimist!

There are a lot more Christmas cards coming.  So many you'll get tired of me.  I hope to also start getting caught up with my blog visiting.  You all are the best inspiration.  The best enablers, too, tsk tsk.  You know I love it!

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Double D Challenge: Christmas Animals


Hi all!  I'm finally back with my Double D teamies just in time for Diane's fun Christmas Animals Challenge.  Check out the cute inspiration board:

My Fox & Bird is a Cottage Cutz die from one of their not-to-be-denied sales.  I've got a sizeable pile of CC dies still waiting for their first time use.  They have their own bin now, sheesh.

Additional dies, both CC and other, came together for Christmas in the woodlands.  At the time of this make I was still trying to get my card making legs under me, a bit shaky after a lengthy hiatus. Lots of ink was rubbed on for coloring.  Copics for the smallest parts.  The Fox & Bird look like Christmas animals to me, but I'm sure they'd be cute on a birthday card, too.

Have a look below at the prize a random player could win.  Just happens to be a Cottage Cutz critter.

The team will vote for creative favorites.  Maybe yours?  Let's find out.  Come see all the super cute team samples on the Double D blog and then share your own creation.  I can't wait to see!

Have a happy day!

Dies:  Cottage Cutz Fox & Bird, Greetings, Moose in Forest (trees), Poppystamps Stitched Landscapes, MFT Die-namics Star Stax

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Snowman with a Sky Full of Happy

Hi, there, and welcome to this last day of November.  I'm back again with another Christmas card.  I keep trying to make up for lost time, but progress is slow.  Today's card was quicker than it looks.  The snowman was already made and waiting his turn.  The "happy" background was in my card parts drawer.  It's an old-timey woodblock stamp with a column of six "happies" which I stamped repeatedly.  I like a lot of happy so I think it made a cute sky for the snowman.

The bare tree is a branch die to which I added shimmery snowflakes and stars, all of which were already made up but rejected from another project.  Cloud dies for the snow.  The card is a mini-slimline at 3 1/2" x 6".

I have a few more cards made up but not yet photographed.  It's been way too much fun making Christmas cards when I have the time.  All the more precious when at a premium.

Take care my friends!  See you again soon!

Stamps:  Hero Arts Happy Happy Happy, Power Poppy Happy Holidays -- both retired  Paper:  Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth Solar White 80 & 110 lb, shimmer white  Ink:  SU Cool Caribbean & Real Red  Coloring:  Copics  Dies:  Tim Holtz Sizzix Papercut Christmas #2, Poppystamps Stitched Cloudline (snow), Memory Box Hayden Twigs (tree), Impression Obsession Small Snowflakes Set  Other:  Stickles Stardust glitter glue

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Bundled Bird

Hello and happy Monday!  Another day, another Christmas card.  This one features the Memory Box Bundled Bird and Bird Nest -- two different die sets.  She's looking cozy in the doorway of her birdhouse, decorated for the holidays with an absurd number of rhinestones.  Where did she find all those rhinestones, anyway?

As always I pulled together several dies and a couple of embossing folders to complete the card.  It takes a village sometimes, and luckily I play in a Toyland village when I sit down to make a card.

The greenery is stippled with white acrylic paint, plus a little extra dusted here and there.  The bird parts and the nest are colored with Copics.  Glitter on the hat trim.  The sweet sentiment is from a retired Power Poppy set called Tweet Tidings.

I'm not writing a supply list today as most elements are mentioned above and... you know... Life gives us a lot to deal with sometimes.

I've chosen two lovely challenges to play along in today. The first is Can You Handle The Pressure where the optional twist this time is "Christmas".  We must use an embossing folder and I've used two which I hope you can see well enough -- Tim Holtz Sizzix Lumber 3D on the card base, and SU Subtle 3D on the red ring and black circle.

The second is Sunday Stamps Challenge #323 -- Warm Winter Wishes.  It's a color challenge this time.  Use at least 3 colors from the graphic.  I've used several -- red, green, brown, black.  Plus, my bundled up bird fits the whole idea of "warm winter wishes".


Thanks everyone!  See you again soon!

Friday, November 24, 2023

Peace, Love, & Joy

Hello and happy Black Friday!  I'm resisting the shopping urge for the time being, but it's not as if I don't have plenty of everything.  It can be as much fun to simply shop my stash and that's what I did for the two cards I'm sharing today.

This Tutti Designs Arched Fir Branch comes out every year, mostly because I love the die but never seem to totally love anything I make with it.  So I keep trying.  These simple cards might be my favorites so far.

The sentiment is a combo of two retired Power Poppy stamps.  I stamped a batch of these sentiments for card innards, but then loved it so much I decided it really needed to be on the front of at least a couple of cards.  The fir branch came along as a supporting player.

Gold embossed sentiment on the first card, white on the second. 

I'm speeding off to the next job on the list, so I'll leave you with a wish for a happy holiday season!