Blog Candy Alert: I'm celebrating my 8th year of blogging!
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My 6th Blogoversary!

art © Robert Jackson
My Blogoversary is on July 5th, which will mark the 6th year of this blog & the 5th year of my becoming a serious cardmaker.

So many thanks to all my followers; I've known many of you for all my craft-blogging years, and have found such fun & support from our community. I now have over 200 followers, and I hope you'll join me if you haven't already (see the links on my sidebar.)

It's also time for my yearly Blog Candy! This year, I'm offering two sets of 3D stickers, three stamp sets, a set of plastic embellishments, and two Shake-It card templates (see my card featuring a Shake It card & one of the stamps).






Thank you for visiting and for inspiring my crafting,

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pilin' on the National Seaside

The theme this week at Pile It On is to Use your Nation's flag colors (as main colors; other colors are fine), and we're sponsored by A Day for Daisies. I used the freebie that ADFD offered this fortnight for its Piece or Pierce challenge. The card design was inspired by The Pink Elephant's Card Sketch Challenge.


The Shell Baby is printed on a water colored-patterned paper, and the big shell is pieced from one double-sided DP. I used papers from Graphic45 for the background. I love the kraken-patterned paper! The sentiment is from the same paper set. The white piece is cut from a mulberry paper & embossed with a border folder on my BigShot. I added a bit of blue distress ink on the bubbles.

I used a very thick foam to attach the image to the card: scrap foam weather-stripping, actually! The sentiment pieces & white background are popped with regular 3M foam tape. I machine-pierced the border and went over it with an awl to widen the holes. To embellish the card, I added some actual fish-netting & real sea-shells.

Challenges/Inspiration:
A Day for Daisies #124: Pierce or Piece + ADFD image
Craft It Up & Link It Up Linky Party by Craftin Desert Divas: Red, White, Blue
Crafty Creations: Red, White and/or Blue
Eureka Stamps #146: Paper Piecing
Jo's Scrap Shack: Red, White & Blue
The Pink Elephant Monday Card Challenge: Sketch
Ruby's Rainbow: At The Seaside

Update: This was chosen as a Top 5 for Eureka Stamps #46!

Thank you for visiting & inspiring my crafting! Hope you'll join us at Pile It On,



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pilin' on the Summer Camp

The theme this week at Pile It On is Cultural/Family Traditions. Check out my other cards for this challenge here & here.

This time, I focused on a tradition I grew up with, which is roasting marshmallows over a campfire. It was a fun childhood experience: we'd go out and find proper marshmallow-roasting sticks, and then sit around a freshly-made fire & try not to burn our mouths too badly on the resulting S'mores. Personally, I liked to catch mine on fire...you get a show and a marshmallow crust! To create this scene, I used the Cricut's Campin' Critters Cartridge with Cricut Craftroom & my Cricut Expression.


I couldn't get the sentiment to cut correctly, so I used a Cricut marker instead. I then cut the shape around it, backed it with a black shadow layer, and filled in the letters with a black gel pen. Isn't this hedgehog(?) too cute I even used the funky eyes that come with the design, adding pupils with a black pen. I covered the marshmallow piece with a Marvy Snow Pen, which gave it a fun texture.

I used a Tim Holtz embossing folder to add the trees to the background. I inked the raised trees with a Copic marker. I distressed all the mattes with a nail file. I think you can guess why I chose the colors I did! I hope this will inspire you to share a custom or tradition with us at Pile It On!

Challenges/Inspiration:
Bitten by the Bug: Food + Cricut Cut
Fantabulous Cricut Challenge: Anything Cricut Goes


Thank you for visiting & inspiring my crafting! Hope you'll join us at Pile It On,



Pilin' on the Flamenco

The theme this week at Pile It On is Cultural/Family Traditions. We're sponsored by Ike's Art and I used her wonderful Spanish Dancer digi stamp. I grew up in Spain, so this reflects the culture I grew up with (although I live back in the States now):

I added some actual lace to the Flamenco dancer, something that artisans used to do on postcards in Spain. The tiny castanets were cut on my Silhouette with a file I created for my Castanets book.


Challenges/Inspiration:
Craft-Dee BowZ: Anything Goes with a Handmade Bow
Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge: Anything Goes with Patterned Paper (3rd entry)
Deconstructed Sketch: Sketch #204 (final challenge...you'll be missed!)


Check out my other cards for this challenge here & here.

Thank you for visiting & inspiring my crafting! Hope you'll join us at Pile It On,



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cool Beans - Heroes at UnstampaBelles

Unstampabelles Challenges
The UnstampaBelles June challenge is to Create a mixed media item to celebrate your hero/ine. I couldn't resist making a project dedicated to people in my life that I truly consider heroic: my husband, who lived for 5 years with kidney disease and went to work every day, even when he had to go to dialysis every night; And my husband's living kidney donor, who gave us our future. The one-year anniversary of my husband's transplant is coming up (he's doing great!) so I made a memory box. For the decorative top, I used actual kidney beans:


I used a "windy road" template that I had previously created in SCAL, and cut it from a heavy white cardstock with my Cameo. I didn't have blue or green paint, so I made my own by mixing distress inks with white acrylic paint. It took many layers of paint to cover each section, but I like the artsy result. I had chosen black kidney beans because 1) the road is black so I wouldn't have to paint that section, 2) they were smaller than the red kidney beans, and 3) they were 20¢ cheaper than my other choice! I used good ol' Mod Podge to adhere the beans as well as to coat the final scene. I also sprayed it with a matte coating. I added decorative metal corners (from Martha Stewart; I sanded them a bit) and a gold trim to the final project.



I wanted to keep this project a secret from my husband until it was finished, which is why I bought the beans at the small store down the street, and why I couldn't tell him why we had to search for hinges last weekend (I wanted decorative ones, but my Michael's and Target didn't have any, so we finally went to Walmart!) I used my Dremel to affix the hinges to the two wood pieces. The box itself is made from the boxes wood veneer embellishments come in. They were already painted this blue, which I left as-is because it sorta reminds me of "hospital blue".


Of course, I completely forgot to get a front clasp for the box, so I had to get creative! I used knob-like screw fasteners (by Spare Parts) and a piece of a blue rubber tourniquet to make a whimsical closure:

For the inside, I simply sized some photos to fit in the existing sections. The top portion is a photo of the University of Maryland Medical Center, where our transplant adventure took place. I used Scrabble
® pieces to convey what we all felt there.



My mother-in-law is also a hero to me for donating a kidney to her brother 23 years ago. She's in the photos I used for the bottom section; I took out the actual faces for privacy reasons, except for the one of me & my wonderful husband leaving the hospital. I also used the first stanza from a poem by Emily Dickson, made into WordArt by Cec Wintonyk.

Illness is, sadly, a part of life, but so is bravery, hope, love, and sacrifice. There is no way that I can ever truly thank everyone who helped us, but I can spend my life trying. We're all in this Life together!


I'm entering this project into the following fabulous Challenges:
2 Creative Chicks #27: Anything Goes (no cards)
Altered Eclectics: Anything Goes (Altered Art/Mix Media only)
Card Mania #69: Use Metal Embellishments (2nd entry)

Be sure to check out the fabulous projects by my teamies and hope you'll join us this month at UnstampaBelles!


Thank you for visiting,


Pilin' on the Elemental Dragon

The theme this week at Pile It On is Cultural Traditions: be inspired by a traditional custom or symbol. We're sponsored by Ike's Art and I used her wonderful Chinese Dragon digi stamp. 
The current theme Ike's World Challenge at is "The Elements" so I combined our 4 traditional elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, Water) with the 5 Chinese Elements (Earth, Wood, Fire, Water, Metal).

I colored the dragon with Copics and a glittery-red Wink of Stella brush pen. The image includes some lovely flowers, but instead of coloring them I covered those sections with fabric and mulberry flowers. I put the dragon on an Action Wobble to add a little movement to the scene.

The flourish on the top right is cut with a Sizzlits die from blue metal from Add a Little Dazzle, and represents the Wind. I stamped a Chinese Longevity symbol from Stampin Up in gold onto wood and die-cut it. The border is cut from the same wood sheet. I know the Chinese fortune (from an actual cookie) isn't traditionally Chinese, but it's certainly a tradition! The designer papers are from Graphic 45.


Allways Something Creative
Challenges/Inspiration:
Wobble Wednesday: Anything goes with an Action Wobble
Animal Friends Challenge #27: Fantasy Animal (dragon)
Allways Something Creative #101: Sketch
Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge: Anything Goes with Patterned Paper (2nd entry)
Cute Card Thursday #378: Add A Quote (fortune)
Ike's World Challenge #40: Elements - Earth, Wind, Fire + Water
WordArt Wednesdays: Anything Goes Family Friendly

Check out my other cards for this challenge here & here.

Thank you for visiting & inspiring my crafting! Hope you'll join us at Pile It On,


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

At the Movies with Crafter's Cafe

The Crafter's Cafe Challenge this week is At the Movies. We have two sponsors, SLS Lines and Poppyseed Graphics. I was inspired by Peter Pan and used the Whimsical Pirate by SLS Lines.

click images to enlarge

 I made a fairly simple diorama card because it made me think of a movie screen.

The crocodile is from Cricut's Crocs Rule set. I added a wood clock and a Happy Brithday brad. The waves and ship are from my SVG stash and were cut on my Silhouette. The background is a lovely DP I've had in my stash forever. I colored the pirate with Copics, but also paper-pieced his pants, jacket, hat and sword. His pants & hat are digi papers from Melstampz. I created the "Forever Young" sentiment in SCAL and cut it from black & patterned papers.

I hope whoever receives this card enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Inspiration/Challenges:
  1. Card Mania #69: Use Metal Embellishments (metal brads)
  2. CMD-Challenge #22: Movie/ TV Series + Copics (Movie: Peter Pan; used Copics on pirate)
  3. Crafting When We Can #96: Paper Piecing
  4. One Stitch at a Time #239: Men
  5. Sassy Studio Designs #285: Just Fold It (fancy folds)

Thank you for visiting & hope you'll join us at The Crafter's Cafe,


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pilin' on the Homes

The theme this week at Pile It On is Houses/Home. We're sponsored by Fresh Brewed Designs, a company/artist I've admired for a long time. I combined her "From the Rooftops" and "My Neighborhood" digi stamps to create this scene.
I also incorporated a lovely digital sentiment by Ginny H which was offered at Aud Sentiments.


I printed the images and sentiment on white paper. I colored the houses with Copics; I was inspired by the colors of houses in my neighborhood. I popped up the piece with foam tape. The crocheted flower and button brad are from my stash. The button was originally purple, so I heat-embossed it in red. The leaves are cut with a Sweet Stamps die.

The patterned papers are from my stash; I've been saving this lovely blue piece for just-the-right project. I notched the outer corners with my favorite Marvy punch, so you can see just a bit of the yellow card base.

Crafting by Designs
Challenges/Inspiration:
4 Crafty Chicks #250: Polka Dots
Aud Sentiments Challenge #133: Bingo (Markers, Digi Stamp, Die Cut) + Sentiment (wonderful freebie by Ginny H)
Crafting By Designs: Sketch + patterned paper
Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge: Anything Goes with Patterned Paper
Doodle Pantry: Anything Digital Goes
Loves Rubber Stamps #155: Spots & Dots
Our Creative Corner: What Makes You Smile (Neighborhood Friends)
Scribbles Designs Challenge: Use things that start with B (Buildings, Button Brad)
Simon Says Stamp: Friends
WordArt Wednesdays: Anything Goes Family Friendly

Update: This was a Spotlight project for Crafting By Designs #75!

Thank you for visiting & inspiring my crafting! Hope you'll join us at Pile It On,



Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Coffee Mojo

I am a big coffee drinker; I like to brag that I drank coffee way before it was cool (the pre-Starbucks days) and my friends tease me about my preference for black iced coffee, no matter the weather! So when I saw the Coffee Loving Cardmakers' Summer Blog Hop, I just had to make a card and hop along.

I was also inspired by Mojo Monday Sketch #400 and Verve Stamps' Eat Me, Drink Me challenge. I used a sentiment & two sun stamps from Verve's wonderful Let It Shine set (you can see my many uses of this set here) to make a summery card.


The sun stamps are heat-embossed in yellow. I used an SU! coffee bean stamp to heat-emboss some white, whimsical clouds. The birds are from an ArtsyFartsy stamp set, simply stamped in black.

The cup is from a a Heartfelt Creations die set. I stamped the sentiment in bronze onto the off-white mulberry paper. The doily was cut from a coffee bean-patterned DP with a Sizzix/Eileen Hull die in my BigShot. I backed it with cardboard from actual coffee cup sleeves.

I notched the corners on the blue paper with my favorite Marvy corner punch, and added a slight frame of with copper paper.

Challenges/Inspiration:
Amusing Challenge: Anything Goes + no digis
Coffee Loving Cardmakers Blog Hop: Summer-themed Coffee, Tea &/or Cocoa project
Mojo Monday: Sketch #400
Verve Stamps June Inspiration Challenge: Eat Me, Drink Me


Thank you for visiting & inspiring my crafting, and be sure to check out the gorgeous projects at the Coffee Loving Cardmakers' Summer Blog Hop!



Pilin' on the Strong Men

The theme this week at Pile It On is For/Featuring a Father/Man. We're sponsored by Dr. Digi's House of Stamps, so I used Strongo the Magnificent to make a fun card for my dad:


The circus tent is a cutting file freebie I grabbed a long time ago, I'm not sure from where. I used SCAL to create the card base, which I cut from a yellow-orange paper on my Silhouette Cameo. The shimmery red & star-patterned DP is from Recollections' "Comic Heroes" paper pack, as is the polka-dot paper I used to die-cut the frame on the inside. The top layer was cut from a shiny yellow paper, and I heat-embossed stars in gold all over it.

I colored Strongo with Copics. My husband and I have been enjoying watching classic Strongman Competitions on TV; seriously, it is great entertainment! I made his dumbbells by die-cutting black Styrofoam from a take-out container. The dumbbell bar is made with a Fiskars stamp and Shrinky Dink plastic; the sentiment stamp is quite large, so shrinking it down made it the perfect size and even gave it a fun bend.

The tent cutting file came with a banner on top, but I cut it off and instead used a die from a•muse studio's Cupcake Toppers set. The front is made from more shiny yellow paper, and I decorated it with a sentiment stamp and gold-embossed wood stars.

Challenges/Inspiration:
Creative Corner: Just For Dad
DoubleClick Skittles #23: Father's Day or Man Project
Inky Impressions #212: Make It For A Man
Love to Scrap: Father's Day or Masculine Project
Polkadoodles: Father's Day or Anything Male
The Paper Girls: Father's Day/Masculine
Simon Says Stamp (Wednesdays) - Masculine
Simply Create Too #87: Masculine
W2SB #18: It's a Man's World


Thank you for visiting & inspiring my crafting! Hope you'll join us at Pile It On,



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Schools Out/Graduation at Crafter's Cafe

The Crafter's Cafe Challenge this week is Schools Out/Graduation, and we have two great sponsors: Beansie Doodles and Lacy Sunshine. I used Swirl Trim by Beansie Doodles.
Our neighbor's daughter is graduating from High School so I made shaker/pop-up card for her.








Inspiration/Challenges:
Eureka Stamps Challenge #143: Special Occasions
Going Grey With Scrap-Creations: Celebrations
Mema's Challenge: Anything Goes with optional twist: Graduation
The Stamping Boutique: Graduation

Update: This was chosen as a Top 5 for Eureka Challenge #143, as well a Top 3 for Going Grey With Scrap-Creations! I was also the lucky prize winner for The Stamping Boutique #30.
Thank you for visiting & hope you'll join us at The Crafter's Cafe,