PagesPat's Ponderings

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy House Mouse Holidays!

I belong to a group on .Ning that posted a challenge to use a House Mouse image on a commercial Christmas card.  We could use any HM image and embellishments of our choice.  Here is the card I made.  I used a card I received this year (thanks, cousin Art) and an image called "Silent Night."

After coloring my image with Copics, I cut out two of the four mice on the stamp, singing in front of one of the snowmen.  I placed them where I think the snowman on my commercial card is looking.  These merry mice are singing sweet carols to their snowy friend, and he seems very happy with their songs.

I kept the embellishments simple--some jewels and a holly leaf on the snowman's hat, a few jeweled notes to carry their tune, and a sentiment sticker.

Hmm, I wonder if I can get away with sending it back to cousin Art next year with my artistic changes.  Do you think they'll remember that they sent it to me this year???  Maybe I better send it out to somebody else.

Do you re-gift your cards and/or presents?  I do.  I cherish the people who send me cards, but some of them are too cute to just throw away at the end of the season.  I like to re-fashion these cards for others, like the one I did today.  This one might just go out in the mail today!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Figure Eight Style Skates into Town

Roses are red,
and so is my card.
If you like the same color
Squigglefly's challenge is not hard...

Not my best rhyme, but the sentiment is true!  If you love to create with RED, then this is your lucky week.  At Squigglefly, their newest challenge is to use RED on your card-with paper, embellishments or coloring-and a Squigglefly digi image.

I got to play with a new Squigglefly release from the always amazing Cheryl Alger.  This cutie pie is called "Figure Eight Style."  I started my path down REDville by framing my Copic-colored image with RED cardstock.  I finished off my tiny "canvas" with a few RED sequins.

My card base is RED cardstock whose bottom border I punched with tiny snowflakes.  I added a piece of white cardstock on the inside of the card so that the "flakes" would show up nicely.   Speaking of snowflakes, a sprinkled a few beside my image, and finished off my card with a metal word charm.

Now glide on over to the Squigglefly Challenge Blog so you can enter your card in this week's contest.  One random winner will win a free digi!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Very First WOYWW Post

Yeesh, I write some very personal posts, but there's nothing like a photograph to really lay it all on the line.  What am I talking about?  WOYWW is short for "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday."  Workdesk stands for craft table, as you can see below.
It has been a hectic week--pulling extra shifts, Christmas shopping, being sick--and my goal to "clean as I craft" has crept quietly away, dragging its tale behind it.
The only good thing about admitting to this tornadic upheaval is that all those crafters out there who are too embarassed to admit they're messy crafters can come out of the closet now.  After seeing my table, they have nothing to be ashamed of!
I have a couple Christmas projects in the works, an Advent calendar that I finished but haven't hung yet, and a few envelopes to unpack.  You can't see it all now, but I am proud of my "new" storage system for my acrylic and EZ-mounted stamps.  Maybe next week it will all be visible, but for now you'll just have to trust me. LOL
Are you part of the WOYWW blog hop? If you don't know what it's about, head over to the Stamping GroundJulia provides links to everyone's blog...What are you waiting for? Go check it out!

JOY, Part 2: The Joy of Christmas

I love this time of the year.  Children are excited, parents are shopping, towns are decorating, houses are lit.  There is a feeling of joy in the air, but it’s not from what I just listed.  The joy comes from the hearts and actions of people I know (and some I don’t).
Let me explain...Our local food pantry runs on shelves of donated food and those shelves are decently filled.  At Christmas time, those shelves are overflowing!  I used to give a $5 bill to my children when they were young and let them buy food at a local discount food store for those same shelves.  They were asked to buy things that they would want to see on their plates for dinner.  They had a blast!  And today, one of them is volunteering regularly at the weekly soup kitchen offered through the pantry.  This gives me JOY.
 Another example…On our street there are quite a few elderly residents.  This year Chicago has seen a fair amount of snow three times already.  After every snowfall, my neighbors “extend” their property lines to include the walk and driveways of their elderly neighbors who don’t hire a snow removal service.  One of those kindly snow-blowers is my own hubby.  That gives me JOY.
I work in a school.  This month I have seen boxes set out for a food drive, a children’s gifts drive and a winter coat drive.  Those boxes have had to be emptied every day as they were overflowing with donations.  My own office coordinated the food drive, and there were families who donated CASES of canned foods at a time.  That gives me JOY.
I took my grandkids Christmas shopping at the mall over the weekend.  There were Christmas trees all over the place with tags on which were written names of children and an item they wished to receive for Christmas.  Each of my grandkids took a tag and with a little ($$) help from Grandma, they had a blast choosing “the perfect” gift for that needy child.  Their eyes lit up when we took them back to the tree, all wrapped up in colored paper and love.  That gives me JOY.
There are just so many examples of the JOY that people give and receive at this time of the year.  And in writing this post, I have just figured out what my 2014 resolution will be.  I am going to (try to) offer a Random Act of Kindness every day next year.  Now granted, it could be as small as sharing a smile with a stranger, but if I can get that stranger to smile back, my mission would be successful!  Because giving joy to others is what gives me JOY. 
So you’ll never guess which carol is my favorite Christmas song. Wait for it…JOY to the World!!  Hahahahaha!
Now on to my project.  I had a naked white 8 inch chipboard snowflake in my Christmas craft stash for YEARS!  Today I decided to make a snowflake wreath.  I colored a Crafter's Companion stamp from a set called "Christmas Magic" from the Winter Tales collection. Doesn't it look like she is dancing for joy?!  After framing it with cardstock, I popped it onto the center of my 'flake and let the embellishments fly!  Once I (thought) I was done, I wasn't satisfied with it.  It needed some backing of a sort, so I shuffled through my box of lace and trim and found the perfect (to me) piece to go around my "wreath."  I finished it off with a piece of metallic twine from which to hang my decoration.
I am entering my project in the Crafters Companion Monthly Challenge blog, whose theme is to use ribbon, twine or thread.  They are offering a $30/30# prize to a winner.
I also have entered my decoration in the Path of Positivity Challenge blog, whose challenge this month is JOY.  Entries for this challenge will be accepted until January 5: 
  • This month, prizes will be the following:
    • Ten digital images from Creative Bug Digitals, for the person out of the top seven who receives the most votes during voting week.
    • Three digital images from Ike's World  for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
    • Three images from Fresh Brewed Designs, this month's guest sponsor, for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
    • One digital designer paper from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
    • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You

It's getting down to the wire and I still have a few more Christmas cards to make--yikes!1  Luckily I have a bunch of new Christmas images with which to make them, including this darling one from Queen Kat Studios.  Her name is Christmas Girl, designed by Milky Cat Studios, and she looks so blue.  She's waiting patiently for her fiancee.  She's hoping to set the date for their wedding tonight.  She's wondering if she could have everything ready for a June wedding...

But I digress...back to my card.  I decided to make a side step card, covering it with leftover patterned paper and distressing the edges with CTMH "Ocean" ink.   I snagged some beautiful cardstock border stickers from K&Co last year for PENNIES and the white poinsettias are just a small part of the package.

A handmade flower from my crafting friend Shannon (thank you again) brings more teal into my card.  I embellished with a metal brad sentiment and some pearl flourishes, both items from my Christmas stash from years ago.  A smidge of Stickles gives my card a little shine and it's done!

Check out all the new releases at the QKD Shop-there's a sale going on, so get over there now!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snowgal with Rose Wishes You a Merry Christmas

Today I strayed from the tried and true Christmas colors of red and green.  I have a passion for all shades of teal, so my Christmas card sports those shades in my patterned paper background, as well as the snowflake diecut behind my image.

Speaking of images, this is a December new release from Squigglefly called Snowgal with Rose by the lovely Pamela Lehto.

The sentiment is also from Squigglefly, which I framed with coordinating cardstock after giving it some winter pizzazz with a snowflake border punch.  I used the tiny punched snowflakes to decorate my card, along with a string of pearls.  Simple but pretty.

I'm entering my card into this week's Squigglefly challenge, which is simply to make a Christmas card with a Squigglefly image. Now it's your turn.  Go play at the Squigglefly Challenge Blog for your chance to win a free digi!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Joy, Part One: Do What You Love, Love What You Do

JOY!  I'm sorry for shouting, but that's a word that can't be whispered.  JOY! That's a word that can't help but be shouted out loud.  JOY puts that twinkle in your eyes and the smile on your face.  JOY lifts your spirits high and sets your heart to singing.

JOY is doing what you love and loving what you do.  If you love to paint you will find the color of JOY in your canvas.  If you love to sing, your music moves to the rhythm of JOY like the waves in the ocean.  If you're a writer you spell out JOY for all to read.  If you love to garden you will plant seeds of JOY and can watch them grow.
I love to craft and, when I do, I create with JOY because I'm doing what I love to do.  For me, crafting is not work.  When I put ink onto paper or paint onto canvas, I am putting all the love and creativity and emotions of the moment into one huge ode to JOY.
You see JOY in many people.  There used to be a show called The Joy of Painting, starring Bob Fosse. You could tell that he really felt JOY when he changed a blank canvas into a gorgeous landscape.  Watching old black and white movies, I see JOY when Fred Astaire starts tapping his toes and dancing.  What that man could do with his feet! You can tell he loved to dance (and more than once I wished I had been Ginger Rogers, his graceful dance partner).
JOY is found in the hearts of new moms, sports players, marathon runners, many people who love what they do.
My project is a mixed media canvas.  I tore patterned tissue paper to make my background, coloring in the white spaces with Copic marker BG05 and separating the myriad of patterns with Stickles.  When it comes to mixed media, my motto is: everything but the kitchen sink!  Paint, ink, cast-off jewelry, brads, stamping, freehand drawing, charms and flowers (just to name a few) went into this canvas.
JOY was flowing from my fingers onto my canvas, because I was loving what I was doing and doing what I love most.
Do you love what you do?  Do you do what you love?  What gives you JOY?  This month's theme at the Path of Positivity Challenge blog is JOY.  Post a story or a project there about your own experience or thoughts on JOY for your chance to win a prize from this month's sponsors:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas is Coming - Did you Survive Black Friday?

Have you started your cards and gifts yet?  I have, with some of the November releases from Queen Kat Designs.  This beauty is called "Snow Crystal" and is designed by the talented artist Marianne English.  I colored her with Copics and then diecut the image with Spellbinders Nestabilities Radiant Rectangles die.

I used leftover papers from my stash to frame my image, as well as on my card base.  I kept the embellishments simple, using fiber, leftover adhesive pearl flourish and a pearl floral stick.  Easy peasy, but great presentation!

Do you have some crafty tricks up your sleeve that make your creative life easier?  Please share them with us, as we all need help in stretching our crafting time!!  I'll give you a hint right now:  QKD has some lovely Christmas images in both rubber and digital formats.  Go check them out at the SHOPPE.  And do it quickly!  The 40% off sale is still on for a very limited time!!

And as always, crafters, have fun!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Let Your Dreams Fly High as a Kite

Taking a break from Christmas card making (and Christmas present and goody bag and gift wrap and table decoration making) to make a card for this week's Squigglefly challenge, which is to make a card that shimmers and shines.

So I grabbed a new December release from Dawn Collins called Fly A Kite.  After coloring it with Copics, I framed it and distressed the edges.

An  circle-punched and embossed "thank you" sentiment finished my card with the basics.  Then I got to throw on the glitz, using various colors of Stickles on the kite tail, as well as kite-shaped jewels under the sentiment.  A shiny sequin puts my shiny card to rest.

Like shiny?  Got bling?  Go play in the Squigglefly challenge.  All you meed is a Squigglefly digi image and some shiny stuff and you could win a free digi!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Squigglefly Christmas Showcase

Last summer I paid three dollars for this 18x18 inch piece of wall art.  It originally had eight 3x3 colorful panels (one of them was missing).  I've kept it in the dark recesses of my craft closet, knowing I wanted to do a montage of images for a special occasion.

Inspiration finally struck today and I printed out several Squigglefly digital images in a Christmas theme.  I love the diversity of the many artists who design for Squigglefly.  While I have my favorites, I can't name one whose images I don't like to play with.

I played with thoughts of painting the base of my wall art, but my daughter (an artist in her own right) told me she liked the dark brown background, so I chose a color palette with blues and yellows and greens, and let my Copics provide the tone.  I used blue cardstock to frame each image.

Let me introduce you to the many "faces" of Christmas that Squigglefly offers.  The first two are colored images by artist Inger Harding.  They are part of a "Print, Cut & Paste" collection called Winter Wonderland Papers.

Next up meet artist Lynne Stansbery through her awesome sketches-turned-digi images.  The one below is called "Three Stockings Waiting."
On to a couple of images by Marla Shega.
Both Marla and Lynne make coloring their images easy with the way they sketch in shading, making them more realistic.

This first is called Kris Kringle.  He's one of my favorites when making Christmas cards.  I changed him out by coloring his hat blue!  I know, Santa is probably putting me on his naughty list as I write. But he looks good in Blue, don't you think?

The second image is called Holiday Bells.  They are so pretty!  I placed a jewel where the bell's clapper hangs for some extra sparkle.  By the way, I used Distress inks around the edges of all my images.

Another favorite artist in the Squigglefly family is Cheryl Grant Alger. She has so many cute and awesome images, and I especially like her line of Snowman images.  The one below is called "Family Snow Day." There are quite a few snowman images she offers through Squigglefly, and each one of them is on my Christmas Wish List (are you listening, Santa?).
Pamela Lehto is a crafting friend of mine, and I am thrilled she has joined the Squigglefly team as an artist.  I love the images she has drawn, including this one.  It's called "Christmas Tree with Candles and Holly."  I chose to top her tree with a snowflake.

To finish off my rundown of images I used on my project, I colored a fantasy-themed one by Rachel Goble.  He's called "Christmas Dragon" and he certainly looks happy knowing Santa remembered him this year!
I hope you like my wall art.  I am happy with how it turned out, and since I am my own worst critic, that is saying a lot.  I hope you have time to craft before Christmas, and I hope you enjoy what you do!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Girl from Queen Kat Designs

I'm really happy to be starting my Christmas cards for the year.  I have some lovely new images with which to make them.  This one comes from Queen Kat Designs, a pretty little image called Christmas Girl by Milky Cat Studios.

After coloring her with Copics (YR00,R05,G02,BG72 & B04), I framed her using a die from Spellbinders Nestabilities (Scalloped oval) and patterned paper from DCWV.

She looks wistful, as if she's missing someone this Christmas season.  Or perhaps she's impatient, waiting for the festivities to begin.  She could even be waiting for the photographer to snap his picture for her annual Christmas cards.

Regardless, she makes a pretty picture in her holiday dress, sitting in front of the tree.  As far as the embellishments  go, I pretended my card was a Christmas tree and hung all kinds of pretties on it!!

Have you been celebrating the Queen's birthday with us this month?  You only have a few days left to snag this awesome Christmas set.  It is FREE with your rubber stamp order of $30 or more-offer ends on November 30!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Brian and Sonal and Baby Makes Three

I made my first "dresser card" for my cousin's son and DIL's baby shower.  I stayed up until midnight the day before the party to finish it and package up the present I was giving them a photo of (ordered online and shipping directly to their house).  Then I get the call to go to work--wah!!
So I'll be mailing it all to them instead of seeing them, which is a bummer but can't be helped.  The card was fairly easy to make, just a side step card with extra pieces of paper for the drawers and a punched bottom to give it that "dresser" look.  I made a quick run to Hobby Lobby to get some tiny baby embellishments, but the rest was easily at hand because I am a paperholic and a hoarder of craft supplies.
The sentiment was stamped with a CTMH stamps set, and the embellies are a combo of buttons and stickers.
This is the oh-so-cute baby gift I ordered for them.  It's a hot pink flower of a bath tub, made of plush, machine washable and dry-able material that mold to any sized sink or fits in the bath tub for babies 0-6 months old.  I added some hot pink wash rags to the order.  Can you tell what gender the baby will be???

The baby bath comes in four colors and can be found HERE.  I'm sire I should have ordered the generic Yellow one, as I'm also sure they'll have more than one child, but that Hot Pink is so darn cute and VIVID and their first is a baby GIRl, so I couldn't resist going full hog on the Pink part. LOL

But it wouldn't arrive by the day of the party, so I printed up this photo and made a lovely presentation folder to give to Brian and Sonal, which is the next photo.  Now since I can't go to the party, I bubble-wrapped the card and folder and am sending it out tomorrow.

I covered an over-sized envelope with patterned paper and leftover embellies from the dresser card.
Lots of fun, lots of time, lots of love, but, sigh, no party for me!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tell Them Now

Every year around (and sometimes on) Thanksgiving Day, I call a few special people. people whom I feel have made my life blessed in the last year.  I call them up and tell them how grateful I am that they are a part of my life, and why I think so.
I like to do this because many people are their worst critics.  They're having a bad hair day or they had a fight with their significant other, or they made a mistake that they themselves can't forget nor forgive.
I am always surprised at how surprised they are when they receive my call.  I can tell that when we hang up, the person on the other end of the phone is happier than when the phone was answered.  And that makes me happy.
Today I want to start another new tradition.  I want to do the same thing I just described to you, but I want to do this on a continuing basis.  I am grateful for so many things and so many people who have walked in (and sometimes walked out) of my life.  And if I wait until a specific date on the calendar, I might just be too late to tell them!
So, who is the lucky recipient of my undying gratitude at this moment.  There are three people who have blessed me with their presence, albeit only in the virtual world.  I have yet to meet them, and some day I might, but they are strewn across the globe.  I want to thank Holly Young, Vicky Douglas and Lisa D, crafters, artists and writers, all.

Holly is the owner of Squigglefly Designs, a digital image company.  She was the very first person who asked me to design for her company.  She has stretched my comfort zone until it's more like a comfort planet, with blog challenges and the lovely images to use for them.  She is talented, supportive and truly generous.  I wouldn't be the artist I am today without her.  Thank you, Holly.
Vicky is the owner of Queen Kat Designs.  She took me under her wing and helped me expand my style and discover new techniques through the rubber stamps she let me play with.  She saw my organized mindset and willingness to help and gave me extra responsibilities and I have grown because of her.  Thank you, my queen.
Lisa is the owner of the Path of Positivity Challenge blog.  She is a newcomer into my life but no less valued.  I have mentioned to her that if she hadn't start her blog, I would have started one with exactly the same mission and goals.  Everyone needs some positivity in their lives.  Too often we can trip down the wrong path and feel the crushing weight of responsibilities, pressures, depression and heartache, with no end in sight.  Enter Lisa and her offering to brighten the darkest day with art and words-you can see her smile in her words and it's contagious.  I love to create with a postive mindset, and Lisa has let me share that passion with others through her blog.  Thank you Lisa.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Queen Kat Designs!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY QKD!!!  Today we celebrate seven years of magical, fantastical, funky and steam punky stamps and digi images from the Queen and her Royal Court of designers!   
Queen Kat Designs just released some awesome rubber stamps and digital images this month, and I got to play with one of them.  Her name is Snow Crystal and she is designed by the lovely Marianne English.  I fussy-cut my image after coloring her with Copics because I love to pop some of my images into a "scene."

Here she is walking through a winter wonderland, on her way to the Queen's birthday party.  I used patterned paper from Pinecone Express Papers, and cut the trees with a QuicKutz die.  The sentiment is from Making Memories and the snowflakes are from (gasp) WalMart!  Copics used are: BG72, 10; BV00, 02, 04; B63; R00 and RV11.

This month, order $30 or more of rubber stamps by November 30 and get this stamp FREE!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Leftover Lace Makes a Great Embellishment

This week fits in well with my stash of leftover lace, as the newest challenge over at Squigglefly Challenge blog asks card makers to use LACE or RIBBON.

Today I am continuing to add to my collection of Christmas cards this year.  I used a lovely new November image from Squigglefly called Santa Cone by the equally lovely Pamela Lehto.

After coloring Pamela's digi image with Copics, I added a bit of Stickles for some shine, then fussy-cut it and adhered him to my card front.  I added a white frame and embellished with white rub-ons.  Of course, the side of my card showcases the lace I used.  A couple pearls finish off my card.

Time for you to play in the Squigglefly challenge. All you have to do is use a Squigglefly digi image and follow the challenge requirements for your chance to win a free digi from their store!

If you need a freebie, you can "try before you buy" HERE.  Have fun!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Holly Jolly House Mouse Triptych

I love trying new techniques and using new products.  Sometimes I love one so much it becomes a passion for me.  While I enjoyed making this triptych ornament, I don't think I'd do a lot more.  It was fun, but I would need more practice, especially when it comes time to hang things from inside the ornament, like my snowflakes here.  How to tie the strings together, and then where to hang the ribbon holding the snowflakes-ugh!  Too much thinking! LOL 

But it seems to have worked out okay.  I stamped and colored 3 stamped images of "Silent Night" House Mouse, Stickling here and there for some shine.  I cut them to ATC size and used a Martha Stewart punch to decorate the edges before adhering them together to form a 3D triangle.  I tied the hanger with baker's twine, and attached a snowflake to each end of organza ribbon and hung this from the inside of my ornament.  A little Stickle on the frames of each "panel" gave it a little more shine.  I want those Christmas lights to reflect off the ornaments when it is hung on the tree.  Can you see the miniature pine cone attached to the baker's twine just below the knot?

Hope you like my project. I made it for a swap in my House Mouse group on Paper Craft Planet, as well as for the Outlawz Saturday Paper ala Mode, where this week's challenge is to make a project using Stars and/or Snowflakes (mine are hanging from the ornament).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Big Fat Thank You's!

You know that exercise where, if you’re feeling sad, name five things you’re thankful for? I fail that exercise every time.  I always run out of paper!
I start with those major things in my life, like, well, life and health, family and friends. Then it spreads to things like a home, heat in the winter, running water, a job, a car to take me there. Pretty soon I’m going on about that bit of sunshine on an overcast day, a choice parking spot at the grocery store, a fabulous find in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby, and even purple nail polish, for goodness sake!
Once I start I can’t stop, because no matter what worries are weighing me down, I have so much to lift me up. No matter what things I wish I owned, I have so much that others don’t. No matter how many times I close my eyes in weariness, I can still look all around and rejoice that I have eyes to see, ears to listen, and a heart that sings with thankfulness for that which surrounds me!
For the next few weeks, you'll see more than the average number of posts here, as I celebrate all the lovely things and people in my life and offer up my thanks for being so lucky!

Today I am thankful for my new daughter-in-law. Who would have thought that my son would find the perfect wife?!  She loves him madly, has supported him in his military career, has welcomed his daughter into her family of four children as if she were born to her naturally, and miracle of miracles, is a crafter and scrapbooker!!
I couldn't have done better if I had gone hunting for a wife for my son on my own!  LOL
Last weekend we spent some quality time together at a crop, and we worked on pages of her and my son's weddings.  Yes, I said weddings, as they got married twice, once last year with a small civil ceremony and then a reception at my house (Chase thought he was deploying).  When the deployment fell through, they went full throttle and had the wedding she always wanted, with the church, gown, bridesmaids, limo and hall.
I managed to scrap ten glorious pages, have a lot of laughs, ate delicious food and wonderful snacks, didn't win any raffle prizes, AND am finished with their first awesome wedding.  Above is the cover page that starts my layout.

Got something to be thankful about?  Want to celebrate the fact, or make a project that reflects your gratitude?  Play in the Path of Positivity Challenge Blog with this month's theme of Thankfulness and you could be a winner of some awesome prizes.  Go check out all the wonderful projects and posts as women  put a positive spin on the daily events of their lives.

I'm Seeing Dots and So Will You

What's more fun than using a Squigglefly image on a card?  Using TWO!!
I made a Christmas card with two new Squigglefly images.  The one toward the front is from Cheryl Alger, called Christmas Bauble Trouble; the second is called Christmas Tree with Candles & Holly by Pamela Lehto.

I colored both images with Copics. After using Stickles to give her bauble some bling, I used a corner punch on Cheryl's image and framed it onto green cardstock.  I fussy cut Pamela's image of the Christmas tree and adhered it directly to my polka-dotted patterned paper.  Since the new Squigglefly challenge this week is to use Polka dots on your project, I piled it on by adding some dotted ribbon as well.

Ready to get dotty?  Make a project with a Squigglefly image and use polka dots for your chance to WIN!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Today I Am Thankful

Today I am thankful for my grandma. She is 103 years old, God bless her. She is almost blind, deaf in one ear and can’t hear well in the other. She needs help walking, and is very demanding on the phone when something goes wrong and needs fixing (she wants it taken care of NOW). She’s cold all the time so her thermostat is set at 85 degrees (I have shorts and a tank top I leave in my car, even in winter, for extended visits to her house).
But she is so much more than that. She is the woman in the photo at age 19.  She is the woman who crawled around on the ground with me when I was a toddler, who hand-sewed Barbie clothes, and played board games as I grew older . She let us climb her Queen Anne cherry tree and pick the fruit off the tree, sometimes not leaving any to bring back down for her. We baked bread and sweet rolls together, shared family recipes, and she taught me to sew on her Singer (1929 with the knee paddle). I learned how to crochet and needlepoint and make French knots and cross stitches from her. Drive-in movies, Christmas dinners, catching lightning bugs, hugs and kisses and special treats…
Sometimes it’s difficult to bring up that vibrant, laughing woman who reigned as a true matriarch of the family, especially when I see her today in the hospital, confused, scared, not able to stand by herself or take care of personal hygiene. That’s when her legacy really kicks in. When you are loved all your life so unconditionally, you instinctively return that love and care a hundredfold. Just as she held me and washed me and was unendingly patient with me, so I must be with her. Not out of a sense of duty, although she did instill that in me; no, it is out of a sense of unconditional love returned…and a sense of gratitude for all the many years I have had her in my life.
So in celebration of my grandma, I made a mixed media canvas a few months back to remind me that while she and everyone else grows into old age, in my heart SHE is forever young.

What are you thankful for?  Does it inspire you to create with paint or paper or words?  Share your story or your craft with Path of Positivity Challenge Blog.  Show them your interpretation of what being thankful means to you. You can make any sort of project and/or post as long as it is positive in nature and relates to the theme.  Each challenge will be open from the first Monday of one month to the Sunday before the first Monday of the next month. When you link up, leave a comment summarizing what it is about your post that you feel is inspirational / positive / motivational and if it isn't obvious, how it fits with the theme.  A top seven will be chosen by the entire Design Team (DT) and will be posted in a separate post. You will then have one full week to vote on the creation or post that you have found to be the most inspirational of the bunch.
Whether you participate in the challenge or not, everyone needs some positivity in their daily lives, so go take your medicine with a spoonful of sugar and you'll feel better immediately!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Squaring Off on the Christmas Card Front

Have you started your Christmas cards yet?  I know, I know, it's only October!  But...November is tight around the corner, and you know how fast the days fly!  That's why when I read that the Squigglefly Challenge this week was to make it square-make a square card or use square-shaped embellishment.

My card is square-shaped, as well as showcasing several square-shaped patterned papers and a sentiment framed in a square.  I used a November new release from Squigglefly called Candles Angel by the very talented Pamela Lehto.  I colored Pamela's image with Copics.

I kept my embellishments down to a few rows of jewels, since there are a lot of patterns on my card.  And I think the jewels are enough, as they play into the silvery circles on the black patterned paper.

You can play in Squigglefly's new challenge, and make any card you desire--just use a Squigglefly image and "make it square!"  One random winner will get to choose a free digi!! Need some inspiration?  Check out the Squigglefly Facebook page.

Good luck and Happy Crafting!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stanley Scarecrow Has Stamina

Now that the weather has finally turned chilly, I'm really looking forward to the upcoming holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving.  So I was in the mood to make an autumn card.  I used a Squigglefly digi image called "Stanley Scarecrow" by artist Fawn Palmer

I colored the image with Copics and set him off with a little green at his feet.  My card base was made using leftover cardstock which had a negative cut of a pumpkin, in which I framed my card's message.

I used a shiny yellow button for the sun, and added some jeweled flourishes, butterflies, a bow and some freehand doodles to embellish my card.  Even the adhesive stitches at the top were found in my leftover stash container.  

As for my message, who has the most stamina in the Fall?  A scarecrow, of course!  All day and night in the fields with no complaints!! LOL

I'm entering my card in the Outlawz Monday Greeting Card Challenge this week,  The requirement is to use a pumpkin!!  If you haven't discovered the crafting social network yet, you should check it out for inspiration, resources and challenges!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Falling for Carmen Gamble's Images from Squigglefly

Fall, finally!!  Today was partly cloudy, raining lightly, and a definite chill in the air, finally!!  It's the middle of October, and up until yesterday, we were wearing short sleeves and running our air conditioner at work, and today I wore long sleeves, finally!!

So in celebration of cooler days, falling leaves and apple cider, I made a tag for the Squigglefly Challenge blog.  The image is a Squigglefly digi by artist Carmen Gamble.  It's called Christmas Mouse, and she originally had a tail to which mistletoe was tied, and two little birds were kissing under it. However, her Christmas look didn't match my Fall tag, so I snipped her tail and the birds out of the scene.  Easy peasy with digi's!  Doesn't she look ready for Fall on my tag?

Check out the new releases for October at the STORE, and come play in the new challenge.  It's to make a card that uses leaves or trees and leaves, autumn or fall theme in the image or embellishments OR create a card that shows travel as in LEAVING home and going on a trip like camping, travel, vacation!

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Heart is in My Art

Ink colors my fingers,
And glitter coats my hair.
My craft room’s like a crime scene
With Copics everywhere.
I seem to’ve lost my scissors
I should clean, but where to start?
It really doesn’t bother me
‘cause my heart is in my art.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

For Aunt Sandy and Too Many of My Friends

We Walk with Hope     by Pat Martin

In early morning we gather.
We smile.
We stretch.
We pray.
We walk.

A thousand hearts pounding in our chests.
A thousand bodies sweating in the sunshine.
Two thousand feet kicking up dust and gravel.
We walk.

As the day wears on, we hear stories.
Her Aunt Ginny, her sister Pat,
We tell our own.
My best friend Sandy, our neighbor Edith.
We pray some more.
We walk.

Cars honk in support as they pass us.
Pedestrians wave and cheer us on.
Mostly it's quiet.
Evening is drawing near.
We walk.

Two days,
40 miles,
We pray.
We hope.
We walk.

Never let health take a back seat in your life.
Never let bad news freeze you in your tracks.
Keep walking with Hope in your heart.

Challenges I Entered:

Trick or Treat with Squigglefly Digi's

This week's challenge is to make a Halloween card.  Very appropriate for the season, but I wanted to use a new October release from Squigglefly.  The one I chose is called Candy Jar by artist Pammie Lehto.  The image is meant for the Christmas season, but I thought it would work well for Halloween, too.  After all, Halloween is all about the candy, right?!

I printed my image three times, cutting out the first colored image in its entirety.  The second colored image I cut out the rim of the candy jar along with the candy, while the third colored image I cut only the front-most candy cane.

The original image has a beautiful bit of holly on the front of the candy jar.  I used a circle-punched piece of candy corn patterned paper framed with some black cardstock to cover this obvious Christmas design.

I embellished my card with foam stars and 3D stickers.  The patterned paper on the card face is from Creative Memories.  I hope you like my Halloween card.  There are lots of seasonal digis at the Squigglefly store.  Open your mind to the possibility of using specifically themed designs in a new and different way, like I used      .

And as always, happy crafting!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Crunch the Numbers

Ever have one of those days (weeks, months, years, lives) when anything that could go bad, does go bad?
when you dig yourself out of the hole, only to step into another, bigger one?  When you feel that one more failure, one more loss, one more door slammed in your face will break you?
My advice to you is to CRUNCH THE NUMBERS!  After all, your success rate for surviving loss, triumphing over failure and changing your luck is 100%  You're here reading this blog post, so you made it through tough times intact--changed, of course, possibly scarred, but a survivor, nonetheless.
And knowing this, HOPE will see you through the next time, and the next, because you're building strength every time you survive a setback and you keep HOPE in your heart.

HOPE is the theme of my project today.  More specifically, my project was inspired by a verse from Emily Dickinson's poem, "Hope Is the Thing with Feathers."
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all …

When we first married, my husband and I wanted a big family.  We teased each other about how many daughters (a Girl Scout troop's worth) or sons (a football team's worth) we'd have.  I kept my Nancy Drew book collection and started collecting Hardy Boys mysteries for our future readers.
After our son was born, I never went back to taking birth control.  We thrived as proud parents, but were disappointed as months and then years went by and I never got pregnant again.
We had given up HOPE that it would ever come about, so much so that I sold all my baby furniture, clothes and blankets. But even if your logical brain gives up, there is a tiny seed of HOPE still lingering in your heart, singing softly in your sleep.  It wasn't until ten years later when I lost my dad that I discovered I was pregnant again. I got my football player and my Girl Scout and we couldn't be happier.
HOPE is the reason we wake every morning, and it is the reason we dream at night. Here's my own bit of poetry to add to this challenge:
 The door slammed loudly. 
I climbed through a window,
    Never losing hope.
-Pat Martin, 2013

Hope happens to be this month's theme over at The Path of Positivity Challenge blog.  Got a story of HOPE, or a piece of artwork, a card or a canvas, that embodies the idea of HOPE?  Please share it, if not for the challenge, then for inspiration for others.

Need more inspiring stories of HOPE yourself?  Try reading the stories at GIVESMEHOPE.COM  
They always make me feel good!

Whatever you do, remember to hold onto HOPE and keep crafting!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Feelin' a Little Witchy least in my card making!
 Here's another project using the September QKD release from Kathy Cyr called Witchy.

This time I used her on a Halloween card.  I used several layers of leftover patterned papers to create the backdrop for my image.  Coloring her with Copics, I fussy-cut her and placed her in a frame with a few circular stickers and a tree-shaped button.  The tree almost makes her larger-than-life, doesn't it?
Have you started making your Halloween cards yet?  I have a tidy little collection started.  I just can't seem to stop!!  I must be under a spell, a crafting spell!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Welcome Halloween!

I am loving this holiday this year!!  I can't find enough time to create all the wonderful ideas brewing in my head.  Here's a little Welcome sign I made using something from the Dollar Store.

The black wooden box originally held sand and a rake, and sold as a "Zen Garden."  After almost a year of the granddaughter playing with it and getting sand all over the table and floor, I threw out the sand and tiny rocks and sea shells I had added to it, and was about to throw away the box and thought, "wait a minute, this would be perfect for..."

So I added a patterned paper background and bent (and snapped) a Dollar store skeleton to his present seated state, keeping him in pace with hot glue (the woman's duct tape).  Some moss on the bottom and I was ready to embellish.

After placing a skull under (I have no shame when it comes to skeletons) my sitting skellie's knee, I thought of my young grandchildren and decided to "cute-ify" my welcome sign just a tad.  By adding the smiling pumpkins, ghost and white flower, the spider hiding in the moss who spun her web around the skeleton was taken down a notch on the scare-o-meter.

I'm not quite satisfied with the actual sentiment WELCOME, as it doesn't show up well.  What do you think, black Stickles??  Maybe some thin black outlining around each letter??  Help me out here, crafting peeps!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Full Moon Tonight

At least it's a full moon on my card.  I used a Queen Kat Designs image from artist Nora Blansett called "Jessamine."  I can picture her walking the hallways and corridors of her lonely castle, waiting for--what?--she doesn't know.  So she walks, waiting for something, that special something, to come to her.

I made a Z-fold card and used some patterned paper from 7 Gypsies "Off the Wall" collection.  After coloring Jessamine with Copics, I die-cut her out along with a frame.  I embellished with a pebble sticker, a cardstock key, a string of pearls and part of a wheel cog or gear.

You can find Jessamine and all the lovely new September releases from Queen Kat Designs at their Shoppe.  And for more inspiration this month, check out the QKD Facebook page!!