Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sharing Handmade Kindness with Strangers!

I have a couple of things to share with you today, but first I wanted to say welcome to my new followers! You're very much welcome and appreciated! Sometimes I'm great about updating and sometimes life gets in the way and I'm a little scatterbrained, but I hope you enjoy what I share here!

First up, I'm sharing a little project that I started on Thanksgiving. My husband sort of works retail (he's a support person for Verizon), so he had to leave me on Thanksgiving night to help with Best Buy during their evening sale. I decided to take that time and start creating a few little one-sided cards to share with strangers on Black Friday.

I used to work retail for many, many years and I haven't actually shopped on Black Friday since I left retail. It's my own personal protest, I guess. This year, I went out on Black Friday specifically to share a little handmade kindness (breaking my own rule of not leaving the house!).

The first batch I made was just generic, but I made a second set that were Christmas themed.

I went out and tried to place them on windshields without people noticing what I was doing. (It's actually really hard to do on such a busy day!) While I was already there, I decided to check out a couple of stores (why not, right?). I live in Arizona, so our mall is set up kind of like a strip mall, but with a beautiful park-like area between sections. It was just a nice to day to walk and enjoy the weather (since 7 months out of the year, you can't!). While I was in one of the stores, one of the ladies came back from her lunch break with one of my cards and she was so excited about it (and so were all the other employees) that I decided to go home and make a few more!

This time I added the baker's twine at the top to make it into a tag (the actual size is around 4 x 2 3/4). It's a mini one-sided card or a bookmark or a gift tag (versatility is key!). I added a small post-it on the back that said: "Use me for a bookmark or a gift tag. Or pass me on to someone else who could use a little Holiday Cheer!" I hope everyone who received one was as excited as the girl I witnessed! It made feel so good to spread a little bit of happiness on a day that can be extremely overwhelming!

I'm going to link this up to Jennifer McGuire's Share Handmade Kindness Challenge for Week 4. I've really loved this challenge and I'm going to try to do more of this in the future. I'm great about making things, but sometimes I forget to send things out!

While I'm at it, I'm also going to add the Christmas "cards" to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge (Anything Goes) and The Challenge #52 (Christmas Card). Why not spread the goodness around a little?

Saturday, November 21, 2015


One of my friends recently had her wedding and I didn't have her new address until a few days ago, so today I sat down and created a card to send her.

I broke out a former Simon Says Stamp card kit for this one. I love that big, scripty Congratulations stamp; it's just gorgeous! One of the papers was this beautiful, gold foiled cream piece and I thought it looked like confetti. I simply stamped the sentiment in Versamark ink and then gold heat embossed it to match the paper. I stamped my small sentiment on some vellum along with the stitched banner piece and then fussy cut it out, leaving enough of a tail to wrap around the the card so I could hide my adhesive on the back! I will admit, I did a little selective stamping to create that banner. It took a little trial and error and it's still not perfect, but I don't think they'll mind. I finished it off by adding a few Pretty Pink Posh sequins around the card to create a fuller confetti look.

I know some people won't like this card simply because it was made for two women, but I love my friends and they deserve a beautiful handmade card for their special day. One day, I hope that it won't feel like a political statement when I'm making something for someone I love.

I love the sentiment I used for the inside of the card. I gold heat embossed the inside as well to keep the card cohesive throughout.

I'm entering this card into the CAS-ology challenge this week. Their prompt for this week is "pretty" and regardless of your political views, I think this card is gorgeous.

Stamps: Congratulations (Simon Says Stamp)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Pattern paper from the kit (I think it was June)
Ink: Versamark
Other: Gold embossing powder, 4mm and 6mm gold sequins (Pretty Pink Posh)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Warm My Heart

Today's card was inspired by the photo for The Challenge. And also because I just plain love hot cocoa!

I'm simply loving these cocoa cup dies! You can use them as coffee or tea or just stick to the cocoa theme! For this card, I cut the cups with the dies and then sponged some matching ink around the edges for dimension. I used clear Wink of Stella on the liquid so it has a subtle shimmer and looks more realistic. I colored the "steam" with W1 and W3 copic markers to make it more realistic and then attached some Sparkling Clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh. The snowflakes are from the Lawn Fawn Mini Snowflakes dies. The background stamp is the Falling Hearts stamp from Simon Says Stamp. All together, I just love this!

Along with entering this Card into The Challenge #51, I'm also going to enter this into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge. This week the design team created Christmas cards using MFT products, so I feel like this fits right in!

Stamps: Hug In a Mug (My Favorite Things), Falling Hearts Background (Simon Says Stamp)
Dies: Hot Cocoa Cups (My Favorite Things), Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp), Mini Snowflakes (Lawn Fawn)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Chocolate Chip, Baked Brown Sugar, Lost Lagoon
Ink: Baked Brown Sugar, Lost Lagoon, Copics - W1, W3
Other: Clear Wink of Stella, Sparkling Clear Sequins 4mm, 6mm (Pretty Pink Posh)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Super Hero

       This card is pulling triple duty today. I had a few challenges in mind when I made it and I think it's fits each one perfectly!

I used Mama Elephant's Tiny Heroes set for this sweet card. I made it for a kid who helped me out with a few things this past week. I think she'll really like it!

I'm entering this into the Addicted to Clean and Simple Challenge. The key word is Hero. I'm also entering this into the Simon Monday Challenge, which was to make a Thanks or Thanksgiving card. I'm not much of a Thanksgiving card maker, so I chose to make a thank you card. I'm also going to enter this into Jennifer McGuire's Share Handmade Kindness Challenge. This week we're focusing on children. I think it's extra special when a child takes time out of their day to help you with something, so they deserve a little thank you in return. The kid that helped me is a little older (teenager), so I'm going to put a Starbucks gift card inside to show my appreciation.

Stamps: Tiny Heroes (Mama Elephant), Believe in Magic (Mama Elephant), Make a Wish (Mama Elephant)
Dies: Tiny Heroes (Mama Elephant), Cityscape (Mama Elephant), Stitched Circles (Simon Says Stamp), A2 Curved Edge (Simon Says Stamp) 
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Midnight Muse, Slate Gray
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versamark, Copics - R20, R22, R24, Y08, C3, C5, C7, Y21, YR21, YR24
Other: White Embossing Powder, Clear Wink of Stella

Monday, November 16, 2015

No-Line Santa

I decided to try my hand at no-line coloring again today. It's only the second time I've ever tried and it still scares me!

I used the Jingle All The Way set for this simple card, but it looks so striking when it's colored without visible lines. I just need to keep practicing! I stamped the image in Memento Desert Storm ink which is a very light tan. I used those light lines as a guide for my coloring.

I'm entering this card into the Less Is More Challenge. This week is a one layer card featuring Santa!

Stamps: Jingle All The Way (MFT Stamps)
Paper: Neenah Solar White
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black and Desert Storm, Assorted Copics
Other: Black Fine Line Sharpie for the eyes and mouth

Saturday, November 14, 2015

There Are No Words

I'm not one who's good with words. I'm an introvert and words always fail me at the most important times. My tongue gets tied or I just can't think of what to say. When that happens, I turn to what I know best. When words fail me, art prevails.

There are no words to express how much sadness I feel for the people of France. Hopefully, this card gets some of what I'm feeling across. I used a watercolor wash of different blues to create the background and stamped the Eiffel Tower image in distress ink and sprayed it with a mini mister to make the color run and bleed. I used the same blues to create splatters and then added a little white. I kept the sentiment crisp and black.

I'm entering this into the Simon Wednesday Challenge: Thinking of You. I think the whole world is currently thinking of Paris and the people of France. Pray for Paris. Pray for peace.

Stamps: Prayers (Simon Says Stamp), Mon Cheri (My Favorite Things)
Dies: Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp)
Paper: Strathmore Watercolor, Basic Black
Ink: Gansai Tambi Watercolors (24 pack), Black Soot (Distress Ink), Memento Tuxedo Black
Other: Cornflower sequins (Pretty Pink Posh)

Playing Catch Up!

So my mini vacation is over, but now I feel like I need to play catch up with posting the cards I've created! Whew, there are a lot! I'm only going to post 3 here though. Some of them are meant to be surprises for people, so I don't want to ruin that!

First up is a card I made for a friend who recently (but not so recently) lost her unborn child. She was pretty far along and it was devastating for everyone who knows her. I was trying to make something a little silly so she'll hopefully smile. (And it's also been several months now, so she's beginning to look for things to smile about.)

I'm hoping that she'll be able to look at this card on those tough days and remember that someone's thinking about her. Sometimes it's the small things that hit her the hardest and I wanted to send her something small that may help a little.

Stamps: You Make My Tail Wag (My Favorite Things)
Dies: Stitched Circles and Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Sahara Sand, Basic Black
Ink: Fired Brick Distress Ink, Versamark, Memento Tuxedo Black, Assorted Copics
Other: English Brick Stencil (My Favorite things), White embossing powder 

Next is a happier card! I created this for a friend who adores squirrels. Weird animal to love, but I guess they're sort of cute in a rodenty way, lol!

I used the new set from Clearly Besotted called Nutty But Nice for this one. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. It has all sorts of squirrel images and they're just so stinking cute! I used the two small image stamps to create the background and then flipped them over and used the backs of the stamps to stamp the solid image over the top in a lighter shade of ink. It ended up looking super cute! I stamped the panel and used ink blending over masks to create the background and then colored the image with copics.

I'm entering this card into the Simon Monday Challenge. The challenge this week is to use the letter N. I chose "Nutty"!
Stamps: Nutty But Nice (Clearly Besotted)
Dies: Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp)
Paper: Neenah Solar White
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Wild Wasabi, Garden Green, Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake, Assorted Copics, Maliblue and Sea Glass (Simon Says Stamp)
Other: Sparkling Clear Sequins (Pretty Pink Posh)

 And for my final card - a little something for the Share Handmade Kindness Campaign!  I swear, I didn't copy Jennifer McGuire's card! I had this in my head last Sunday before we left for our trip, but I didn't have time to make it until we got back and by then she'd already posted this lovely card!

So, here's my card. It looks incredibly like her's, so I'm giving her full credit since I made mine after she made her's. It's only fair to give credit where credit is due.

It's hard to see the shading on the whipped cream, so I took a closer picture so you can see it a little bit better.

The funniest thing about this is that I'm giving this to my mail carrier...and she's giving her card to her mail carrier! Sometimes I just sit back and marvel at what an odd world this is!

Stamps: Hug In a Mug (My Favorite Things)
Dies: Hot Cocoa Cups (My Favorite Things), Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Soft Suede, Real Red
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Fired Brick, Copic E50
Other: Hearts embossing folder (Sizzix), Clear Wink of Stella (on hearts)

Friday, November 6, 2015

You Brighten My Life

Second post for today! I'm trying to get all caught up on challenges and what not before I head to Vegas for a long weekend. The in-laws are going to be in Vegas for their yearly visit (one of my husband's aunts lives there), so we're going to be driving up to meet with everyone. Should be fun, but I'll definitely miss my ink and paper!

On to the card...

I decided to follow the K.I.S.S. method with this card. (Keep It Simple, Silly!) I did some stamping and masking for the main images and then masked off a curve of land and used pigment inks to blend a beautiful sunrise and some sand. Have I mentioned that I love masking recently? (Lol!) After I was done, I removed the masks and finished coloring with my copics. A simple heat embossed sentiment and some sparkling clear sequins finished it off. Super simple and super stunning. This card is going to a friend I haven't seen in many, many years. She lives in Florida, so I thought the images would appeal to her!

I'm entering this card into this week's Lawnscaping Challenge. The challenge was to create a Thinking of You card. It could be anything to bring hope, love, or encouragement to someone else. Since I haven't seen this friend in a long time, I thought it definitely fell into the category of thinking of her!

Stamps: Life Is Good (Lawn Fawn)
Dies: Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Crumb Cake, Basic Black
Ink: Buttercup, Orangeade, Apricot, Brown Sugar, Hazel (Mama Elephant), Memento Tuxedo Black, Assorted Copics, Versamark
Other: Sparkling Clear Sequins 4mm and 6mm (Pretty Pink Posh), White embossing powder, mini ink blender and sponges (Ranger), masking paper

You're Cool

Today's card was created specifically for a friend of mine. I'm trying to send out more Happy Mail and she came to mind because she's been having a rough time lately. I thought it might cheer her up to receive a random card!

I created a small shaker area inside of my snow globe and used Flower Soft in polar white as snow. It looks gorgeous. Unfortunately, it doesn't shake very well, but I don't think my friend will mind. I started the card by creating the penguin scene on a panel. I then cut another panel and cut out the globe so that it would reveal my scene. I used ink blending for the water and sky and copics to color the penguin and the ice float. The sentiment was simply heat embossed in silver. It's a simple card, but I think it's quite striking!

Stamps: Arctic Penguins, Believe in Magic, Jolly & Merry (Mama Elephant)
Dies: Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp), Believe in Magic (Mama Elephant)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Smoky Slate
Ink: Hippo (Lawn Fawn), Memento Tuxedo Black, Assorted Copics, Victorian Velvet, Seedless Preserves, Chipped Sapphire, Mermaid Lagoon (Distress Ink), Versamark
Other: Flower Soft in Polar White, silver embossing powder, Acetate, masking paper

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Busy Morning

I've had a super productive and busy morning! I put together some shelves, purged the contents of a closet, and created 2 new cards! Plus, I sent out my card that I made yesterday! Whew, I'm going to be sleepy tonight!

My first card for today is one that I created for this month's Paper Smooches Challenge. The challenge is to incorporate gold somewhere on the card. Easy-peasy!

I used the Bitty Bungalows set to stamp and color each house and then fussy cut around them. I created a mask with some masking paper and a circle die in order to sponge the green and blue onto my card base. I then adhered two of the houses directly to the card base and popped the center house up with some foam tape. I created my own gold paper with some Deco Art Metallic Lustre by sponging it onto a piece of white scrap paper. This stuff is awesome! I got it from Michael's with my 40% off coupon, so it was only around $4. It only takes a tiny amount to cover a paper and the shine is gorgeous! So much cheaper than buying gold paper! I did the same thing with some tiny hearts that I had lying around from a different project. I then heat embossed the sentiment onto the piece of gold paper and cut it down to size to fit the front of the card. It looks matte in the photo, but it's really shimmery IRL. I added glossy accents to the hearts above the house.

Stamps: Bitty Bungalows (Paper Smooches)
Dies: Circles (Stampin' Up) - for the mask
Paper: Neenah Solar White
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versamark, Assorted Copics, Green Apple and Maliblue (Simon Says Stamp)
Other: Glossy Accents, white embossing powder, masking paper, Metallic Lustre in gold (Deco Art) 

My next card was created for the Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge and the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge. The Wednesday Challenge was to create a Thanksgiving or Thanks card and the Flickr Challenge was Anything Goes.

I used the leaves from the Apple of My Pie set to create a loose wreath around where I was going to adhere the thanks die cut. I added glossy accents to the "thanks" after I had assembled the card. The mat underneath the panel? That's another piece of paper that I sponged with that gold lustre from Deco Art. I'm loving that stuff!

Stamps: Apple of My Pie (Simon Says Stamp)
Dies: Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp), Scripty Thanks (Lawn Fawn)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Tangelo Twist, Crumb Cake, Hello Honey
Other: Glossy Accents, Gold Metallic Lustre (Deco Art)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Share Handmade Kindness

I'm participating in Jennifer McGuire's Share Handmade Kindness Challenge this month! I'm super excited to encourage myself to send the things I'm making. Too many times, I just put it in my stash and think I'll send it later and then later becomes even later and then never. It's a bad cycle and one I can't wait to break! This week is about sending handmade kindness to friends and family.

Today, I made a card for a friend I haven't seen in about a year. I miss her dearly and I wanted to let her know that I'm thinking about her.

I used the Frappi Anya stamp from The Greeting Farm because she looks a little bit like my friend and she just LOVES coffee. All together, this card uses products from a total of 6 companies! (Wow!) I'm putting it in the mail tomorrow. In fact, it's already to go with an addressed envelope and everything. (I'm so proud of myself!) I hope she enjoys this card as much as I enjoyed making it!

I'm also going to enter this into the Simon Monday Challenge (Glossy) because I added glossy accents to the heart on the cup, her bracelet, and her shoes. Hard to show in a picture, but it's really pretty in real life. It's also going into the Simon Wednesday Challenge (Anything Goes).

Stamps: Frappi Anya (The Greeting Farm), Drips & Dribbles (Papertrey Ink), Love You a Latte (Lawn Fawn), Happy Mail (WPlus9)
Dies: Stitched Rectangles (Simon Says Stamp)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Crumb Cake
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versamark, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Assorted Copics
Other: Glossy Accents, 4mm and 6mm Espresso Sequins (Pretty Pink Posh), Silver embossing powder