Monday, December 27, 2010

Just because you haven't seen them in a while...

Here's some photos of my babies. My mother-in-law got them these balls with feathers attached for Christmas. Sophie was fascinated. She chased them up and down the hallway, batting at them like soccer balls. Athena, on the other hand, couldn't have cared less. The picture of Athena is from earlier this year, when I had thrown my old robe over the couch and she decided it made the perfect resting spot.

Typical cat, huh? Soft and fluffy makes a good bed. Perhaps that's why they lay on me so much!!!

Reminder to self: you need more pictures!

Oh, and because someone asked at some point, both girls are sealpoint siamese. They are not from the same litter, but had the same dad. Athena's litter was born on September 23, 2005. Sophie's was born the very next day. It's hard to tell here, but Athena is more of the "modern" siamese with a triangular face, longer body, and almond-shaped eyes. Sophie is an "applehead" with a rounder face and eyes, and shorter, more squat body. Both are very active and loving, although Athena's a tad afraid of strangers. Therefore, visitors to my house often see Sophie only, and she loves it that way. She gets all of the attention!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Best Bunnies

Here's another little image that makes me smile. My mojo has really deserted me; I had hoped to get so many more crafty projects done over the Christmas break. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. Yeah, I got a few things accomplished, but not as many as I'd like. I was just having a hard time with design and also with motivation. Once again, I let a sketch rescue me. This one is from Friday Sketchers. I added a few of my own elements to the sketch, like the hearts, lace, and felt photo corner. This card is also for Simon Says Challenge and the All that Scraps Wednesday challenge to make a card inspired by a song. I heard this cute kid's song the other day called the Snuggle Song with Schnuffel bunny. Since this cute little girl from the Greeting Farm is snuggling her bunny, it seemed perfect.
I know a sweet little girl who will be celebrating a birthday in a month or so. Perhaps I'll save this card for her. Or maybe, Mr. Mojo will take mercy on me and visit again, so I can make more cards! With my luck, he'll come back as I am working on my scrap room next weekend. My mom is coming over to help me get my Jetmax cubes and new computer desk set up, plus to help me move old furniture out of this room and down to the basement. That should be fun - ha! NOT. I know I will love it once the room is all set up like I want it, though. I'll just be hating life for the time it takes to get it that way! As always, thanks for looking and sharing any thoughts. I appreciate it!

Happy New Year...soon enough!

2011 is almost here, and the Belles n Whistles challenge blog is hosting a challenge to celebrate. This challenge seemed perfect, since I'm way over making Christmas cards (although I did make one yesterday morning. Nothing like the last minute). I don't have any New Year's stamps, so I just wrote out the sentiment. Usually, I'd print it off on the computer, but I didn't want to waste ink with sizing issues. Well, let's face it...I'm tired and didn't feel like experimenting with that frustration today. I woke up way early this morning and I'm not at my best. Anyway, I figured what better way to bring in the New Year than this cute baby? I think we've all heard the story of baby New Year, right? If not, look it up. I'm too tired to do it. Ok. Yeah. I said I'm tired. Cut me some slack for this short, not quite coherent, probably a bit cranky post, ok? Sheesh. And oh yeah, Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I haven't made it a secret that I'm not feeling exactly festive this year. Tomorrow afternoon is the gift exchange with Rick's family. I am hoping I can keep it together; I find that I am very emotional right now. One thing I hate to do is to cry around other people. I've always hated it. I don't know why, but it doesn't make me feel better. I prefer the kind of sobbing I can do on my own, with only my cats for company. I have preferred to grieve on my own throughout this whole journey. I go to the cemetary alone. I spend Christmas Day alone. Don't go feeling sorry for me....this is what I want and it's healthy for me (this opinion was reinforced by my therapist, so don't go getting all concerned and thinking that I don't know what I need. Alone time is EXACTLY what I need. I find myself defending this position a lot, in case you can't tell. LOL). So, anyway, I'm a little worried that I won't keep it together this year. To try to make myself jump a little more into the holiday spirit, I made this ornament for the Belles n Whistles ornament contest. I have no illusions that it'll win; the competition is fierce. However, it sort of calmed me to craft and this image always makes me smile. I was going to do a "baby's first Christmas" ornament and give her as a gift, but then I decided to make something that I could hang up in my scrap area to remind me that there are always blessings. A silent, peaceful night is one of them. New babies to love is another. And then there's Christmas trees and snowflakes and fun things all wrapped up in a bow. Yeah, I gotta remind myself that blessings abound, so she's currently dangling from a hook in my crafting space, trying to be that reminder. What a tough job for such a little girl, but I think she can handle it. Merry Christmas to all of you and thanks for your continued prayers and positive thoughts. I hope your holidays are full of fun, love, and laughter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Sweet Pea Dream (or two)

I think I've mentioned a few gazillion times now that Sweet Pea stamps are my new obsession. Tonight, I was in the mood to create. The last challenge on In a Sweet Pea Dream was a monochromatic card. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to make my monochromatic card. Since the current challenge is "Anything Goes," I figured that meant that I could still give the monochromatic card a shot. The image is colored with copics in various shades of green, then accented with a stardust pen. The bling is hard to see in this pic, though. I had some Basic Grey paper sitting around (no surprise, since it's one of my fave manufacturers). It seemed to go perfectly with the image.
While Mr. Mojo was flowing, I also colored another Sweet Pea image to enter in the In a Sweet Pea Dream challenge. This one also qualifies for the Simon Says challenge to make a card using primarily blue, white, and silver. I chose turquoise as my shade of blue and just distressed edges and layered various textures. I embossed thick vellum using the tree textured folder from Tim Holtz (I think!). As it was going through the machine, it cracked and I thought that ended up being perfect for this card. Thanks, as always, for looking!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Out with the Christmas cards!

and thank goodness for that. The scrooge in me comes through once again, but I am so over making Christmas cards. I don't mind looking at them and still drool over everyone else's. I even like to color the images still, but I'm saving these images for when I'm ready to make next year's cards. I'm done sending mine out (yipppeeee!). After making about 50, I'm done with making them for now, too. So, I started looking at upcoming birthdays and other events for which I'd need cards. My cousin Tina's birthday is January 4th. This little cake girl stamp is just perfect for her, so I colored her up and on a card she went! She's another Sweet Pea stamp, just from a different artist than the image I colored up yesterday. Isn't she cute? Don't give me credit for the design; it's based after a sketch on Sweet Sketch Wednesday. I'm also entering her in the anything goes challenge over at In a Sweet Pea Dream.
This cute little cake girl is colored with copics. Her hat is accented with liquid applique. Papers are Cosmo Cricket for the most part, although the little border strip is from a piece of Sassafras Lass. The sentiment is Magnolia.
Happy Sunday, everybody. This might be my last bit of creating for a day or two, although I deliberately did not make many plans for this week. I need to hibernate.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Obsession

I am stoked to actually have some mojo today. I've been feeling stressed; this holiday is filled with love, wonder, giving, family, and friends, but also holds a lot of sadness for me (see post below if you're curious). It's therapeutic for me to sit down at my scrap desk and create. I found sweet pea stamps months and months ago, but I was a bit intimidated about coloring them. So much detail and many of them have quite a bit of background to color, as well. I finally bit the bullet and colored one for a friend's Christmas card. Now, I admit it. I'm hooked. I promptly took my wallet and myself over to their online store and bought more. Here is one of my new sweet pea stamps. Isn't she beautiful? I chose to color her with very muted, soft colors: a bit of green, some lavender, and a very light grey. I just love her and think I'll be using this image a lot in the future. I can see her with burgundies or oranges for fall and yellows or pinks for spring..she's just so versatile and pretty!
The flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts. I used the Martha Stewart trellis border punch behind the ribbon, Recollections pearls, copics for coloring, and a sentiment stamp that I recently got at my friend Kimi's store. The image is cut with my spellbinders ovals and backed with the scalloped oval die. I can't recall the name of this fold, where the card opens in the center. Gate fold, maybe?
I plan to enter her in the In a Sweet Pea Dream challenge. It's anything goes this time. You should give it a shot!

Scrooge and other crappy stuff

Ok, so the cartoon for the Scrooge is not crappy. In fact, I love it. It was a holiday tradition for my husband and I to watch it, as well as Frosty, Charlie Brown Christmas, and several other holiday cartoons. I haven't brought myself to watch any of them this year. In fact, I didn't even watch "the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" until a week or two ago. Cut me some slack...I'm coping as best as I can. Heck, I consider it a step forward that I not only sent Christmas cards this year, I made each and every one! That was a major feat. Anyhow, I made this layout yesterday, for a scraplifting challenge. The layout was inspired by ScrappinFan19 on The picture is one that was taken by my grandmother at my husband's funeral (morbid, but I admit that I'm glad to have it). It's his bunker (a.k.a. turnout) gear on the front of the engine. They guys spotlighted it with rescue lights. The engine and ambo were both draped in black, as is the custom when we mourn the loss of a fellow firefighter/EMT. I thought it was so sweet of the guys to take care of these details.

However, I am not the only one dealing with difficult things and challenges this holiday season. My wonderful aunt is undergoing testing to figure out what in the heck is going wrong with her
body. Lung cancer has been ruled out, thank God. However, we still don't really know what's going on. I figured she could use some encouragement while waiting on test results, so I made her this card with a cute little duck image.

I purchased this image at Michelle's scrapbooking and more back in November. Isn't she cute? She makes me smile. I colored her with copics, then highlighted the image with glossy accents and a blue stardust pen. I gave the umbrella frog some googly eyes for a bit of whimsy. The sentiment was just printed on my computer. I know I have a stamp that says basically the same thing, but darned if I could find that sucker. I hand drew the little puddle and the raindrops coming down...not the best work, but I think it adds to the sense of fun that they're not perfect. Yeah, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!
As always, thanks for looking and leaving comments. I really appreciate each and every one. And thanks again to those of you who have prayed and sent positive thoughts for my aunt. Hopefully, we're getting closer to figuring out the mystery so that we can help her on the road to recovery.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A new image and challenge from Guylou

A smile is contagious. It's a visual hug and can have a positive impact on another person's day. I have a stamp that says it's the shortest distance between two people. Too true!

Your challenge is to make a card using a new image at Guylou's Inimitability: the smile bingo card. Better yet, you can get it for free! Just head on over to Guylou's blog, right click on the bingo card image, and save it to your computer. You can print it small or large.

In my case, I chose to print it kind of small: less than two inches wide. Then I tucked it behind this friends sentiment stamp. Of course, this little smile bingo card works so well with other images that G decided it'd be best if you used BOTH the smile card and another Guylou's Inimitability image. Yeah, yeah, I was beating around the bush a bit. Basic gist is that you need to make a card using the Smile bingo card and another image from her store. If you like, you can join her group over on Crafter's Digital Art Center (CDAC), which could yield another freebie! So, make your card, then head on over to her blog and post your card there for a chance to win a digistamp of your choice and the opportunity to be a guest designer on a future challenge. When the time comes, you'll also get another image for free to use in that challenge.

For my card, I've used Bernadette. She's colored with copics. I added some bling with gold ribbon from Michael's. The paper is from Hobby Lobby. I think it's Paper Studio, but don't quote me on that because I might be wrong. It's hard to tell in this pic, but it has gold foiled elements, which is what gave me the inspiration to use gold ribbon. I added some bling with pink rhinestones, too. As always, thanks for looking, and thanks in advance for playing along with G's challenge.

Oh, yeah, I should add that the challenge doesn't end until January 6th. Hopefully, that gives you plenty of time to make your card, despite the stress and rush that holidays involve. I can't wait to see what you do!

Thanks, thanks, thanks!

For all of you who knew about the situation and prayed, we have good news. It's not lung cancer! I must admit, we're a bit shocked...all symptoms pointed to the big C, but medical testing does not support that diagnosis. The weakness is apparently related to a spinal issue. Now we just need to determine what these episodes of confusion and memory loss are all about. She's also had this nasty cough and sputum, and does have spots on her lungs, but it looks like those are damage from smoking. So, thanks to everyone for your prayers. And if you aren't the praying type, thanks for the positive thoughts! It is much appreciated!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Anita Be Stampin' Challenge

I just love this image from Anita Be Stampin'. They have a new challenge every Tuesday. Thanks to my friend Tracy, I now know about it. Well, in her defense, she told me about it when it first started back in November. She even showed me some amazing cards she made with images from ABS. I was just too crazed with finishing my Christmas cards, making calendars, making sets of cards for gifts, Christmas shopping, etc. Well, the challenge to use green and pink on a card officially ends in less than two hours. I'm cutting it close to the wire, here. I love this image from Anita Be Stampin' and had to rush to get her onto a card. I worked on her before my dinner and a movie date with my friend tonight, then put the finishing touches on just a few minutes ago (as an aside....Burlesque wasn't a very good movie. Phenom singing and dancing by two very talented women, but really slow otherwise). Anyhow, if you love this little image as much as I do, you should go to the store and purchase her, because all funds from the purchase of this adorable image benefit the Susan G Komen foundation to find a cure for breast cancer. As you can see, she's pretty versatile. In this case, I've given her a purple ribbon. I'm sending this card to a sassy, spunky, fun, awesome lady I know who is currently undergoing testing for probable lung cancer. I know, I'm being pessimistic by making the card before she's even been diagnosed. Maybe I am tempting the fates to make me wrong. I sure hope it works out that way. If not, I'll send her this card with an uplifting note inside, right before I crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and cry like a baby. Now, let's focus on details so I can try to forget the reason I'll probably have red eyes in a few days. The image was colored with copics. I paper pieced her stockings and dry embossed them with a herringbone pattern. I added pearls to her choker and shoes. The pink roses are from Wild Orchid Crafts. The leaf punch is Martha Stewart. The heart straight pin was from a pack in the dollar bin at Joann's. The sparkly paper is My Mind's Eye. I think that about covers it. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am such a dolt!

I need to thank Trina for also giving me the stylish blogger award, way back on Dec 6...ok, that was not WAY back, but it was still a few days ago. I missed her post to me about it. Sorry, girl! I wanted to thank you and figured this would be the best way to do it!

Wow, two people think I deserve the award...y'all make me blush. Even if you just picked me because my blog was on top of your dashboard from all of the chatter I do....LOL

****edited to add that Kim also gave me this award. Sheesh, you girls are too sweet to me!

Well, I guess I'll take this forward...

I hate forwarded emails. I hate those things that tell you to "send this on to X amount of people". I don't even open forwarded emails and if I happen to do so by mistake, I actively cringe. Then I got a good one today, that actually made me smile. I should add that I am having a sucky day. I got bad news about a family member last night that had me crying for a while. You know, the kind of news that lets you know this person may not be with you for long. So, I didn't start the day out well. Nothing can take that news away or really make it 100% better, but an email from Charlene led me to her blog, which made me smile. It brightened my day for a few minutes, and isn't that what friends do? They take a dark day and brighten it up, even if the darkness creeps back in quickly. Anyway, this is what Char had for me. An award! She got one and had to forward it along to eight "stylish" bloggers. Hey, at least something is stylish about me. Wait, let me rephrase that. At least someone thinks that something is stylish about me! LOL.
Of course, it's one of those that requires effort from me, which isn't such a bad thing today. It's a good distraction. Hey, pick yourselves up off the floor....I know, I know...I just said that a forwarded thing is good. First thing I gotta do is tell you eight things about myself. I don't even know where to start. I could talk for days. LOL.
1. I live in Maryland. I've lived here my whole life and actually love this state. I only once ever gave serious thought to leaving, and that was when my husband and I considered moving to Williamsburg, VA.
2. I'm a shopaholic. I mean, to the point of probably needing a support group. I don't have debt from it, but I'd sure have a lot more moolah saved if I didn't spend it all.
3. My fave color is pink, followed closely by Granny Smith apple green.
4. I am actually an introvert. Yes, chatty and social, but I have more introverted qualities than most people realize. For instance, once I am home for the day, leave me the heck alone. Don't call, and for goodness' sake, don't stop by unannounced. I hate that and often won't even answer the door.
5. I think my cats are just really furry, tiny humans.
6. I love kids, but I also love to give them back to their parents. Hence the reason I don't have any. I just borrow someone else's on occasion.
7. I'm a chronic organizer of my scrap space, while the rest of my house goes to hell in a handbasket.
8. I'm a drama queen. Save this blog. I might have to delete this one (#8), because I don't think I've ever actually admitted that before. I get so mad at others who create drama, but if I'm honest with myself (and you!), I'm pretty good at stirring the pot, myself.
Ok, now I get to pay this award forward to eight other stylish bloggers. I'll try not to repeat any that Char already gave. Here goes:
2. Bren
3. Dale
6. Ruby
7. Sara
I urge you to visit their blogs...great stuff there. As for you ladies I have awarded, if you've got a spare minute, tell us eight things about yourself and pay this award forward!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas time's a'comin'...

And perhaps it's coming a bit faster than I'd like, as in barreling down on me with lights flashing and speakers screaming out Christmas music. It seems like it's always here before I know it. I'm almost done my shopping, have wrapped the presents I've bought so far, and I've even finished making my cards. I still need to send them out, but hey, they're made! I'm not decorating this year, so that's one stressor off of my back. However, I am making a few presents, which I have not even started! EEEK! That's stress, given that two of them are for a gift exchange on Dec 12. Oh, well. You can only do what you can do, right? I'm going to be gentle with myself yet again this year and do what I need to do, which is spend Christmas day at home. I think this second year of holidays is hitting harder than the first one did, probably because my good buddy Mr. Denial took off, and dragged his friend Ms. Shock away with him. I feel abandoned, but I'll pull through. And before I get all sappy and sad, dragging others down with me, let's head back to happier topics, shall we? Guylou is having another challenge at her store. This time, the challenge is to make a Christmas card using one of her images. Super easy peesy, right? I mean, heck, even if you are done the ones for this year, you can get a jump start on next year's cards! I'm not kidding. Really. Every year, I plan to do just that. I plan to make several Christmas cards per month so that I have them all done by Thanksgiving. Ha! Like that ever works. However, life is better with goals. They help you move forward. So, add making a card for her challenge to your list of holiday goals. Go ahead. Do it. I dare you. And since I wouldn't dare someone to do something I wouldn't do myself, I've added my cards to this blog post. Chuck as an elf makes me smile. I paper pieced his outfit. The little cowboy snowman was perfect for a primarily white card. Both images are colored with copics, because I can't seem to leave those poor markers alone for five minutes.

Christmas time

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And the winner for my stop of the blog hop is...

Flutterby Trina! Congratulations. Please contact me to collect your RAK of all things pink!

I want to sincerely thank each and every person who stopped by for the Guylou's Inimitability winter release blog hop. Your comments gave me warm fuzzies. I plan to visit your blogs over the next few days and return the love! Have a wonderful week.

You know I can't stay away from challenge blogs...

...and I made a deliberate effort to work on cards this weekend. I finished quite a few, thank goodness. I've uploaded some of them here. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed coloring them with copics, then adding texture and visual interest with flowersoft, glossy accents, and/or stardust pens.
The fairy card is for mo's digital pencil challenge to make a card using a swirl or flourish. I had a pink stud flourish that was not shaped quite right, so I cut it up and manuevered it around to make it work. The sentiment is done in Word. I had some Making Memories metal butterflies. I cut one in half and put a wing on each side of the rose.
Then we have the ever lovely Stella. I just love Stella from bugaboo stamps. The challenge on their blog is to make a shopping themed card with black. Obviously, I didn't hit those requirements with this card. Instead, I based her after a sketch at Sweet Sketch Wednesday. It's sketch #77. I love that blog because the sketches are always so inspiring. Anyway, the inside of the Stella card says, "Santa called. You ain't gettin' *&^$." Too funny!
Finally, an image from one of my absolute fave artists, Elisabeth Bell. The challenge over at the Belles N Whistles blog was to use bright colors for a Christmas card. This card is brighter in real has several pops of orange as well as turquoise. I used ivory flowersoft on her coat and hat. The branch punch is Martha Stewart and the flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts.
These are only a few of the cards I managed to make on Saturday. I'm just excited to have my Christmas cards done. Well, I think they're done. I need to count them one more time and go over my list again. I'm being stingy this year and not sending out nearly as many cards as I used to. Bah humbug or something like that.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Welcome to Guylou's Inimitability Blog Hop!

Well, hey! Welcome to the blog hop for Guylou's Inimitability. If you made it over here from Dale's blog, you're in the right place. If not, you might want to go back to Guylou's Inimitability and start from the beginning!

Today, the DT for Guylou's store are excited to share some creations we've made with Guylou's new images. She's releasing FIVE new images in her store today and one of you lucky hoppers could win them all! Just follow along on the hop, leaving comments for each DT member as you go, and becoming a follower of the DT member's blog if it's required (they'll let you know if it is. Even if it's not, you might want to become a follower, anyway. These girls are talented!). Be advised, you MUST leave comments at each stop in order to win the grand prize of all five images!

Aren't these new images too precious? I got the honor of making cards using Louise, with both her candycane and her wreath. I love her little outfits! I colored both images with copics. I love the look of liquid applique as "fur", so I was pretty liberal with it. I also added glossy accents to both images for shine, and vintage Christmas flowersoft to Louise's wreath. Louise and her candy cane are in a shaker box full of glitter!

Now, on to what I have in store for one lucky winner: a RAK. Leave me a comment and I'll draw a random winner to receive a goodie bag full of pink deliciousness. So far, it's got a pink copic, some pink rhinestones, pink pearls, pink ribbon, and some pink 6x6 papers. I'll also be giving away one of the new GI images! I am a bit of a shopaholic, as well, so the goodie bag might obtain a few more items before it gets mailed out. I'm sure no one would argue with that. Who doesn't love goodies?!?

Thanks for stopping by! Next stop on the hop is the wonderful creator of these fun images, Guylou!

If you've lost your way, here's the full list:




Gina (me!)





Final stop: Guylou's Inimitability

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gift cards, anyone?

My friend Brenda led me to a great challenge blog, All that Scraps. The challenge for this week, due tonight (I'm cutting it close) was to make a gift card holder. I gotta tell ya, I'm disappointed. So many people have asked for gift cards this year. Yes, I like getting people what they want, but I also love to shop and find the perfect gift for someone. In this case, I got to do both. I won't say who the gift is for, given that she/he may read my blog, but suffice it to say that these two little gift cards are just the icing on the cake of what I hope is the perfect present. Speaking of hope, I'm hoping this adhesive holds! Gift cards are a heavy burden to expect some patterned paper and tombo to hold...I might have to reinforce it a little.

I never really know how to make gift card holders. I've made ones that were like little envelopes. I've made rectangular pocket ones. I've never tried the diagonal angle for one, though, so I gave that a shot. I added a cute little Magnolia stamp, sitting on her bag of mail. Both images were colored with copics. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Well, in the form of my good buddy, Guylou. We're having a blog hop on the weekend of November 27th to announce five new images in Guylou's Inimitability line of awesome digi stamps. There will be fun little prizes along the way from several of the DT members. Leave comments, follow some blogs if you will probably want to, as you'll see some awesome talent (and some of the DT may require it to win...but I am not sure on that one)! The rules, though, are that you must leave comments at every blog to qualify for the grand prize: all five new images from Guylou's store!

Here at my blog, I'll have a RAK that will include one of the new images, plus some lovely things pink. After all, pink is the best color in the whole wide world. I've gathered up some wonderful goodies. My stash is HUGE, so I have raided it, and of course, hit the craft store for some additional pink deliciousness. I'm also giving you a little, teeny tiny sneak peek of one of the new images. Come back on Saturday morning to get a full view! You won't want to miss it!

You gotta love it...

...when a blog title is right on the money. You know, like Sweet stop sketches. The sketches are definitely sweet and challenging at the same time. Or how about Mojo Monday? Definitely kick starts my mojo! Or, in this case, Inspirational card sketches. I love the sketches provided on this blog. I particularly like this week's, number 91. It's perfect for smaller cards. I made a 4.5 x 4.5 inch square card with a cute little house mouse image and old stash of Basic Grey papers. I love this design! I'm making some card kits as Christmas gifts and may just have to use this design for at least one of them. It's sometimes difficult to find sketches that work with smaller images like this one does. If you haven't checked out Inspirational card sketches yet, get your butt on over there and see! Great stuff!

Giving thanks

There's a great challenge going on over at 7 Kids College Fund to make a thank-you card using an image from the store. Although I am thankful every day for the blessings in my life and try very hard to keep a positive attitude (yes, it deserts me quite a bit sometimes, but I try!), I don't tend to make thank you cards. I don't give out cards at Thanksgiving and often thank people only verbally or through some small token. This challenge made me think about the people in my life for whom I am also challenged me to make a thank you card that can be used for Christmas. Fact is, I've been trying to get my Christmas cards done for weeks now and I've still got quite a few to go. The challenge at 7 Kids helped me to get one more card knocked off the list. I love this little Magnolia image called "Tilda wants a hug." I used Basic Grey's new Christmas line of papers called Jovial. I love that it has so much black...such a nontraditional color for Christmas and yet so elegant! Flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts. The little red berries were a gift from my friend Tracy. Image colored with copics. The little white tag says "hugs." Oh, and a special thanks to my friend Brenda for telling me about the 7 Kids Challenge blog. I've purchased from the store before, but had somehow missed the blog. Now I'm a follower and hope to play along on other challenges, too. Head on over and see what challenges inspire you!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Whiff of Joy Blog Hop

****If you're looking for Guylou's Elegance Challenge cards, scroll down to the next post****

It's time for a blog hop over at Elisabeth Bell's Digi blog. The challenge was to make a Christmas card using any Elisabeth Bell image. That wasn't hard...I love pretty much anything Elisabeth Bell draws. I think she is incredibly talented. Consequently, I own quite a few of her stamps! I recently purchased the praying angel from Summer's store. I love her peaceful look. I had so much fun coloring her, that I stayed up late coloring her again. I put my first attempt on this card. My second attempt involves a light blue for that one at a later date. Anyway, I added liquid applique around the image and to the big flower. The larger flower is prima, smaller are Wild Orchid Crafts, leaves are Reflections from Michael's and I found the pearl spray in the wedding aisle at Michael's. Papers are My Mind's Eye from last year's Christmas selection. As usual, I colored the image with copics. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Yes, I am well aware that I am not known for my elegance. I'm pretty uncouth sometimes for sure. However, in this case, I had to pull myself together and yank some of that elegance out from somewhere...I'm not really sure where it came from. The reason, you ask, that I'd make myself do something so opposite of my nature? Well, it's another challenge at Guylou's blog! Here are my cards for it:

And here's the details:
You need to use an image from Guylou's Inimitability, like Gertrude (pictured three times above, so you get the's smacking you over the head not once, not twice, but three times, people!). Your challenge is to make an elegant card. In case you're like me and are pretty clueless about what in the heck that means, that means a card that is dignified, graceful, and refined. Yeah, I had a hard time with it, too. That's why it's called a challenge!
What you can win makes all of that brain burning worth it, though. You will not only win a free digi of your choice from, but you'll also earn the chance to be a guest DT member on an upcoming challenge, and receive another free image to use in that challenge. DT exposure is good. Come on, admit it, most of us are attention-seeking in some way.
Oh, and before I forget, you can also check out Guylou's group on Crafter's Digital Art Center...I'm a member already and there's a link in the sidebar. Guylou generously shares free images with the group when we hit certain milestones. Right now, we're shooting for 300 members. We're almost there, so come on over! You can also buy any of her images at her store. The link's above, but some of you like to be smacked over the head with things, so here it is again:
And if you want to see more cards made by the wonderful DT to inspire you for this challenge, check it out at:
You've got until Dec 2 to post your card there, too! Go ahead, get to it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh....a shiny...I mean, a comfy....

Yeah, yeah, that's it. The challenge at Belles n Whistles new challenge blog was to create a card using something soft and cozy. On this card, I used flower soft for the oats and liquid applique for the "fur" on the elf's outfit. It's hard to tell, but I also blinged it up with my red stardust pen on the berries and my green stardust pen on the leaves. As usual, the image was colored with copics. Believe it or not, those fab flowers came from the dollar store! I went back a few times, but they're all gone. The leaves were white...I shot them with some glimmer mist. The red mat and green background paper are DCWV specialty stack. They're really shiny, but it's hard to tell in the pic. I embossed the green background with one of the adorable Basic Grey folders. If you want to play along, you've still got time. The challenge ends on November 22. Check it out here:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I love when Mr. Mojo comes home!

Well, I should rephrase that a little. I love when Mr. Mojo returns home and I have time and energy to do something about it. Although the neighbor's kids were here for the majority of the day yesterday, I've still found some time to create this weekend. I've got some flower soft drying on another image, so I hope I can get a few more cards made today. For now, here's what I've got. The cute little Tilda is for Magnolia-licious, to create a card using pink and yellow. I hope she counts...I only used yellow on the image, so she might not, but I'm going to send her over and see what they say. The next one is for Whiff of Joy's Monday challenge for a Christmas card.
Heading on down, there's a card using a Guylou's Inimitability image (link in my sidebar) for Friday's sketchers.
Then we've got this cute little girl in her granny's armchair. She's another image from Guylou's Inimitability. Card design is based on Mojo Monday's sketch.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love House Mouse images. The little mouse card is based after this week's Sweet Stop Sketch 82. I love, love, love this sketch and will probably use it repeatedly.
I apologize if the format of this post is funky. I'm still getting the hang of this blogger thing. I know, it's been months! Maybe the truth of the matter is that I just don't take the time to learn it better. Yeah, that's probably it, but that makes me sound lazy. Then again, I guess that's better than sounding dumb....
Oh, yeah, before I forget, if you want to catch some awesome inspiration, here's the links to the challenge blogs from this post, in no particular order:

A Day of Rest

Typically, I think a lot of people hear "day of rest" and think of Sunday. This week, mine came on Saturday. I spent the day at home, watching movies and just chilling out.
Oh, and that little cutie in the pic is one of my siamese. Sophie likes to curl up in a chair while I work on my crafty stuff. That is, when she is not at my feet, trying to get in my lap, or generally being curious. Doesn't she look so cute, all bundled up in a kitty ball?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why, there you are, mojo!

Woot-woot, my mojo came home. Little Mr. Mojo went on a sabbatical for a bit there. Sketches always help, but tonight, I felt inspired without them. In fact, I mainly used them so I could participate in some great challenge blogs. I love challenge blogs. It's fun to make myself stick within certain rules and guidelines...I guess that's what makes it a challenge, right? And Lord knows, I'm not always good at following rules. Challenge blogs give me the opportunity to follow the rules and feel good about it, not to mention potentially being rewarded for it!
So, anyhow, here's how it goes. The cute little CC Designs guy with the cupcake is for, challenge 75. I originally colored him with intentions of using him for this week's Simon Says challenge to do a male card with a charm, but that didn't work out. However, he worked perfectly for the challenge at SSW, to follow a sketch. I had the ruler paper in my scraps. Since I'm trying hard to keep my scraps pile from growing large enough to hide one of my cats, that made me happy. His little cupcake is covered in liquid applique and then sprinkled with Martha Stewart mica glitter. I've gotta do an aside here to give thanks to my friend Brenda, who sent me some Neenah paper. I'd never used it before; I'm a big fan of Gina K. This Neenah paper was awesome, though. I'm glad I tried it. I might have to get some for those times that the Gina K is too thick or too glossy.
Moving on...the friend card with the adorable Sarah Kay image is sketch challenge 25 at As instructed, I followed the sketch exactly and didn't flip it or any of my other usual tricks. I love the simplicity of this card. I'm pretty proud of myself for tying a fairly decent bow, too. That's not one of my strong suits. I got myself a bow easy and that sucker grew legs and walked. Now I am tying my bows by hand until it turns up. I'd sure like to know where some of my craft supplies and mojo take their vacations. I might follow them. I need a vacation.
Wait, I digress. So, what else is new? Back to the cards. The third and final card is for the Sweet Stop sketch challenge 81. I am in love with everything apple lately. If it's got an apple on it, it's mine. I have to have it. On this card, I used my fabulous nestabilities. I cut the apple once around the image, then cut it again out of the red checkboard paper. Then I used the scalloped oval to cut the center of the apple out so the image could show through, and layered it on top. The cute little leaves are from Wild Orchid Crafts. Check them out...their flowers and leaves are gorgeous! Sentiment stamp is Magnolia. I had so much fun making this card.
This is a wonderful way to start the weekend. I need to clean my bathrooms this weekend, and maybe do a few other little cleaning chores, but my hope is to create, create, create. So, let's just hope that Mr. Mojo does not go on another vacation, shall we? Well, at least, I hope he doesn't. As always, thanks for reading my ramblings!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh, the meltdown...

My fellow grievers know just what I am talking about. It's that rush of emotion that jumps up and beats the crap out of you before you have a chance to brace yourself. It's the over-the-top sobbing that leaves your eyes swollen til you can't see out of them and your nose as red as Rudolph's. When it's finally over and you fall asleep, the reminder just bites you in the ass the next day, because you wake up with a killer headache and a puffy Pillsbury doughboy face. Yeah, that's the one. It hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks on Friday night. I don't know why. Maybe I'm overtired. I know I'm stressed. I was PMSing, too. Whatever excuse I want to give it, the fact of the matter is that grief just punches you whenever the hell that bully feels like it. It's usually a sucker punch, too, because, well, grief is a bully, after all.

So, anyhow, sometimes, I am pushed to journal by that little voice in my head (shh...don't tell anyone it's still there, LOL). Puffy eyed, unable to see the darned monitor, I was thanking my obnoxious typing teacher for the fact that I can find the keys without looking. That man was a menace, but at least he taught me how to type. A few days later, I got the journaling printed out onto paper for a layout. Here it is:
If you're actually reading this blog, that means you're probably interested, so I won't torture you and make you squint or try to blow it up. On the flip side, since the journaling doesn't seem to want to paste from Word, I'm also not going to torture myself or risk another meltdown by retyping it. It's not totally mean of me. You can find it here:

And now, I am going to go drink a huge bottle of water and watch my new fave show, "How I Met Your Mother." For those of you out there who are grieving, too, I send you big hugs. It's a sucky ride, isn't it?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Time to remember those...

...who have helped us in some way, any way at all. Did someone do something nice for you recently? Think about it, and I'm sure you can think of so many someones that did something good for you or someone you love. I mean heck, even if your friends and family are acting like total brats right now (I doubt they ALL are, but some people might disagree with me), there's strangers out there who help you each and every day. I can think of one great example and that's our wonderful military, who put themselves on the line for us repeatedly throughout their years of service. There's others, too...firefighters, policemen, nurses, doctors, the kid down the street who mowed your lawn....yeah, yeah, I'm feelin' all gooey and grateful today. It's Guylou's fault. She's having a contest on her blog, and it's a super easy one. Think of someone you'd like to thank and make them a card using one of Guylou's Inimitability images. If you don't already have one, where in the heck have you been? Oooppss...(thought to self - stop the snark, stop the snark, stop the snark). Ahem, let me rephrase that...if you don't already have one, head on over to Guylou's Inimitability and get one! The link is in my sidebar but I want to display the fact that I can finally get links into my posts now, too, so here you go:

And just in case you want a taste of what some of her images look like, check out these two cards. I added Magnolia stamps to the pumpkin and wheelbarrow and fall scenes from G's store. What are you waiting for? Get started! Oh, yeah, and it's due by November 18, which gives you time to create. Don't pretend like it doesn't. Come on, get to it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sketch to the rescue again

Once again, I am rescued by a sketch. I colored this adorable little image from Sugar Nellie months ago. Yes, really, MONTHS. Like, sometime in July or August. Anyway, he's called "Worried." Doesn't he look so sad, hugging his friend the teddy bear? He just makes me want to go find him and hug his little self. I think this image is great for any kind of card conveying sadness and/or disappointment, such as "I'm Sorry" or "Get Well" or even just "Cheer Up" cards. In this case, I chose to use him for an "I Miss You" card. I've been missing my friend Bernadette lately. She's on my mind a lot right now, because this is a difficult time of year for her. I saw the sketch over at and it seemed perfect to showcase this cutie. It was like kismet or something, because the requirement was to use a Sugar Nellie image and I found the sketch on a Sugar Nellie challenge blog without even intending to look there...I was flipping through all of my blogs on my dashboard and there it was! Anyhow, I distressed and inked the edges. I'll shut up now and show him off. Here you go:

And unfortunately, I cannot add the disclaimer that no animals were harmed in the making of this product. My cat Sophie loves to sit at my feet when I am at my craft table. Usually, she rubs up against my legs to make her presence known, and occasionally jumps on my lap or the table because her curiousity cannot be contained. Well, this time, she decided to act like a stealth fighter and creep up on me. I didn't know she was there, and I pushed my chair back to get up. I caught one of her little paws under the wheel of the chair and she cried out. Poor little baby. She seems to be fine, though. No limping, no tenderness (she let me squeeze her paw and kiss it), and she's running around even now, chasing her sister, Athena. Since she really seems okay, I only feel a smidgen of guilt, rather than the huge wave that could have crashed on me if she was seriously hurt. I know siamese are supposed to be vocal cats, but I can assure you that they're pretty darned quiet when they want to be. I never saw her coming. Sheesh.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Woot-woot! Two posts in one day!

I found a new sketch blog. If you read my last post from today, you know how much I depend on sketches. Well, the Sweet Sketch Wednesday blog has some great inspiration. This is the card I completed with this week's sketch. I just love House Mouse images...they're so clever and cute. This little guy makes me smile because of his full belly. Ok, so I admit it that he reminds me of how I feel after I snack like a madwoman. When I was a kid, my mom used to say that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. Yeah, I guess I do have a tendency to want a little bit of every sweet I can get ahold of, and often end up feeling bloated and yuck because of it!

When my design mojo deserts me...

...and this happens quite frequently, I might add...I love sketches to help jump start it. Today, I got to play a little bit. I don't know what happened with my plans to sleep in. All I know is that after a Harry Potter movie marathon yesterday, plus the emotional stuff from going to the cemetary on Friday, I figured I'd sleep until at least 9:00 this morning. Nope. I woke up at 5:30ish. What in the heck? I tried to get back to sleep, but no dice. So, I got up, got dressed in some bum around comfies, and read a book for a bit, then settled in at my craft table. I made three cards. Not many, but I still feel like I accomplished something.

I made the top card for the Just Magnolia challenge (link in my sidebar). I am now addicted to Magnolia stamps and I blame it all on my friend Brenda. She introduced me to Tilda and Edwin. At first, I didn't get it. I told her that they were creepy because they don't have any mouths. They reminded me of that Twilight episode that I haven't seen in years, but it apparently traumatized me enought that I remember it! Anyhow, Bren kept creating with them and I started realizing just how cute they were. Then I read the reason that they don't have mouths...Magnolias are angels. Since angels speak with their hearts, they have no need of mouths. Yeah, the marshmallow in me was all gooey. Now my wallet is much lighter, because I bought lots of Magnolia stamps. I particularly love this one. She's colored with copics, has liquid applique for "fur" and glossy accents to give her little boots some shine. Don't ask me what color copics I used, because I might just laugh at you. I tend to color my images ahead of time, then search for paper that matches when I'm feeling crafty. I have had this little Tilda colored for more than a month.

So, anyhow, I also uploaded a Whiff of Joy card. I love this image from Whiff of Joy. She's just so cute with her little winter outfit. I based it on the sketch at Mojo Monday and entered it in the Whiff of Joy challenge, as well. And no, the picture is not crooked. The image and papers on the card are deliberately tilted. Again, don't ask what color copics grace this little girl, because I'm clueless. What else is new?

Happy Halloween to all of you internet junkies and everyone else, too. I'm off to see if my design mojo has returned or if I'll need to find another sketch. Hey, at least one benefit to that is that there is usually a challenge prize attached. I'm all about that!!!

Why are you still reading? Shouldn't you be giving out some candy right about now?!?! And don't look at me....the kids in my neighborhood are at a party. I guess the parents figure it's safer that way, but I sure miss seeing all of the costumes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some days...

...I get a reminder that I am not the only one grieving. I am not the only one in this world that has suffered a huge loss. I usually try to remember that, but it's not a lie to say that grief is a very self-centered thing. You get so wrapped up in your own emotions and loss that you forget that others have lost that person too, or someone else close to them.

After camping this weekend, my brother-in-law invited me to go to the RennFest with a group of his friends. His close friend Eric lost his sister in a car accident last spring. Eric and I got to talking about it. He said his mom is having a really rough time, understandably. I can't imagine losing a child. He mentioned how his sister loved frogs and even had a few pet tree frogs for a bit. Since her death, his mom has taken to collecting frog knick-knacks to memorialize her daughter. I recently redecorated at my house. My one bathroom was decorated entirely in frogs, but I had already given most of that stuff away. I remembered that I have this really cute ceramic tree frog that wraps his legs around a jar candle. He's got such a sweet face and is wearing this big yellow hat. I told Eric about it and he said his mom would love something like that, so I offered to give it to her.

Well, this woman doesn't know me from Adam, so I decided I needed to make a sympathy card to go with the frog and write a little note in there for her. Guylou's Gabrielle angel seemed perfect for the card. I had already colored her dress but hadn't figured out what to do with her wings or hair yet. Since Eric's sister was blonde, I colored the angel's hair blonde (it also goes well with the blue of the dress). Then I remembered that I have this awesome new glitter flock. I put a really thick layer of KI Gloo on her wings and sprinkled what seemed like half of my container of flock on top. Once dry, it resembled sparkly feathers. Perfect! Here she is:

The papers are from DCWV's linen closet line. The image is colored with copics. Her dress is four shades of blue - B01, B00, B000, and B0000. Her hair is Y32, Y21 (I think), and Y11. The coloring is a bit brighter IRL.

You can get your own digi of Gabrielle by joining Guylou's Inimitability at CDAC (link in my sidebar). Her store has many other fab images, as well. You can see for yourself, just take a peek at Here's an example of another image from G's store:

Thanks, as always, for looking and for any comments. Have a fun day!