Saturday, December 31, 2011

An Introspective Retrospective

Ahh, it's the last day of the year! I've seen many bloggers post their favorite cards over the year and since this year marks my first full year of blogging bliss, I thought I'd share a few (well 12) of my faves:


January


February


March


April


May


June


July


August


September


October


November


December


What a fabulous year for me (creative-wise)...it was really interesting to me to see how my style has evolved (and somewhat stayed the same) over the past year. I'm looking very forward to 2012 and everything it has to offer!
Have a wonderful New Year everyone...hope it brings love, peace and wonderful creativity!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

CASE Study...Another Sad Farewell

Welcome to our final week with super-d-duper Muse Amy Sheffer! And as this month and year come to a close, so does my tenure here at CASE Study. This past year and a half has been quite a thrilling ride...I've seen Chupa build this challenge site from just a few mere followers to now over 700! What fantastic inspiration I've drawn from this experience; wonderfully talented Muses who have allowed me to stretch my creative boundaries....and also languish in styles I love as well! Speaking of wallowing in beautiful style, let's take a look at Amy's gorgeous card for this week:


I was drawn to the vibrant, cheery colors, the design and the lovely doily die cuts. I chose to CASE all of these elements while changing the colors, stamps and adding some Zva bling. Here is my card based on Amy's sweet inspiration:



I want to take this time to thank Chupa for taking a chance on me when I was first starting out and for being one of the most super sweet people out there in blogland. If my creative plate weren't so full right now, I would be continuing with this fabulous challenge indefinitely. I also want to thank every one of the enchantingly talented, super sweet and endlessly supportive team members at CASE Study. What a bunch of classy, talented, beautiful women on this team. Thanks again ladies...I will certainly miss sharing this fun experience with you all!
Time to check out how the other CASE Study gals made some gorgeousness with Amy's card:

Chupa
Amy Wanford
Clare Buswell
Cristina Kowalczyk
Debby Hughes
Jean Martin
Julie Lacey 
Maureen Plut
Teresa Kline
Teneale Williams

Here are the deets for creating and uploading a project:
1. Create a paper crafting project (card, layout, off-the-page item), based on provided inspiration (being a featured creation, made by our Muse).
2. Post your creation on your blog or an online gallery (using a code CSC71), and link it to CASE Study Challenge blog with the inlinkz widget. Please provide a direct link to your post, not an entire blog.
3. A new challenge is being posted every Thursday at 12:01 AM EST, and you've got until the end of Tuesday to submit your entry.
4. You may enter as many times as you like, but you're asked to provide a newly designed project.
5. We will choose one winner randomly from the list of players, who will receive the prize provided by the sponsor. In addition, the authors of the four most impressive creations will be awarded the Winner and Top 3 awards. We will announce the winners on Wednesday.
6. Above all, have fun - and be inspired!


Stamps: Heart's Desire (Verve Stamps)
Paper: The Best of K & Co., Black, Kraft, White
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Tattered Rose distress ink (Ranger)
Accessories: PE-03CA-112 (Double Flourishes Pearl (c) - Taupe),  PEW-02CB-101 (Pearl Lines - white) Zva Creative, Doily die cut (MFT), Lacey Circle & Circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Champagne glass glitter & 5 Petal flower punch (SU!), Petal Pink Liquid Pearls (Ranger), Scarab Vintage Seam Binding Ribbon, Natural Jute/Twine (Ribbon Carousel), sticker (K & Co.), lace, dimensionals, dauber

Size: 4 1/4" X 5 1/2"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Heartfelt Creations...After Christmas Gift

Good Morning! I've got an after Christmas gift to share with you today, highlighting one of Heartfelt Creations one of a kind dies! I can see that this Decorative Lace Border die could be used to wrap up lots of pretty things, like small boxes, jars or it could be used for a scrapbook page or a card! I've chosen to wrap up these pretty candles that I found at TJ Maxx...and they were only $2! A little paper lace, twine, seam binding and a cannibalized Christmas ornament and voila:


Close-up of the holly berry chotchkie:


Here's the looooong view:
(Very hard to take a picture of these in a light box)


Here's a picture of what the die looks like:



Instructions:

I used the Decorative Lace Border die to cut my design out of a piece of K & Co. designer paper, wove a length of seam binding through the top half of the design and tied it off in a knot on the back. I then attached a strip of tacky tape to one side of the outer edge and adhered the two edges together in the back. Next, I wrapped some Ivory jute twine around the perimeter three times and tied a decorative bow in the front. Using another length of seam binding, I fashioned a double bow and glued it to the front. Lastly I added the holly berry accent.

Have a great day!


Stamps: None
Paper: Yuletide dp (K & Co.)
Ink: None
Accessories: HCD713 Decorative Lace Border die (Heartfelt Creations), Cream Seam Binding (Hug Snug), Ivory Jute/Twine (Ribbon Carousel), cannibalized Christmas ornament, candles

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ribbon Carousel...Happy Holidays

Just stopping by to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Hope your day is filled with family, friends and fun!
This is a card that I made with the Ribbon Carousel's Striped Grosgrain ribbon and jute twine. I've also included a precious Zva Creative gem flourish and jingle bells that were cannibalized from a wreath ornament:


And I'd just like to say thank you to all of you that leave such wonderfully kind comments throughout the year and also to those who just stop in to check out what's going on...I appreciate each and every one of you!
Have a glorious day!



Stamps: Bright Spirits (Verve Stamps)
Paper: World Traveler dp (Teresa Collins), Black
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: 1.5" Burgundy/Ivory Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Natural Jute/Twine (Ribbon Carousel), PEB-03CB-110 (Fancy Butterfly Pearl/Crystal - Peach/Champagne) Zva Creative, jingle bells 

Size: 5 1/2" X 4 1/4"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deconstructed Sketch...Happy Holidays

Tick, tock, tick, tock...is anyone else feeling the Christmas noose tightening? I'm giving my best effort to NOT stress about certain things, especially the ones that I have no control over, like, say, the inability (or the lack of ambition) to cook...and just converge my energy into things that I know I can accomplish. One thing I did get done is my Deconstructed Sketch for this week, I don't seem to have any interference in mojo when I sit down to make one of these. Here's my card for this week using Verve's Bright Spirits set:



I chose to de-wonkify the middle sentiment panel...I don't own that die from Spellbinders, so I substituted some Oval Nesties atop the Labels Eighteen. The perimeter pearls on the inside oval were made with a sticker (!) from Martha...I really like how they take the place of the Liquid Pearls, but then, I have less play room with them, too.
This is a two-week sketch for our challenge, we will resume in January 2012!
Have a wonderful day!



Stamps: Bright Spirits (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Lost & Found Union Square dp (My Mind's Eye), Kraft, Black
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: CR-01CB-101 Dots - Clear 0.3 cm, 0.5 cm & 0.8 cm (Zva Creative) Labels Eighteen & Oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Large Scalloped Border die (Papertrey Ink), Deco Fan corner & border punch, Elegant Gemstone Frame stickers (Martha Stewart), Natural Jute/Twine (Ribbon Carousel), Fine tip marker (Sharpie)
Size: 4 1/4" X 5 3/4"

Play Date Cafe...A Sad Farewell

Hello blog friends and welcome to 2011's last Play Date Cafe challenge! And I'm sad to say that this is also my final post as a Design Team member. I've been on this team since September of last year and though I've been through some design team changes, all of the ladies that I've worked with have been nothing but gracious and sweet. I certainly will miss this challenge, however, there's nothing to say that I can't still join in as a participant! This week's color story is fitting for this time of year, with Christmas just around the weekend bend! Here are the beautiful, festive colors that Jax has come up with for this week:




Our Design Team was blessed with some fabulous product from this week's sponsor, Lil' Inker Designs. I received this super cool pinwheel die and fashioned a sweet bow for my candy canes:



Here's the first candy cane debacle, er, attempt:
(I tried to make homemade candy canes with pipe cleaners {I only had black} and some twill. Turned out they looked too scrawny, IMO)




I got the idea for these rustic candy canes here, from Anna Wight's blog. She comes up with the most beautiful creations! I used the tutorial for the pinwheel die posted on the Lil' Inkers blog, which you can view here.

The Fine Print:Deadline for prizes is 11:59pm EST on Tuesday.
The 'Cup of the Week' will be announced during the next challenge.

**ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PLAY! **

We want you to enjoy this challenge.
Interpret the colors the way you see them.
We do not use specific card stock color names or brands.
Break out of the box and have fun!
The main requirement is:
PDCC COLORS BE THE
FOCUS OF YOUR SUBMISSION
When using additional colors, please limit them to neutrals.
You are welcome to combine challenges,
but we do ask that:

1. The PDCC name and/or photo is used
2. OUR colors are the focus of the card.

Have fun and happy stamping!




Stamps: None
Paper: Susan Winget Glad Tidings dp (K & Co.)
Ink: None
Accessories: Mini Pinwheel die (Lil' Inker Designs), Twill ribbon (CTMH), candy canes pulled off a Christmas decoration:), gem

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December Zva Blog Hop Winners Announced

 We'd like to congratulate the FIVE December Zva Blog Hop winners! Their names will be found on the following blogs:

One winner from each of the 5 blogs will receive a Zva prize package worth $30.00. Congrats winners!

Before you go, here's a little Zva Creative inspiration for you, using this week's Mojo Monday sketch:


Zva Creative Products Used:
CRS-02CS-112 (Flourish Crystal II - lime)
CR-04CB-118 (Lovely -Olive/Lime Crystal)
FLBK-03CB-126 (mini rose (144 stems) -7/8" or 23 mm -Lime)
FLBK-03CB-122 (mini rose (144 stems) -7/8" or 23mm -White)
 FLBK-03CB-105 (mini rose (144 stems) -1/2" or 12mm - Lime)

Mojo's sketch, that I rotated 90°:
  Have a lovely day!


Stamps: Accent Notes (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Once Upon A Springtime (Graphic 45), Vintage Cream
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: lace, Pinking Hearts border punch (SU!)
Size: 5 1/2" X 4 1/4"

Heartfelt Creations...Pocket Treat Holder

Happy Wednesday! The final countdown is upon us, so many things to do, so many things will be left undone...and I'm okay with that. I'm only one person and whatever I get done is whatever I was meant to get done.  Enough philosophical thoughts for now...what I know that I did get done is a project for this week's Heartfelt Creations posting. As a DT requirement, we are all expected to make at least one altered item per month. This month I decided that a sweet pocket treat holder would be especially appropriate for Sunday's gift giving. Here's a picture of it, with instructions included below:




Pocket Treat Holder Instructions:

Cut out 4 1/2" X 6 1/4" panel of Kraft card stock. Attach a 4 1/4" X 6" piece of patterned paper to it. Take a 4 1/4" X 4 3/4" piece of patterned card stock and attach the Decorative border die cut and sew onto that the Venise lace. Then sew that panel onto the larger patterned paper panel. Cut out the Bella Rose Leaves stamped image with the Bella Rose die. Glue to smaller patterned paper panel. Cut out 10 of each of the smallest petals in the Perfect Petals die and arrange them into two different poinsettia designs. Add gold beads to centers and attach to Bella Rose die cut. Dab Platinum Stickles to the tips of each flower petal. Stamp sentiment onto white card stock and cut into banner design, attach. Adhere pearls to the border and add a sweet treat!



Stamps: HCPC3390 Bella Rose Leaves PreCut Set, HCPC3354 Classic Messages PreCut Set (Heartfelt Creations)
Paper: Christmas Home dp (Teresa Collins), Always Artichoke, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake (SU!)
Ink: Always Artichoke (SU!)
Accessories: HCD702 Decorative Butterfly/Border die, HCD704 Perfect Petals die, HCD712 Bella Rose die, Venice lace, gold beads, pearls, Platinum Stickles (Ranger), sewing machine
Size: 4 1/2" X 6 1/4"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Zva Creative December DT Blog Hop

Zva Creative and our talented Design Team welcomes you to join us for our December Design Team blog hop!
As you know, Zva offers many beautiful color groupings for pearls, flowers and crystals.  We want to make sure that they shine bright for you, so each designer was asked to share a creation using a specific color or color combination on their blog hop project.  If you like what you see, you can find a list of stores and online retailers that sell Zva HERE.

The Blog Hop begins at Windy Robinson's blog. She will have the complete list of all the participating blogs in case there is a glitch along the way. If you would like to play along, just follow along the blog path.  I am linking to one of the Zva designers and that designer is linking to the next and so on. Be prepared to be inspired along the way!

Hidden on FIVE of the blogs is a Zva Creative prize package! Winners will be randomly chosen after the hop is over, so it's important to leave a comment on as many blogs as you can along the way.
The Blog Hop starts today, December 19th and runs through midnight US Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, December 20th.  
The 5 winners will be announced on Wednesday, December 21st on each of the five winning blogs. The full list will be found on Windy Robinson's blog as well. We will do our best to notify each winner, but it's best if you can pop in to all of the blogs once again on Wednesday... plus, you never know what kind of inspirational creation that you may find there.

All you need to do is leave a comment on this Zva Blog Hop post... you do not need to leave a comment on each and every designer's blog post to qualify. However, the more times you comment along the blog hop path, the more chances you will have to win.
We also thought it would be more fun to add even more chances to win our blog hop prize!  To increase your chances of winning:

  • * Comment to let us know that you posted on your Facebook page about our hop (link to any of the blog hop posts)
  • * Comment to let us know that you "tweeted" about our hop (link to any of the blog hop posts)
  • * Comment to let us know that you asked your local store to carry Zva creative products.  If they already do, that's fantastic, maybe you can suggest other products that they don't carry.
  • So you have FOUR chances on each blog to win one of our FIVE prizes!  That's a lot of chances to win!

For my project, I used one of my very favorite colors of all time...yes, it's girly PINK! Zva has so many beautiful pearl and gem flourishes, it was difficult for me to decide which to use, so I chose...hmm...BOTH! Here's a look at my very pink card, using pearls, gems and Zva's darling paper roses:



The blog hop begins here at Windy Robinson's blog. Your next stop is Christin Grønnslett. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining us! Happy Holidays!
P.S. Mark your calendar to join us again on January 30th for our next Zva blog hop! 



Stamps: Beautiful You (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Lost & Found Madison Ave dp (My Mind's Eye), Early Espresso, Vintage Cream
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: CR-04CA-128 (Pleasure - Pink Crystal/Pearl), PE-02CB-107 (Lines(Pearl)- white (0.3 cm & 0.5 cm), CR-01CB1-11 (Lines - Pink/Rose (0.3 cm & 0.5 cm), FLBK-03CB-122 (mini rose (144 stems) -7/8" or 23mm -White), FLBK-03CB-102 (mini rose (144 stems)- 1/2" or 12mm - Pink) Zva Creative, Siam Pink Seam binding, Ivory Jute/Twine (Ribbon Carousel), button, glitter, Doily Lace border punch (Martha Stewart), paper distresser, sewing machine
Size: 5 1/2" Square

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Season's Greetings

Happy Sunday! It's 10am and I'm still in my pajamas...I love it! I'm much more comfortable in expandable waistline attire whilst I check more items off of my "Christmas To-Do" list, 2011. This is a card that I made for one of my challenge/blog/business owners that I've become acquainted with this year...but I don't want to mention her name because I plan on actually MAILING it to her, and I want her to be somewhat surprised when she gets it. I guess there's no way to avoid the Déjà vu experience, though...but that's ok. Here's my CAS card, based on a CASE (here) of this week's Featured Stamper, bonnierose, aka Bonnie Rose Kempenich:


Apparently it's very difficult for me to make a flat card, which is what I had set out to do, since I will be mailing this card, but I think if I wrap it in a layer of bubble wrap, it should be okay. As far as the CASE goes, I lifted the EF/CAS design and the small (and to the point) sentiment. I did change the stamps, EF and omitted the flowers (EEEK...). The ribbon treatment was made using this technique here...somewhat modified.
Have a great day and I'll see you back here tomorrow for Zva Creative's monthly DT blog hop!


Stamps: Snowflake Splendor (Verve Stamps)
Paper: White, Bashful Blue (SU!)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: 1" White Grosgrain/Satin Edge Ribbon (Ribbon Carousel), Snow Flurries Alterations EF (Tim Holtz-Ranger), CRB-03CA-108 (Long Flourish Crystal V - Clear) Zva Creative, Large Designer Label punch (SU!)

Size: 4 1/4" X 5 1/2"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Grateful Heart

I got a little crafty time in today, surprisingly though...our day started by taking the kids to the dentist this morning for some sealants on their teeth and it turned out that I ended up staying there for an emergency root canal! Yeah, and we have no dental insurance, so I guess there's my Christmas present  to myself this year! I'm not complaining (well, kind of) because I was able to get right in there on the tail end of my kids' appointment and lucky enough to have the dentist fix it for me before the holidays. Check that off my list! I was able to also fill out a few Christmas cards in the waiting room (store-bought) for the folks that don't appreciate handmade cards as much as us card aficionados do...
So I must say that I do have a lot to be thankful this year as the end approaches and I made a card with that feeling in my heart:


I used two of Splitcoast's challenges on this card...the Free for All challenge which is to use "winter flowers". My flowers are made with Heartfelt Creation's Posy Patch dies, then using this technique here, I decorated the edges with a Martha Stewart Doily Lace punch. The edges are all sponged with Antique Linen distress ink and folded up just a bit. The other challenge is the Inspiration challenge, and I used this picture here from At West End home decor site.
Thanks for visiting and THANK YOU so much for all of the kind comments left for me...I so appreciate every one!



Stamps: Grateful Heart Plain Jane (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Vintage Attic Treasures (Melissa Frances), Kraft, Vintage Cream
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Antique Linen distress ink (Ranger)
Accessories: HCD701 Posy Patch die (Heartfelt Creations), Labels Eighteen (Spellbinders), Doily Lace border punch (Martha Stewart), CR-04CB-120 Lovely -White Pearl, PE-02CB-107 Lines(Pearl)- white 0.3 cm & 0.5 cm (Zva Creative), Eggshell Vintage seam binding (Ribbon Carousel), Deco Metal Stickers (making memories), pearl strand, daubers, venise lace, doily, pins, sewing machine, dauber
Size: 5 1/2" Square

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another Dirty Favorite

Ahh, happy Friday! I've got the next two weekends off so I can finally pull together all of those loose ends in time for Christmas! Still need to do cards (I mean, really?), finish shopping, wrapping, etc... I don't have to worry about baking, as I don't do that :). I've got a card to show you today that I made back in the beginning of the year for Splitcoast's Dirty Dozen team. I'm posting it in honor of the two newest Dirty girls...two girls that are near and dear to me! Charmaine Ikach...my fellow Verve Diva...a brilliant designer and one who  churns out card goodness on a consistent basis! And Jen Shults, the owner and designer of the Deconstructed Sketch challenge...who in my opinion, comes up with some of the most workable, well-designed sketches out there! Congratulations, ladies! This was my "Dirty Favorite" back in April:


Off  to work...have a super crafty day!



Stamps: Love Deepens (Verve Stamps)  
Paper: Silhouette & Passages dp, Black, Colonial White (Close to My Heart) 
Ink: Walnut Stain & Antique Linen distress ink (Ranger)
Accessories: Jotted Heart die cut (Verve-A Cut Above dies), Chipboard tag, String Lace border punch, glitter (Martha Stewart), pearl string, lace (Jo-Ann's), Mulberry paper flowers (Wild Orchid Crafts), Scrunched seam binding (MemrieMare), flower (Offray), sewing machine
Size: 5 1/2" square

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Deconstructed Sketch...love

Hi and welcome to today's third post! This week at the Deconstructed Sketch challenge, we have an awesome design to work with...I feel like I say that every time!  I really do love every sketch that Jen comes up with and when cards flow easily...you know you've got something on your hands (besides glue!).  Here is my perfectly shabby, perfectly vintage, perfectly girly card here with Jen's sketch pictured below:


Jen's fabulous sketch:

On my jaunt to New York City earlier this week, I picked up this fabulous trim and couldn't wait to use it! It is rather chunky, but I think it gives the card nice dimension.
Thanks for visiting and have a super crafty day!


Stamps: Words Cannot Express, You and I (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Vintage Attic Treasures (Melissa Frances), Once Upon a Fairytale (Graphic 45), Vintage Cream
Ink: Cocoa (CTMH)
Accessories: Garden Rail border punch (Martha Stewart), Word Window punch (SU!), pearls, lace/floral trim (M & J Trimming), button, Ivory Jute/Twine (Ribbon Carousel), paper distresser, sewing machine, dimensionals
Size: 4 1/4" X 5 1/2"

Play Date Cafe...May Your Spirits be Bright

Hello and welcome to the Play Date Cafe's color challenge! We have a special treat today, one that seems to delight a lot of players...it's color splash time! Jax has certainly outdone herself with these colors choices...and just look at this beautiful vintage Santa image she chose to showcase them:


I used this gorgeous die cut from Heartfelt Creations and that lace design is actually the front of my card...the black is the inside. The aqua ribbon is holding the card closed:



I added some bling and White Opal & Baby Blue Liquid Pearls to dress it up a bit. The sentiment is from Verve's latest release, this set being Bright Spirits. The gem on the ribbon was pulled off of a Christmas ornament.

We have a new sponsor this week at the Play Date Cafe...a big thank you to Cindy Coutts! Check out the Cafe's website to see all the details on prize info and the design team's take on this week's story.

The Fine Print:Deadline for prizes is 11:59pm EST on Tuesday.
The 'Cup of the Week' will be announced during the next challenge.

**ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PLAY! **

We want you to enjoy this challenge.
Interpret the colors the way you see them.
We do not use specific card stock color names or brands.
Break out of the box and have fun!
The main requirement is:
PDCC COLORS BE THE
FOCUS OF YOUR SUBMISSION
When using additional colors, please limit them to neutrals.
You are welcome to combine challenges,
but we do ask that:

1. The PDCC name and/or photo is used
2. OUR colors are the focus of the card.

Have fun and happy stamping!




Stamps: Bright Spirits (Verve Stamps)
Paper: White, Black
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Soft Sky (SU!)
Accessories: HCD713 Decorative Lace Border (Heartfelt Creations), Oval & Beaded Oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Aqua seam binding & Elegant Gemstone frame stickers (Martha Stewart), ornament chotchkie, White Opal & Baby Blue Liquid Pearls (Ranger)
Size: 4 1/4" X 5 1/2"