Friday, February 6, 2015

The Grand Finale

Synonyms for grand finale…big finish…wrap up, summit,  pinnacle. Well, this is where we are. I began my card making blog 3 years ago. It was fun at first with lots of experimenting and artistic expression.  I spend way too much time with it, devouring every challenge and becoming excited learning about this community. Somewhere along the way it changed. The joy of the post was lost in the low of the “other” things that come with it. Trying to keep myself happy and keep the viewer happy became hard. I doubted myself and what I thought was a fabulous design. I spent hours trying to make each card interesting. Sometimes it was a knock out and sometimes a flop and I could never judge which was which. There was the roller coaster feeling of blog followers. Up one down 2, up 4 down 1. I still haven't figured it out. I must have a polarizing design aesthetic, I am not sure.  I tried to stop being so attached to the numbers...the comment numbers, the followers, the blog hits. It was difficult. That aspect of it, the competitiveness and such, took some of the joy out of it.  In my heart, despite the few negatives, I loved it. I mean,  really,  really loved making a card. That little canvas and all it's possibilities was amazing. Seeing what other people created was amazing. Winning challenges, getting on design teams, having people visit my little blog...all amazing.

During my journey, I met the greatest people I have ever known in kindness and encouragement. Real friends to me and generous beyond measure. My love for the craft kept me going and I learned that my designs were not for everyone and that was ok. My blog made me happy with stories and other topics that interested me. I became part of design teams of my dreams and reached great personal heights here with my out of the box designs which validated who I was as a designer. I was hitting my stride being known as a person who created fresh and edgy work. Unfortunately, it came at sacrifice to other things, but I didn’t see it. I wanted to make cards and it’s what I became known for, to the blog world and to my family. It was my hobby and where I sought calm, happiness, and peace. My craft supplies grew exponentially and my craft space was a place I could unwind. 

Then there was a hiccup…I moved back home to be closer to extended family in April of 2014. I took a more demanding job that I LOVE, but work more than I have since becoming a mom of four 11 years ago. I moved into a bigger home which requires more time to maintain. I began to cook more and eat more! And in the process gained 20 pounds from all the stress. My kids began school and activities and well, life got busy. There was a struggle to keep going within my heart. I kept thinking it will get better, after all, I love to create. 

But I can’t keep up anymore. I want to visit blogs and see what people are creating. I want to participate in the community which has been so good to me. I struggle to keep my hold on what I worked so hard to achieve. I miss my blog reader. The days are flying by and I just feel more and more behind. Many times I think, I will forget all the posts I missed and start anew, but my organized brain doesnt work that way. In the same way that I can't highlight a book in orange if I started highlighting in yellow, I can't forget all the posts I missed. 

So here I am, writing this post to tell you I made a Wida card for Hero Arts…hopefully you will see the fresh design and edgy look that I adore when you check it out. Layers and patterns and Hero Arts goodness with melted distress inks mixed together with a baby wipe! An experiment in creativity that was a success!  

It is with heavy heart I announce this is my last post for Hero Arts and for my personal blog as well. 
I need to walk away for a 1000 reasons. I won’t bore you with any more details. But know it comes with great pain and sorrow, as well as some relief.  I hope to still create, just not on a public platform, but quietly and will less intensity than I had before. Thank you Hero Arts, and to all the other design teams I have been on for making me feel like my out of the box ways was worthy and thanks to you all for the friendships and visits to my little place of happy.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Winner and Other Chattery

I love reading your answers. Blog folks are my favorite part of this roller coaster ride of a blog! ha! I want you all to know how much you mean to me and I wish I could give each of you a penguins stamp set, sigh...but I can't. Because you know, I gotta feed my kids and and all that jazz ;)

The winner of my 3rd and final blog anniversary is: Richard Breaks! Please email me Richard with your address!

If you haven't visited his blog, you MUST. he is the best writer. I laugh every time I visit. The way he tells the stories of his cards has me in stitches and his work contains the unexpected with the traditional. It's a treat.

Me? I have been busy with sick kids, work, and last friday I got to meet Annette Witherspoon. She was my first non friend or family blog follower. I will never forget how excited I was to see her on that little sidebar.  It was such a high. Little did I realize that over time, there would be lows. Because I realize people come, but then they also leave. I couldn't believe my emotional day depended on this development, but it eventually did. No matter how much I rationalized my way to not think it. So one day, I took it off my sidebar.

Well anyway, back to Annette. We met at City BBQ. Good food and good chat. Then we went to a scrapbook store for craft time. She was real...and fun! What a full circle moment for me to meet the first follower of my blog at such a pivotal time in my blog life.


Here is a project I made for Crate Paper a while ago. I think it didn't work for the intended project. It is a teacher gift. The HANDMADE part is the tag and card and NOT the candy and cookies ;) I got the cookies from the HARTVILLE KITCHEN. A FABULOUS Amish restaurant and store in Hartville, Ohio. just a hop and skip away from me!

The apple is from the Silhouette. 

The tag is from THIS file. 

The box is also found on the Silhouette HERE. When you use 2 sided paper, it makes it beautiful from all angles. Sadly, I had to replace to chocolates because I ate them all before I could give the gift. NOTE TO SELF: Don't make the project too early! 

I have major news coming February 6th...I hope you will join me then.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sympathy Card and a Giveaway


This card was lots of fun to make. I found this card base with splatter already on it (A failed project from the past which I kept because I like the way the splatter looked even if it didn't work for the project I was working on at the time). It is splatter made with REAL PAINT--watered down a bit.

Then I found some greens that I thought looked great together. They are HERO ARTS in Neon Chartreuse, Tide Pool, Green Hills, and Mint Julip and I stamped a new set by HERO ARTS with them. A beautiful leaf set that will be coming out in February. The sentiment is also from HERO ARTS called um...With Deepest Sympathy. It's a wooden stamp and of course I stamped it using versafine onyx black, it works great! The leaf die is Lawn Fawn-the embossing makes it looks so real. The leafs look 3D by using a pop up between the layers and creating shadow with a darker green color.

That's it! pretty easy.

Lesson Learned: Don't throw it away, it might be perfect for something else later ;)

Want a free Arctic Penguins stamp set by Mama Elephant? Enter my 3rd anniversary giveaway HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Want A Penguin Stamp with Your Card/Giveaway?


Ombre is best when it just comes ready made...Thanks CP! I love this pretty little bouquet. I "colored" it with water colors. Don't look too close, it's very sloppy. I meant it to...kinda. I was trying to be Danielle Flanders.  I wish I did it with more whimsy. Mine seems forced. Maybe I should have just been me!

January marks my 3rd year anniversary of blogging. I am going through a "thing" right now with blogging. Lots of internal dialogue about what my journey is right now, and why,  and all that. I spent a lot of time on this little blog and it's been incredible but oh my gosh, things have changed. But more of that later.

In celebration, I am giving away a Mama Elephant stamp set ARTIC PENGUINS (I ordered at midnight and somehow I ended up with 2 of these and's time to share!) Just leave a comment here commenting on who made your favorite card of 2014....and/or what one card making skill you wish you did better....or/and one thing you are grateful for.  Comments end Saturday Jan 31st.

Lovely Stamp set by Hero Arts/Basic Gray
Year Round sentiments by Hero Arts-Operation Write Home
Paper-Crate Paper
Staples-Tim Holtz tiny attacher
Stars-A gift from Anya ;) 

Friday, January 16, 2015

When You Aren't Good At Coloring...

Today I am on the Hero Arts Blog showing what to do when you can't color...

Here is a sneak peek showing off a card using the new 2015 collection! Oh my there are so so many good things coming, I can't wait for you to see.

So did I mention we didn't build the house we planned on? We ended up buying one that was already built. Building when you move and start new jobs, new schools, new life is just too much. It was too stressful! Although I am sad for the house that will never be, I am grateful for the one we now have. Its a bit more masculine than I would have liked, but has lots of nice upgrades and I am happy for that. The 2 of the kids and I went sledding on the hill behind our house today and I thought to myself, this is really wonderful! In my mind I always wanted a home that backed to trees...that's just what I got...trees, a pond with geese, a golf course, and well even a pool. God is good. Looking forward to making this place home. 

I hope you will check out my card on the blog! See you there!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guest Designer on Fusion Challenge

I was asked by the talented mechanical engineer of card making to be her guest on the first fusion challenge of the new year. Fusion is celebrating their one year anniversary! OF COURSE, I said Yes!

Fusion challenge gives you a photo inspiration and a sketch and you can use one or both images to jump start your creativity. Anyone who knows me knows I don't do well with sketches, so I focused on the photo which was whimsical and fun...

The line up of guest designers is pretty fabulous, I hope you will go check out all the beautiful creations HERE.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another Thank You Card

I made another thank you card using a BEAUTIFUL Deco flower background stamp by Basic Grey/Hero Arts  and a great versatile thank you set called Thanks A Bunch!  My friend Angela gave me these sparkling little silver and white ornaments and they have been sitting there too cute to use. But I decided it was time to put them to good use by making some holiday thank you cards.

Here's the recipe:
I clear embossed the background.
To showcase the snowflake I die cut a circle and then framed it with some kraft card stock
I attached the snowflake to the white card stock using scotch tape
A lovely bow below with the sentiment also embossed finished it up
Popped and ready to serve! (sorry, been watching cut throat kitchen on Netflix)

I think I am going to have to give in and get a lightbox. My photos just are not consistent and the light here is odd. You can't see the glimmer of the snowflake very well at all! BUMMER!

Friday, December 26, 2014

And THEN There Are the Thank You's

Hi! I hope everybody had a good holiday. I am sitting on the floor between my girls beds waiting for them to go to sleep and making good use of time by typing up this post. See the baths are done, teeth brushed, book read (short story about the boy who cried wolf) and now I have to wait for my 2 youngest girls to go to bed and then sneak off. Sometimes I end up falling asleep myself, sometimes they go to bed fast enough I can leave with enough energy to craft a bit or watch a program. Honestly, the days go by so fast, there doesn't seem to be much left over for me. In Colorado, I was able to stay up till 11 or midnight, but seems like I am getting more tired in my old age ;)

In any event, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. After getting those fabulous gifts, it's time to send out the thank you's! I am on the Hero Arts blog today showing off a thank you card using ink daubers. It was fun to experiment. I hope you will check it out during your "me" time...

I hope you will check out HERO ARTS blog to see what I did with it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Top Cards of 2014

It's that time again. I want to share with you my top 14 cards of 2014.

PLEASE DO NOT PIN THESE CARDS FROM MY BLOG! Click on the link and it will take you to the persons blog and you can pin it from their own blog! Thanks!

1. Amy Tsurtura

This is the year of Amy. Her cards have been wonderful this year. Original and full of personality.  I love this card...The perfect mix of fonts, the white tone on tone, the gray etched looking snowmen with that cute baby in color. The offset tag. All these subtle details make this card dramatic, cute, original and edgy all at the same time.

2. Melania Deasy

I adore her work. She uses the Silhouette like no one else. I always buy whatever she makes using the Silhouette! Her use of colors are always playful!

3. Emily Leipart

This girl has got cute and clever all figured out! Look at this card!

4. Shelly Kurth

I love that coffee steam in the background, the simplicity of this card had me happy.

5. Amy Sheffer

The way that ribbon is tied just has me giggling. Perfectly placed stars, a bit of splatter, a dash of sequins and gems. It's a whole lot of perfectly placed sparseness.

6. Lisa  Adessa

When I pinned this...oh my so many other people did too! I think it is because it's timeless, and great for both boys and girls, men/woman, old/young.

7. Laura  O'Donnell

I can't remember where i saw this, but when I did...I fell in love. The girl is quirky, she is placed on such an artsy background and the sequins compliment her tiara. It's the right amount of awesome!

8. Julie Ebersole

That rainbow. The open and filled in stars. The rainbow. that GOLD GLIttErY strip on the cloud. It's yummy.

9. May Park

She understands how the canvas works. Beautiful white on kraft, gorgeous coloring of the dainty wreath. One corner rounded for a subtle something. Her entire body of work is all about impactful subtle artistic cards that have all kinds of wonderful if you just take a minute to look.

10. Erin Taylor

What a wonderful combination of color, shape, pattern. It's lovely.

11. Veronica  Zalis

I have such a card crush on her. She makes such lovely cards that have universal appeal. She uses patterned paper so well and look at that bow!

12. Jill Foster  

Oh my goodness, this was dramatic! I loved the way the colors have such depth.

13. Teri Anderson

I love the layout and the use of the stars in so many ways!

14. Heather Pulvirenti

Swoon! She always uses color combinations that are unusual, but this one takes the cake as the COOLEST card! I love the perfect bow. The texture with the felt. The beautiful snowflakes and that swooping hill. Very pretty.

For my favorite cards of 2012, click HERE.
For my favorite cards of 2013, click HERE.

THESE folks are still in my favorite list, the continue to be top notch designers in my eyes!

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Last Post for Crate Paper #Sad

I am on the CP blog today. It is my last post. It is a SAD moment. As you know, there are a few companies that I drool after and top of the list was Crate. They have the prettiest papers and embellishments out there and to rub elbows with the fantastic team was a dream come true. It has come to an end. I am sad.

For the last post, we were asked to make holiday DIY projects...Here is a sneak peek of my ensemble.

To see the rest of it, Click HERE.

Thank you CP for everything. It was a dream come true.