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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A sweet little thank you card...

Looking for a little inspiration, I decided to use some dies that had either not been used for a long time or had never been used. Here's the sweet little card I created:
I just love those funky little flowers. They came from the never-been-used die in the photo below.

I got this die in a craft grab-bag of sorts at a thrift store. I cut three complete flowers out of green CS and then three flower heads out of different colors of CS. I glued these flower heads on top of the green ones. Oh yes, I also inked around the edges of each flower and added a gem to the center

Can you guess how I made my little vase?  Look at the picture below for the answer.

I cut the vase out with this die. I simply snipped off part of the ribbon-threading portion of the die-cut and then scored across the top and bottom for a little more dimension. I inked around the edges and adhered it with some foam tape over my flower stems.

I think it makes the perfect vase, don't you?

The "thanks" was cut from another Cuttlebug die that I haven't used for a while. I sprinkled a few more gems around it for some additional sparkle.

This is one of the first dies I ever bought after I got my Cuttlebug. It has gotten lots of use over the years.

I left the inside of my card blank with just a strip of patterned CS at the bottom and a "border stitch" lace die-cut by Marianne Designs. I love this border die because it looks like tatted lace.

Are you ready for the 4th of July weekend? We are promised great weather in Minneapolis according to our local weather people. Think we should trust them?

Wherever you are and however you celebrate, I hope it's glorious. With all the rain we've had this spring and summer here in the Midwest, we should be able to have some magnificent fireworks displays. There should be no danger of any fires being started by the stray bottle rocket that gets away.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Happy 40th birthday!

Today my oldest daughter has turned 40 years old. How in the world did that happen? I thought it was only months ago--a couple of years, at most--that I was 40!!

Anyway, a 40th birthday deserves a very special birthday card, and here is what I made for her.

I created the format for this card in Microsoft Publisher. The "Exclusive" headline was printed separately; then I fussy-cut it and popped it up on the card. The little party hat and the two gifts were cut with an old Cuttlebug die and also popped up with foam tape.

I used that same Cuttlebug die to cut the balloons.  I added a white highlight with my gel pen and some strings with a very fine black marker.

As you can see in the photo, I drew the strings so that they looked like they were tied around her Pooh Bear's arm.

She was such a happy baby, and she loved her Pooh Bear.

The sentiment on the inside of my card was computer-generated. I added a few more balloons and another party hat--all popped up on foam tape.

I enjoy making these "Birthday Times" cards and personalizing them with a photo and a few die-cuts.

Publisher is a program that I don't use often enough when I'm making cards. I think it's much easier to manipulate images and text in this program than it is in MS Word.

I hope you are all having a splendid weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Embossing makes the difference...

I've been thinking lately about what card-making techniques I like to use most, and dry embossing is at the top of my list. It's quick and easy and adds so much depth to a card design. Once you have the Cuttlebug or Big Shot or whatever you use to emboss, it's pretty inexpensive to add embossing folders to your collection. I have even picked them up on sale for as little as $1 each!

Here's a card I made with an embossing folder that came with my last issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine. You can see all the craft tools I received with that magazine in this post.

This card was SO simple to make, but the embossed strip across the middle makes all the difference.

I have added a little chalk coloring to my embossed flowers with a Q-tip. This is so easy and fun to do, and if your chalk gets "outside the lines," you can take a soft eraser (I use a malleable one) and erase it!

You can see in this photo that my chalking is by no means perfect, but I think that just adds to the look. Once I am satisfied with how my coloring looks, I spray my embossed/chalked piece with a finishing spray to affix the chalk. Otherwise, it might rub off over time. This step isn't absolutely necessary, but I do it because I don't always use my cards right away.

I also added a couple of punched hearts to the front of my card, which reflect the tiny hearts in the DSP.

On the inside of my card, I added a matted strip of the DSP with a couple more of those punched hearts. My sentiment was stamped with a stamp set that is all individual words, so that you can put together your own individual phrases.

What techniques are at the top of your list? It's fun to learn from each other what works, what doesn't and what's both affective and affordable.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day...

I hope all the dads out there have a wonderful day and know how much they are loved by their families. I also want to honor all those men who play an important role in a young person's life, whether or not they are a father.

Here are a couple of cards I made for my uncles. They are both very special men, and I hope they have a spectacular day.

A few years ago my husband gave me a very masculine paper pad. It contained pages with all these old-fashioned ads and embellishments (even the buttons!), along with a lot of beautiful papers. Because my uncles are now in their 80s, I decided these would work well for their cards since they probably remember when similar ads were in use.

This is the inside of the card. This mat is actually just a portion of one of the 12" X 12" pages. All I did was use my computer to print "Happy Father's Day" on it and added a red star to mimic the one on the front.

Because the bottom of the mat is a dark brown, it had to be signed with a white pen.

Here's the second card, done in the same style, just a few different embellishments.

For the inside of this one, I cut a scroll with my Cricut using the Heritage cartridge. Then I used my computer to print "Happy Father's Day" on it. You can see that the mat behind the scroll is another part of the same paper that was used on the inside of the first card.

It was fun to cut out and add all these old-fashioned embellishments. It took quite a while though, because I actually enjoyed reading each of them before I decided which ones to use.

I think Father's Day will be pretty quiet around here. I'm sure my husband will spend a portion of the day on the phone talking to our kids, but we don't have any big plans.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Have an EXTREME birthday!

Today is my grandson Max's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAX!), and this is the card I made for him:
I created my background by using mustard seed Distress Ink and a dauber to ink against a straight piece of cardstock. I decided on my center point, which would be directly behind the center of my focal image and just moved my cardstock around in a circle as I inked, keeping the tip of it at the center point.

My extreme bicyclist and the word "Extreme" are from the Dude! cartridge. I really like this cartridge for masculine cards - especially those for young males like my grandson, who is turning 10.

The other words were made with some stickers that I happened to have on hand. I think they came in a prize package that I won a long time ago. I also added a few red stars for a little more oomph!

See that dotted line on the left? That was made with a Paper Smooches die. I thought it added a nice touch to the front of my card. I backed it with black cardstock to make it show up better.

Yellow and black mats, some stars and a computer-generated sentiment finished off my inside. You can see the black strip of cardstock on the left that I used to back the line of dots on the front of my card. To make it look a bit more finished and purposeful, I adhered a red star to the top and bottom of it.

Our apricot trees are FULL of fruit this year, but the squirrels are doing their usual damage by picking the unripe fruit to get to the nut (pit) inside. I have to say, I DO NOT like squirrels AT ALL! I don't care how cute they may look, they drive me crazy when they demolish our apricots before we can even taste them. Drat those little rodents!!!!

Okay, rant over.  I feel better now.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A birthday forecast...

Tomorrow is my brother-in-law's birthday, and here is the card I made for him:

He received the card yesterday and called up to say, "So what's different about any other day?" He truly doesn't have low standards or make (too many) poor decisions, but he does enjoy a regular glass of wine or beer! It's so much fun to tease him, so I knew he'd get a kick out of this card.

I used a Spellbinders inverted scalloped circle die for my sun, and my clouds were cut with Impression Obsession dies. I was able to print the sentiment using MS Publisher to create the red background and white lettering. The stitch lines were added with a white gel pen.

Here's a peek at the inside (please excuse the partially out-of-focus photo):
I had two narrow pieces of the blue polka-dot cardstock left, so I cut them in half to create four strips and added them to the inside of my card for a little extra interest. I also inked around the edges of my sentiment mat with some blue ink. This sentiment was also computer-generated.

Today I went to visit a former next-door neighbor who is in a nursing home. She was so happy to see me, and I was so glad I went. I am going to try to make her some cards in the future and send them to her on a regular basis. I know she would really appreciate some happy mail, as she is quite lonely there. I told her I will come to see her again in another couple of weeks.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Father's Day card with a fun fold...

I have a couple of special uncles who I like to remember on Father's Day, and here's one of the cards I made that has a very fun fold. I found the instructions for this fold on Dawn's Stamping Thoughts. Dawn has tons of fabulous card ideas, and I love following her blog.

You may not be able to tell from just looking at this card, that there is anything unusual about it. But take a look at the next couple of photos.

See how fun this fold is? I added a square with the heat-embossed image on the inside of the card front, just to finish it off nicely.

I also added a little message on the inside of the tiny "card" that is adhered to my card front. It just adds one more interesting twist to this already interesting card design.


This is one fun fold that I will use again and again. It is SO EASY and really adds a fun element to any card. The strong geometric design makes it perfect for a masculine card, but it would certainly work well for a feminine card, too.

I was able to get outside today and do some weeding in my flower beds. We've had so much rain that the weeds were growing like mad and about to take over! I've still got more to do, and I've vowed to get out there and put in an hour or so several times a week to try to stay on top of it. I really love all the flowers that are now blooming, with lots more to come, so that's my incentive to keep at it.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pretty tags from doily scraps...

Remember the sparkly doilies I used for the card and treat bag in my last post? Well, I had a portion of a doily left over, and I couldn't let it go to waste! Here's what I did with it:

I used a small tag die (not sure of the manufacturer at the moment, but I think it could be Sizzix) to cut out two white tags.

I cut my doily scrap in half and added each half to a tag. Each piece was just big enough to cover the major portion of a tag.

I added one of the little yellow flowers that I had used on my previous project and a yellow ribbon. Then I added some liquid pearls in the center of each flower and a couple of left-over leaves. My centers got a little "gloopy," but since this is just a tag that will be thrown away as soon as the package is opened, I didn't feel bad and decided to leave it as is.

I searched through my stamps and found a Fiskars "for you" stamp that fit perfectly.

This was such an easy project, and I felt good about not throwing away a single scrap of that pretty doily. These will be perfect for my granddaughter's birthday gifts!

I know I haven't been posting much lately, but I've been trying to catch up on other things after a four-day trip to visit my three sisters. Luckily, they all live within 45 miles of each other, so I can see them all in one trip.

My youngest sister is also a cardmaker, so it was fun to spend a few minutes in her craft room looking at her most recent creations. She does beautiful work and is an inspiration to me!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Let's Craft and Create Challenge #102 - Add Some Sparkle!

It's time for a new challenge over on Let's Craft and Create. This month we're asking that you add some sparkle to your creations. How fun is that?

For this challenge, I decided to use some colored doilies that were given to me by my online friend Taunya Butler (Daisies Girl) and make them SPARKLE!

I applied spray adhesive to the front sides of two of the doilies and then laid them in my glitter tray with a liberal amount of clear glitter. The result was so pretty! Then I used those doilies to make this card and treat bag:
Those Dove chocolates are the yummy treat I put in my bag.

Here's a closer look at my card. I think you can clearly see the sparkle on my doily here.

The butterfly is a Marianne Creatables die, and I've added some gold microbeads to the body. You'll see some of those same microbeads in the center of my deep pink flower. They add some additional sparkle and dimension!

On the inside of my card, I added some more of the pretty DSP, matted with pink cardstock and a single flower.

My sentiment was stamped on white CS and cut out with a Spellbinders Label #8 die and lightly chalked while the CS was still in the die.

The sentiment stamp was one that I purchased used, so I'm not sure of the manufacturer. There's nothing on the wood block to identify it.

My little treat bag is a "one-sheet" bag made with a single 8.5" X 11" piece of DSP. You'll find the tutorial I used for this treat bag here.

After I folded my doily in half, I adhered the back of it to the backside of my treat bag. This is an optional step, because the doily is also held on with the ribbon. The little flowers and leaves were adhered only to the doily so that the bag can be easily opened.

My butterfly trail and the butterfly's body were both made with Liquid Pearls.

I punched holes through all layers of the doily and bag. I threaded a narrow ribbon through these and tied a bow in the front.

Here you can see that it holds quite a few of those yummy Dove chocolates.

The flowers on both the bag and the card are a combination of ones I purchased at my local used craft supply store and some that I won in an online challenge like this one.

My fellow Design Team members have really rocked this challenge. I think it's pretty clear from their gorgeous creations that they all love to add a little sparkle!

Click on the names below to see their fabulous creations. Then create a sparkly project of your own and upload a photo on Let's Craft and Create. This is a monthly challenge so there's plenty of time. There's a fun prize up for grabs, too. Check it out here!

Cheryl (That's me!)

I'm so looking forward to seeing all your sparkly creations. Thank you so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Belated Birthday card...

A few weeks ago I received the April issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft, which comes from the UK.  One of the fun aspects of this magazine subscription is that each issue includes a gift and some pretty papers.

The April issue included these stamps and embossing folders, along with several sheets of DSP:
I decided to use some of these supplies right away and make some cards. The first card I made was a belated birthday card.

The flowered paper in the background is one of the papers that came in the magazine. Isn't it pretty? I thought it was perfect to put behind my Floral Oval (Spellbinders) die-cut that showcases the Bentley Bear stamp. Isn't he cute?

I've colored him with my ProMarkers and adhered a little bow at the bottom of the oval.Doesn't that sad little bear face look like he feels badly about missing a birthday?

My sentiment stamp is from Fiskars.

I try never to miss birthdays, but it does happen from time to time, so I'm sure this card will eventually come in very handy.

The inside of my card features a computer-generated sentiment and a be-ribboned and scalloped strip of the DSP.

I have made a couple more cards with these awesome supplies, but I'll share those in a future post.

The flowers that I planted around my house in May have taken root and are beginning to bloom nicely. So far, I've been able to cut some bouquets of irises and bring them inside. I love to keep cut flowers in the house as much as I can during the summer months. They make life prettier, even on gloomy, rainy days!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.