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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween card for a new driver...

My 16-year-old granddaughter got her driver's license this past May, so I thought this might be an appropriate Halloween card for her:

I die-cut my witch and spider web, created a sentiment on my computer and added a few orange Nuvo Drops.

I think you can tell in this photo that my witch is popped up on foam squares for some added dimension.

My inside sentiment was also computer-generated, using the "Chiller" font.

It is Halloween night as I type this, and the trick or treaters have been coming to our door pretty steadily. It's fairly cold out--near freezing temps--but that doesn't seem to phase them. I'm just glad it's not snowing!

So now we enter the build-up to Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Time to start working on gifts and holiday decorations. Didn't I just put them all away a couple of months ago? Time sure flies...whether I'm having fun or not. But most of the time (nearly all the time, really), I'm having a lot of fun.

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Spooky scenes...

I had a good time creating some spooky scenes for these Halloween cards. My grandkids are of an age when spooky is more appreciated that cute.

I started with a piece of purple DSP that had a subtle wood grain pattern. I thought the wood grain actually looked like wisps of nighttime fog. I added a few splotches of additional purple ink to give it a little more depth.

Then I added a "bare trees" border die cut, a couple of bats, the word "Spooky" and a whole lot of googly eyes.

I also used a pull strip die, which when pulled and removed reveals a message which says, "Something wicked this way comes...," a quote from Shakespeare's Macbeth.

On the inside of my card, I used a pale purple mat with one bare tree die cut and a stamped sentiment.

For this card, I started by creating a mask for my moon and then inking my background to look like the sun has just gone down, and the ghosts are about to start their haunting.

The cemetery is another border die, and I've once again added some bats to the scene. I happened to have a few 3-dimensional leaf and pumpkin stickers in muted colors, so I added those, as well.

The actual beginning of the quote from Macbeth (one that we don't see quite as often) was computer-generated and then cut out with a banner die. Of course, under the pull strip is the rest of the quote which is the same as on the first card.

The inside of this card is pretty simple with die cuts of the sentiment and the same three bats that I used on the front of the card.

I would have loved to have shown you how the pull strip reveals the message beneath it, but then I couldn't have sent that card to anyone! Since I was a little behind in getting my Halloween cards done this year, I decided you'd just have to imagine it.

We were able to get nearly all our outside "winterizing" done this past weekend. A good thing, since it may snow this week!

I pulled up all the bedraggled annuals, raked leaves and covered my roses with them and mowed the lawn for the last time. My DH actually washed the windows, inside and out; bless him! He also gave our back porch a coat of paint so it looks all fresh and clean again. While he did that, I finished cleaning out the RV and readying it for winter storage. It was definitely a productive weekend.

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

Friday, October 25, 2019

I think I've gone a little batty...

I've been busy making Halloween cards, and that involves...well...a lot of bats!

I think I put as many bats on this card as it could hold without being bat-crazy! I printed a quote from Shel Silverstein with my computer, cut it out with a die and inked the edges.

I then grabbed a die set with different sizes of bats and cut them all out. I gave them some spooky eyes with a white pen and added a little glitter to the veins in their wings.

The spider web border was made with a Martha Stewart punch.

The three bats on the left side of the card were popped up on some foam squares. In this photo you can see the glitter lines on their wings, too.

On the inside of my card, I added some hanging bats. They're kind of creepy, aren't they?

Happy Halloween was cut with a die that is actually part of a Halloween wreath die set. I think it works just fine on its own, though.

For my second card I used the same CS and also the same decorative elements. However, this time I made a gatefold card.

This card has a shutter mechanism on the inside. I now have a die set that cuts out the shutter mechanism for me, but I've also made all the parts by hand. There are lots of tutorials online and they're quite easy. You just have to search for "shutter card" tutorials and I'm sure you'll find one.

Of course, this card features bats, too, but only a couple of them. Not quite the bat invasion of the first card.

I guess I have to start thinking about buying some Halloween candy to hand out. We always have trick or treaters at our door, even when it's cold out!

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Twofer Card Challenge #21...

I am just sneaking in to join this challenge at the last minute. As you can see it ends tomorrow, so if you also want to enter, there is no time to waste! Just click HERE and it will take you to the Twofer Challenge Blog where you can read all the details.

I pondered over this challenge for a long time. I don't really have many "sweets" stamps or dies, other than for cupcakes and ice cream cones. I suppose I could have used one of those, but I just didn't feel inspired by them. Then I remembered that one of my Cricut cartridges (Preserves) had a nice cherry image.

I haven't used my Cricut in forever! It's just a little 6" wide baby Cricut, so it has limited capabilities. But I dug it out, found the right cartridge and set about cutting out my cherries.

I also remembered that I had a little bit of this cherry CS left, so I decided to use it, along with a Spellbinder's oval die and a Penny Black sentiment die.

It's a simple card, really, but I was pleased with how it turned out.

I layered up my image to give it some strength--especially those cherry stems--and added some Glossy Accents to make my cherries look even more delectable.

The stamps that I used were a mishmash of stamps from several different sets, so I didn't keep track who the manufacturers are.

The red banner was stamped separately, then cut out and adhered to the card.

For my second card, I found some nice, bright yellow SU cardstock for my top panel. I cut a round doily with a Spellbinder's die and then used a plain circle die to cut out the center of the doily as well as an aperture in my front panel.

The word "Sweet" was stamped with Versamark ink and heat-embossed.

For this card, I did not add any glossy accents to my cherries. I guess I still could if I wanted to, but I wasn't sure if it would make the card look any better. What do you think?

You can see in the aperture that my entire front panel is popped up on fun foam. I got a bunch of it in different colors from the thrift store, and it is very handy for tasks like this. I like that it doesn't add much weight to the card, too.

Inside this card is a simple stamped ingredient.  I may stamp some cherries inside if I can find an old wood-mounted cherry stamp that I know I have somewhere. I remember buying it at Michael's from the dollar bin.

My cold is still plaguing me, but I am slowly getting better. I can't wait for the cough to subside!

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

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Using my Halloween card parts...

I always have a pile of card parts to use. Some have been in the pile so long that I have no idea where they came from! That's the case with these spooky houses. I think maybe they were cut with my Silhouette, but I'm just not sure. Anyway, I liked them, so I decided to use them this year.

I used a starry sky background die to cut the stars from some dark purple paper. The purple is actually variegated IRL, but it looks quite solid in the photo. I cut the moon out of my sky with a stitched circle die and then cut another circle out of pale yellow CS. After inking it around the edges, I adhered it into the opening.

I used some wavy border dies to cut my dark gray paper to create the area around my house and a small fence die (which was part of another die set) to finish off my spooky scene. The "Happy" was heat-embossed and "Halloween" is a die-cut.

On the inside of my card, I cut a deckle-edged panel and inked the edges with some purple distress ink.

After stamping my sentiment, I added a few die-cut bats and I was done.

I have been down and out with a bad cold the last few days, but I'm definitely feeling better today. The fact that it is warm and sunny out helps, too!

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pretty Autumn colors...

This is an especially lovely time of year in Minnesota, with all the trees (especially those Sugar Maples!) displaying their pretty Autumn colors.

This is a photo my husband took of the Mississippi River on his way home from work the other day.

A few weeks ago, when I was looking forward to our "peak leaf season," I made these cards. The jewel-toned, glitter-infused mats were all cut from a very old 4" X 6" paperstack that I have had for years and years. It's quite heavy cardstock and really pretty IRL. I used an old wooden stamp for the sentiment, heat embossing it with gold EP.

I'm honestly not sure where I cut out the doily. It could have been at my sister's or at my crafting friend Lynette's. I should have written on the back side of each one where I cut them! I love it, though, and it seemed just right for this card.

The leaves were also die-cut (not sure of the brand). I inked the edges, drew on some veins and added a little sparkle with a Spectrum Noir clear glitter brush pen.

Here's a little better look at those leaves. I think you can see the glitter if you look closely and twist your head just so. :)

The inside of my card was stamped with a wooden stamp that I picked up at the thrift shop. Isn't it a nice sentiment? I have a small Recollections maple leaf punch, and used it for the leaf on the inside.

That is it for me today. I woke up this morning with a cold, so I'm nursing that in hopes that it is short-lived.

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

Friday, October 11, 2019

Photos from my travels...

This post is photo-heavy, so if you're not into looking at vacation photos, you may want to just move on.

We left for New York City on August 29, arriving there early enough to get to our room and then find our way to Chelsea (a neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan) where we attended our granddaughter's play, which she wrote and directed. Her play had been selected to be part of a city-wide arts festival. The play was wonderful and we were so proud of her accomplishment!  We also attended "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway with Jeff Daniels playing the part of Atticus Finch. It was an amazing production!

While in NYC, we toured Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We learned lots of interesting facts about immigration to the U.S. and how it helped build this nation into what it is today.

From NYC we headed to Heidelberg, Germany. We spent just one night there and then boarded a train to Paris.

 This is a spice stand in a market in Paris. Aren't those spices beautiful? I was tempted to buy some, but I eventually talked myself out of it when I realized I had a month of traveling ahead of me and only so much room in my luggage.

This, of course, is the Eiffel Tower. It really is an amazing structure!

And a view of Paris and the River Seine from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

One of the fun ideas that the French have put into practice regarding the Eiffel Tower is to illuminate thousands of twinkling lights every evening from 10:00 - 10:05 pm and 11:00 - 11:05 pm. We were fortunate enough to see this happen twice, and it's actually really uplifting. When that huge tower twinkles, you just feel like all is right with the world!

I know this picture doesn't do it justice AT ALL, but I was just too excited to hit the "video" button on my phone. All I could manage was a blurry photo. Click HERE for a short video I found on YouTube that will give you an idea of what I am talking about.

We visited Sainte-Chapelle where the stained glass windows took our breath away. They are so numerous and so incredibly beautiful. There simply are no words to adequately describe them.

While in Paris we also visited the Rodin Museum, the Louvre, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the Arch de Triomphe, the Montmarte neighborhood and other sites too numerous to mention.

After Paris, we headed back to Heidelberg where we spent a few days with family. Then we hopped onto a train and headed for Prague, Czech Republic. The photo above is of the Old Town Square where some of the buildings were constructed in the 14th century. I'm not sure why there was a Polar Bear milling about, but it certainly added to the festive atmosphere.

Also adding to the festive atmosphere were the street performers. This guy was incredible. He did a long routine on this hoop, never touching the ground with any part of his body. I don't know how he managed it, but I think the muscles you see rippling in his back had something to do with it.

We visited many parts of Prague, including the Jewish Quarter (visiting the oldest Synagogue and the cemetery there), the Charles Bridge, the John Lennon Wall, the Communist Museum and Wenceslas Square, to name a few.

From Prague, we once again hopped on a train to Krakow, Poland. On my bucket list was a visit to the Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camp Memorial sites. These are the most notorious WWII camps where more than a million people were put to death.

I know you cannot see the wrought-iron words that stretch across the entrance to Auschwitz, but it says, "Arbeit macht frei." This translates to "Work makes you free." Of course, we all know now that was just a ruse to calm the fears of those who entered here. My heart was so heavy during this tour, but it was something I felt I needed to experience.

This is the "street" that separated the women's barracks from the men's at Birkenau. The only reason the barracks were made of brick is that this was originally an army base in Poland, which was taken over by Hitler to use as a concentration camp.

We also visited the Jewish Quarter and Oskar Schindler's factory in Krakow where he saved the lives of more than 1,000 concentration camp prisoners. This was a much more uplifting museum experience.

We LOVED Krakow, by the way, and would highly recommend that you visit this charming city if ever you are in Poland. The old buildings are still intact (it was not bombed during WWII), the people are friendly and it's still affordable.

The night before we left Krakow, we found a crocheted butterfly ornament and a hand-written note on the doorknob of our room. The note says, "Dear guests, Crochet ornaments are typical for old Krakow and Poland itself. Our grandmothers used to decorate their houses with them, creating a warm atmosphere and a place we still go back to in our memories. Thank you for choosing Tango House and giving us the opportunity to meet such wonderful guests like yourselves. We hope this little gift will remind you of your time in Krakow and will make you want to come back to this charming city which we are privileged to call our home. Tango House Team"

That little gift and kind note brought tears to my eyes!

After Krakow, we once again boarded a train and headed to Vienna, Austria. We saw so many wonderful things in Vienna. The city is old, beautiful and filled with history. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and we started each day by heading there. We toured the Hofburg and Schönbrunn Palaces, watched the Lipizzaner horses practicing at the Spanish Riding School, attended a string quartet/organ concert in a very old and beautiful church and also toured the famous Vienna Opera House.

This is a photo of the ceiling in one of the salons at the Opera House. It was so beautiful!

One of the neat things that the Opera House does is, once a month, they project a live performance on a screen outside the building so that all Viennese and visitors can enjoy whatever happens to be performed on stage that evening. We were able to watch a live ballet on the screen on the very same day we had toured the building. What a treat!

When our time in Vienna was up, we headed back to Heidelberg for a few days and then home. It was such a memorable trip. I just wish I had a video tape of everything we saw and experienced so that I wouldn't forget a single moment.

Thank you for bearing with me through this litany of our adventures. And please remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

First Halloween card of 2019...

After returning home from a month in Europe (I'll share some photos in another post), I finally had some time to get started on my Halloween cards.

My sister let me use her multi-aperture frame die to cut a few frames when I visited her last summer. I cut one in purple and several in white. I kept all of the aperture cut-outs to use, so on this card I took some of the white ones and colored them with my alcohol markers.

I used an assortment of die-cuts, stickers, sequins and a spider web border punch to decorate my card.  I also added some sparkle to my witch hat and dress and to the spider's body with a Wink of Stella pen. Can you also see that I added a little bit of definition to the witch's broom with a white colored pencil?

I used several stamps on the inside of my card, popping up the "Happy Halloween."

I think you can see in the photo on the right how the "Happy Halloween" is on foam squares.

It has taken more than a week for me to sort of get back into the groove of crafting.  There has been lots of catching up to do--laundry, grocery shopping, yard work, etc.

I've also had some catching up to do at the thrift shop where I volunteer, but I think I am beginning to get things under control.

I hope you are have a beautiful autumn (or spring, depending on where you are). Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Let's Craft and Create Challenge #152: Colors of Fall...

Oh, those rich colors of Fall: red, yellow, orange and brown. Use some or all of these colors on your next entry in Let's Craft and Create's October challenge.

I decided to pull out my Brushos and have a little play with them to create some CS in just the right colors. I lightly sprayed a full sheet of watercolor paper with some water and then sprinkled on red, yellow, orange and brown Brusho crystals. To get them to spread their rich tones, I sprayed a bit more water. Then came the hard part--waiting for my paper to dry!

Here's the card that resulted:

To create this card, I first created and printed the sentiment with my computer. Then I used a variety of dies to cut my leaves, vines and acorns from different areas of my Brusho paper.

I added some gold Perfect Pearls to the tops of my acorns, burnishing it well with my fingers. It adds such a nice sheen! Finally, I added a few fall-colored sequins and my card front was done.

The inside of my card is quite simple with another computer-generated sentiment.

This card was fun to make. Well, mostly it was fun to play with those Brushos. I just love seeing the way the crystals blossom into such intense colors on the paper.

Now it's your turn. Pull out some paper, paints, markers, ink crystals or other supplies in some gorgeous Fall colors and have a little play. I can't wait to see what you'll post on Let's Craft and Create.

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Reworked birthday card...

This card was either one that my sister gave me from the stack of supplies she bought from a former cardmaker or it came from the thrift store. I'm not sure which, as I got some half-finished cards from both sources.

I was able to salvage most of this card--even the card base. I simply added a few sequins and some Wink of Stella to "It's Your Day."

I liked the way the banners were at different heights. It gave the front of the card lots of dimension.

Here you can see the Wink of Stella on the sentiment phrase.

The inside of the card was blank, so I needed to finish it off.  To mirror the polka-dotted scalloped border on the front of the card, I cut some scalloped borders to edge my sentiment panel. The sentiment is a Woodware stamp.

The red, white and black color combo on this card makes it very dramatic. I'll have to find just the right person to give this one to!

Do you ever remake cards--either your own or cards from others? Do you enjoy it as much as making them from scratch?

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