Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back - my favorite cards of 2010

I like the idea of doing an end of the year post showing some of my favorite favorites from the year past.  I've chosen one card for each of these artists, but I could just have easily chosen 5 or 6 from each one, and there are many others who, for one reason or another, I couldn't include.  I've linked each card back to the artist's photostream on Flickr.  Many of them also have a blog; if you go to her Flickr profile, it is often listed.  In alphabetical order.

Anna-Karin:  What a lovely mix of stamps and colors!  Her creations are always breathtaking!

Carole:  Carole's style is shabby-chic to the max! 

Emilia:  Emilia and I share a love of flowers.  Isn't this stunning?

Godelieve:  Godelieve has done a whole series of these vellum lacy lovelies, one more beautiful than the last.

Heather Maria:  Heather's use of fabric is something that makes her cards standouts; her quilting background really shines.

Hellemor:  Isn't this card wonderful?  Full of quilted goodness and some of my favorite colors!

Jacqueline:  One of my first contacts from the flickr group; I have trouble commenting on Jacqueline's work because I've run out of superlatives.  Again, her style is all her own.

Jill:  Jill has developed her own unique style, and I always love her cards.

Judy:  Love this card - hearts and flowers and pearls!

Kath:  She has such a unique style - and a great role model for me!

Kathy Rosecrans:  her cards are always full of beauty.

Lucy:  This exemplifies some of my favorite things that Lucy uses: stitching, buttons, kraft. 

Linda aka Oz: What an artist this talented lady is!

Patty:  Being a fan of lilacs, this card instantly drew me in.  I'm lucky enough to have the original!

Robin:  All of her cards always touch something in me.  Look at her photostream and see if you don't agree.

Suzanne:  Her cards inspire me on a daily basis; Sue has some serious talent!

and Tif:  what an amazing mix of stamps!  Tif is a girl for all styles, and she does each one to perfection.

Aren't they amazing?  Thank you ladies, for your constant day-to-day inspiration.  Looking forward to a whole new year of more - Happy New Year everyone!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God Bless Us .........Everyone!

I'm going to take a blogging break over Christmas, but wanted to wish all of my dear readers a very Merry Christmas.   I hope that you'll be spending this blessed holiday with loved ones, and that you're warm and toasty despite what the temperatures outside say.  Count your blessings; we have them in abundance!  

I'll leave you with this simple card which expresses this time of year so beautifully.

Supplies: cream parchment and blue cardstock, Stampendous P090 Tiny Babe, Hero Arts CG211 Magical Background, Versafine Deep Lagoon ink, pearl

Friday, December 17, 2010

Musical Collage

Hero Arts is in the midst of unveiling their new stamps for 2011, and I've fallen for most of the catalog!  However, I think the one stamp I'm most anxious to have and play with is this one, called Musical Collage:

This morning, Jacqueline in France posted a tag on her blog that she put together using inspiration from another new Hero Arts stamp, and she inspired me to try the same idea using this bird collage as my model. Here's what I came up with:

Coincidentally, that medallion stamp is one given to me a few years ago by Jacqueline herself!  I plan to tweak this a little more, and then do as Jacqueline did: scan the final stamping into my computer and save it as a digital image; then I can print it out over whatever paper I choose (Jacqueline printed hers out on patterned paper, which would add another dimension to all that's going on) until I get the real thing.  Thanks, Jacqueline, yet again you've inspired me to try something different!

Supplies: white, ivory parchment, pink and kraft cardstocks, Memories art print brown ink, Hero Arts CG222 Musical Background, S4878 Old Letter Writing, K5354 French Post (just the postmark part), CL129 Anything Messages, Inkadinkado bird 97894, and an unknown clear medallion stamp, colored pencils, tea dye and worn lipstick distress inks, button, twine

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Black and white with a splash

It's the 60th challenge at the Play Date Cafe this week: another of my favorite black and white and splash ones.  This time it's a splash of yellow.  I love doing these, which surprises me, because I don't use black in any way, shape, or form in my life - I consider it a non-color and, except maybe for shoes, I always choose a color over black.  So it's a mystery to me, but these are always such fun challenges - can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!  Here's mine:

Supplies: black, white and bright yellow cardstock, Hero Arts E2821 Petals with Polka Dots (part of a Poetic Petals wood set from 2003), CL129 Anytime Messages, Versafine onyx black ink, yellow gem

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vintage scene

Today on her blog, Kathy Martin shared a really lovely vintage holiday image.  I immediately downloaded it and made 3 very easy cards, using scraps of printed papers, some ribbon and raffia, and minimal stamping.  The children were all dressed in white, except for the girl's hat and shoes and their gloves, but I lightly colored in various areas in each card:

Thank you, Kathy, I know this sweet image will be used often. 

Sweet Christmas

Didn't Kath pick out a gorgeous Trigger for us at Moxie Fab World?  Beautiful flowers, such pretty colors! 

My eye went right to the cookie layer, seeing trees and snowflakes.  Here is my take on the trigger:

And a detail to show some of the glittering a little closer:

Supplies: white, pink and aqua cardstock, Hero Arts CL459 Merry Christmas Trees (LOVE the detail on them), versamark ink and white embossing powder, CG119 Flourish Background, tumbled glass distress ink, broken china distress ink on sentiment, punched snowflakes, pink and white pearls, clear star gems, glue pen and prisma glitter

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Over at the Wee Memories challenge this week, we are to CASE our favorite designer.  I chose Tami Hartley; her cards are as sweet as she is, and I've been a fan for years.  Here is one of my favorite cards - I love the heart, of course, but also the scalloped edge, the striped paper, the stitching.   So I followed almost exactly:

Supplies: white cardstock, scraps of pink gingham, brown dot, and striped papers, Hero Arts CL301 Hugs n Hearts, CL342 Everyday Sayings, S5264 Antique Flower Background, Palette Belle Rose ink, Martha Stewart heart punch, green ribbon, pink gems

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowflake Wreath

A card made for 2 challenges to make Thank You cards:  Hero Arts and Moxie Fab World's Card Creations: Thank You Challenge.  I noticed today that October Afternoon uses the colors yellow and aqua together quite often, and that was my starting point.  I've seen this wreath ordained with all kinds of embellishments; I thought snowflakes would be something different for a thank you card during this season. 

Supplies: white and aqua cardstock, scattered straw and tea dye distress inks, Hero Arts CG215 Wreath of Leaves, S4878 Old Letter Writing, CL341 Thank You Sayings, Memories Art Print Brown ink, punched snowflakes, turquoise gems and white pearls, ribbon from Kath

Winter Thank You

This morning on Flickr, Donna posted her version of one of Sir Tim's 12 days of Christmas tags.  She used his idea of running plastic packaging through an embossing folder, and her results are amazing!  So I decided to play and make something on my own.  While I was at it, I decided to make it to fit some Thank You cards challenges, at Hero Arts and at Moxie Fab World (Card Creations: Favorite Occasions Week Thank You).   Here is what I ended up with:

My first step was to start with glossy white paper, and stamp the Stunning Snowflake Background in versamark, heat emboss it in silver and then rub on stormy sky and chipped sapphire distress inks.  Next I ran a piece of packaging through the Divine Swirl embossing folder.  From a white card front I cut a labels eight die, then inserted the layers above underneath.  To finish I stamped, colored and constructed my snowman and added some blue snowflakes to the face of the card.  That large punched glittered one was added to hide a smudge of ink.  Here is a closer shot that shows the silver embossing and the layer of embossed packaging:

And a really close-up.  While I like the snowflake folder that Donna used better, I think these swirls are effective, also:

Supplies: white glossy and white matte cardstock, Hero Arts S5069 Stunning Snowflakes, CL368 Make Your Own, CL341 Thank You Sayings, and snowflakes from CL462 Magic of Christmas and CL464 Sending Holiday Cheer, Versamark, Versafine black Onyx, stormy sky and chipped sapphire distress inks, Ranger super fine detail silver embossing powder, Cuttlebug Divine Swirl embossing folder, punched snowflake, glue and prisma glitter, Prismacolor pencils, mineral spirits

Friday, December 10, 2010


If there's anything you can count on from the Play Date Cafe Challenges lately, it's that they'll kick you out of your comfort zone more times than not!  Here is the inspiration photo for this week:

Pretty colors, aren't they?  So I ransacked all my supplies looking for these colors, and while I have plenty of turquoise, those dark purples and royal blues are just about non-existent in my stash.  I found a BoBunny Brilliant Blue Dot paper (reverse) that kind of works for the blue, but I came up empty on the purple. 

I had just visited Libby's blog, where she made the most fabulous card by making her own backgrounds with an acyrlic block and distrss inks, so I decided to try that next, and go the abstract route.  And I was happy to see that dusty concord and broken china were fairly close to these challenge colors, so that's the direction I started with.   Since I see a bit of pale yellow in the inspiration, I also added some scattered straw to the mix.  I also noticed that hand-drawn heart shape in the inspiration picture and I remembered a very similar 2006 Hero Arts stamp I just found recently.  Here is my submission:

I also found some tiny heart buttons and some silk ribbon in these colors, and made my sentiment using some tiny alphabet stickers.  This is waaaaay out of my comfort zone, but I like my results and had fun!

Supplies: white cardstock, BoBunny Brillian Blue Dot (reverse) cardstock, scattered straw, broken china and dusty concord distress inks, Hero Arts H3781 Three Stitched Hearts, Stampology black ink, Making Memories tiny alphas, teensy buttons, silk ribbons

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All the way from Holland!

This amazing creation arrived in the mail today from Lai Yoke, who lives in Holland.  Isn't it wonderful?  I love the design - each element is showcased to perfection.......the snowflakes are clear embossed to give them a little glow, and I love her double stamping of white over  the purple sentiment.  Do you see the framing done in purple?  It adds such a surprising touch, makes the card extra rich, I think.  And my favorite thing is the glitter encircling the sweet baby reindeer.  Thanks, Lai Yoke, this will go on our mantle for all to see!

If you'd like to see more of Lai Yoke's gorgeous work, here is her blog and here is her Flickr photostream.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No red or green....

is the challenge at the Simon Says Stamp Challenge.  Here is my entry, a design I've done before, but this time I used hot pink and turquoise. 

I just adore this Penny Black bird from a clear set called Jolly Friends!  I colored him with prismacolor pencils and mineral spirits to blend, then diecut around him using a labels one die, shading the background with broken china distress ink. I added a little glitter on his hat. That panel was framed in hot pink and then placed on a spellbinder's Fleur de Lis pendant, which I think looks like a snowflake.  I thought the sentiment was perfect for his perkiness and also for the choice of colors.

Supplies: hot pink, turquoise, and white cardstocks, Penny Black  30-058 Jolly Friends, Hero Arts CL460 Joy to All, Versafine onyx black and Versamark inks, white embossing powder, Nestabilities Label One die, Spellbinders Fleur de Lis pendant die, Prismacolor pencils, mineral spirits, glue pen and prisma glitter

Hero Arts BLOG HOP!!

Mark your calenders to visit the Hero Arts Blog this coming Friday, December 10 for a Blog Hop featuring ALL NEW stamps from the new 2011 catalog.  Details are HERE

We've been seeing some sneak peeks these last few weeks, and there are new stamps to fit everyone's liking; I've seen some really pretty new flowers and can't wait to see them for real. 

See you there!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Operation Ruthie

About a year ago we in the Hero Arts Flickr group heard that one of our members was going through a very rough patch.  Our chief organizer, Deborah, immediately got to work and organized us to send her cards twice a week, to last over a period of about 9 months.  Each of us took an alias name.  Mine was Lilac Blueblossom!  Here are some of the cards I sent in those 9 months:

This first one is a complete CASE of a card that I fell in love with by Lisa Spangler.   We also sent cards to her adult children every now and again:

And my final card for her:

For all of you who have asked for the source of this sentiment, it was given to me by a fellow ChemoAngel in this form as a document.  I have been unable to find it as is anywhere, but if you google "this is my wish for you poem", it should bring the words up in poetry form, and perhaps you can make your own document to be printed out.  Sorry I can't be more helpful.

We hear that Ruth is doing great and thought that, since this is the season of Secret Santas, it might be the time to reveal ourselves to her.  Congratulations, Ruthie, on fighting the good fight and winning!  And Deborah, thanks for the massive amount of work you did to pull all of us together!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snowflake Thank You

Made for 3 challenges: Thank you cards for the monthly Hero Arts challenge and also for Moxie Fab World's Card Creations: Favorite Occasions Week.  And for a monochromatic challenge at Caardvark's.

I started by transferring almost all of a clear set of thank you sentiments to my acrylic block and stamping it on glossy white cardstock with versamark ink, then clear embossing it.  I then sponged on stormy sky and faded jeans distress ink.  After that was dry I stamped on some small snowflakes in chipped sapphire distress ink. A die-cut snowflake and 2 punched snowflakes were added, and all of the snowflakes got a dab of several colors of stickles in their centers.

Supplies: white glossy and matte cardstock, Hero Arts CL341 Thank You Sayings, CL343 Holiday Sayings, CL462 Magic of Christmas (stamped snowflakes), versamark ink and clear embossing powder, stormy sky, faded jeans, and chipped sapphire distress inks, stickles, die-cut snowflake, punched snowflakes

Winter White

I made this card for 2 challenges: Flourishes Winter White and Caardvark's monochromatic:

I chose to work with white, cream and gold.  The main stamped image is Peace Collage, by Memory Box stamps; it's framed with a cuttlebug snowflake  embossed background.  I used gold embossing, gold-tipped ivory ribbon, and gold snowflakes, one die-cut and heat embossed in gold powder, and one punched from gold paper.  Here's a closer detail:

This detail shows the embossed snowflake background in white, and the pearl embellishments on the snowflakes:

Supplies: white, cream parchment and gold cardstocks, Memory BoxG1411 Peace Collage,  versamark ink and gold embossing powder, cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder, gold-edged ivory ribbon, die-cut and punched snowflakes, pearls

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quick and easy

The CARDS blog wants some quick and easy cards to mass produce.  My first thought was a one-layer card.  Then I remembered this lovely collage stamp from Hero Arts - so many details in just one stamping.  The bonus is that the card is flat except for the gems, so there's no added postage - a good thing at this time of year!   Here is the result:

I started by making a background using distress inks (worn lipstick and bundled sage)and an acrylic block for stamping them.  Over this I stamped the collage stamp using Memories art print brown ink and clear embossed it.  To finish I just watercolored the holly leaves in more bundled sage (which is turning into my favorite color of distress ink), and added some pale pink gems as berries and some glitter to the snowflakes and the tiny scene  for some sparkle.  Since it's a holiday card I thought it needed some glitz!

Supplies: white cardstock, worn lipstick and bundled sage distress inks, Hero Arts K4827 Collage Season's Greetings, glue pen and prisma glitter, pale pink gems

Let it Snow!

Today I thought I'd share my collection of snowmen and pine trees.  They are housed in our dining room, because there's a fireplace (and mantle) there on which to show them off.  I've been collecting these for many years; again, they are a mix of homemade, bought, and gifts.  Here is the center of the line-up:

And a collage of most of them.   There's even one in an old mason jar!

This year we put in this little Charlie Brown tree, which usually decorates the porch with just red ribbons, but we thought we'd try it here this year.  I used mostly red ornaments and some snowflakes on  it.  That door is not used anymore since we put on our addition.  We probably should have taken it out, but that would have meant re-wallpapering the whole room, and I still like that wallpaper,  so it is the "door to nowhere".

And since we're in the snowman mode, here's a snowman card:

I'm entering it into Caardvark's final challenge: monocromatic.  As always, thanks for visiting!