Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Favorite Cards of 2014

I love looking through all of my cards for a year.  Sometimes when I am struggling over a single card, I wonder if I have accomplished anything - so it's a wonderful feeling to see them all laid out for a year.  And browsing them reminds me of the people to whom I sent each card, and I also realize that I have done some good for my church and congregation as many cards go there.

It is a problem to narrow it down for a year-in-review post.  To try to make it manageable, I picked categories based on design teams and on favorite companies.  Here are my favorites of 2014....


For the Freshly Made Sketches design team:

A Whole Lotta' Happy
A Whole Lotta' Happy using WPlus9

For the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge design team:

Candy Cane with Avery Elle

For the Recipe Swap at Catered Crop design team:
(I picked two for this category.  My favorite card and also the final card as this wonderful challenge closed in November.)
Catered Thank You
Thank You and Farewell using Clearly Besotted Stamps


For Taylored Expressions as Guest Blogger:
(Beginning today, I am honored to now be part of the Taylored Expression's Baker's Dozen so you'll be seeing lots more from me!)

Falling for You Autumn and Spring
Falling for You using Taylored Expressions

For the Pretty Pink Posh Cutting Edge Blog Hop:

Fill My Thoughts
You Fill My Thoughts using Simon Says Stamp

For Merry Monday as February Featured Designer:

Sleigh Bells Ring
Sleigh Bells Ring using Mama Elephant


Many of my favorite companies are represented with the previous cards including: WPlus9, Avery Elle, Paper Smooches, Clearly Besotted, Taylored Expressions, Simon Says Stamp, and Mama Elephant.  These and other favorites follow.  This list is most definitely not all-inclusive because at some point, I would be showing you every card that I made!!

Cry, Laugh
In Memory Of

Using Avery Elle:

All is Calm
All is Calm

Using Mama Elephant:

Believe You Can
Believe You Can
Using Paper Smooches:

Just Roll With It
Just Roll With It


I fell in love with shaker cards this year!

Celebrate with Butterflies
Butterfly Celebration


I don't think I could live without my sequins.  It's a rare card that doesn't, at a minimum, have a trio of sequins plopped around a sentiment or an image to highlight it.

Let's Chill
Let's Chill


I love all dies, but particularly word dies. They are such an easy way to create an interesting card but still highlight the sentiment.

With Sympathy
Sympathy in Gray and Yellow


A couple of my favorite cards did not fit neatly into any category. This first card uses multiple companies and is also a shaker card and it uses sequins!!

Panda Celebration
Panda Celebration

This next card is really about the stamp set - a limited edition set from Damask Love.  This font makes me absolutely giddy!

Be Merry with Mistletoe
Be Merry with Damask Love

I hope you enjoyed this look back!  I'm excited to look forward and start crafting in 2015!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Four Square Present

Every so often, I have to step back and take a hard look at my cardmaking.  Over the last few months it seems that my cards are taking longer and longer to make.  Part of it is just being obsessive about the "neatness" of the card (everything is straight, no glue oozing, etc.) and being obsessive about the photograph of the card.  But part of it is spending way too much time thinking about new and unique ways to use products - in other words, what can I do to make it worth your time to come to my blog?  It's kind of hard to change my obsessive nature, but I really can let go of my desire to be new and unique.  The simple fact is that most of the products out there do the work by themselves.  The stamps are amazing and the dies enhance them greatly.

Here's my first attempt.  It took 10 minutes - yay!!  I have had this stamp set for awhile and I've never been quite sure what to do with the heavy look of stamps.  The light bulb came on today - simply color in the four squares and call it done.  I love it!  Of course, I couldn't resist a few sequins, and I do love the finished look of a stitched edge.

Four Square Present

I was making this just before Christmas last week, so it could get to the birthday girl by today (fingers crossed).  I loved the colors at colourQ and knew that it didn't have to look like Christmas.

The present is colored with Copics based on the Stampin' Up Copic Marker Match Chart on the sidebar of my blog.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Erik!!

It's a birthday day in my house today - Erik turns 15!  Last night he had some friends over and I learned that teenage boys are even stranger than I thought.  After dinner, they entertained themselves tuning root beer bottles and playing "Smoke on the Water". I could actually recognize it.


Since all the boys still sleeping, I sat down to make a birthday card.  I wanted to use Stampin' Up's Dotty Angles as confetti and I started with some bright, neon colors.  This is not the card that I am using for Erik.  When I got done, it just doesn't look like him - in fact, I think I'd use this for a girl.

Celebrate in Brights

I realized that the obvious answer was to use red, blue and gray.  Everything he asked for for Christmas and his birthday had to be in red, blue and gray - flannel sheets in red and gray, flannel shirt in blues, robe in all of the above.  The only exception was a pair of Dockers in Curry??!!  So I made the same card, but in his preferred colors.  Sadly, cards for my kids just don't get the time and attention that I give to other cards.  I don't like the gray embossing card - it gets lost.  I don't like that the blue and red embossing powder combining to make purple.  I don't like the crooked bow.  And if it weren't for photo editing software, you would see that I had a lot of dot smudges when I was making the three dots above the sentiment.  But it's for a teenage boy, so he gets it as is!!  (I'm a terrible mother.)

Celebrate in Red and Blue

These cards are based on the current sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch.

Besides clothes and sheets, my little aspiring chef wanted a meat smoker.  We liked that idea as we get the full benefit of it until he has his own place (in the distant future) and wants to take the meat smoker with him. He opened the smoker on Saturday since his cousins came over to eat cake and their presents were wood chips and rubs for the smoker - it kind of gave it away.


Here is Scott and Erik preparing and seasoning the smoker for its first use.


Then yesterday morning they purchased nine pounds of ribs and started experimenting with rubs.


Seven hours later, here are the results!!  I think I'm going to like his present!!



Celebrate in Brights:
The embossing powder is by Zing - I used Neon Purple, Aqua and Cricket

Celebrate in Red, Blue and Gray:
The blue embossing powder was an unlabelled bottle that's been in my stash for years.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Planner Update

About a month ago, I posted the details of my favorite planner by PlumPaperDesigns.  I've used it two months solid now which is some kind of record for me.  (When I was digital, I changed planners at least every month in a never-ending search for the perfect planner.)  I LOVE my paper planner!!

But when I posted, I had two outstanding issues.  I just want you to know that I have answers for both and have updated the original post with those answers.  Both were minor issues - a pen loop and a bookmark - but I am such a planner-nerd that it has to be perfect.  Now it is!!

If you are planning for the new year - be sure to check it out!!