Thursday, December 29, 2011

CASE Study #71 - Thank U

Belated Merry Christmas wishes! I think this has been the longest blog break I've taken in my 4+ years of blogging. Hoping you haven't all given up on me!

The last CASE Study challenge for December has been posted over on the CASE Study Challenge blog. Hope you'll check it out and play along. It's also my last week to be guest muse, an honor I've thoroughly enjoyed each Thursday this whole month. A big thanks to Chupa and her awesome team for having me join them!

Here's the card Chupa has chosen for this week's inspiration:

And here's my CASE:

Another pretty obvious CASE ... same color combo, same letter "u" die-cut, clean lines, similar elements and details. The stamps and the "u" die-cut are from Verve (You and I stamp set and the I Heart U die set). For added texture and interest, I die-cut the "u" out of red felt and dry embossed the brown background. The green die-cut is Stampin' Up's Top Note die and the white frame was done with Spellbinders Labels Eighteen and Classic Circle Nestabilities.

I can't wait to see what the amazing CASE Study design team has done! This is a seriously brilliant group of stampers:

Cheers to all!


Stamps: You and I (Verve Stamps) 
Paper: Papertrey Dark Chocolate, White, Aqua Mist and
Ink: Versamagic
Accessories: Verve I Heart U Die Set, Spellbinders Labels Eighteen and Classic Circle Nestabilities, Papertrey buttons and ribbon, May Arts twine, Stampin' Up Top Note die, Cuttlebug Seeing Spots embossing folder, red wool felt
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

CASE Study #70 - Let It Snow

Ready for a new CASE Study challenge? Have a look at this week's inspiration piece:

And here's my CASE:

I stuck with the same color combo: light aqua, black, and ivory. I was also inspired by the lace background pattern of the original, specifically taking a smaller image and building it up into a larger pattern. For the new card, I took small and medium snowflake images from Verve's Glad Tidings, die-cut them with the corresponding Snowflake Tidings Die Set, and arranged them into a larger snowflake. Each individual snowflake is glittered and very lightly distressed with Antique Linen Distress Ink, then layered and popped up for dimension. The five points are cut with the smaller die in the Charming Banner Die Set, and the sentiment, from Holiday Phrases, is die-cut with one of the dies from the Charming Ovals Die Set.

Check out all the inspiring Design Team samples over on the CASE Study blog. That's where you'll link up your creation, too.

Hope you play along! Oh -- this challenge stays up for TWO weeks instead of one. We'll resume on December 29 :)



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Case Study #69 - Jingle Bells

Thank goodness for this sweet gig as guest muse for the Case Study weekly challenges, or I'm afraid I wouldn't be blogging at all this month! Love this season, but man, it is busy. I'm way further ahead with my Christmas preparations this year than I normally am, though, so that's a good thing. Except the tree, which is still making its way from the to-do list to the living room.

Here's the inspiration piece for this week's CASE Study Challenge #69:

And here's my case ...

... also known as "how to not do justice to the original." Win some, lose some!

I asked Chupa, Case study owner, if I would get kicked out for being too obvious with my case. She's graciously keeping me around the rest of the month ;)

The jingle bell image and sentiment are from Verve's new Bright Spirits set. I colored with Copics and added some glitter. The greenery is die-cut felt (die is from the Leafy Sprigs die set) stamped in Versamagic ink (coordinating stamp from Sunny Days).

Someone please tell me how I got the dry embossing to show up so well in the first photo? Just for fun, here's the new card in the old set-up:

You guys have a great week! I have lots of catching up to do from last week's challenge uploads, but I will be making my rounds. I don't want to miss a thing! Until then, thanks to all who played last week!

Please visit the Case Study Challenge blog for all the details on how to participate, plus gorgeous samples from the DT!

Case Study Challenge
Amy Wanford
Andrea Ewen
Clare Buswell
Cristina Kowalczyk
Debby Hughes
Jean Martin
Julie Lacey 
Maureen Plut 
Teresa Kline
Teneale Williams


Stamps: Bright Spirits, Sunny Days (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey White
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Onyx Black, Versamagic Spanish Olive
Accessories: Spellbinders Labels Eighteen Nestabilities and Ribbon Banners, Verve Embossed Oval and Leafy Sprigs die set, Stampin' Up ribbon, Papertrey button, May Arts burlap string, Kaisercraft black rhinestones, Cuttlebug Seeing Spots embossing folder, foam tape adhesive, MFT felt
Size: 5 1/2" x 4 1/4"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December SFYTT - Year-End Finale!

I know it's horribly cliche, but it is, after all, the time of year for these words ...
Where has the time gone?! 

I can remember kicking off the 2011 Sketch For You To Try challenges and here we are already wrapping up another year! That best part about that, other than a super cool new sketch, of course, is the super prize pack drawing for those who completed all twelve sketches (during the months they were posted). To see all details on how to enter, visit Jen at

Here's what we're playing with this month ...

And here's what I created, using stamps from our most recent sponsor, one very near and dear to my heart ... Verve Stamps.

Those cute butterflies are some of my all-time favorite Verve stamps, from the set Fluttering By, which is the December Stamp of the Month. Pick up this little gem of a set anytime in December for 40% off! At only $7.50 regularly, the December price is an amazing $4.50! How about that?!

For more sketch inspiration, visit the SFYTT Sisters:

Amber Hight (out of commission while her stamping supplies make their way across the ocean!)
Becky Carafa
Carole Burrage
Iwona Palamountain (Chupa)
Jen Tapler
Jodi Collins
Kerry Johnson
Megan Lock
Susan Liles
Terri Moore

I'm keeping this short today, since I'm running a wee bit late with my post. Have a great weekend! Hope you get your holiday to-dos done and have time left for stamping.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dream Big + Fun Announcement!

A little while back, I got the sweetest email from the uber-talented Chupa inviting me to be the guest muse this month over at the CASE Study challenge blog. I'm so honored! Each Thursday in December (except the 22nd), one of my cards will be featured on the CASE Study blog, along with challenge samples from the amazing CASE Study DT. You're invited to play along by uploading your own CASE of the featured card. Fun!

Here's the inspiration card for this week, a card I created in early 2010 for a fundraiser for the Haiti earthquake victims:

And here's my new take:

For my new card, I kept the basic color combo and the pair of butterflies. The original card was one of my favorites of 2010, and when I look back on it now, one thing that jumps out at me are the clean, crisp lines. These days, I tend to distress everything, so I also really wanted to CASE the clean lines of the original.

Head over to the CASE Study blog to see all the beautiful samples from the CASE Study DT! Or visit them at their personal blogs:

Amy Wanford
Andrea Ewen
Clare Buswell
Cristina Kowalczyk
Debby Hughes
Jean Martin
Julie Lacey
Maureen Plut
Teneale Williams
Teresa Kline

And before I go, a huge thanks to Chupa for the honor of being guest muse. I can't wait to see all the creations!! You'll find all the details on how to participate and the linking tool HERE.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Verve Holiday Diva Dare

Hello, sweet blog friends! I hope my fellow Americans enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving last week!

Have you been following Verve's current Holiday Diva Dare challenge? If not, hop on over to the Verve blog to catch up. We're on Day Six already and today happens to be my lucky day to share how I answered the dare!

Our theme this month is A Handmade Christmas. The theme is pretty broad and can be interpreted in so many different ways...from a lovingly made card, to heartfelt gifts and homemade decorations! With the Holidays right around the corner, this will be the perfect time to get a jump start on your card and gift making! So ... will you take the DARE? Visit the Verve blog for details on TWO ways you could win a fabby Verve prize.

After quite a bit of productive playtime in my studio, I decided to answer the dare with this rustic tree ornament created with the tree die in Verve's new Winter Fun Die set. It's a fairly quick project to create. I started with a decorative oval chipboard frame, then layered on a Classy Label diecut, then an accordian-fold paper rosette, and then a stacked felt tree with a sentiment flag tucked behind (the sentiment from Verve's Glad Tidings set). At the bottom is a rusty jingle bell, and at the top are some vintage ivory buttons. For the tree, I die-cut three felt trees, stacked them and then stitched vertically through the middle. You could press open the seams for more of a 3D effect, if desired.

I'm planning to incorporate these into my gift packaging this year. Kraft bags and wrapping paper will be the perfect backdrop for the rustic look and feel of these ornaments.

Have a happy day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday with VERVE

You'll find all the details about Verve's Black Friday Weekend Sale on the Verve blog and at the Verve Store.

I promise to be back soon with something crafty to share! Just enjoying a little blog break right now. Miss you guys!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stamper's Dream Store Closing -- FINAL WEEK - 60% Off

Well, this is it {sniff, sniff} ...

Take an additional 60% Off the lowest marked price on EVERYTHING in stock at Stamper's Dream! Final Week...everything must go! Use coupon code SDClosing60 on the checkout page to receive your discount.
Minimum purchase of $25 BEFORE the discount is required to activate the coupon. Please be aware that there may be a slight delay in shipping due to the volume.

Please note the 60% off code is not yet published on the Stamper's Dream store page, but it DOES work, so be sure to use it at checkout!!

I'll try to be back soon with something crafty to share!

In the meantime, some re-runs using stamps that are currently 60% off in the Stamper's Dream store (as of this post time).

Love Song by Penny Black
Originally posted HERE

Call Me by Webster's Pages/Unity
Originally posted HERE

  Star Noel by Penny Black
Originally posted HERE

Star Noel by Penny Black
Originally posted HERE

Tree Limb by Stampendous 
Originally posted HERE

Speckled Ornaments by Hero Arts
Originally posted HERE

Speckled Ornaments by Hero Arts
Originally posted HERE

 Dare to Dream by JustRite Stamps
Originally posted HERE

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Peaceful Wishes

Have you played along in November's Sketch For You To Try challenge? Here's what we're playing with this month:

I'm in love with the wintry tree pattern that I used in the background (from Prima's North Country 6x6 pad, a gift from Michelle at Stamper's Dream) and was a little reluctant to cover up a single square inch of it. But layers triumphed, which wasn't too surprising given all the fabulous new Verve I've been playing with lately. The snowflakes, from last year's Glad Tidings set, are stamped, then die-cut with the new Snowflake Tidings Die Set. I topped them with gorgeous mother-of-pearl buttons (from Pizzazz Aplenty), then layered them over a Lovely Marquee diecut and a Rounded Scallop Frame die-cut. Distressing, satin ribbon, and crochet trim add a little oomph.


All Verve's newly released stamps and dies are available in the Verve Stamps store. Be sure to note the savings when you purchase the bundles! See all the new releases HERE!

Also ... don't miss the Holiday Sale! Save 20% on select holiday stamps and dies!

Football season finished last Saturday with a championship win for my son's team -- woohoo!! They finished the season with an impressive 12-0 record, including five shutouts. Even more impressive, they never even trailed during a game and allowed their opponents only 50 total points all season (compared to their 256)! Definitely a season to remember -- Go Mustangs! I have to confess, I'm a little lost without a football game to anchor our Saturday. A little Breaking Dawn should fill the gap nicely, don't you think? ;) Stamping, too!

Here's my champion with his proud mama:

Enjoy your weekend!

Stamps: Glad Tidings (Verve Stamps) 
Paper: Papertrey Fine Linen, Dark Chocolate, Ocean Tides, and Vintage Cream card stock, Prima North Country 6x6 pad 
Ink: Ranger Walnut Stain and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink, Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Papertrey Ocean Tides 
Accessories: Verve Snowflake Tidings die set, Lovely Marquee die, Rounded Scallop Frame die; Pizzazz Aplenty mother of pearl buttons, foam adhesive, corner rounder, Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, distressing tool, Papertrey Fine Linen satin ribbon, May Arts crochet trim, Lil' Inker Designs sentiment flag die
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nuts About You

Thought I'd pop in and share a little treat that the staff at my children's elementary school are getting today from the PTO. I thought this adorable acorn idea that I found via Pinterest (thanks for pinning it, Laurie Schmidlin!) would work perfectly with Lil' Inker's equally adorable Acorn Die & Stamp Set.

I used mini nutter butters (found packaged in plastic cups at grocery and convenience stores) and Hershey Kisses to make the acorns. For the stems, I used a frosting bag and small round tip to squeeze out just a smidge of melted Wilton dark cocoa candy melts (available at craft stores). Mini chocolate chips (shown in the original idea) would work, too -- the candy melts were a bit more efficient for me. Hopefully you can kind of see the acorns in the above photo. I didn't think to photograph them before bagging them all up.

The tag dies are by Verve (Tabbed Rectangle for some and Sweet Scallop for the others). The acorn and sentiment flag dies are by Lil Inker Designs. The acorn bottom, cap, and (one) leaf are all part of the same die, so the fun part was cutting out a bunch and then mixing and matching colors and patterns. You know I would have stuck a button on there if I didn't have so many to make! Some combos turned out better than others, of course. Here are a few more:

And here's all 64, boxed up and ready to take over to the school!

Sorry I haven't had anything else to blog this week :)  Have a super weekend, my sweet, stampin' friends!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Verve After Party

It's been a tradition at Verve this year to have an after-party on the Monday following each release. Each Diva shares a favorite card made with the new stamps and/or dies. Be sure to head over to the Verve blog, where you can see all the Diva creations in one place! I chose to feature the card above, which uses the new Bright Spirits stamp set and Jackie's Viva La Verve sketch from this past Friday.

Also, Teresa is hosting a brand-new Get Your Diva On Challenge, with the theme "Celebrate the Season." In her words ...
My challenge is broad, it is for Christmas and it is called Celebrate The Season. I want you to be inspired by the Christmas tree; what goes on it, under it, or the inspiration photo provided. Make an ornament, make a gift, gift wrapping, gift card holder or a card to send at Christmas. 

You have until this coming Sunday, November 20 at 9 pm MT to enter for your chance to win a $100 Verve gift certificate.

And here is Teresa's inspiration photo:

Thanks for stopping by and thanks again for all the recent comment love. Congratulations to all the giveaway winners!!


Stamps: Bright Spirits (Verve Stamps) 
Paper: Papertrey black, kraft, and rustic white card stock, My Mind's Eye "Rosy" Lost & Found Two 6x6 dp 
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Antique Linen Distress 
Accessories: Spellbinders Classic Circle, Twisted Metal Accents, Ribbon Banner, and Labels Twenty-Two dies, Stampin' Up large oval punch, My Favorite Things Medium Scallop Border Dienamics, sewing machine, Kaisercraft black rhinestones, foam adhesive, Papertrey button, May Arts twine
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Verve Holiday Spotlight Hops - Day Four

Welcome to our final Holiday Spotlight Hop!  Last night Verve released 2 new stamp sets, 5 plain janes and 6 dies to coordinate with new and old Verve holiday sets!  All of the new products we've been showcasing this week are available now in the Verve store! Be sure to leave a little comment love as you take one last stroll through the Diva and Guest Diva blogs. One lucky commenter from today's hop will win the ENTIRE Release! Check out the Verve Blog today for all the prize details and deadlines.
1. Julee8. Sankari
2. Andrea9. Teresa
3. Vickie {Guest}10. Charmaine
4. Amy11. Tosha
5. Maureen12. Wanda {Guest}
6. Laurie13. Jackie
7. Gretchen {Guest}

My card features a sentiment from Bright Spirits and the new Frosty Snowflakes Die Set (which coordinates with the snowflakes in one of my all-time favorite Verve sets, Christmas in the Air, from two years ago). I had the beginnings of a Mojo 214 sketch laid out with leftovers from my day one spotlight card, but I set it aside, thinking it wasn't very "Christmas" and didn't really work with what I had in mind for the rest of the stamps and dies previews. Then yesterday I tossed on a few leftover snowflakes and thought it looked plenty wintry after all! The beautiful scripty "Peace" sentiment, from Bright Spirits, is punched with a Stampin' Up oval punch, then layered onto a flag/banner strip, then a pink Classy Label die-cut, and then a kraft Rounded Rectangle die-cut. I accented with black buttons, pink pearls, and a random application of silver vintage glass glitter around the edges.

Here's the Mojo 214 sketch:

It's a contest week at Mojo Monday, too! Upload your sketch creation to the Mojo 214 post and you could win a Verve set of your choice. Good luck!

Thanks so much for hopping with the Verve Divas this week. Your sweet and enthusiastic comments mean the world to me! Glad you're liking the new Verve!! And before I go, a huge shout-out to the three super talented guest Divas this month: Gretchen, Vickie, and Wanda. Their projects have been amazing!

Have a fantastic weekend,

Stamps: Bright Spirits, Christmas in the Air (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Kraft and Rustic White card stock, My Mind's Eye "Blush" Lost & Found Two 6x6 pad
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Memento Tuxedo Black, Ranger Pumice Stone Distress, white pigment ink
Accessories: Verve Frosty Snowflakes Die Set, Classy Label Die, Rounded Scallop Frame Die, Stampin' Up striped ribbon, Pizzazz Aplenty mother of pearl button and 4mm pink halfback pearls, Papertrey black buttons, May Arts burlap string, My Favorite Things Medium Scallop Border Dienamics, paper doily, sewing machine, Stampendous silver vintage glass glitter, Kaisercraft black rhinestones, foam adhesive, distressing tool 

Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"