Bugs and Kisses

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Welcome to the weekend, friends!  Just trying to restock my card supply, especially with birthday and thank you cards, and wanted to share my latest creation.  I did have a particular summer birthday in mind during the making of this one, but sometimes emergencies happen, and they have to leave the house early.  Either way, I hope it puts a smile on the recipient's face.  Enjoy!
I started this card by painting a mixture of Jack Frost, Patina, Key Lime, and Fully Purple Glimmer Mists, as well as Orchard Mister Huey's, with water, onto a piece of watercolor paper.  Once it was dry and just because I didn't have an orange Glimmer Mist, so the Mister Huey's didn't have the same shine as the rest of the card, I spritzed over everything with Pearl Glimmer Mist.
I then stamped the bottom portion of the prepped piece, in Jet Black ink, with the cattails; black embossed the bugs in their respective locations; and mounted it on a piece of White cardstock.
The "bugs and kisses and BIRTHDAY WISHES" sentiment was stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a strip of vellum and secured, horizontally, across the top portion of the prepped piece, with black-threaded, straight, machine stitches which run all the way around the edges of the watercolor piece.  The balloon was then stamped, in second-generation, Pumpkin Pie ink, on a White, cardstock die cut; adhered, just above a hand-drawn string being carried by the snail, with foam tape and given a bit of shine with Crystal Effects.  A Black, cardstock, card face, to which the prepped piece was adhered with foam tape, completes the look.
Inspiration for this card came from Colour Me...! Creative Challenge No. 73...
and Cupcake Inspirations' Challenge 311: Bugs and Butterflies.
Before I run, I've got two cuties that also wanted to say hello.
Thanks so much for humbling me with a visit!  Now, get out there and enjoy your Saturdays, and I'll see you next month!  I'm off to enjoy a stack of pancakes.  Mmmm!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Growth (Market Street Stamps); Whole Lotta' Happy (Wplus9); Bugs & Kisses (SU!) Paper: White & Black (Wplus9); watercolor (SU!); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); Jet Black (StazOn); watermark (VersaMark); Pumpkin Pie (SU!) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Whole Lotta' Happy die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); black embossing powder & Crystal Effects (SU!); Jack Frost, Patina, Key Lime, Fully Purple, & Pearl Glimmer Mists (Tattered Angels); Orchard Mister Huey's (Studio Calico)

Friday Faves

Friday, May 29, 2015

It's been a bit crazy around my place.  I'm still trying to get used to our summer schedule, and I think I wore myself thin finishing up the school year.  My brain has been mush and definitely taken a vacation since our completion.  I have been working on a number of things that got put on the back burner while school took precedence, including remembering how to just be still.  So, I haven't had a lot of time for being creative.  Don't get me wrong.  My mind is always running, and it's been cooking up all kinds of creativity while my body has been away.  I've just been taking my time to work it all out.  Anyway, while my littlest is resting (He hasn't been feeling well this week.) and my big kiddos aren't arguing for the moment, I wanted to quick pop in here to share a few of the things that have caught my eye this month, beginning with Basic Grey's Tea Garden 12x12 Collection Pack.  I just adore all the vintage prints and playful patterns, and this palette is pure perfection.
Being the dog lover that I am, I also couldn't resist sharing this darling Playful Pups stamp set from Mama Elephant.  I think it speaks for itself.  Soooo cute!
Zazzy Stuff's Porcelain Hand Painted Owl Vase simply spoke to me while browsing Etsy one afternoon.  I think he'd be the perfect companion, in my creative space, for holding markers and brushes or scissors and glue sticks and whatnot.
And, just for fun, I had to throw in this Petit Framed Summer Print Cosmetic Bag from Pottery Barn.  It'd be such a stylish place to corral lip balms, hair accessories, and/or sunscreens on all those summer trips to the pool/lake/beach, whatever your pleasure may be.  That is, if it ever stops raining.
That does it for this month, friends.  Thanks so much for peeking in, and have a truly marvelous weekend!  Hugs!

The Studio White on White Challenge

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hey, y'all!  I'm back with my take on The Studio's newest challenge.  We're looking for white on white or white with one other color pages this go around.  I have to admit that this challenge brought me a lot of anxiety.  I've been scrapping for over a decade now, and I know my style well enough to be secure in saying that monochromatic pages are NOT ME.  So, I was super grateful that Anna allowed one other color.  A few shades of black got me through, and I'm super pleased with the outcome.  It's really just a haphazard mix of yummy goodies and textures to show off a picture of my exhausted, little, newborn bear on our adventure home from the hospital.
I started this page by smudging Pumice Stone Distress Ink, through a chevron stencil, onto the texture, white, cardstock, base page and securing a number of black and white, patterned papers over it, as well as along its left edge, with white-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  After laying a bit of cheesecloth near the vertical center of my main grouping and matting all of my photos with Whisper White cardstock, I adhered my top left photo, with foam tape, over a bit of vellum and a Project Life card, which I die cut the center out of to create more of a frame, and embellished it with an acrylic word bubble, positioned with a simple staple...
as well as an "Adore THIS" phrase, created from a Cameo-cut, from Black cardstock, "Adore" and "THIS" clip.
I embellished the top right photograph with a "THE BEST OF DAYS", cardstock sticker...
and tucked a February 4, 2014, label sticker, as well as a polka dot envelope behind it.
The polka dot envelope houses a couple of tags for my journaling, which reads, Poor little guy hadn't seen Mommy all morning due to the gazillion preemie tests the hospital put you through in order to approve your home coming.  You even came back to me with a sore lip from sucking too hard on a pacifier from all the stress.  Then, we had to battle what became 9" of snow on the drive home.  What a way to start out life!  But I was so glad to have you home safe and sound and far away from the prodding fingers of the overbearing nurses and their needles.
An ampersand card was tucked in the bottom left corner of the grid and used to create the "HOMEWARD bound & happy" title, which was all Cameo-cut from patterned paper and cardstock.
A starburst brad; handful of Cameo-cut, Whisper White, cardstock snowflakes; sprinkling of snowflake sequins; bit of Washi Tape; and smattering of Black Smooch Spritz, as well as a snowflake, flair button and "LET IT SNOW", cardstock sticker, complete the look.
Further inspiration for this page came from Let's Capture Our Memories' Sketch #123.
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to get all your challenge details, as well as to be inspired by my teammates.  Can't wait to see what you all come up with!  Thanks so much for peeking in, and have a fantastic week!

{Supplies & Tools}
Paper: textured white (American Crafts); Whisper White (SU!); Black (Wplus9); white embossed (sei); black crosses (Studio Calico); black polka dot (Amy Tangerine); black/white stripe (Fancy Pants); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Pumice Stone (Ranger); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: white thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Clear Cut Stackers: Rectangles die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); chevron stencil, black scallop label, & snowflake sequins (JBS); cheesecloth (Dritz); tags (The Kraft Outlet); polka dot envelope (Paper Studio); acrylic word bubble (Elle's Studio); staples & stapler (office supply store); "THIS" clip (Freckled Fawn); Adore Script & Happy Travels cut files & Cameo (Silhouette); Snowflakes 4 cut file (Laura Whitaker); flair button (A Flair for Buttons); "LET IT SNOW" phrase sticker & ampersand card (Simple Stories); "THE BEST OF DAYS" arrow & floral Washi Tape (MME); brad (Basic Grey); Black Smooch Spritz (Clearsnap); "YOU ARE AWESOME" PL card (American Crafts)

Just Droppin' a Line to Say Hello

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Afternoon, y'all!  I wanted to stop in this am to share a card I made just for fun, because I've been thinking of you all.  But it's super gloomy today, and I wasn't happy with this morning's photographs of it.  So, I decided to try again this afternoon.  They're a little bit better, but the sun is still washing that gorgeous background.  Ugh!  They'll have to do, though; because the storms are upon on, and it looks like they're sticking around for the long haul.
I started this card by watercoloring a piece of White cardstock with Patina, Jack Frost, Leaf, and Key Lime Glimmer Mists.  Although you can't see it in the photographs, the mists give the card such scrumptious shimmer and shine.  Once that was dry, I smudged White ink, through a circle template in a number of different sizes, over it.  I then stamped its top right corner and bottom center, in Jet Black ink, with the fishing line and "Just droppin' a line to say... hello" sentiment respectively and anchored it, with silver-threaded, straight, machine stitches, to the White, cardstock, card face.
All three fish were stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White cardstock; colored in with pencils and mineral spirits; hand cut out; and adhered, to the card face, with foam tape.  They're looking a little orange here, but I promise they're such a pretty shade of yellow.  Sigh.
A little glitter and Crystal Effects to give shine to the eyes, as well as sequin bubbles for the watery, bokeh background, complete the look.
Inspiration for this card came from House of Cards' May Challenge: Bokeh Effect...
and a new to me Colour Me...! Creative Challenge No. 72.
Until tomorrow, thanks so much for humbling me with a visit!  Have a blessed weekend, friends!  Hugs!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Hand Lettered Hello, Fish More, & Hooked on You (Wplus9) Paper: White (Wplus9) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); White & Certainly Celery (SU!) Other: silver thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); sequins (Pretty Pink Posh); Crystal Effects & Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); Jack Frost, Patina, Leaf, & Key Lime Glimmer Mists (Tattered Angels); colored pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics)

For Sale

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hey, friends!  I so didn't mean to be away from here for so long.  Just lots of personal things and blogging feelings in general keeping me from being here.  I do have a page to share for The Studio's mid-month challenge coming early next week, but for today, I just wanted to let you know that I've been clearing out and cleaning up and updated my For Sale page with lots of fabulous stamp sets at outrageously low prices you won't find anywhere else.  Run check it out and feel free to email with any questions.  If there's an older Wplus9 Design set and/or die that you really must have, and it is not listed, ask.  I may be willing to part with it for the right price.  Thanks, and have a blessed weekend!

Stuck?! May 15th Sketch

Friday, May 15, 2015

I'm back with another May sketch, from Stuck?! Sketches, to wet your creative appetites.  So, let's just get started.  Shall we?
I started this page by stamping the aqua, numbered, base page, in Brilliant Blue and White inks, with the popped rings and solid bubbles respectively.  While I liked the subtle nature of the latter, they didn't show up quite as much as I would've liked; so I clear embossed a few more.  But even that just wasn't doing it for me.  I think I need a new watermark stamp pad.  So, I added glitter to them; and with the addition of a sprinkling of colorful sequins and foam, glitter dots, once everything else was complete, I was satisfied.
I then secured a couple of patterned papers, with black-threaded, straight, machine stitches, over a trio of paper strips, as well as a couple of large journaling cards.  A hand-cut, bright, blue, polka dot banner; Cameo-cut, punched and textured, white, cardstock square; and sticker jar, laced with white string, tied in a bow...
as well as a chipboard frame and "remember" tag were tucked under the photos themselves, which were matted with Whisper White cardstock.  An arrow clip, dressed up with a length of white, seam binding ribbon, tied in a bow...
and "MAKES ME SMILE"...
as well as "HI!" acrylics, top the photos; while a "date:" Tues. 4-22-14 tag crowns the design.
The "bubble BASH" title, which was created from a Cameo-cut from Brilliant Blue cardstock and glittered "bubble" and white alphas and called attention to with the cardstock sticker finger, as well as the "Note:" journaling tag, which reads, I just love to see you get excited!  We're going to have lots of fun with our new toy, completes the look.
Our sponsors for this sketch, with a $25 gift certificate and $20 to put towards the purchase of project kits respectively, are...
and here's your May 15th Sketch to get you started.
Further inspiration for this page came from ScrapMuch?'s May Colour Challenge.
Please be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see how the rest of the team was inspired, as well as to get all your challenge details.  Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and have a truly amazing weekend, friends!  Hugs!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Coffee Stains (3rd Eye); Nuts About Nature (Market Street Stamps); Hello 2015 (Elle's Studio) Paper: Whisper White & Brilliant Blue (SU!); textured white (Bazzill); camera strip, chevron strip, aqua number, & orange grid (Amy Tangerine); kraft stripe (Crate Paper); bright blue polka dot (Paper Studio) Ink: Brilliant Blue & White (SU!); watermark (VersaMark); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); kraft polka dot Washi Tape (Jillibean Soup); "date:", "Note:", & "remember" tags & "MAKES ME SMILE" & "HI!" acrylic bits (Elle's Studio); staple & stapler (office supply store); Dazzling Diamonds, finger sticker, & clear embossing powder (SU!); foam glitter Thickers & orange polka dot & "remember this forever" journaling cards (American Crafts); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); sequins (Crate Paper); orange chipboard frame (MME); arrow clip (Freckled Fawn); white seam binding ribbon (Zipper Stop); white alphas (Fancy Pants); Punched Backgrounds cut file (unknown); Cameo (Silhouette); jar sticker (Me & My Big Ideas); white string (Hobby Lobby)

For the Love of Books

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Afternoon, y'all!  I promise to be back with a little creativity tomorrow, but until then, I wanted to share my pick for this month's For the Love of Books post.  With all the rain and thunderstorms we've had in my neck of the woods lately, this one was a no-brainer.  Plus, I just cannot say enough about its gorgeous illustrations and heartwarming retelling of a living memory.  It is written for children ages five to eight.
Thunder Cake, written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco, tells the story of a young girl who overcomes her fear of thunderstorms with the help of Grandmother and her Thunder Cake.  In order to be real Thunder Cake, it must be in the oven before the storm arrives.  So, with Grandmother by her side, encouraging her every step of the way, she quickly gathers eggs from mean old Nellie Peck Hen; milk from old Kick Cow; chocolate, sugar, and flour from the dry shed in Tangleweed Woods; and tomatoes and strawberries from the garden, all while counting each second between a flash of lightning and bellow of thunder.  With each new item acquired, her bravery becomes more and more apparent; until by the time the cake had been plated and the storm had arrived, she was able to smile as the thunder roared "so hard it shook the windows and rattled the dishes in the cupboards."

Thunder Cake
3 large eggs
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pureed tomatoes

Ganache
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour two nine-inch cake pans.

In a medium bowl, using a mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites (reserving the yolks) until stiff peaks form, about two minutes; set aside.

In an additional medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together oil, butter, and granulated sugar until well combined and creamy, one to two minutes.   Beat in yolks, vanilla, and tomato until combined.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until combined, about two minutes; fold in egg whites until combined.

Divide batter into cake pans.  Bake 33-37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cakes comes out with moist crumbs attached.  Cool pans on wire racks for 12 minutes; run a knife around outside edges; and invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make the ganache, heat cream in small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and whisk in chocolate until melted; whisk in butter, corn syrup and vanilla until combined.  Pour and spread ganache over cooled cake layers.  Enjoy!

Makes 10-12 servings

I'm thinking a little Thunder Cake would pair perfectly with dinner on this gloomy day.  Off to preheat the oven.  Thanks so much for reading!  Be blessed!

My Little Graduate

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Today was the big day!  Adina is officially a kindergarten graduate.  She's growing up so fast!  Love you bunches, sweet girl!

The Studio Pink, Gold, & Black Challenge

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Morning, y'all!  We've got a brand new challenge in The Studio for you all.  This one boasts a scrumptious color scheme of pink, gold, and black.  I've had this stack of ballet photos of my daughter, sitting on my desk, waiting for just such an occasion as this palette, for nearly two months.  So, as soon as our challenge came across the DT Blog, I knew they'd be the perfect place to start.  A mix of leftover goodies from several recent Noel Mignon kits provided the foundation.
I started this layout by anchoring a number of patterned paper pieces and strips, as well a punched, black scallop, to the textured, white, cardstock, base pages, with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  A strip of Washi Tape also stretches across the top of the design.  After matting my photos with Whisper White cardstock and adhering them in their respective locations, I zeroed in on the "sweetheart, Dream BIG & dance" title, which spills across both pages and was created with a couple of cardstock stickers and a Project Life card, which was anchored with a bit more stitching, as well as gold foil Thickers and a Cameo-cut, from gold cardstock, "dance".  The title itself was built over a simple pink doily, and a "she's HERE" cardstock sticker tops it off.
A trio of journaling stickers, paired with a hand-cut, from patterned paper, bloom, also connect the two pages.  The largest one was secured to the left side of the page with a couple of simple staples, but the majority can be found on the right side; and together they read, I'm so proud of YOU! {heart}, Mom; You were so excited to show us everything you learned in your 6-wk. Pre-Ballet Class with Miss Kozetta; and 10-22-2014.
I then turned my attention to the left side of the page...
specifically the cluster in its bottom left corner, which boasts a couple more hand-cut, patterned paper blooms; black, crape paper tag, laced with white string; "WOW!" die cut; and camera cardstock sticker over a nest of gold thread.
A "YOU ARE THE BEST"cardstock sticker...
turns our attention to the right side of the page...
which houses a couple more of those hand-cut, patterned paper blooms, along with a "love you", floral, cardstock sticker; couple of flair buttons; "WEDNESDAY" die cut...
and another "just lovely" Project Life card once again over a cluster of gold thread.  A handful of gold, star sequins, scattered about, completes the look.
Further inspiration for this page came from ScrapMuch?'s May 1 Sketch-y Friday Challenge.
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to get all your challenge details, as well as to see how the rest of the team was inspired.  Thanks so much for peeking in!  And may your Mother's Day be extra special and full of fun!  Lots of love!

{Supplies & Tools}
Paper: textured white & gold (Bazzill); Whisper White (SU!); gold foil text (MME); pink stripe, pink polka dot, & black floral outline (Crate Paper); pink floral (Fancy Pants); black (Simple Stories) Ink: Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); doily & ruler Washi Tape (unknown); "WOW!" & "WEDNESDAY" die cuts, "YOU ARE THE BEST" cardstock sticker, & "Dream" & "just lovely"  Project Life cards (MME); crape paper tag (Maggie Holmes); white string (Hobby Lobby); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); camera, "love you" floral, "sweetheart", ampersand, gold foil journaling, & pink framed cardstock stickers (Crate Paper); "No." label (October Afternoon); Cameo (Silhouette); gold foil chipboard Thickers (American Crafts); gold star sequins (Pretty Pink Posh); "she's HERE" cardstock sticker (SU!); silhouette flair button (Jenni Bowlin); floral flair button (A Flair for Buttons); edger punch (EK Success)

April Recognition

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Just popping back in to share a few projects that received honors in and around the blogosphere last month.  Even though it was randomly chosen, I was super excited for this card to be named Wplus9 Design's Throwback Thursday #2 Winner.
This one was The Challenge #30 Winner at Always Playing with Paper and earned me the opportunity to guest design with their talented team.
And this layout was given the honor of Top Three at Scrap Our Stash.  It, too, earned me the chance to guest design with their fabulous designers.  Eeek!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who made said such possible!  It's so exciting and such an honor!  And thanks so much to you all for stopping by and always being so supportive of my work!  I wouldn't be here without you.  I'm so blessed!  Big hugs!  Have a terrific weekend, y'all; and happy Mother's Day to all you moms!