For the Love of Books

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Welcome to the weekend, y'all!  In light of our pending change of address, I went in search of a few good books about moving and stumbled upon a familiar friend.  Today's For the Love of Books pick is written for children ages three to eight and boasts the lovable raccoon first featured in the New York Times bestseller The Kissing Hand.
A Kiss Goodbye, written by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson, speaks of Chester Raccoon's dread of any adventure that would take him away from the home he has grown to love.  A line drawn around the trunk, however, serves as a visual reminder of its pending doom and the necessity for a sudden move.  After a sad goodbye, his mother reminds him that "you don't ever have to forget your tree.  You can keep it in your head and heart forever."  Despite his reluctance, Chester's new tree turns out to be better than he had expected, as a special, new friend comes with it.

Thanks so much for reading, friends.  I'll see you on the other side of June.  Be blessed!

Friday Faves

Friday, June 29, 2018

Afternoon, y'all!  I apologize for it being so quiet around here lately.  I've been busy packing for our pending move here in less than two weeks now and making sure we have all our ducks in a row, as it's a pretty big change from our Kansas City home to El Paso, Texas.  We couldn't be any more excited, but there's still a lot to be done; so, I'll keep this edition of my Friday Faves to a minimum, as I haven't had a lot of extra time to see what's new out there, either.  Anyway, let's kick things off with this sweet, Critter Concert, stamp set from Lawn Fawn.  My big kiddos' love of music inspired my search for these cuties, and I adore the versatile sentiments.  I only wish it had a clarinetist, as that's the instrument he plays.  Thinking about an add-on, Kelly Marie?
One of Fancy Pants' newest collection kits, Magnolia, caught my eye for its color palette and reeled me in with its warm, homespun prints.  All the home-inspired bits and bobs are simply the icing on the cake.
I couldn't help but include their coordinating Chipboard Spools and Wood Slices, too.  Swoon!
Don't you think these fantastic Square Paper Doilies, from Freckled Fawn, would compliment that collection perfectly?  Square?  Now, why didn't I think of that?  Pure genius, and I love the details!
Let's wrap things up with another Freckled Fawn treasure.  These dainty, little, Blue and White Resin Flowers are perfectly precious and just waiting for your creativity.
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I'll be back tomorrow to share this month's For the Love of Books pick; but until then, have a fantastic start to your weekends, friends.  Hugs!

Pretty Little Studio: So Many Beautiful Reasons

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Morning, y'all!  I've got a page, inspired by Maryam's Sweet Life Collection, up on the Pretty Little Studio blog today; and I'd love to share it, with you all, here, too.  Enjoy!
I started this page by splattering the white, textured, cardstock, base page with Wedding Pink, Stormy Night, Patina, Key Lime, and Cherry Glimmer Mists, as well as Pure Black and Titanium White acrylic paints.  Once it was dry, I created a grid design with the elements of my page.  The top left quadrant houses my first photo which was matted with white cardstock.  It was also backed with a trio of Sweet Life prints, anchored with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching, as well as a folded sheet of our Gold Metallic Vellum Leaves print.  A Label Medley Die Cut, which houses the April 7, 2013, handwritten date, was tucked under the photograph's left edge and embellished with a Sweet Life Flair Button.
A Life Is Beautiful 3x4 Pocket Card serves as the "There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy." title of this piece.  It was anchored, with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching, to the right of the previous photograph...
and above my second photograph.  This photo, too, was matted with white cardstock and backed with more of those fabulous, Sweet Life prints, all anchored with more gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching, as well as a snippet of cheesecloth for texture.
I tucked another Life Is Beautiful 3x4 Pocket Card into the fourth and final quadrant; dressed the lens of its little camera up with a touch of Glossy Accents; and used it to house my journaling, which reads, Katie joined our family in June of last year, & you couldn't be any more smitten.  It's such a precious thing to see you love on & take care of her.
A couple of Hello, Hello Pink Word Sticker phrases, as well as a "captured" Rainbow Vibes Die-Cut Word, popped up with foam tape, round out the grid...
which was topped with a So Sweet Die Cut, anchored with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching...
and grounded with a cluster of flowers, including Flower Garden and Family Branch Die Cuts, sprinkled with a handful of white-embossed on vellum and punched blossoms and topped with a Sprinkles 3x4 Bookmark Card butterfly, popped up with foam tape.  The largest flower, in the center of the cluster, was hand-cut from Sweet Life's Flower print and popped up with foam tape.
A Family Branch Die-Cut pennant, stamped, in Jet Black ink, with the "I adore you" phrase and tucked in behind the lower photograph and overlapping the pocket card title, completes the look.
Thanks so much for visiting!  Have a fantastic weekend, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Petite Petals (SU!); "I adore you" (Jen Hadfield) Paper: white & vellum (Paper Studio); textured white (Bazzill); Sweet Life: 6x8 Paper Pack & Gold Metallic Vellum Leaves 8x8 (PLS) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives);Wedding Pink, Stormy Night, Patina, Key Lime, & Cherry Glimmer Mists (Tattered Angels); Pure Black & Titanium White acrylic paints (FolkArt); cheesecloth (Dritz); Glossy Accents (Ranger); white embossing powder (Zing!); Petite Petals punch & embossing gun (SU!); Tomei Branch die (Poppystamps); Big Shot (Sizzix); Sweet Life: So Sweet Die Cut, Flower Garden Die Cuts, Sweet Life Flair Button, Life Is Beautiful 3x4 Pocket Cards, & Hello, Hello Pink Word Sticker; Beautiful Day: Sprinkles 3x4 Bookmark Card butterfly; Potpourri: Family Branch Die Cuts; Tales & Dreams: Rainbow Vibes Die-Cut Word; Here Comes the Sun: Label Medley Die Cut (PLS)

Pretty Little Studio: To a Super Dad

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Welcome to the weekend, y'all!  Just stopping back in to share a couple of timely, Father's Day cards that happen to be up on the Pretty Little Studio blog this am.  Enjoy!
Let's take a look at each individually.
I started this card by die-cutting the centers out of the largest stars in a 3-3/4" x 5" piece of our Feeling Dreamy print.  I then backed it with a slightly larger sheet of Feeling Thoughtful Vellum and anchored them both, to the white, cardstock, card face, with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching.  Lots of Spain Star and Summer Night Die-Cut stars, some of which were popped up with foam tape, were then scattered across the face of the card, amidst those same blue stars that were previously die-cut from the centers of the Feeling Dreamy print.  The latter were also coated with layers of Clear Wink of Stella for shine.
The "TO A SUPER DAD" sentiment was created by stamping "TO A SUPER" in Jet Black ink and gold-embossing the "DAD" remainder on a Watercolor Shipping Tag, laced with white string, tied in a bow...
and grounded with a "lucky to have you" Lovely Words Black Sticker, backed with white cardstock and popped up with foam tape for more of that delicious dimension.  A trio of gold, star sequins completes the look.
The second card...
was created in exactly the same way as the first with the exception of a few different Spain Star and Summer Night Die-Cut stars being used...
in addition to a yellow Watercolor Shipping Tag, rather than the previously-used orange one.
The previous, "lucky to have you" Lovely Words Black Sticker was also swapped for one that reads "stay awesome".
That wraps things up for now, folks.  Thanks ever so much for stopping by!  Have an amazing weekend, friends; and a big, happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Super Star (Wplus9) Paper: white (Paper Studio); Feels Like Fall: Feeling Dreamy 8x8 & Feeling Thoughtful 8x8 Vellum (PLS) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); white string (Hobby Lobby); gold embossing powder (Recollections); embossing gun (SU!); Clear Cut Stackers: Stars die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Clear Wink of Stella (Zig); gold star sequins (Pretty Pink Posh); Feels Like Fall: Watercolor Shipping Tags; Dream Big: Lovely Words Black Stickers; Summer Vibes: Summer Night Die Cuts; Let's Go: Spain Star Die Cuts (PLS)

Paper Sweeties June Release Rewind

Friday, June 15, 2018

Welcome to the weekend, y'all!  The Paper Sweeties June Release is officially available for purchase in the shop; but before you're off to get yours, if you haven't done so already, I've cooked up a trio of bold, bright, happy, mini cards to share.  My family has a big move planned for next month, so I thought it would be fun to have something cute to carry around to pass our new address on to family and friends.  These minis fit the boot and were super easy to make.
I started these cards by die-cutting the window from the center of Bermuda Bay, Perfect Plum, and Strawberry Slush, 2-7/8" cardstock squares.  They were then backed with clear cardstock for a fun, real-life texture, before the inside bits of the window were replaced and it was grounded with the stamped, in Jet Black ink, "We've moved!" sentiment from Home Is Where Your Story Begins.
Before topping the window with a partially die-cut and partially hand-cut, Basic Black, cardstock, roof portion, which came from the For You Sweet Cuts die (I really wanted to have those familiar, Paper Sweeties, stitch lines embedded into this design.), I framed the square with white cardstock and silver-threaded, machine stitching and popped it off the surface of the 3-1/4" square, white, cardstock, card face with foam tape.  A length of white string, tied in a bow, completes the look.
Thanks, once again, for all your visits and the sweet messages you've left, for me, across the world wide web!  With the busy, summer schedules, we're taking it easy next month; but I've already got the August Release in hand and am excitedly beginning projects to share with all you.  Woohoo!  So, be sure to stop by to see what the rest of the Design Team has created to share; and have a truly sensational summer, friends!  XOXO

Michelle Bala
Nancy Salkeld 

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Home Is Where Your Story Begins (Paper Sweeties) Paper: white (Paper Studio); Basic Black, Perfect Plum, Strawberry Slush, & Bermuda Bay (SU!) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger) Other: silver thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); white string (Hobby Lobby); Big Shot (Sizzix);  For You & Treat Box Add-On: Home & Garden Sweet Cuts dies (Paper Sweeties)

Sketchabilities #150 June Reveal

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hey, y'all!  I'm so excited to be here today, sharing my first page as a member of the newly-revived Sketchabilities Challenge Design Team!  So, without further adieu, let's just get started.
I started this page by adding puddles of aqua and blue watercolors to the 12" x 12" watercolor paper, base page.  I then splattered it with those same shades of watercolor, as well as bright pink and yellow watercolors and Pure Black and Titanium White acrylic paints.  My photos were matted with white cardstock and set atop a bed of layered prints, all anchored with bright-pink-threaded, straight and zig-zag, machine stitching, as well as a snippet of cheesecloth for texture, and anchored with a Cameo-cut, white, cardstock scallop and open flower and floral die cut.  The "AMAZING memories" title, too, was tucked into that grounding cluster; created from a cardstock sticker and glitter die cut; and sandwiched between a puffy, floral sticker...
and darling, mermaid die cut, popped up with foam tape.
A scalloped tag, laced with white string, tied in a bow, was tucked under the left side of the photos.
A sweet, butterfly die cut, adhered just at its center, crowns them...
and an "all my LOVE", puffy sticker brings us full circle back to the title itself and turns our attention to...
a second, Cameo-cut, white, cardstock blossom, topped with a die-cut flower; puffy, floral sticker; and die-cut swan.  I tucked a "TODAY//" June 20, 2014, label under the head of the swan...
and a little journaling to its right side.  The journaling reads, Beating the heat in our own backyard.  Keep smiling beautiful!
A trio of stamped, in Jet Black ink, phrases; scattering of puffy sticker flowers; and sprinkle of colorful sequins completes the look.
Here's your June Sketch #150 to get you off and creating in the right direction.
I can't wait to see what you all cook up!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: "you're lovely" & "#fun" (Citrus Twist); Whale Hello (Avery Elle) Paper: watercolor (Master's Touch); white (Paper Studio); black floral (Maggie Holmes); scallops (Dear Lizzy); pink polka dot & navy floral (Paige Evans) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); Island Indigo (SU!); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: bright pink thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); white string (Hobby Lobby); cheesecloth (Dritz); floral cut files (Cocoa Vanilla); Cameo (Silhouette); sequins (Pink Paislee); Pick-Me-Up puffy stickers (Paige Evans); cardstock stickers (PinkFresh); die-cut shapes, tag, & glitter phrase (Dear Lizzy)

Paper Sweeties June Release Party

Welcome back, y'all!  I've got another, playful house, for Paper Sweeties' June Release, to share, with you all, this evening.  This one is a more snail-mail-friendly option.  Enjoy!
I started this card by hand-cutting the house, from a template, out of white cardstock for the back and pink, polka dot, patterned paper for the front.  The two pieces were then adhered together just above the roof line, before I began dressing up the front of the card face with elements from the new, Treat Box Add-On: Home & Garden, stamp set and coordinating, Sweet Cuts die.  With the exception of the Barely Banana, cardstock, window inserts, all elements were stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a variety of patterned, paper die cuts and adhered in their respective locations.  The tree was popped up with foam tape...
and the flower box was filled with Cupcake Sprinkles sequins, studded with silver, seed beads and flanked with stamped, in Jet Black ink, on mint, floral, patterned, paper die-cuts, leaves, which hail from our Hello Spring stamp/die sets.
The roof was created from layered and striped, patterned paper, Sweet Borders Sweet Cuts scallops and dressed up with a little, white, string bow.
The inside was stamped, in Jet Black ink, with the "Congratulations on your new home" sentiment, from Home Is Where Your Story Begins, to complete the look.  I just love that you can see the other side of that pink, polka dot print here.  So pretty!
Thanks, as always, for stopping by!  Don't forget to check out what the rest of the Design Team has cooked up for the release party.  Then, come on back tomorrow for one more day of Treat Box Add-On: Home & Garden deliciousness.  Hope to see you then!

Michelle Bala
Nancy Salkeld 

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Home Is Where Your Story Begins, Hello Spring, & Treat Box Add-On: Home & Garden (Paper Sweeties) Paper: white (Paper Studio); Barely Banana (SU!); black/white stripe & floral woodgrain (MME); green floral & aqua stripe (SU!); woodgrain (Jen Hadfield); mint floral & black/white polka dot (Jenni Bowlin); pink polka dot (Crate Paper) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger) Other: foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); white string (Hobby Lobby); silver seed beads (unknown); Big Shot (Sizzix); Cupcake Sprinkles sequins & Sweet Borders, Hello Spring, & Treat Box Add-On: Home & Garden Sweet Cuts dies (Paper Sweeties)

Paper Sweeties June Release Sneak Peek

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Evening, y'all!  I'm stopping in today to kick off Paper Sweeties' June Release sneak peeks.  We've got a new add-on stamp set, with coordinating dies, to complement last month's Treat Box Sweet Cuts die for you all; and I've whipped it into a sweet, little, "thank you" house that would be perfect for holding a gift card.  Check it out!
I started this project by die-cutting two of the treat boxes from textured, Cherry Cobbler cardstock.  I then stamped it, in Cherry Cobbler ink, with the brick lines and white-washed the walls with Titanium White acrylic paint.  Once it was dry, I used glossy accents to erect the walls.  The door was them stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a white, cardstock die-cut and adhered to one end of the box itself.  It was further embellished with die-cut, Bashful Blue, cardstock, window inserts; a Basic Black, cardstock doorknob, dressed up with Glossy Accents; and a stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a watercolor, paper die cut, bird, which was, in turn, watercolored and popped up, with foam tape, above the door itself.
The sides of the house each received the same window dressing.  The windows themselves were stamped, in Jet Black ink, on white, cardstock die cuts and embellished with die-cut, Bashful Blue, cardstock, window inserts and white, cardstock shutters, as well as a white, cardstock window box, filled with stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a watercolor, paper die cut, flowers.  The flowers themselves were watercolored, given a hint of shimmer and shine with Clear Wink of Stella, and popped up with foam tape.
The scalloped, roof strips were then die-cut from Crumb Cake cardstock and layered, with one slightly overlapping the other, on both sides of the house before tying it closed with a length of Frosting seam binding ribbon, from the shop, tied in a double bow.  A length of Baker's Twine, laced through a Sweet Borders Sweet Cuts, die-cut, white, cardstock tag, which was stamped, in Jet Black ink, with the "thank you", from the Thank You stamp set, sentiment, completes the look.
I also couldn't resist stamping the back of the tag, in Jet Black ink, with the "you are MY PERSON" phrase, from Kindness Matters, just for fun.
I hope you like what you're seeing so far.  These little houses are too fun to make and so full of options!  Thanks so much for visiting! I hope to see you all right back here tomorrow for a little more of what our June stamp set and coordinating dies have to offer.  In the meantime, be sure to stop in to see what the rest of the Design Team has whipped up just for your viewing pleasure.  Be blessed!

Michelle Bala
Nancy Salkeld 

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Thank You, Treat Box Add-On: Home & Garden, & Kindness Matters (Paper Sweeties) Paper: white (Paper Studio); Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, & Bashful Blue (SU!); watercolor (Master's Touch) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); Cherry Cobbler (SU!) Other: Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); Big Shot (Sizzix); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Titanium White acrylic paint (FolkArt); Clear Wink of Stella (Zig); Glossy Accents (Ranger); Frosting seam binding ribbon & Sweet Borders, Treat Box Add-On: Home & Garden, & Treat Box Sweet Cuts dies (Paper Sweeties)

Pretty Little Studio: Clear Birthday Minis

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Morning, y'all; and welcome, once again, to the weekend!  I trust you have amazing plans to fill your downtime.  We've got breakfast in the park and a birthday party planned for today; but before we can get to that, I have a couple of birthday minis, using clear cardstock, to share with you all.  They happen to be up on the Pretty Little Studio blog this morning.
I started these cards by cutting a sheet of Star Garland Clear 8x8 into two 3-3/4" x 7-1/4" strips and folding them in half to create 3-3/4" square card bases.  I then die-cut a Stitched Cloudline from white, glitter cardstock and adhered it in the bottom center of the card face.  To hide the adhesive through the clear cardstock AND to give me a place to write a little message to the birthday recipients, I die-cut that same Stitched Cloudline from three sheets of white cardstock and adhered them inside...
and to the back of the card base.
Now, let's get a little up close and personal.  Shall we?
To personalize this first card, I wrapped a length of white string, three times, around the cut end of a Label Medley Die Cut and tied it in a bow.  The label itself was then popped up, with foam tape, near the bottom of the card face and flush with the right edge and topped with a "party time", Eat Cake Die-Cut sentiment, popped up, with foam tape, over a black Follow Your Dreams Arrow Sticker.
A "make a wish" Party Hat Word Flag, backed with an additional Party Hat Word Flag, just to enhance the color palette and create layers, was tucked under the sentiment's left side...
and a scattering of foam, glitter stars and Shining Star Stickers, backed with white cardstock and popped up with foam tape, complete the look.
The second mini...
uses all the same supplies as the first; however, the previous, "party time" Eat Cake Die-Cut was swapped for one that says "make a wish"...
and the previous, "make a wish" Party Hat Word Flag was swapped for one that says "eat cake".
A different scattering of Shining Star Stickers, prepared in the same way as above, along with more of those fabulous, foam, glitter stars, completes the look.
Thanks so much for peeking!  Have a terrific weekend, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Paper: white (Paper Studio); white glitter (Recollections); Tinsel Town: Star Garland Clear 8x8 (PLS) Other: Stitched Cloudline die (Poppystamps); Big Shot (Sizzix); white string (Hobby Lobby); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Sparkle glitter foam Thickers (American Crafts); It's Your Birthday: Party Hat Word Flags, Eat Cake Die Cuts, & Shining Star Stickers; Dream Big: Follow Your Dreams Arrow Stickers; Here Comes the Sun: Label Medley Die Cuts (PLS)