Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sweet Wishes Birthday Monster Card

My goodness, it's been a while, hasn't it?!? Because life got pretty crazy again for my family last year, I had to give up crafting for a while. Although this isn't the first time I've had to take a break, this might be the longest one yet. Still, the wonderful thing about crafting is that, unlike family, it can be put on hold, and it will wait patiently until you're ready again. And oh boy am I ready!

For my first project back, I've made a bright and cheery birthday card. I recently discovered that Gerda Steiner Designs hosts a monthly progressive challenge, and just couldn't wait to get in on the fun. Although Gerda Steiner creates both stamps and digis, her monthly challenge is always based around a featured digi. If you make and link up a project using that digi during its featured month, she'll send you the next month's featured digi for FREE. What a great deal! I'm just barely squeaking in under the wire with my entry this month, but hopefully next month will be easier.

This month's featured digi is the "I didn't eat it (yet)!" birthday monster. How adorable is he?!? I colored this little guy with Copics. Although my coloring skills are a bit rusty, and some of my markers desperately need refilling, I'm pretty happy with how he turned out.

For the card layout, I used Sketch #477 from Sketch Saturday, along with papers from the "Kitten Smitten" pack by Doodlebug Designs. The sentiment -- "Sweet Wishes" -- is from the "Milk and Cookies" stamp set by Lawn Fawn. A little baker's twine and a present-shaped button helped me finish the card in a fun but simple way.

While I don't have a recipient in mind for this card yet, it will make a great addition to my birthday card stash. After so many months away, it was getting pretty bare!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Cardmaking With Found Treasures

Fall Mice Handmade Card by Deedee Anderson

I've been digging deep into my craft supplies stash! Check out the fun goodies I found to make today's card.

The Challenge of Tiny Spaces

Unlike many crafters, I don't have a dedicated craft room. Instead I  have a craft corner -- a little nook in our living/dining area where I store my supplies. Living in a tiny house with four other adult-sized people and three pets means there isn't space for my craft supplies to overflow their designated spot. However, that doesn't mean they're always organized!

If anything, having a tiny space to work with means I've typically shoved my craft supplies in where I could fit them, and not necessarily where it makes the most sense for them to go. As a result, I've forgotten about or lost a lot of what I have. Until recently, that is!

This year I decided it was time to break the cycle of forgetting and losing supplies. To do this, I totally overhauled my tiny space. (If you're interested, you can read about the tools that I used to do this over at my paper craft instruction website -- Paper Craft Romance.) In the process, I found so many supplies -- some of which I've never even used!

Found Treasures

My favorite found treasure from reorganizing my craft area is the lovely harvest pumpkins embossing folder that I used on today's card. I snagged this folder at a seasonal clearance sale a few years ago, and then totally forgot I had it! This card is actually the first project I've ever used it on.

Fall Mice Handmade Card by Deedee Anderson

Another treasure I'm thankful to have found is this sweet Fall mice image by Laurie Furnell. I printed it along with several of Laurie's other images a few years back, and again, lost track of it before using it. Since most of Laurie's digis have been discontinued, I was glad not only to find this one, but for the reminder that I have many of her digi files that I can print anytime. Clearly, reorganizing my craft space was a good thing!

How I Made This Card

To make today's card, I started with a white card base. White makes such an awesome base color, because anything you layer onto it shows up in high contrast! Next I embossed a layer of Tangerine cardstock with my first found treasure -- the harvest pumpkins embossing folder. Then I sanded the embossing a bit with a sanding block so that some of the white core of the cardstock would show.

For the card layout, I used this week's sketch by Mojo Monday. Their sketches are always so much fun to play with! I layered together a few different papers here according to the sketch, including some Fern and Kraft cardstock and patterned papers from the Swan Lake collection by Close To My Heart. Then I fussy cut the sweet mice image and applied it with foam tape. Although it doesn't show well in the photo, I glittered up the heart and bow on the girl mouse with my Wink of Stella brush, too. Finally, I punched a couple holes in the side of the Kraft cardstock, and tied a little strand of ribbon through to finish off the card.

Materials Used

I used these materials to make this card:

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my card for these challenges today:

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading! :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sunflower Thank You Card & Matching Envelope

The skies are grey, the wind is blowing, and there's rain on the way. What a perfect excuse to stay in and craft!

Since my beloved sunshine was missing today, I decided to make some. The challenge this week at As You Like It is to use your favorite flowers and explain why they're your favorite, and that seemed a good place to start. So here's what I came up with -- a sunny sunflower mason jar thank you card with matching envelope.

Sunflowers are definitely my favorite flower. The reason for this is two-fold. First, they've always represented hope to me. Their bright yellow color is hopeful, as is the way they always turn their face up towards the sun, as if smiling up at Heaven to bask in God's glory. Seeing sunflowers reminds me always that when I turn my face and life to the Lord the way they do, everything looks more hopeful.

The second reason that sunflowers are my favorite is because my dear friend Sheila, who passed away about 12 years ago, used to grow them all over the front of her house. She grew the extra large variety, and they got to be like a flower fence every year. We'd sit in her yard while the kids played, and people walking by would always stop to look and talk about the flowers. At the end of the season we'd have a huge sunflower seed harvest. It was a wonderful season of life, and sunflowers make me smile at the beautiful memories.

How I Made This Project

I started by pulling out my Cricut Explore Air cutting machine and cutting a few pieces to create this little scene. The images that I included -- the jar, bow, sunflower, and the little laurel behind the jar -- are all from the new Flower Market Cricut cartridge by Close To My Heart. I'm loving playing with this cartridge, because the images are all floral or flower-related. Flowers, I think, are just so classy -- you can use them on just about any project, and they look great!

Once I had the images for the scene cut out, I decided to make a matching envelope, too. Now I have to say I've never done this before with my Cricut, and was really pleased with how easy it was. I just sized the envelope to the size I wanted, inserted my mat with the cardstock attached, and then clicked Go. The machine did its thing, and except for switching out the papers partway through to make the envelope liner, all I had to do was watch. The whole thing was finished in about a minute!

The whole notion of cutting with machines is pretty new to me. I always figured that I could do everything by hand, with just scissors and a paper trimmer. Recently, though, my joint syndrome took a turn for the worse, and I needed to rethink some things in order to keep crafting. After we did some research, my dear hubby spoiled me with the gift of the Cricut Explore Air, and it has made a world of difference! Not only does it enable me to do basic tasks like cutting that were getting difficult, but it's also opened a whole new creative world of projects I can make. For example, I never made my own envelopes before unless I had to, but I look forward to it now. I've also been playing with making boxes, books, and all sorts of other dimensional paper craft projects that I avoided before. Honestly, I feel really silly for holding out so long against investing in a cutting machine. But now I'm rambling -- back to this project!

Once my cutting machine did its thing, all that was left was for me to assemble it all. I added some background paper to the card to match the envelope liner, along with bits of a couple other colors and patterns to coordinate with the set. Then I laid out my little scene. The jar has an open mouth, so I just tucked the sunflower stem inside. To attach the bloom, I used a bit of foam tape, so that it has a little dimension.

The mason jar image is super cute by itself, but I thought it needed something more. So I cut out both a scalloped circle and plain circle, and then layered a stamped sentiment on top. I also added a red stick-on gem to the center of the bow for a little more color contrast and dimension. To me, these make the jar look a bit more interesting and realistic.

I'm not sure yet who this card will go to, but thank you cards always come in handy, so I'm sure it will get used!

Materials Used

I used these materials to make my sunflower card and envelope:
  • Cricut Explore Air cutting machine
  • Flower Market Cricut cartridge
  • Enchantment Fundamentals papers
  • Saffron, Gold Rush, Lagoon, New England Ivy, Saddle, Ruby, and White Daisy cardstocks 
  • Bonding Memories glue
  • Archival Black ink pad
  • Short & Sweet stamp set (sentiment)
  • Foam tape 
All materials except for the cutting machine are by Close To My Heart.

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my card today for these challenges:

What Do You Think?

Please leave me a comment and let me know! :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy Little Critters for Hospice of St. Francis Card Drive

Happy Wednesday, crafty friends! I hope you're enjoying a beautiful Fall day, and that you get to spend at least a few minutes being creative today.

Unfortunately I'm battling a really nasty cold, so my creative energy is lagging. However, I did manage to pull together one card today that I wanted to share with you. Isn't this a happy card? That's what I was going for!

Falliday Fest Card Drives for a Cause

If you're a fan of Splitcoast Stampers -- the world's largest online forum for paper crafters --, then you know that they're hosting the first-ever Falliday Fest this month. Each day there are new challenges, tutorials, and prizes you can win for participating. My favorite part of this event, though, is that they've also incorporated several card drives for a cause. The first of these is a drive to collect birthday cards for the patients of Hospice of St. Francis.

Each day of life is a gift to be celebrated, and the people at Hospice of St. Francis help their terminally ill patients and those patients' families to do just that. One of the wonderful ways they do this is by making a proper fuss over birthdays, but they need handmade birthday cards from crafters like us to help them do that. My card share today was made to help with this.

How I Made This Card

In thinking about how to make this card, I decided to go with colors and images that, to me, convey happiness and celebration. I spent a good long time digging through my stash, but finally settled on these from the Jeepers Creepers collection. Although I know they were designed for Halloween crafts, the playful colors and silly critters just make me smile wide every time. That kind of smile is definitely what I want to pass along to one of the patients at Hospice of St. Francis.

To make this card, I started with this week's sketch by Tuesday Morning Sketches. Their sketches are classic, and I can always count on them to help me get started in my crafting!

For the cardstock layers, I used the Lagoon and Pansy cardstocks from the Jeepers Creepers cardstock pack. I love how these colors look together! I embossed the Pansy cardstock with a swirl pattern. Because the cardstock is white core, I sanded it a little, too, to let some of the white show through.

Next I cut the word "happy" from my white cardstock using a little word die by Sizzix, and then layered the whole piece over the Lagoon cardstock. To make the word readable, I glued the little bits that were cut out from the letter centers back in place.

Finally, I fussy cut some of the critters from the reverse side of the googly eye paper that I used here, and then applied them to the white piece with foam tape so that they stand out. These critters are just so cheery, with their big smiles and gap-tooth grins! I really hope they bring a big smile to the face of the recipient of this card.

Materials Used

I used these materials to make today's card:

  • Jeepers Creepers papers by Close To My Heart
  • Lagoon and Pansy colored cardstocks
  • Swirl embossing folder by Cuttlebug
  • Happy word die by Sizzix (part of a bigger set that I can't remember the name of!)
  • Bonding Memories glue
  • Foam tape
  • Black glitter tape
  • Sanding block

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my card today for these challenges:

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment and let me know! :-)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sending You Sunshine & Laughter

Sunshine & Laughter greeting card by Deedee Anderson

Sunshine and laughter are two of the greatest blessings we have in this life, don't you think? Both can change the whole feel of a day in such a wonderful way, and I can't imagine life without either! That's why, when I came across this sentiment stamp in a box of old stamps recently -- "Sending you sunshine and laughter" -- I set it in a really prominent place on my craft table.

Seeing this little stamp every day helps me in two ways. First, it reminds me to be thankful for the things in life that seem small but are actually hugely important, like sunshine and laughter. Second, in those times when I'm struggling with card making, it gives me perspective. This sweet sentiment stamp reminds me that card making isn't about meeting deadlines, living up to others' expectations, or keeping up with the latest trends. It's simply about reaching out to others and letting them know you care. Sometimes people need a little extra sunshine and laughter in their day, and handmade cards are the perfect way to send it to them!

How I Made This Card

Today's share is a card of encouragement, so it seemed only fitting to use the stamp that encourages me so much! I paired it with this adorable little girl stamp by Whipper Snapper Designs. She's an older stamp that I don't think they make anymore, but she's one of my go-to's for encouragment cards, because she was a gift from a dear friend when I was going through a tough time. I colored her up with Prismacolor pencils, and then fussy cut her out. Once I got the layers set up, I attached her with foam tape for dimension.

Closer View - Sunshine & Laughter handmade card by Deedee Anderson

Using these older stamps inspired me to dig deep into my stash, and so everything else I used on this card is also older materials. The patterned papers are remnants from a 2009 stack by Basic Grey (who's no longer even in business), and the two shades of blue cardstock are left over from baby shower invitations I made for my nephew 14 years ago! The scalloped rectangle piece was made with the first set of dies I ever bought, and the hearts accents are negatives from a border punch that have been laying in a drawer for at least 5 years. Talk about stash busting! Last but not least, I used the current layout from Retro Sketches -- "where every sketch is a blast from our past." Yep, it's definitely an oldies but goodies kind of card!

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my card today for these challenges:

ABC Challenges - Q is for Quick (Simple cards)

Craft Your Passion - Anything Goes

Retro Sketches - Sketch #235

The Crazy Challenge - Use the Color Red

Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes + Positive Sentiment

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment and let me know! :-)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Nature's Wish - Easy Fall Masculine Card

The Challenge of Making Masculine Cards

Masculine cards are the ones that I struggle the most to make -- how about you? I used to think it was because I gravitate towards really feminine images. But I was thinking about this again recently, and realized that it's really because it's so hard to find good masculine stamp sets. That is why, when I saw the "Nature's Wish" stamp set in the new Close to My Heart Annual Inspirations catalogue, I snatched it right up.

Not only does Nature's Wish feature gorgeous images that are perfect for this time of year, but the sayings are geared towards men in particular. I'm blessed to have some really amazing men in my life, and they deserve encouragement and appreciation as much as the women, don't they?

How I Made My Card

Today I finally got a chance to play with this beautiful stamp set. There were so many ideas running through my head for how to use it, but I couldn't seem to settle on one. Eventually, I pulled out my "Wishes" card sketch book that I picked up last summer, and found a layout right away to work with.

What I love about this book is that it doesn't just show you card sketches. For each sketch, it also includes the measurements of the necessary pieces. So I don't have to do math, which is something my brain always struggles a little with!

In putting the card together, I first cut out the background pieces according to the measurements in the book. Then I embossed the New England Ivy cardstock square with an Argyle pattern, and sanded it a bit with a sanding block. Because this cardstock has a white core, it's really easy to distress!

Next I stamped the deer on white cardstock and colored it with alcohol markers. The image is so detailed it really just needed a little shading with some different browns.

I stamped the trees on Saffron patterned paper, and just left them as is so the deer would stand out against them.  Then I stamped the deer again over the patterned paper circles, and applied the colored version over it with foam tape. This way the deer lines up right with the stamped grass.

Finally, I stamped the sentiment in black, and then embellished with a little stitched grosgrain and a few enamel dots.

And voila -- a great masculine card with a Fall feel to it that wasn't hard at all to put together!

Materials Used

I used these materials to make my card:

(Close to My Heart)
  • Nature's Wish stamp set
  • Enchantment Fundamentals patterned papers - Saffron, New England Ivy
  • Enchantment Cardstock - White Daisy, New England Ivy, Peacock
  • Enchantment Ribbon Pack - Peacock stitched grosgrain
  • Pumpkin Spice enamel dots by Simple Stories
  • Memento Tuxedo Black ink

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my card for these challenges today:

Allsorts Challenge - Colors of Autumn
Cardz 4 Guyz - Nature
Colour Crazy Craft Challenge - Anything that is hand-colored
Crafty Friends - Challenge 42 - Autumn Colors
Robyn's Fetish - Nature
Simply Papercrafts - Anything Goes
Sweet Stampin' - Autumn

What Do You Think?

Please leave me a comment and let me know! :-)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fall Pop Up Gift Card Holder

Life just doesn't ever seem to slow down, does it? I thought that once I got my kids back in school, I could settle back into work and play. Not so much! If anything, I'm busier than I've ever been, and finding time to play is next to impossible. But I did grab a little craft time yesterday, and here's what I' made -- a pop up gift card holder!

It looks like just a simple card from the outside. But here's how it looks when you open it:

The part holding the gift card pops up. It also holds the gift card securely in place so that even when eager people shake their cards to see what's inside, nothing falls out. The gift card stays a surprise until they open the card!

Design & Materials Used

My friend Kathy D. is hosting the October Inspirational Card Challenge over at this month, and one of the challenges is to make a gift card holder. There's also a separate October Card Sketch Challenge available to play with, including this sketch from Create with Connie and Mary. These two challenges were the inspiration for my project.

To make this pop up gift card holder, I used papers from the new "Flea Market" paper collection by Doodlebug Designs. I have to say, I love everything that company puts out -- it's all so adorable!

The stamped images are from the "Fall is in the Air" set by Echo Park, which is also stinking cute. I stamped the images in Walnut Distress ink, and then colored them a bit with alcohol markers. The images are pretty solid, so there wasn't much room for coloring, but I had to add some at least! 

After coloring, I cut out the stamped banner image, and then set the owl on with some foam tape so he looks like he's sitting on it. (There's foam tape between some of the other layers as well, because I just love dimension in cards!) Last but not least, I stamped a sentiment from the same stamp set in black Versafine ink, and embellished with just a couple of enamel gems.

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my card for these challenges today:

October Inspirational Card Challenge - Make a gift card holder
October Card Sketch Challenge - Layout used for the front of the card
* Cardz 4 Galz - Fall Colors
* Creative Knockouts - Thankful Thoughts
* Cute Card Thursday - Anything Goes
* If You Give a Crafter a Cookie - Cookie Challenge #54/Fall photo inspiration
* Crafting by Designs - October Anything Goes

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment and let me know! :-)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Marbled Fall Cards with Shaving Cream Technique Paper

Card made with handmade marbled paper and Lovely Leaves stamp set by Close to My Heart

Getting Crafty with Shaving Cream and Stamps

Last week I made some marbled papers in Fall colors using reinkers. I love how the papers turned out! Today I finally got a chance to use a little of it on a couple of cards.

How I Made These Cards

For this first card, I stamped the marbled paper with leaf images from the new Lovely Leaves stamp set by Close To My Heart.  The brown ones show up pretty well, but the greens and yellows sort of blend in with the swirls on the paper.

For decoration, I added just a bit of olive organdy ribbon and a wood veneer. The idea was to keep that part simple since there are already so many colors and patterns already in the background. The papers are mostly by DCWV, except the red which is from the Enchantment Cardstock pack by Close To My Heart. The copper metallic strips are pieces of the new Metallic Poster Board by Cricut.

Card made with marbled paper

I used a different sketch but the same colors and papers for this second card. I also skipped the leaves in the background, so that the marbled effect on the paper shines on its own.

Isn't that little owl wood veneer adorable? The wood veneers for both cards are from the Woodland Forest Collection by Pebbles. So many of these images fit Fall cards perfectly!

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my leaf card for these challenges today:

* Fab & Funky - Fall colors

* Stampin' Royalty - Color challenge

* Splitcoast Stampers - Sketch challenge

* Everybody Art Challenge - Leaves

* Heart 2 Heart Challenges - Use Close to My Heart stamps

* September Sketch Challenge at

* Crafty Catz - Anything Goes + Fall Colors

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment and let me know! :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Handmade Birthday Cards + BLOG CANDY!

Playing with New Toys from Simon Says Stamp
One of the main reasons that I started stamping was to be able to make and give special, handmade birthday cards to loved ones. The Simon Says Stamp September Card Kit sure made that easy for me this weekend!

This is the first time that I've bought a Card of the Month Kit from Simon Says Stamp.  However, because the theme was birthdays, and I make and give these cards most often, I thought I'd give it a go. I'm so glad that I did! This kit included everything except the ink needed to make handmade birthday cards. Also, the amount of supplies included are going to last me a while! I made these three cards today, and haven't put a dent in the materials. Some of them I haven't even opened yet! Here's everything that came in the kit:

There's cardstock, patterned papers from the Doodlebug "Kitten Smitten" collection, a mini Washi tape runner, one bottle of Nuvo Crystal Drops, one bottle of Nuvo Glitter Drops, a pack of puffy stickers from My Minds Eye, and of course, stamps. The stamp set -- "It's No Secret" -- is a Simon Says Stamp exclusive. It was designed to be used with these fun scratch-off stickers from Inky Antics, which were also included. You layer a sticker over an image, and then the recipient can scratch it off to see what's underneath, just like with a lotto scratcher card. What a fun way to add a bit of surprise to handmade birthday cards! Although I haven't used any of these stickers yet, I look forward to it!

Simon Says Stamp also included a $5 off $5 or more coupon, and a lollipop. with my order. How sweet (no pun intended) is that?

OK, you get the idea that I'm excited to have this new kit to play with -- ha ha! On to the cards that I made!

To make this first card, I cut small circles in the front of the card base with Scalloped Circle dies by Spellbinders. Then I lined the inside of the card with some of the patterned paper. I stamped the circle images using YoYo Yellow, Pixie Pink, and Green Galore inks by Stampin' Up! (all probably retired by now, but the colors matched the papers) on Neenah Solar White cardstock. I punched out the stamped images with a circle hand punch, and stuck them onto the patterned paper. This way when the recipient opens the card, the shapes are visible on the inside, too. I stamped sentiments on top of the colored circles, as well as one on the front of the card. Then I used the Nuvo Crystal Drops to add accents around the scalloped circles, and the Nuvo Glitter Drops to go over the stamped arrows. It's simple, but fun, I think.

For the second card, I layered some of the black cardstock onto a light yellow card base. Then I simply cut and attached strips of different lengths from some of the papers included in the kit. I stamped the greeting in white pigment ink on the black matte, and then 'punctuated' a couple of the paper strips with puffy stickers. A balloon image was a must, and I couldn't resist drawing a little smiley face on it with a black gel pen. :-)

Finally, I made this card using elements from the card kit along with some quick but cute die cuts that I made with my Cricut Explore. This darling bunny and the cute little tag are both available in Cricut's Design Space, and I think they go perfectly with this card kit! The bunny needed a balloon to hold, and the balloon needed some polka dots, so I added those with the Nuvo Crytal Dots. The pom-pom on the bunny's hat and the dots and heart on the tag are also made with these.

Three fun new cards for my handmade birthday cards stash -- hooray!

Blog Candy!
So does this kit look like fun to you? Well it's a good thing, then, that I bought TWO! And the second one, my dear crafty friends, will go to one of you!

That's right, I'm offering my first-ever BLOG CANDY! 

All you have to do to enter to win this kit is leave a comment on this post. Feel free to spread the word, but don't forget to comment yourself, OK? You have until Sunday night, September 11th, to comment. I'll draw a winner next Monday, September 12th, using the random number generator at Numbers will be assigned to comments in the order they were received. Please be sure to check back to see if you've won.

Challenges Entered

I'm sharing my bunny card for these challenges today:

* Through the Craft Room Door -- "Anything Goes"

* Crafting When We Can -- "Happy Birthday"

* Craft for the Craic -- Birthday Balloons Inspiration Photo

* Crafting from the Heart -- "Anything Goes"

* A Bit More Time to Craft -- "Anything Goes"

Thursday, July 21, 2016

You're Fin-tastic Encouragement Card

Sometimes you just need to let someone know how fantastic they are. What better way than with a handmade card? The Fin-tastic Friends stamp set by Lawn Fawn is perfect for making greeting cards to do just that!

Cards to Encourage

I love to make cards to encourage others. Besides birthdays and Christmas, this is the main reason I make greeting cards. Normally I try to craft each card with the recipient in mind, but sometimes things come up and I need a card in a hurry. Know what I mean? So I do keep a little stash on hand, too, just for those times.

You're Fin-tastic Card

Although I didn't have anyone specific in mind, this new card of encouragement will be a helpful addition to my stash. To make this card, I used the wonderful "Fintastic Friends" stamp set by Lawn Fawn.

What I love about this set (besides how stinking cute it is!) is the number of images it includes. The tank, various fish, hermit crab, and bubbles that I used here are all individual stamps, and there are still more stamps in the set than those I used. As someone who loves to create scenes, this set is right up my alley! I have to admit that I've had it for a while now, and this is the first time I've used it, but it will be getting a lot more use from now on.

How I Made This Card

To make this card, I first stamped the tank on white cardstock, followed by the critters inside the tank. Then I colored them all with Copic markers.

I thought one of the fish needed to be jumping out of the tank, to show how truly fin-tastic he or she is. So I stamped and then fussy cut that one and then popped it up with some foam tape. Next to that fish, I drew some little movement lines to show the jump.

One funny thing about making this card: although the design is simple, it took hours to finish because my jumping fish kept getting away. At one point, somehow, the little critter attached himself to my hair, and it took me forever to find it -- lol! What a truly fin-tastic fish!

Materials Used

The materials used to make this card include:
  • Lawn Fawn "Fintastic Friends" stamp set
  • Neenah white cardstock
  • Memento Tuxedo black ink
  • Copic markers
  • White Prismacolor pencil
  • Designer papers by American Crafts
  • Purple glitter paper by DCWV
  • Orange and white baker's twine
  • Red button
  • Foam dimensional tape

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my card today for these challenges:

The Sketch File -- Use one of the July "Bunch of Five" sketches (I chose the five circles)

Lawnscaping Challenges -- Lawn Fawn stamps plus "Rainbow Inspired"

Tuesday Throwdown -- Favorite embellishments (buttons and twine are always my favorites to use!)

7 Kids College Fund Challenge -- Anything Goes + products from 7 Kids College Fund (this is where I get my Lawn Fawn stamps)

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment and let me know! :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Digi Stamping in 2016: Where to Buy Family Friendly Digis

A Changed Digi Market in 2016

Digi stamps are, in my opinion, one of the best craft innovations ever. However, due to market saturation as well as the recent VAT tax law changes in the EU, many digi shops have closed shop in the last year. Although it makes makes me sad to see small businesses driven to close, it's also been a fun adventure exploring to see which shops are still around.

Where to Buy Family Friendly Digis

Since everything I craft is family friendly, I’ve looked for shops that offer those kinds of digis in particular. If you, too, have been looking for family friendly digi shops, look no further! I’ve compiled a links list here for you of where to find them, along with a few notes about each shop. Have a look around to see which shops you like best!

Note: I use the term 'family friendly' to describe shops that, to the best of my knowledge, only carry digis that I would personally feel comfortable sharing with my children.

Add Your Favorites to This List

If you don't see your favorites listed here, please leave me a comment with the link to the shop. I'll be happy to add them, provided their products are family friendly. :-)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Apples? Yes, Please!

Card Inspired by Gravenstein Apples

The challenge this month over at the Imagine That (TM) Creative Playground blog is to make a shaped or specially folded card. As soon as I saw this, I knew exactly what I wanted to make!

First, a little background: one of the things that my family looks forward to every summer is the Gravenstein apple harvest. Gravensteins are a special sort of apples that only grow in a few areas around the world, including here. Their flavor is unique, just the perfect blend between sweet and tart. Moreover, they hold a special place in my heart, because my Great Grandma Berkie, who taught me to bake, only ever used this sort of apple.

Gravensteins are only available for a couple of weeks in the summer, and we eagerly start watching for them in July. Yesterday while making an early morning run for coffee, my hubby discovered they were finally for sale at a roadside stand.  Hooray! We got a box, and I promptly baked up a pie. Yum!

So, yes, an apple-shaped card is exactly what I knew I wanted to make!

How I Made This Card

To make this card, I started with a time-saving apple card template by the Cutting Cafe. This made it really easy to get the shape of the card and the leaf attachment correct. I cut both from patterned paper, and then cut a card base from plain white cardstock.

Next, I colored up this sweet image from the "Maggie's Apples" digi set by Imagine That to add to the card front. How cute is that little cow??? Just looking at her  -- not to mention her apples -- makes me smile!

Materials Used

I used these materials to make this card:

  • "Maggie's Apples" digi set by Imagine That
  • Apple-shaped card template by the Cutting Cafe
  • Wild Raspberry designer papers by K&Company
  • Neenah white cardstock
  • Copic markers
  • Ribbon by Recollections at Michael's Crafts ($1.50 bins find!)
  • Foam dimensional tape

What Do You Think?

Please leave me a comment and let me know! :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Great Outdoors in a Pocket Letter

Pocket Letters

My New Paper Craft Hobby

Recently I discovered 'pocket letters'. Have you tried your hand at those? Basically they are pocket scrapbook pages, like those made with Project Life cards.

To make a pocket letter, you take a plastic three-hole-punched baseball card holder sheet, and fill the front of pockets with ATC sized decorated cards. Then you tuck little bits and bobs of crafting goodies into the back of each pocket. So die cuts, stickers, a length of ribbon, buttons, washi samples, etc. -- nothing pricey, and really the idea is to use your existing stash to show your partner the kinds of supplies you like to use, *not* to spend money! Of course, one very essential element of every good pocket letter is a personal note to your trade partner, as part of the point of the exchange is to get to know your friends and other new crafters better. Once finished, you mail the whole thing off to a friend, and they send one back to you. How fun!

Camping Pocket Letter

This pocket letter is one that I just sent off for a Camping themed exchange to a pal in Washington. (Sorry the picture is not the best -- I only remembered to snap it with my phone as I was about to mail it out!) My family loves to camp, so this was especially fun to make.

To make this pocket letter, I used a variety of papers, stamps, and clipart. I even added some bits that I cut out of magazines! In the back pockets I tucked a variety of stickers, wooden tags, woodland animal washi samples, buttons and a few metal charms that fit the theme. I also added a couple of Crystal Light drink mix packets (great for summer!) and a recipe for making 'Banana Boats' over the campfire. Last but not least, I added the personal note to my trade partner. Hopefully she enjoys this!

Why Make Pocket Letters?

Pocket letters make fun little gifts. Making and trading them is a great way to trade inspiration with other crafters, and maybe discover craft goodies that you haven't already tried. More importantly, they're a wonderful way to get to know your existing friends better, and to make new friends!

My friend Stephanie and I have been trading pocket letters back and forth, for example, even though we've known each other for years. Already I've learned so many new things about her!

Where to Find a Pocket Letter Partner

If you're looking for a swap partner, you can find one by joining the dedicated site at There are members from all over the world, so no matter where you are, you can find a partner. Tons of fun!

For More Information About Pocket Letters

You can find a really comprehensive tutorial about how to make and trade pocket letters on my paper craft instruction site -- Paper Craft Romance.

Materials Used

I used these materials to make this pocket letter:

  • Plastic baseball trading card holder sheet
  • "Happy Trails Camper" digi set by Doodle Pantry
  • "Grin Again Camp" digi set by DJ Inkers
  •  Bear in the Woods" and "Father's Day/Gone Fishing" digis by MyClipartStore
  • Campfire Digital Clipart by Trish Yochum Designs
  • "Love You S'more" stamp set by Lawn Fawn
  • Retired hiking stamp set by My Favorite Things
  • Die cut maple leaves (received as an RAK)
  • Mini buttons by Favorite Findings
  • Pathfinders Accents by Close To My Heart (retired)
  • Papers from the Green Stack by DCWV, along with scraps from my stash
  • Twine
  • Copic markers
  • Foam dimensional tape

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my pocket letter today for these challenges:

* Robyn's Fetish -- Anything but a card

* A Bit More Time to Craft -- Anything goes

* Doodle Pantry "Ants in My Pantry" Challenge  -- Anything goes + digital images

What Do You Think?

Leave me a comment and let me know! :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Smile! - Cat Selfie Card

Kitty Takes a Selfie

Are you in need of a smile today? If so, then have a peek at this cute little kitty. Isn't he precious?!? He's a digi from DigiStamp Boutique, and he definitely makes me smile. While working on another project today, I remembered that I had a darling Polaroid camera stamp set from Close to My Heart that this kitty would look perfect peeking out of. So Kitty took a selfie, and a pretty cute one at that!

How I Made This Card

To make this card, I first printed the kitty digi on white cardstock. Then I colored him up with Copic markers, and fussy cut him out and set him aside.

Next I stamped the Polaroid picture image once in black ink on white cardstock, and then again on patterned paper. I cut out the center piece from the patterned paper and layered it over the center piece of the image that I'd stamped on the white cardstock. I thought that made a good garden-like background for the picture.

I layered the kitty on to the frame with foam dimensional tape. This way he seems to be climbing right out of the photo. It seemed only logical to stamp and color up the Polaroid camera image as an accent.

Materials Used

I used these materials to make this Kitty selfie card:

  • "Cute Kitty Set" digital stamp set by Digistamp Boutique
  • "Life in Pictures" acrylic stamp set by Close to My Heart (Past Stamp of the Month = Retired)
  • Neenah white cardstock
  • Patterned paper from my scraps stash
  • Memento "Tuxedo Black" ink
  • Copic markers
  • Orange washi tape
  • Stick-on button from the "You're Invited" collection by BoBunny
  • Orange and white baker's twine

Challenge Shares

I'm sharing my card for these challenges today:

As You Like It -- "Trademark Style & Why"

Addicted to Stamps and More -- "Make Your Mark" (Used markers)

Through the Craftroom Door -- Always anything goes

The ladies over at As You Like It have asked me to share how this card shows my "trademark style." First, there's a scene of sorts. I love to craft scenes! This one features a darling, hand-colored little furry friend, as do most of my projects. I've included cheerful colors, images that are fussy cut and popped up with dimensional tape, and just a little bit of simple, "homey" embellishing.

What Do You Think?

Please leave me a comment and let me know! :-)