Hello, Friend! ♥

Hi friends!

I'm sure many of you can't wait for Spring after the long, harsh Winter you have had!  I see the temps are starting to get warmer in many areas
of the country so I'm really happy for you all ♥
Here is my card for the monthly image challenge at From the Heart Stamps!
This is for the progressive stamp challenge -
if you play along, you'll receive the next month's image so it's a win/win!
This month's image Hamlet PigWit Think Spring is just too cute!

 To create my card, I used the challenge from Sketch Saturday
from their current challenge of "Anything Goes" using an old sketch
from #s 215-302 .... I went WAY back to September

The papers are from a very old Basic Grey stack
that I've had in my stash for forever!
It was nice to finally use them up - especially
since I really struggle with pastels, especially pink ~
I just can't get my mind to work around the softer Spring colors ..
I'm funny that way, I suppose! :)

I'll enter my card into the From the Heart Stamps progressive challenge
and the Sketch Saturday (#275)
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!



*Simple Sundays* .....

 Hi friends!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful
birthday wishes, cards and lovely greetings ~ I'm blessed by your
Today is the last day of Spring Break here and
we are probably off at the lake by the time this posts,
but today is another installment of my Simple Sundays :)
My dh and I had a scrumptious 'sans kids' dinner and
trip to the Keys which was heavenly!
The dinner was a divine bounty of luscious crab cakes,
dishes of spicy Mahi Mahi with fresh pineapple salsa (mine!) and 
Caribbean Bouillabaisse (his!), which we shared each other's,
 the most incredible, fresh Key Lime Pie and ....
      wine! :)   
I thought I'd share with you the view from our table ~
literally at the water's edge, the waves lapping against the shore
and the most amazing tropical breeze.
We watched the sun set, ate, drank wine, laughed and this birthday
goes into my 'bucket list' check off as one of the VERY best :)
Looking out across the table,
watching the sun go down ....
and down .....
and down ...

I'm pretty sure we sat at our table for over 4 hours ♥
Thank goodness for the tiki torches, it was quite dark out over the ocean.
I wish you a marvelous day!
Enjoy your weekend :)
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!


It's a HAPPY Birthday! ♥

Hi friends! 
 Today is the 28th of the month and that means .....
 it's my birthday today! ♥
And - of course, I'm turning 29! :)
Dh and I are heading off to South Beach to a very romantic
dinner for two where the candlelight tables are right on the water and
 you can hear the surf lapping in the background ... ohhhhhhh so sweet! 
Seafood, wine, my beautiful hubby - I can't wait!
Today is also the day that the Calendar Girls post our cards
and this month, our hostess is Tami ~
she had a challenge indeed!
She asked us to create a card using an old Deconstructing Jen
sketch, the color purple in honor of Julius Ceasar and
 one button somewhere on the card. Here's what she said:

Did you know that March used to be the first month of the year on the Roman calendar? It was changed to the third month by Julius Caesar. The calendar we use today is refined from the Julius to the Gregorian. Sadly, we only gained like the wee bit of a percentage of more time to craft with the change! In theme of the original first month, let's use one button on your card.

Let's make a card based on a sketch. I saw
this sketch and wanted to use it at some point. It's time! Please note, the sketch challenge is still open, so be sure to join!

Speaking of Romans, purple is the color of the day. Please use the color purple on your card somewhere. Purple was worn by Roman Emperors and magistrates. It is also the color worn by those cute little ladies you see out lunching together, wearing purple and red and a bunch of hats!
I went straight for my stack of Rich Razzleberry - that's a shade of purple,
I think!  Since the image was one of our chosing, I looked
through my stash and chose an image sent to me by my friend, Kadie,
from Lori Boyd ~ this cutie birthday girl :)
Here is the sketch:

and here's my celebration card :) 
And the inside of my card - left blank for now.

Now for my eclectic mash of papers w/ a hint of razzleberry in them,
I actually chose them on purpose after seeing an uber fun challenge
to "use your ugly papers!"  LOL!  I just laughed when I saw that -
what an awesome idea for cards :)

Be sure to stop in and see what my Calendar Girl sistahs
have made with this theme ~ and a big thanks for Tami for the challenge!
You can find all their blogs in my sidebar ---->

Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'll enter this into:  Loves Rubber Stamps #96 - Show us your UGLY papers!
Delicious Doodles - For that Special Female (Birthday card!)
Ruby's Rainbow - Birthdays!
 Song in your he(art) - Celebrations!


Whimsy and Star Stamps - Spring DT Showcase and Digi Release!


I have some exciting news to share! 
 There's a brand new badge on my blog today as I'm a brand new member of the Whimsy and Star Stamps Spring DT! I'm super thrilled to venture forward with this great group of talent and wonderful stamps under the direction of the very talented owner and illustrator: Mabelle ♥


Today we have a brand new release for you ~ introducing *Daisy Bunny!*
This adorable digi is a new Spring release digi - perfect for Spring, Easter
and so much more :)  I've created this Spring inspired card for you using Daisy Bunny, colored with prismacolor markers and nestled into
 a card of Easter-y colored papers. 
And more wonderful news is Whimsy and Stars Studio's Etsy digital and rubber stamp shop store has now offers digital stamps with instant downloads!

*Would you like a chance to win a Whimsy and Star Studio's digi of your chosing?*  All you have to do is hop along with us and be sure to leave a comment on Mabelle's Whimsy and Stars Stamps blog here ♥
TWO random winners will be selected to win one digi stamp of their choice ~
 the deadline for leaving a comment is Monday, March 30th so hop on over!

Here is the talented and lovely DT members for the Spring Term ~
be sure to stop by their blogs and see what they've created
 with adorable Daisy Bunny!
Thanks for stopping by today and happy hopping! ♥
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'll enter this into:  As You Like It Challenge - Fave animal *bunny*/why:  They are cute!
4 CCC 187 - Spring
Delightful Challenge - Out like a lamb (add a critter)
Sisterhood of crafters - Add an animal
Crafty Calendar - Animals
Creative Card Crew - Animals
Simply Create 2 #57 - Animals
Digi Choosday - Animals!


Riley and Company - Birthday Celebrations!

Hi friends!
There's a new Riley and Company Challenge today and this week,
I'm the hostess!
Since March is a popular month for birthdays,
I thought that would be a fun, easy challenge this go 'round ~
create a birthday card using Riley or Sophie!
For my card today, I created what I call a "Surprise Inside" card ♥
I used the clear stamp set called
On the front of my card, I stamped the sentiment "You take the Cake"
(comes in the stamp set!)
and on the inside .............

After stamping Riley, I paper pieced the cake and gave it a quick
color over the ribbons and confetti.

When the card is open, it pops up and the image is revealed.
However, this card folds completely flat into an A2 size card!

Please be sure to stop by and see what the DT has created today
to celebrate birthdays!
If you upload your card to a gallery, please use the
keyword Riley0614 and link up your cards to the Challenge Blog.
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!


Simple Sundays .....

Good Morning and
 a blessed Sunday to you!
For today's Simple Sunday I'm showing you a
simple card I made this week.
This lovely bird on a dogwood branch stamp is from Stampavie
and is the image Tracie sent us in the Secret Sisters
card group as a Mystery Image -
 until the image arrives, we don't know what it is!
I adore it!
I own quite a few Stampavie stamps but have not seen this one
and am so grateful Tracie sent this one out to use ♥

 I knew I wanted to make a shadowbox card when I was looking around
for ideas on fancy folds + this one jumped out at me to try.
At first, the image frame shadowbox had a layer of dsp,
but it covered up too much of the image and the bird
 faded too far back into the card.
So I started again with a new box panel but left it plain.
I loved this image so much,
I am already working on my 2nd card - stay tuned! ♥

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!
I'll enter this card into the RRR #91 ~ Think Spring w/ Ribbon
Kitty Bee Challenges - Things with Wings
This is card #83 in the 100/100 challenge ♥
 Deets:  SU! Kiwi Kiss, PTI Royal Velvet
Image:  Stampavie ~ Bird on a Dogwood Branch
Prismacolor markers, MS score pal, trimmer,
DSP square unk (stash pile!), SU Kiwi Kiss ribbon,
Prima flower, Sew Easy floss, Basic Grey Button, Tombo


DDD ~ Umbrellas!

Hi friends! 
 Oh how long it's been since I've been able to get online!
Life as mommy to 4 with many hats to wear has taken me away
 from online life and into the whirlwind of real life! 
But as my kid's say, it's all good! :)
Today is the day that the Dueling Darlings post our cards - yay!
This month, our duel was hostess by LJ (Team Divas!)
and Terry (Team Dazzlers) with a fun Umbrella theme.

This is what LJ said:

 It's time for the March duel! Like most of you (except Kelly - who I am throwing
virtual snow-balls at right now) I am so ready for spring and summer! One of the
many signs of spring is rain and umbrellas, and as March is National Umbrella
Month, we are going with an Umbrella them this month.
I have added a little bit of a twist to the challenge
 (Terry is not doing this - that I know). I found these 7
Gypsies Manilla Folders awhile ago at HL and I thought it would be fun for us to
use these as your card base. It's not required, but It's just an idea I thought
I would toss out there. :)

So using LJ's own challenge, instead of creating my card on cardstock,
I chose the fabulous mini manilla folder - it's super cute!
I used 4 of the papers that she sent in various folds and
colored the Unity Umbrella image with my prismacolor markers ~
here is my card, inside and out!

Be sure to stop in and see what the rest of my team created
with LJ's card kit and what team Dazzlers created with theirs ~
you can find them in my sidebar!

Before I go, here is a picture of me as a wee babe!
Scary to think of how many years ago this was, LOL!
My blogging friend Lisa is celebrating her 3 year Blogaversary
so I'm linking up my baby picture to help her celebrate ♥


Thanks for stopping by today!
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!

This is my 82nd card in the 100/100 challenge :)
I'll enter this card into:  Time Out Challenge 1 ~ Dancing in the Rain
Paper Crafting Journey ~ Photo Inspiration

Stamps (image and sentiment) : Unity Stamps
Paper: Cosmo Cricket Earth Love Collections (Includes Journalling type cards)
Accessories: Buttons (mostly PTI and Basic Grey), Ribbon (SU!, American Crafts,
Offray), Vanilla Brads (SU!), Hodgepodge Clips & Ribbon Holder (SU), Mulberry
Paper Flowers (Prima), & 7 Gypsies Manilla Folder.


Simple Sundays/Carriers of Faith!

Blessings to you this Sunday!
If you are here to read my Simple Sundays or Carriers of Faith,
please scroll down - this post is one in the same! :)

First, thank you all for the wonderful 'virtual' hugs on my hand which
has started to heal - yay!  The dryer (company) is definitely going to be in trouble as dh simply is not going to stand for this, he says ;)
I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE line dried clothes!
I mentioned I'd be just as pleased to hang the clothes outdoors,
much to an eyebrow raising and a kiss on my hand to tell me
"Oh no, that just won't do."
I'm married to a most wonderful man, indeed :)
For this Simple Sunday installment on my blog,
 I created another CAS card literally using all scraps from my desk
 from recent card makings. 
Each piece, small andl large, are all part of something else!
I love creating for Simple Sundays because it gives me a serenity and calmness knowing that this post is never rushed, purposeful other than to be thankful in the blessings in my life.
 From the leftover burlap to the small daisys using a punch and the small wooden tag which I stamped with Archival ink, I came up with this.
This card was designed after seeing a similar one on Pinterest
(unable to find the link now )
 where she used prima flowers and yellow brads and a paper banner.
  I wanted to keep an earthy feel and went with a wooden banner which I stamped onto the wood.
My first attempt with Momento had the worst bleeding - the ink ran into the wood and just spread outward.
I tried it again with Archival and it wasn't as bad - not perfect - just okay.
If anyone has any tips on how to stamp into the wood without bleeding,
please share it with me!  I have many more of these wooden tags
and would love to stamp on them again :)

Today is also the day the Carriers of Faith post to our blogs
with a chosen topic and photo.
This month, our hostess is Zella - who gave us this theme to reflect on:

March Challenge: Thankfullness

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you ~   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I've been thinking a lot about prayer lately. Then last night I was talking with a friend at church and she said "don't you sometimes feel like our prayers are list a list of requests?". That really challenged me. Yes, we are supposed to take our needs and requests to Him. But our prayers should also be about praise and worship - about thanking Him for ALL He has done for us. These verses are short - but the are packed with power! "Rejoice evermore". It's a choice you know? I chose to rejoice because He has made me exceedingly glad! I chose to rejoice even when things are difficult because He will bring me through and He is right by my side!

So what am I asking for with regards to your posts and pictures? Two things:
1. Share about something that you are thankful for....not the big things that everyone is always thankful for - but those little things that we seem to overlook...that we take for granted.
2. Share about why you rejoice and why you worship Him.
(And of course share photos!)

Thank you, Zella!  What a beautiful scripture and prayerful words to think about.
Being thankful is something I strive for every day and try to incorporate it
in the smallest of ways.
There are days where I do just that, grateful to the heavens and back
for all the joy and wonderful things I have.
And then there are so days where I fail miserably.
But to pray without ceasing is a gift you not only give to yourself,
and back again to our Savior, but to those around you who you touch by witnessing. 

It's hard to narrow down one thing I am thankful for!
So I will share one of the things that touched my heart this past week.
I lost my dad on March 3 when he passed away, 8 years ago.
This is always a difficult time of the year for me
and I'd had a particularly bad week (everything that could go wrong, did!)
I love to sit in my backyard and enjoy the beauty that it offers -
either a leisure dip in the pool and floating around on a lounge chair,
or reading a book at the table, sipping coffee ...
even swinging on the kids swing set, even when they aren't home :)
Thing is, I feel closest to my dad out there, too.
He loved piddling around in the backyard, picking at the weeds,
watering plants, feeding the bird and talking to our dogs we had at the time.
When he passed away, we planted a memorial tree in his honor.
The girls were little at the time (and my son just an infant)
and they picked a 'pretty tree!' at the plant nursery - turns out it was a hibiscus.
This tree has not grown a single blossom ALL YEAR.
Could be this crazy cooky weather we've been having down South -
blazing hot one minute and then freezing the next.
Our citrus trees have gone overboard and we've learned don't stand under
it unless you want to get hit in the head with oranges!
They are literally DROPPING - just like that, no warning!

But dad's tree?

Until the first of March.
I saw the first bud sprouting and smiled.
This flowering tree finally heard my prayer and so did Dad ...
I just know it.
Would you believe, on March 3rd - I came outside and there was not just
one beautiful bud open to a gorgeous bloom ...
but 5!!!
It's like I tell my kids -
believe in your heart and it will be so.

I was very thankful indeed :)
Here is one of the gorgeous blooms ...

Wow, what a long post!
Thank you if you made it this far :)
This is my 73 card of the year in the 100/100 challenge
This is a hop and from here you will be off to visit Barb.
Hopefully you arrived from April's blog.
The COF blogs are not always linked
up in blog hop fashion so I merely invite you to stop in and visit
all the COF girls if you can and see what they have to share with you this day.
As always, I'm thankful for each of you!
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!
Card entered into:  HIMCR - Super Scraps


Frolicking in the Forest :)

Hi friends ~ I'm so glad this is Friday!  
 What a week this has been - whew =)
Right now, President Obama and the First Lady are at my daughter's
High School where they have the honor of singing the National Anthem!
What an absolutely wonderful once-in-a-lifetime moment,
 one she will look back on and treasure in the years to come.
Not too many people can say they met/sang for the President of the United States ...
except maybe Forest Gump, LOL!
I managed this week to reach too far back into the dryer
and burn my hand, causing a trip to the ER for 3rd degree burns.
See, housework is dangerous - we shouldn't do it! :/
I had to fill in as a chaperone for my daughters' choral group for MPA's
 and watch them get a standing ovation
and straight Superiors, earning them a spot to State next month!
Go Cuda Chorus! ♥
Being Room Mom, I was able to celebrate Dr. Suess's birthday week
(my favorite week!) with cute crafts and yummy treats -
I made Lorax buckets and green eggs and ham cookies
{pictures soon!} and
Put away books in the library where I volunteer x2 per week,
all with one hand while the other bandaged one heals up ...
But sadly, one thing I didn't catch up on was my card swaps!
This is one that is heading to my friend, Jeanette,
who is leader of the friends in the Forest swaps.
I think she's had like 110 of them by now!
Each one has a different theme, and this round was
Frolicking in the Forest.
Doesn't that sound like fun!

If you look that up in the Urban Dictionary,
it says "Prancing around like a fool"
I can do that!
I can prance!  I can be cool!
Oh wait, it says fool ....
Anyway ... I am really, really not happy with the way my card
came out but I didn't have time to redo it or keep fretting over it =(
I so love Elzybells and knew I wanted to ink up this stamp ~
I hope swinging is considered frolicking!
On the inside, I used a sentiment from MFT.
And that's it from me today!
I hope to visit you super soon,
I'm behind in my blogging and blog round visits but I'll be by!

This is my 65th card in the 100/100 card challenge.

Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!

Card entered into: Unruly Paper Arts - photo inspired/colors


Got Game?!

Hi all!

We have some *super* news at the Riley and Company Stamps -
our Design Team has grown!
We have 6 new talented and wonderful new designers
joining the team ~ we're excited to have you on board!

It's also time for another Riley and Company challenge!
This one is brought to us by DT member, Frances.  In her words ....

 Apparently the first public basketball game was played on the 11th March in 1892.
 So for our challenge today create a card with a sporting theme,
 it doesn't have to be basketball.
I happen to have Basketball Riley so it was fun to ink him up!
I used the Cuttlebug to cut out several circular nesties and then ran one
through the swiss dots folder for the basketball.  I ran it through
again with a black piece of card stock and then cut out tiny strips and glued them down.  Riley is colored with prismacolor markers.

Here is my card front:

And on the inside, I used the sentiment
Nothing is Impossible
I thought it was fitting for all the kids who play and
 for those who sit on the sidelines and cheer :)

This is my 64th card in my personal challenge this year ...
eek, gotta catch up! :)

Be sure to join us on the Riley and Company Challenge!
If you upload your card to a gallery, please use the keyword 0514.

Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'll enter my card into:  Crafting from the heart - AG/use dies
Corrosive Challenges - Animals



Simple Sundays ....

Blessings, friends :)
I just love Sundays! 

It's my favorite day of the week, including posting my Simple Sundays ~
a place to journal my thoughts, connect with ideas and let creativity flow!
 It's such a refreshing day spiritually, too ...

Jeremiah 31:25 ...
 "For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing
soul I will replenish."
We've so much to be thankful for,
 recollect blessings of the past week, and forging ahead in faith!

Today's card is Simple :)
I'm absolutely in love with blue and yellow lately!
Such contrasting hues and they just pair together so nicely,
I just going gah gah every time I get the chance to use them together :)
I inked up for the first time (woohoo!) the Country Morning stamp set
from SU! and propped up the bushel of flowers by using a 3d foam dot.

And as you can see, I played with cork!
This is a positively WONDERFUL element to card making.
Unlike it's cousin 'the burlap', LOL, it was so easy to use,
 pliable and very craft friendly.
I can't wait to dabble with more cork colors and make cork creations ...
the DCWV mat stack is filled with colors of this fun stuff!

The sentiment that comes with this set is very small ...
it's hard to read the quote, but it says

"there is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy."
by Ralph Blum

Thanks for stopping by ~
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'll enter this card into: Word Art Wednesday - AG
Inspired by Stamping - Flowers
Just be Creative Crazy - link party
Crafting from the heart - Flowers