Summer time fun!

Wow, it's Monday!  How did that happen! :) 
One of the greatest joys in crafting is the friends I've made
along the way and the crafting we do together!
While we are miles apart, I love that we chat everyday
via threads, texts, groups, etc ...
it just makes the whole crafting hobby that much more of a blessing!
I'm also usually rushing to the mailbox
and forget to take pictures of my swap cards!
But this time, I got lucky! :)
For today's card, sistah Gael from the SOTC hosted the swap this month
and her theme was ... ready for this! .... Non-masculine masculine!
This had me thinking outside the box!
Rather than the traditional 'guy' cards like sports and motorcycles,
she asked us to think outside the box and send a masculine card
not representing the obviously male .....
I thunk, and thunk some more .........
and reached for super cheeky Riley zipping along through the forest!

The new Riley and Company Challenge, hosted by Sandye,
is to show off some Summertime fun!
This will be my DT card for the week ♥

We actually had the opportunity to zip line in the Great Smoky Mountains
last year ~ oh, can I tell you how much fun I had :)
I would truly love to do that more often! 
 We were HIGH UP, zipping through trees - not open spaces!
Super exhilarating and energizing and oh. so. fun!

I hope the other swappers like my humble offering to the swap :)
I hope today is a summer play day for you!

Big hugs, Bigger Blessings! ♥


I'll enter this into:  Come and Get it - Animals
 Pile it on 26 - Outdoor Fun
Love to Create 122 - Three or More DSP!


Calendar Girls -- Freedom Rings!

Hi all!  Happy Saturday! 
 Today is the 28th of the month - the day the Calendar Girls
SCS crafty group post our cards with a chosen theme. 

 This month, our hostess is Deb and she gave us a lot to reflect :]
 This is her challenge:

Since we are the CALENDAR Girls I was thinking we should make cards that reflect the months of the year or days of the week.

I found these sayings about a few of the months:

Slow as Molasses in January
January Brings a New Year
Beware the Ides of March (William Shakespeare "Julius Caesar")
March, In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb
April Showers Bring May Flowers
June is Bustin' Out All Over (Oscar Hammerstein)
July Fireflies Bring August Skies
September Leaves Gives Chance for October Scares

And here are some yearly days of the week.:

Fat Tuesday
Black Friday
Good Friday
Palm Sunday

So the challenge is to make a card that reflects your interpretation of one of the above sayings about the months or one of the four listed days. (Maybe you know another saying about months of the year you like. You can use that saying.)  In your blog post let us know what saying or day your card reflects.

So!  My card today reflects the month of July and I actually took Deb's
offer to use one that reflects that month.  As a child growing up in a military
family, and as a sister to an active duty soldier still, I knew I wanted
to use July's celebration of freedom.
Recently, my husband was hospitalized and while I was waiting
for him to finish some tests, I remember the multitude of trips
that I took to the VA with my father.  He lost his battle with
cancer but before he passed away, he certainly didn't go without a fight.
The doctor's very sternly told him he had 3-6 months to live as the cancer
had metastasized.  He, however said, "Nope, no I don't -- I ain't ready to go yet."  He surpassed the odds and gave us 3 glorious more years
One of dad's favorite sayings was "Freedom isn't Free".
Dad's birthday is 2 weeks from today ~ he would have been turning 70.

In honor of my dad, for his July birthday and service to our country,
Here is my Calendar Girl saying:
"One flag, one land, one heart, one hand."
(Can I get an AMEN!)

And here is my card, using the ever adorable Flag Riley,
(From Riley and Company Stamps!)

Please be sure stop by the other Calendar Girls blogs,
you can find them in my sidebar,
and see what they've done this month!
As always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'll enter this into:  Open Minded Crafting#13 - Patriotic Colors
Pumpkin Spice - Red, White and Blue
Little Red Wagon - Animal Antics
                                                        City Crafter - Red White and Blue
Paper Pretties - - Red, White and Blue
DLArt Thankful Thursday - Patriotic


I *Shaved* today! Woot, Woot!

Hi there, friends!

 I have a fun card to share with you today,
one I've been meaning to create and get blogged all month.
And you read that right -- I shaved! 
 Well, my card anyway! :)
 Not only do I have a beautiful sentiment stamp to showcase, but a super fun stamping technique!
Since today is my day to post on the Prickley Pear Stamps blog,
I thought I'd show you this very inspiring quote stamp:  "What if your fears"
which is a beautiful etched red rubber stamp.  I fell in love with it the second I laid eyes on it!  Such a sentiment to ponder ♥
I also challenged my lovely stamping friends (the Stamp Addicts!) to the TAT (Try a new Technique) challenge this month:  The Shaving Cream Technique.
And let me just say - it's super easy peazy, lemon squeazy!

 I knew I wanted this sentiment to stand alone and what better way than to have a simple, CAS card with a background to make it *POP!*  I added several colors of SU Reinkers to standard shaving cream - Kiwi Kiss, Real Rust and a few drops of daffodil yellow .... very citrus-y colors :) 
I went straight to the source on SCS for the tutorial -
 peek at this link with step by step instructions and photos. 
 It's fun, energizing, colorful AND super easy - and the bonus:  You don't need designer paper! 
  I also 'shaved' and stamp onto watercolor paper, which I find works best of all and holds up to the water and elements better than regular heavy weight cardstock (I use PTI's white hw cardstock - super thick and yummy!)
I'm one who tries not to waste anything so when I tried this on regular G-P cardstock next, I decided that the smaller piece would become a bookmark.
See ... a matching set!


Thanks for stopping by today and be sure
 to check out the shop at Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps
for this stamp and many more!
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!


Grillin' Time! {Riley and Company Challenge}

Hi friends!! 
  I hope you are enjoying the splendors of Summer!   Each weekend, our neighbor's have been firing up their BBQ's, not unusual for South Florida ~ with our glorious year round weather, we see (and smell!) the grills often. 
 But there's something about Summer that says fire up the grill :) 
And with my family of carnivores, they say there is nothing like a burger, 'dogs, steaks and ribs from on the grill.
Me, being a vegetarian, will have no part in that, lol!
 But I absolutely ADORE my veggies on the grill - give me some eggplants, corn, squash, zucchini (etc) grilled to perfection ... it's a slice of heaven!
The challenge this week at Riley and Company is to make a card or project
with food or drinks and is hosted by DT member, Joy.
I stamped and colored my BBQ Riley and I wanted to make a 4th of July
card since that's one of the main things we do before fireworks and festivities.
Oh the memories this evokes ♥

I also followed the sketch from Mojo Monday this week:
We'd love for you to play along! To enter the challenge, create a card/project
using Riley and Company images.
  You can find our challenge blog here
as well as the DT inspirational cards.


Once you have created your card/project, come back here and place a comment with a link to your card/project to this post so we can see what you have created. If you upload your card/project to Splitcoast Stampers please include the keyword Riley1314.
 We can't wait to see what you create!   

 As Always,
Big hugs, Bigger Blessings!

Card entered into: City Crafters Challenge - Red, White, Blue 
Die Cutting Divas Vow to thee my Country
Creative Cutting Challenge - Red, White & Blue
Stampartpapel - Independence Day
RCC94 - Dads, grilling - Spooled Item = twine in button and ribbon!
Twisted Tuesday - Red, White, Blue w/ stars


Prickley Pear - Fly With Me!

Hi there!
  I have another post for you today as it's the day 
I post on Prickley Pear Rubber Stamp Challenge blog ♥ 

For today's card, I wanted to make a fun and whimsical
card for a special little guy we know that just adores airplanes.
I reached for the Hot Air Balloons stamp set ::: Swoon! :::
It is absolutely charming!
The thing I love so very much about Prickley Pear stamps
is they stamp so crisp and clear right out the gate!
This card is using a little more dimension that normal.
I ran the clouds through a large dot embossing folder first,
then used a cloud die in my Cuttlebug.  It uses
lots of 3d foam behind the clouds and airplane ...
and, lastly, I stamped out the banner and Fly with Me sentiment,
all included in the stamp set!
On the inside of my card,
I completed it with yet another sentiment that says "Just wanting to say HI!"

You can find this stamp set in the Prickley Pear Store
along with the matching hot air balloon die and many more stamps/dies! 
Thanks for stopping by today!
As always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

Card entered into:
 Crafty Little Fairies:  Spots and Stripes
Creative Moments - For the boys


CHF .... For the birds!

Hi friends! 
It's time again for another challenge over at
 Cornish Heritage Farms Challenge blog and this week,
our challenge is brought to us by DT member, Steph!
Her challenge:  Creating a background with stamps.

My head was swimming with ideas as soon as I saw this challenge
            and knew I wanted to work with this stamp ~ the absolutely
                          gorgeous Wood Grain backgrounder stamp.


I stamped it out in a variety of colors and

ended up going with a rich, darker brown.

I wanted to keep my card simple, so I added a simple grosgrain ribbon,

twine and Cardinal bird image, also from Cornish Heritage Farms ..
and a little button to finish it off.
I added a tiny bit of glitter dust to the leaves - hard to catch on film :)
Simple but quiet, serene, peaceful ♥
Before I go, you may remember on this post a small bird that dh
brought home after a storm - found on the sidewalk with no mommy,
no nest, no shelter :*(  My daughter nursed it through the night
around the clock and the next day we took it took a bird sanctuary.
It turns out it was around 10 days old or so and a morning dove ~
they graciously took it in and called us a week or so later to tell
us it had done quite well and released back into the wild!
Such a happy ending!

To play create a card using CHF images.
You can use either CHF digi or rubber stamps to create a card or project with a Cornish Heritage Farms.
Be sure to link up your cards here on the CHF blog and see what the
DT has created with backgrounds this week :)

As Always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'll link this card to:  Addicted to Stamps - Outdoors
Dragonfly Challenge - Things with Wings
Crafts and me - Add Wings
Fussy and Fancy - Things with Wings
Open Minded crafting 12 -  something with wings


Dueling Darlings ~ How does your garden Grow?

Hi friends and Happy Father's Day to all those celebrating!

SUPER long post ahead with many pictures :)
It's the 15th of the month and that means the
 Dueling Darlings get their card kit duel on!
In case you might be wondering what that is,
it's a card group I created years ago over on SCS in which
 two opposing 'teams' of crafters (The Divas and The Dazzlers, but we are ALL Darlings ♥) chose a theme ~
 then each of the two opposing hostesses send card kits to each in their group,
and it's a surprise until we receive it/post it! :)
This month, our hostesses are Tami for Team Divas
and Darlene for Team Dazzlers!
And they chose ..... Gardening!

Using Gardening Riley and almost a little bit of everything in the kit,
here is my card - inside and out:

* Now, Tami also asked for us to post our favorite gardening tip in our post.
My tip:  Have your kids do it!!
LOL!  I jest ♥
In all seriousness, this theme could not be more appropriate timed
because a couple of weeks ago, our oldest daughter (home from
college classes for the summer) decided she wanted to start that
garden she kept talking about.
In the summer.
In South Florida.
In the heat.
I agreed to help her (comical in itself, since I have the polar
opposite of a green thumb and the only plants I can manage to take
care of are SILK plants .... even then ... it's questionable!)
as long as she took the helm - planned it all from
which area of the yard, the how and when to build it,
what supplies and seeds she would want, and I would be there
to lend a hand -- and some blood, sweat, and tears (yup!  All 3!)
Did I mention it's HOT here?!!!
"It's like AFRICA hot", to quote Matthew Broderick!

The next day surveying ....
and, Buster, again ~ he thinks he's a Farm Dog.

She did AWESOME!
I am immensely proud of her and her little garden which is now
sprouting all over the place ~ oh, I can taste that squash and zucchini already!
I've taken a lot of pictures over the weeks, documenting ...
 Typical of South Florida summers, it's been raining a lot!
Downright POURING, even.
A few times, we've been worried!

 but her planning, planting, and diligence has paid off.
By the Fall, I hope we have a bountiful harvest!
She's already scouting out where to put the trellis and the climbing
vines ~ plus all the little seedling transfers she has in
starter pots and planters.
Did you make it this far!?
Thank you!!
Be sure to stop in and see what the rest of the Divas and Dazzlers
have created for you with our Gardening theme!
You can find them all listed in my sidebar ...
 over there to the right }}}}}}
As always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!
I'll enter this card into:  Sentimental Sundays #211 - Animals
Stamping Sensations:  Animal Antics
 Natalie and Amy Challenge - 4 legged friends!


You're One of a Kind!

Hello, friends! 
Today's card is super fun and one I couldn't wait to create ~
most of you who visit me regularly (thank you!)
know that I am slightly obsessed and absolutely adore The Alley Way Stamps!
When I saw the new Be Inspired Challenge #53,
 I think I literally squealed :)
I LOVE bright, fresh, vivid colors and couldn't wait to ink up a few stamps
to make this idea come to life.
This week is Vacation Bible School, one of my favorite weeks of the year!
This year, my son has one of the
sweetest ladies as his teacher.  I wanted to make her a card
to say thank you and thought ... teacher = apple= yes!
So this is my humble yet heartfelt card ♥
I used 3 stamp sets to make this card --
It's Fall About You, All About YOU, and Deep into the Woods.

 And the inside ♥

Here is the TAWS #53 inspiration picture: 

I'll enter this into the TAWS challenge #53 above
and Little Red Wagon - Teacher Appreciation (VBS)
Thanks for stopping by today :)

Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

God Bless America!! ♥

Good Morning!

I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart
for the prayers and well wishes for my husband ♥ 
The bumpy road of unknowns is easier to travel with
good friends and prayer warriors! 

Today is bittersweet, my last post with Whimsy and Stars Studios Stamps
as the Spring DT term has come to an end ....
I've had a wonderful time getting inky with Whimsy
and hope you've enjoyed all the DT creations the past few months :)

Today is our monthly blog hop and our theme this month is:
Celebrate summer with your Favorite Whimsy and Stars Studios image.
Summer just wouldn't be Summer without the 4th of July
celebrations ~ from the beaches to parks to grilling and fireworks!
I chose to work with this adorable image:  God Bless America

Here is my card:

Please be sure to stop by the blog and see what
the rest of the DT has created for you this Summer!

And if you like this image or would like to see more,
you can find them all here in the Whimsy shop!

As Always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'll enter my card into:  The Paper Players - R/W/B
and PPA207 - Red,white, blue



Just dropping a line ....

Hi Friends!
I have another card to share with you today ~
 a Shaker Card!
I'm using a this stunning image from Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps 
I chose this image for my card today because my son
loves to fish so this will be his Father's Day card
 for my husband this year ♥

And this is the inside of my card:

For this image and many more,
please visit the shop here
or visit the blog to be inspired by the DT creations :)
As Always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

 card entered into: Going Grey/Scrap Creations - Father's Day
Ladybug Crafts - For Him 
RCC94 - Dads/spooled Item (twine)
Papertake weekly - For the Boys
Tuesday Throwdown - Special Man


COF "For the Men" meets Riley & Co "Texture!"

Howdy, Friends!
How's that for a catchy title?

If you are here for the Riley and Company's Challenge,
or the
Carriers of Faith monthly post,
you're in the luck - they are one in the same!
Yes, my card is pulling double duty this time around --
sometimes we just get lucky that way ;)
For my Riley and Company post, I am the hostess this challenge -
HI! ♥
I chose the challenge to be one in which you can create a card/project
using 'Terrific Textures!'
 Mine is pretty obvious ~ I went with one of my FAVES of all time - burlap.
I love to work with this stuff!
I love feel, the smell, the memories it brings
of grand-dad's farm ~ counless burlap bags filled to the brim with peaches.
They lived on the property where the owners had huge orchards just
filled with acres and acres of peaches ... I can still visualize it.
which I LOVE!  Simple and to the point!
Indeed He does ♥
We'd be thrilled if you could play along with our challenge -
you can link up your cards in the challenge area
right here starting 6/10 :)

Also, for the Carriers of Faith, our hostess this month is Paula!
Her theme is this one:

Celebrate the Men in your life...

Challenge: I want you to create a card or gift for your father or a male figure who has been influential in your Christian life. Create multiple projects if you wish for more than one of those special men.
2. Give the project to that man or men that you hold dear to you. Celebrate these people on or before Father's Day!
3. Use any scripture you like on your project. Just make sure the scripture has a prominent place somewhere on your project and share a pic where you used the scripture.
4. Tell us why you chose this person or persons and how they played a part in your walk with Christ.
5. Explain why you chose a particular scripture on your project.

For me, Father's Day is one of the hardest days of the year.
I lost dad 7 years ago and not a day goes by that I don't think of him
and he's not with me. 
My father and I were very close, as close as a parent and child could be
and his passing left a void in my heart.
I have so many wonderful memories of him and the man he was
before cancer riddled him of his mind and body
and hold fast to that to guide me through this journey of life ♥
Yes, I have a WONDERFUL and most incredible husband ~
and a fabulously crazy brother as well :)
But mostly, Father's Day tends to be raw, emotional ...
so this card was a reminder to myself that above all things,
we are never forsaken.
Truly .... GOD'S GOT THIS,
as with many things if we just seek him in refuge!
For my card inside, I added a sentiment that was computer
generated ~ one that brings me comfort over and over
and was fitting with the stamp .... Psalm 46:1.
Be sure to stop in and see what the rest of the COF sisters
have created this month - you can find them  listed
in my sidebar!
As Always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'd like to enter this to:  Word Art Wednesday - AG
Sunday Stamps - Color Palette


Summertime = Watermelon!

Hi friends! 
and it's officially Summer!!  ♥
I love that 'the babies' (as I dub them) are home with me
during the Summer - laid back, carefree and lazy! :}
Well ... Monday officially starts our treasured VBS for a week
 and then 3 weeks of theater camp so a little break at least :)
When I think of Summer, one of the first things that comes
to mind is fresh watermelon - the kids and I are always
running around with a wedge or two.
It's my day to post on the Whimsy and Stars Studio's blog - YAY!
I chose this darling Watermelon Boy image to showcase
because he is just so sweet and represents the start
of summertime joy ♥
You can find him here in the shop :)

And the inside ♥

Now you may notice something a bit different about this card
from my regular cards - it's sideways!
I next to never make a East to West card, always North to South!
I accidentally put the paper sideways when assembling the card
absolutely meant to put the paper on the card this way *grin!*
So this is a bit of a rare treat for me!
Be sure to head on over to the blog for more summertime
inspiration all week long and if there is an image that
catches your eye, scoop it up! 
There is plenty to chose from and you get instant
downloading after your purchase - easy peasy!
And if you aren't a fan on Facebook, please do consider
joining us as we'd love for you to see all the inspirations
and upcoming goodies, too!

As Always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

I'll enter this card into:  GetInky! - Summer
Stemplesonne - Fresh Fruit
CCEE - Green
Fantastic Tuesday - Summer
The Doodle Garden - Summer



Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps ~ I'm a Guest Designer!

Hi friends!
Today is such an exciting day for me, as I can finally share some wonderful news!
I was invited to be a Guest Designer for the month of June
to Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps!

                                  I'm OVER THE MOON excited!!
A big thank you, Michelle, for the invation and
for being so sweet and wonderful to work with ♥
Stay tuned, as you'll be seeing a lot of stamps
and dies showcased on my blog all month long!
For today's card, I went for a simplistic approach to showcase
this windmill ~ reminds me of simplier times, farm life and
time spent in the countryside.
I stamped it in SU Chocolate chip and really wanted it
to be the focal point of the card, so minimal embellishments
to give it a bit of character :)

This stamp, as well as many, many others,  is available in the
Stop on by and take a look! 
The quality is superb and the stamps are so crisp and clean -
instant happiness! ♥
I'll be posting every Thursday a new card/project
and hope you can venture on over to the blog and see what the
designers make all week!
As always,
Big Hugs, Bigger Blessings!

Card entered into:  Perfectly Rustics - buttons
Digi Sketch Challenge 26th of May - Use a Stamp and/or Sketch