Crazies: Skating on Thin Ice!

 Happy Weekend!  

First, let me apologize for the late post - blogger didn't launch this yesterday
 (and it's my human error!  I had it scheduled, then edited the post,
 and then left it in draft mode!  SO sorry to the friends at Crazy 4 Challenges!)

 And the reason why it's a late post ...
my oldest daughter graduated from college yesterday!
SO SO proud of this young lady ♥ 
 She started University as an intended nurse, changed to being a special needs teacher, specializing in working with children on the Autism/spectrum and has really found her place in the world.
  It's a selfless job and she has such a true gift for the field. 
 So how appropriately on National Superhero Day, she is mine! ♥ 

She graduated with honors and with an exit scholarship
(either for further schooling or to use for whatever her heart desires!)
 and the best part:  DEBT FREE!  
Not a single penny in student loans!
 Her next step:  her Master's Degree ~ truly the 'world is her oyster'.  

Back to the Crazies!
This is my last card as a guest designer for the Crazy 4 Challenges C4C432.
It has been a fun ride, though landed at a truly CRAZY time in my life :)

THIS WEEK:   Play on words ~ Skating on Thin Ice!
I immediately thought of my latest addition to my Peanuts stamp collection ~
Charlie Brown as coach to Snoopy and the Peanuts gang playing ice hockey!
I paired it with a stamp from another stamp set from Some Odd Girl
because, at least to me, it seems like it went hand in hand :)

Here is my card ↓

Thank you to the Crazy4Challenges for chosing me as a GDT for April!
I will still use the challenges as a springboard to create cards of my own
 as they are very fun challenges!
Be sure to check them out, too, 
as it just may give you an idea for your next card :)

Enjoy the weekend, friends!
Big hugs, bigger blessings ♥


F.Y.I ~ *Extra! Extra! Read All About It!*

Happy Fri-Yay, friends!

You may remember from this post my F.Y.I ~  Find Your Inspiration blog series!
  I have several coming up which I'm super excited to share! :) 

I have a new series I'm about to debut, too! 
Double YAY!
While doing some research for that, I came across this photo.

It reminded me of the countless movies and shows that I've seen
with a little boy standing with a bag of newspapers,
shouting "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!"
hoping to attract customers and deliver sales to make a small day's wage.

That image is one of those that kinda stays with you.
At the mere mention, you nod your head and said "yes! I know exactly the one!"
Maybe, like me, you can't quote the specific movie or show,
but you remember it :)
I've been meaning to make some cards for my brother.
He's an officer in the Army stationed in Germany but on temporary duty in Italy.
Yes, Italy!  
I tried and tried to tell him I needed to go with him to be his translator!
He said, "Kelly. You don't speak Italian!"
I know, so there's that ........ but still.  It's Italy!"
Needless to say, I didn't get to join him - LOL!

So the next best thing?
Send him some homemade cards!
So he can send them to our mom!
Yep, he's kinda lacking that way.

I was VERY lucky while shopping for a friend at Hobby Lobby
to stumble on that big clearance sale they had on stamps.
I scooped up quite a few stamps like this one as I it was 
just what I was looking for to make simple, CAS cards!

I've made him a stack of these, added envelopes, and will ship
these off to his home in Germany! 
I know when he's home from where he didn't take me from his temporary duty,
they'll be waiting for him to have on hand.

And that's my inspiration for this week!
Remember, the world is filled with inspiration and creativity ~
reach out and make it yours! ♥

Big hugs, bigger blessings!


CCEE ~ National Poetry Month!

Good Morning, friends!
There's a new challenge at the CCEE Stampers blog, brought to us by Lois. 
April is National Poetry Month, and today is Poem in Your Pocket Day. 
She asked us to create a card using a poem as your inspiration.
 Oh, Lois!  
Be still my heart! 
 I minored in English Literature in undergraduate college so everything poetry 
or written prose makes my heart go pitter-patter! ♥
For my poet, I chose Nathaniel Hawthorne,
 the author behind The House of Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter.
More specifically, I chose him for his poem "The Ocean."

The ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.
The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.
The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.

I could have chosen 100 different poets right off the top of my brain
but really wanted someone with an under the sea theme.
 I was very blessed to win the Instagram giveaway
from Peachy Keen Stamps.
They had a generous giveaway and I fell instantly in love with
  this beautiful stamp set
Thank you, Peachy Keen! 
 That really mermaid my day! ♥

For my card, it's a larger base of 5.5 x 5.5
as I had intended to add a few of the under the sea friends together
as well as one of the sentiments.  
This set is filled with sweet messages and lots of pun!
I colored them with prismacolor markers
and then popped them up on 3D foam.
The sentiment lays flat against the background,
and I added a few enamel dots and sequins to simulate bubbles.

Here's the stamp set in it's entirety:

Thanks for swimming by today!
It was good to sea you!
Okay, I'll stop - LOL!

Big hugs, bigger blessings!


C4C431: I ♥ Puppies, sketches, and faith!

Good Morning, friends!
We're having internet connection issues here at home
so I'm bouncing by more like in the afternoon!
*Crossing my fingers Comcast has it fixed now* 

Today starts a new challenge at Crazy 4 Challenges and it's a fun sketch challenge.
The sketch looked like a perfect one to use as a base for a CAS card
to use as a foundation for my Crafters of Faith card, too.

Tracie is the hostess for the Crafters of Faith for April
and gave us this scripture/challenge theme:
 For my challenge I decided to use the Scripture "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your Heart" which is from Psalms 37:4.  I love hearts so I asked everyone to have a heart somewhere on their card.
Based on her challenge and the wonderful C4C sketch, I came up with my card.
I knew I wanted to use "You Have my Heart" from My Favorite Things,
a stamp/die set I was very lucky to scoop up at their huge retirement sale.

Truthfully, anything with puppies has my heart ♥
This funny thing happens whenever I see a puppy stamp set,
it magically falls into my shopping cart!  

And here's the inside of my card:

If you'd like to play along with the Crazy 4 Challenges,
you can find the blog in the link and here's a peek at the sketch ↓

The fun thing about challenges is they can often springboard your creativity!
Maybe you are stuck in a rut or can't quite come up with putting together
a card idea and make the card come together.
Sketches are a great baseline to do just that!

Thanks for stopping by!
Big hugs, bigger blessings ♥


CCEE1816: National Bicycle Day!

Hiya friends! 
 Did you know today is National Bicycle Day? 
 Yes, it WHEELY is!

 The new CCEE Challenge for this week is hostessed by Lois
and she challenged us to add a bicycle somewhere on our cards.
I have a couple of bicycle stamps, 
however, I went with a digital stamp instead as I really wanted 
a total card that created a scene like a story book :)

I adore Sassy Cheryl stamps and knew when I saw the theme
exactly where I'd be looking for my card image.
I chose to use Taking the Scenic Route which is this charming 
instant download stamp and 4 cute sentiments.
 It also comes pre-colored if you prefer that option.

This card is a hybrid - half markers, half pencils.
While I started out intending to color most of with markers,
I mostly used my colored pencils to give this image a softer,
 more storybook look to it ... my favorite, of course :)

*One crafty tip!  
Use a #2 pencil if your marks are too dark, outside the lines,
or simply not what you wanted them to be!
Most of the standard colored pencils will react to a regular eraser
much as the lead to the pencil does.
Just for kicks and giggles, I used the color blender but as you can see,
it didn't react to the waxy colored pencil ~ but the eraser did!

Remember, you don't have to be PERFECT when coloring,
you just have to PRACTICE ♥ 
Grab your pencils and color, practice, and have fun!

Be sure to stop in and see what the rest of the team
has made with bicycles for National Bicycle Day.
You can find them here on the CCEE blog
as well as the linky to play along!

Big hugs, bigger blessings ♥


RSG: Been farmin' long?

 Good Morning, friends!

Today is the 3rd Wednesday of the month which means 
the Ready, Set, Go! Challenge is due. 
 The RSG is a challenge where Barb, Jeanette and I think WAY outside the box and take turns proposing challenges that are not for the faint of heart :-)  
For this month's challenge, Jeanette is the hostess and asked us to reflect a bit on our grandfathers.  For me, that was indeed a challenge, as I was not fortunate to know either of my grandpas.  We grew up in a military family and while we were very fortunate and very blessed to travel often and see so much of the world, that always took us far away from our extended family.  The alternative was to reflect on another ancestor who's birthday is the closest to today, April 18th, and create a card/project that in some way reflects that person, so I went with that.

I chose my dad ♥  
His birthday would have been in July, the closest relative with the next birthday.
My dad passed away in March 11 years ago at the way-too-young age of 63,
but his memory and legacy will live on for many, many more years. 
 He and I were very close and were so much alike!
  We had so many similiar traits and the same sense of humor and often finished each others sandwiches jokes! ← That's something he would have said!

Dad was a HARD worker - born and raised in rural southern California on a farm with Irish immigrant parents.  He was 3rd from the youngest of the 12 children my grandma birthed, but tragically lost 3 young siblings when they were very young. He often told us growing up with 8 other siblings (9 including himself) was HARD ... food was sometimes scarce, work was long, hard and in the scorching sun, and it was a difficult to stay in school when the farms needed tending.  His job, among many, was the chicken coop!  He said it often gave him great joy to tend to the chickens and devise ways to keep the foxes and coyotes out.  He has ONE photograph of him as a child, maybe 4 or 5? - as a little toehead, wearing his jean overalls and squinting into the sun trying to see the camera.  It's a tattered old black and white photograph and on that rare occasion that we pulled it out to look at it, he and I would crack up and say that one famous line "Been farmin' long?!"  He did two things that brought pride to his family:

1.  He graduated high school, and a year early!  That was not an easy feat back in the day.  Dropping out was not only acceptable, but often necessary.
2.  He joined the Air Force at 17 and served our country proudly,
 retiring at 26 years.  I am so grateful for our veterans,
 but my favorites are my brother and my dad :)

I miss my dad .. so so  SO much.  Every day.  He left us too soon, and I know my greatest joy will be when I see him again on the other side.  

So here is my card, in honor of my dad :-)

 I dug through my stash of stamps to find the one that best represented him, 
his chickens, farm and the bibs :) 
 I colored my CC Designs Sweet Chicky.  
*Edited - I replaced my photo and will try a skin coloring technique another time :)
  I am DIGGIN' this farm paper that has been in my stash called Heartland Farm from American Crafts ~ it was a perfect match! 
You can see what Barb and Jeanette have created with this month's 
RSG! Challenge. 
I have a few missing from the first year of challenges but 
they are already in the works or done! ♥
Stay tuned!
Big hugs, bigger blessings ♥


TPB: Happy Father's Day ♥

Happy Monday, friends!

Wow, where did the weekend go?!  I blinked and missed it! 
 We were that busy - enjoying the gorgeous sunshine and tropical glory
 of living in Miami, Florida :)

Speaking of gorgeous, today is the day I post on the blog at
 Denise has been busy behind the scenes creating wonderful new stamps sets,
two of which were just debuted and they are indeed gorgeous!
One is a summer/4th of July inspired stamp set 
and the other is a unique and fabulous classic car set ~
both are incredible and available in the shop!

For my card today, I'm actually combining two different stamp sets 
that shows you how you can mix and match to tailor them to a specific purpose.
I'm using:
1.  Deer Mom ~ a deer and Mother's Day themed sentiments
2. Classic Man ~ a vintage car and masculine sentiments!

First, my card was inspired by this stunning one in the gallery at SCS.
I try to play along with the Featured Stamper as often as I can
since it was a great honor and humbling experience for me when I was chosen ♥
Her card stood out for a couple of reasons ...
the bold, rich patterned paper which I had just seen in my stash.
Oh my goodness, I tore up my RÅSKOG looking for it 
because it was a single sheet not with the rest of the paper pad.
 It was spot on perfect and I knew I had it .. somewhere ..
and finally, near the end of the final row :)

Back to her card ... I was drawn to the deer as a focal point 
and I knew that Deer Mom would be a great choice to CASE her card.

You can find these stamp sets and more in the shop over at The Project Bin.
Remember, if you click the photo of the stamp set, 
it takes you to the gallery to see insprational cards and ideas 
on way to use the stamp/die sets.

Thanks for stopping by today!
Big hugs, bigger blessings ♥


DDD ~ April Showers!

Hi friends!

It's the 15th of the month and that means the Dueling Darling Divas (DDD)
 and Dazzlers have our friendly "duel!"
Our hostesses this month are Barb for the Divas
and Tracie for the Dazzlers and they came up with a theme of: April Showers!

Barb sent us on Team Divas an adorable kit with her signature stamp choice,
Whipper Snapper, called "Umbrella and Slicker" 
along with gorgeous paper and embellishments.  
I tried to use at least one of everything in the kit,
sans the twine and clear gems, I did! :)

Here is my card, based on the kit:

I looked all through my files to find a picture of the inside of my card,
but it looks like I didn't take one *gasp!*

But I did one to share on thing about the planning of my card.
One thing I learned is using the 'white space' around your image.
For instance, I was immediately drawn to a circular shape when
I saw this image, probably because of the half moon shape of the umbrella.
That shape, however, really didn't blend with the card design.
Once everything was colored and in place,
I added some wink of Stella for shimmer (rain!) and buttons ♥

Sometimes it's good to look at the image and chose a 'spacial' balance.
In other words, how MUCH white (or empty) space you want.
My original plan to was to have a smaller image for the card base
(so as to not cover up so much of the pretty paper!)
but it looked too constricted ↓
It cuts right up on the lines of the image,
so I went with a larger die for a bigger empty space.

And that's it for this round - Happy April Showers!
Be sure to check out the rest of the Divas and the Dazzler's dueling cards ...
you can find them in my sidebar :)'

Thank you, 
Tracie and Barb,
for your wonderful hostessing and the super fun card kits!

Big hugs, bigger blessings ♥


Crazy for Coffee! ♥

Oh yes!  It's true!
 Coffee and I ...... we go hand in hand!

Especially when it comes to Starbucks.
My cup runneth over ♥

 I think I whisper these words to my macchiato every time 
I stop into Starbucks and the barista hands it to me - LOL!  

This week for the Crazy 4 Challenges,
the theme is coffee in the forms of colors, stamps or dies.
Naturally anything with a coffee theme makes me happy!
 I'm a guest designer for the month of April
and this is what I came up with to play along with the theme.

 I used two stamp sets from Honey Bee StampsCoffee Break and
Oh, Snap! (pssst - this one is retiring!)

You may remember this card that I made with Coffee Break ~
I absolutely LOVE it ♥ 

After stamping out the sentiment and getting a card together,
I stamped out the coffee cup from that set.
Remember, if you don't have dies to match your stamp sets, just fussy cut!
I stamped it again on designer paper and cut just the portion to go around
the cup to create a 'sleeve'.
It's popped up on 3d foam for dimension
and pretty simple!
I'm really happy with how this card turned out with it's cheerful colors 
and, of course, coffee theme!

Here's a peek at the inside, with a small flap to tuck in a gift card :)

 Be sure to stop in the Crazy4Challenges to see more coffee themed
inspired cards!

Big hugs, bigger blessings ♥

I'll enter this to:  Crafty Gals Corner/Buttons