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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Blog Hops with Heart - Always & Forever

Some songs stick in your head.  "Always and Forever" is one of them.  It first released when I was in jr. high, and it played at every dance from then until I graduated from high school. 

Best. Slow dance. Ever!

So I decided to make it the theme for my Valentine for this month's Blog Hops with Heart.

I used the Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge to cut two tags, one white and one Ruby, as well as the ampersand symbol.  The stamped words come from a set called "Finding the Words."  Thick twine in Poppy was deepened by coloring it with a Copic marker.  (Note: you might want to skip this step if you have plans for the evening and don't want people to think you're a serial killer.)  While it was drying, I pierced the white tag using the Stitch Guide. 

Best. Accessory. Ever!

I wasn't terribly happy with how it turned "always" messy, so here's an alternative for those of you who are a little, um...obsessive like me.

I used the Keyboard Alphabet to create "NOW" and mounted it on a layer of foam tape. It might not make the song start playing in your head, but it conveys the same feeling.

This goes to the...Best. Husband. Ever!

You should have come from Kelly's blog, and now your off to see what Stephanie has created.  Both are fabulous, so don't miss them.  And keep going until you get back to where you started on this circular hop.  Too much goodness to miss a thing!

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Writer's World Wednesday - Cow Tailing

Just a little reminder that my Wednesday posts about writing are over on my author page.  Today I'm talking about "cow tailing" as a rodeo event.  You can link by clicking here, or on the link under my header picture.

Hope you come see what all the fuss is about!

Until next time,

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Love is in the air...and on my typewriter!

I recently busted my crafting fast wide open and purchased the new "Artistry" Cricut cartridge from Close to My Heart along with a few other yummies.  The four layer typewriter is my new favorite thing, and I'll be using it a ton. Today, I'm using it for the current challenge over at CAS on Sunday: Valentines.

Isn't that adorable??

I wanted the background to have a little something to make the white paper stand out, so I used a panel of watercolor paper, swiped Tim Holtz Spun Sugar Distress Stain over the back, and faded out the edges by feathering them with a paint brush.  The sentiment is from a retired CTMH set called "Typed Note."

Let me tell you what else I'm in love with...the German carbide blade for my Cricut.  I've had so much trouble with fine cuts, but this new blade is the BOMB!  I'll be ordering a multi-pack because I never want to be without one again.

Nothing like new stuff to get your creative juices going.  Let's hope it stimulates the actual typewriter (aka, laptop) so I can meet some writing deadlines after being down a couple weeks with shingles.

Until next time,

Saturday, February 6, 2016

May Your Memories...

I hate when my stash of sympathy cards runs out. It means too many people I care about are hurting. But, since they are some of the most appreciated cards, I try to always have at least three on hand.  Here's one I created using the new Charlotte paper from CTMH:

The flower was cut with a file that's free on Cricut Design Space (for my Explore) right now.  I cut it in Sorbet and Black, sponged the flower edges with Sorbet ink, and used some Slate Velvet Rub-ons left over from a CTMH Workshop I ordered years ago.  The leaves are from a stamp set called "Shower Flowers" stamped in Slate. The background panel is actually from the paper designed to be used for Picture My Life.  After I had the card assembled, the touch of gold in the ribbon felt out of place because I didn't have gold anywhere else so I added the two large gold sequins.

I'm entering it in this week's Color My Heart challenge: White, Black, Whisper, Slate, Sorbet, and Champagne.   

I love how this turned out so I'll be making a few more for my stash.  There's something both fresh and gentle about the color scheme that makes it perfect to extend sympathy.

Until next time,

Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Three Best

It's the last day of the latest class at Online Card Classes.  The last two days have been "Expressive Florals" where you can take any blob and turn it into a flower.

Here are my best three:

 Used a stamp as a guide for flower placement.
 Free-form roses. Like the roses, hate the leaves, LOVE the sentiment.
Free-form blobs connected by stems and leaves.  Like the leaves.

I think I'm way too literal and picky when it comes to creating these kinds of things.  This free-form stuff just makes me sweat.  If I decide to do much more with watercoloring, I need to invest in better brushes and paper.

The last card meets a different kind of challenge.  Karen Day and I have started daring each other to use up old CTMH paper.  I used Aspen cardstock and B&T paper.  Tag, Karen.  You're it.

As for the shingles, my left eye is only partially swollen now.  I still look too scary to leave the house, but at least I'm starting to function.  Next week I'll be hitting the writing hard.  Deadlines are starting to creep up on me, not to mention a few launch functions for the book releasing March 1.  I have to say, though, if you're going to have to waste a week of work because neither your brain nor body can hold up, watercoloring isn't a bad way to go.

Until next time,

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sweet Baby A

Thanks for all your well wishes.  This shingles thing is no fun.  My eye is still swollen, and my forehead is starting to look really ugly, but I feel like I'm turning the corner.  I'm going to head up to my office and see if I can get some writing done, but I took the morning to work on a card that kept me up last night.

I have a dear friend who just had a baby girl.  Their nursery colors are tan, coral, aqua and white.  I decided to use the negative space watercoloring lesson from Online Card Classes to customize a baby card.

To begin, I embossed the letter A from CTMH "Building Blocks" alphabet set in clear. Then I went to work on the background.  I spritzed my paper with water and dropped Yellow Deep and Yellow Ochre onto various places, swirled it around, then dropped Cobalt Blue and Rose Madder in a few places.  I let that dry then added more of the same colors, mixing a few to create purple and green hues.  Before it dried, I came in with a well-loaded brush and put Cobalt Blue near the edges of the A.  After it dried, I did a wash over the whole thing with Burnt Sienna.

After I lifted the embossing powder by ironing it off between two sheets of blank writing paper, I wet the entire letter and touched Compose Blue along the left side, adding more pigment to the edges to create shading.  With the embossing powder gone and touches of watercolor inside the letter, it looks like I worked harder than I actually did to create that crisp edge.

I trimmed the panel to 4x4, distressed the edges with Cocoa ink, stamped "sweet" and "Baby" in Cocoa, and handwrote the rest of Annalise's name.  Some gold sequins and Glacier Thick twine finished the card.

All stamps, ink, and accessories are from CTMH, watercolors are Holbien Artist's Water Color, and paper is Strathmore 300 Series 140# Cold Press.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hello Friend

Since it's nearly impossible to write for any length of time with one eye swollen shut, I did my first card from the current Online Card Class: Intermediate Watercolor Techniques for Card Makers

I used an old Stampin' Up set called "Fall Whimsy" stamped in third generation Momento Rich Cocoa.  The sentiment is from Verve.

Did you catch that this was done with one eye swollen shut?


Time for more Percocet and a nap.

Until next time,