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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Life is hard: Share Joy Sketch Challenge

I used this week's Taylored Expression Share Joy Sketch Challenge to help me get ready for all the fall birthdays in our family.   This card was made with one special little boy in mind. 

One of the stamp sets I received in the mail this week was Stacking Animals from Simon Says Stamp.  The silly critters in this set are fun to use and color, but I need to rethink my decision not to purchase the dies to accompany them.  


Here's a look at my couch-mate for the evening while I color and watch tv.  Monkey is a riot.  You can tell her life is unbelievably hard... 







Rainy Day: MFT Sketch Challenge 294

Texas has been in severe drought conditions for the last several weeks.  With temps hovering just above 100* and no rain, the area I live in has been like a desert.  Then, all of a sudden, it started raining and it hasn't stopped in a week. It's great!  The grass is green again and the temps have dropped to the 80s.  

On this rainy day, I am, of course, in the craft room.  I received multiple stamp orders this week, so I've been playing with the sets for the last few days.  One of my favorites that I've been waiting to order since it was released earlier this summer, is My Favorite Things Fun in the Sun.  And, no big surprise, I used it for this week's MFT Sketch Challenge...


Several years ago, I picked up this wave border punch on clearance and have NEVER used it.  I'm glad to finally be able to pull it out of storage and put it to good use! Although you can't see it, there is a third layer of waves under the sentiment... 



Since the theme of the card is swimming, I took the card out to the pool to photograph.  It had to be a quick shoot so the wind wouldn't whip the card off into the pool. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A is for Avery

A is for Avery is a 12x12 scrapbook page highlighting this super cute photo of Avery and I playing on the swingset this winter.  

The wild colors on this page were inspired by the My Favorite Things Color Challenge #51 and the Let's Go Wild Challenge at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge






Harvest Blessings: MFT Sketch Challenge

The Harvest Mouse set of stamps from My Favorite Things is so fun for autumn!  I ordered them back in the spring, knowing that I would have fun with them come late summer and fall.  

I did not, however, consider purchasing the dies for the Harvest Mouse set, and am now kicking myself in the tush. There are too many small details to cut by hand and still have nice looking images.  

I chose to this set for this week's Sketch Challenge over at the MFT challenge blog without cutting the detailed images out.  I stamped the scene directly onto white cardstock and colored them with colored pencils and OMS.  Because of my penchant for mistakes, this is not a technique I choose to use often!  


I lightly colored a little green for grass and a very light blue for the sky, but you can't really see it in the photo.  I also used the tab die from MFT's Blueprints #22. 

The original sketch is on the vertical, like so... 


Keeping my fingers crossed for a challenge win soon so I can order the dies for this adorable set! :P

Friday, August 12, 2016

Unwanted Cuddles: Share Joy Sketch Challenge

This week's sketch challenge over at the Taylored Expressions Share Joy Challenge screamed "SCRAP ME"!  And I had the perfect photo sitting on my craft table.

The sketch for Challenge #48 is pictured below.  Can't you see a simple scrapbook page in there?


The photo that I was thinking of is of my 2 year old Boxador, Monkey, and my elderly cat, Molly. Monkey was snoozing in the recliner and Molly was sitting in my lap.  When I got up, I transferred Molly onto the recliner with Monkey.  Molly didn't mind the move, but poor Monkey was frozen. Scared to move. It was definitely photo worthy, especially considering that just a few months later we lost Miss Molly.  



Here's the page I created. 





Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Sweetest: Share Joy Sketch Challenge

Sometimes, no matter how hard I work to create a design, it just doesn't come out right.  I spent over an hour this afternoon trying to get my Cricut to cut and write on a tag that I needed 4 of.  When my patience finally gave out, I had 1 completed tag that I could not duplicate and 3 botched tags, all different.  
I set that project aside with the hopes of returning to it later.  We will see.  

In the meantime, I visited the Taylored Expressions challenge blog and was newly inspired with their sketch of the week.  Thank goodness.  If I hadn't found either more patience or new inspiration, I probably would have ended up on the couch binge watching another season of Shameless.  



I was able to use my botched tags on these cards.  Each tag is a different size, so got stamped with a different sentiment.  They ended up being perfect!  

 


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Just hanging around: MFT Sketch Challenge

A quickie post for this week's Sketch Challenge at My Favorite Things...

I've been coloring scads of the cute kittens from MFT's I Knead You using my Kuretake Clean Color markers.  It's been good practice and I have premade images ready to use all the time.  
This card was quick and easy to make, and can be used for just about anything. 


Summertime: Share Joy Challenge

My 17 year old stepson has been staying with us all summer.  It's an annual thing, so nothing really new.  But, this year did prove to be quite a bit more fun than the last several.  Case has grown into a nice young man.  We don't have much in common, so bonding has always been tough, but with the Pokemon Go craze the last few weeks has given us something to do together.  As silly as the game is, we've had a lot of fun.  

A rare photo fo Case and I, here we are at the San Antonio Riverwalk hunting for Pokemon.  



After about 2 weeks of us playing, his dad got involved...



This summer, I also discovered a new papercrafting company and I just love their products.  Check out Taylored Expressions here.  I'll be adding some of their cutest stamps to my wishlist for sure!  

They also have a weekly card challenge called the Share Joy Challenge that I'm excited to participate in.  Not only do the folks at TE's Shared Joy Challenge ask for particpants to share their card designs, they also ask us to share who we are sending our cards to. What great encouragement to spread happiness! 

Here is this week's Share Joy Sketch and Inspiration Challenge. 



I chose to enter the sketch challenge.  Since I don't have any TE products yet, I used the Time to Blossom stamp from Verve Stamps and plaid paper from My Favorite Things.  


 I've been trying to get into the watercolor trend, but the idea of the free-flowing colors really throws me for a loop.  But, here's a good try...








Monday, July 11, 2016

Prehistoric Fun in the Sun: MFT Sketch Challenge 288

After several weeks away from doing the types of crafting I enjoy most, jumping back into the craft room this weekend was a lot of fun!  I've kept up with all of the My Favorite Things releases and challenges, and have been wanting to get back into the swing of things, so here we go! 

I had a little bit of trouble coming up with something to do with the MFT Sketch Challenge #288.  It took me a few tries to put together something that I liked.  


I just love the dinosaurs from Prehistoric Fun and this time I used my new Kuretake Fude Clean Color Markers to watercolor this little guy and the foliage behind him.  I'm equally in love with my Clean Color Markers... so many ways to use them!  While most excellent for water coloring, they have also become my go-to markers for coloring small images without special effects. 



























Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monty

Today is a good day to introduce one of my favorite felines... Monty.  She is a beautiful 12 year old domestic who stole my heart at just 6 weeks old.  


When I first brought her home, Monty didn't even know how to groom herself. She hid under the couch for days.  But, with the help of Molly, my first kitty, and many loving college students, Monty quickly became the belle of the ball. 

She has always been a big cat.  She is long and tall, and at her heaviest weighed just over 18 lbs.  She was never fat, just big.  We all like to think that we carry that extra weight well... she did.  

This winter, Monty started getting skinny and was licking some fur off.  We didn't really think anything of it.  I mean, she is 12 years old.  When cats get old, they lose weight, act weird, and become difficult.  Normal.  This week, though, mom and I talked about how very skinny Monty had become.  And she's licked fur off to the skin. And has been tossing up a lot of hairballs.  Off to the vet we go...

Lucky for me, Monty is very well-adjusted.  She had no problem crawling into the old, dusty, pee-smelling cat carrier.  She just meowed the entire time.  Normal for her. (And good motivation for me to order a new cat carrier. Any recommendations?)

After 2 hours at the vet clinic and about $200, Monty has been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism.  Huh?  

Come to find out, hyperthyroidism is fairly common in cats over 10 years old.  It is an increase in the production of the thyroid hormones.  It causes her to burn the fuel (food) that she takes in at an unhealthy rate.  No matter how much she ate, which was a lot, she was still losing weight and muscle mass.  Again... huh?  

Our wonderful veterinarian sees this often and thinks that Monty will get better with a change in cat food.  Let's hope. 'Cause it's a real bitch to "pill" her, apply topical meds, and, god forbid, try to give her injections.  Even skinny, this girl is strong and won't go for it.

We expect a full recovery.  Monty is such a loving, busy-body cat when she feels good.  I just can't imagine losing her now. 

(please ignore the dead plant)



Sunday, April 10, 2016

When inspiration hits

Last night, just before bedtime, I was scanning through this week's challenges and making a mental list of what would I try to enter.  My plans to head to bed were quickly waylayed when inspiration hit.  I immediately got to work and completed this card.  I like it so much that this morning I prepped all the pieces to make a set of 4.  They are just waiting to be assembled. 



Inspired by this week's Sketch Challenge over at My Favorite Things, I knew that I was going to pull out some of the supplies I received in my order from them a few weeks ago.   Supplies that I hadn't yet used!  Crazy, I know! Life has kept me pretty busy and I haven't had time to play with everything yet. 




While preparing the dies for this card, I wasn't quite sure what stamps I was going to use.  I pulled out a few sets from other companies, and they seem to all work well together.  The cute little fox is from Lawn Fawn and the gift and sentiment are both from and old set from The Greeting Farm.   The inside says "Make it special". 

I am also entering this card into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, which is Happy Birthday, to celebrate their 7th!  Congrats SSS!








Saturday, April 9, 2016

My first shaker card: SSS Happy Birthday

Congrats to Simon Says Stamp, who is celebrating their 7th birthday this year!  And, this week, the SSS Wednesday Challenge is Happy Birthday.  Coincidence? I think not.  

To celebrate, I pulled out the free birthday set SSS sent me with my order a few months ago.  And to spice things up a bit, I experimented with making a shaker card.  This is my first ever shaker card.  And a fairly new trend for me.  Guess I just started seeing these flat shaker cards this winter. 
I watched a great video tutorial... And, of course, now I cannot find which video, but if I find it later, I'll link it up! 

I received the sequins as a thank you gift from my last Verve order.  It's funny... I couldn't imagine why they sent me this little packet of really pretty sequins.  It wasn't until a  month or so later that I connected the sequins with the shaker card innards.  Sheesh.  

Not wanting to bite off more than I could chew, I made the small balloon the shaker.  I used the Cricut Explore Air to cut out the balloon. 

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIMON SAYS STAMP! 







Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mmmmmm Cupcakes: SSS Food & Drink

Aside from fruit, veggies, and trail mix, sometimes I really want a scrumptious snack that ignites other feelings and tastebuds.  Like cupcakes! 

My morning smoothie just isn't doing it for me this morning! 

Linking another card up to Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge! 



All I can think about is FOOD: SSS Food & Drink

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is Food & Drink.  It's the perfect theme for me this week because my thoughts revolve around food this month.

Last year, my Dr. put me on a rather strict elimination diet while she ran food allergy tests.  The results of the allergy tests confirmed what we discovered with the elimination diet: I have several food allergies/sensitivities.  My new diet (way of eating) was different, but decreased my migraines and allergic reactions and made me feel better in general.  Plus it kicked off a weight loss of about 30 lbs.  as time wore on, I became more and more lax in my diet and started getting sick again.  This month, I'm back on board.  I'm resetting my system and plan to continue following my diet.

In the meantime, all I can think about is FOOD!  While I'm not craving sugar this go-round, I feel like I am always hungry.  Luckily, the kitchen is stocked with fruit and veggies and trail mix.

This card is made with berries, the perfect fruits for my diet.









Saturday, March 26, 2016

Weekend crafting: MFT Sketch

Having time to craft on the weekends is one of the things I most look forward to every week.  However, that's not to say that I get time every weekend. Last week was Spring Break.  Nine days off from work.  Wonderful! But I didn't have much time to do Kirsten things, like craft. We were very productive, don't get me wrong... We built a fence, raised beds for the garden, a potting bench, and so much more. Anyway...

This weekend is dedicated to my veggie garden and my craft room! 

I'm participating in My Favorite a Things (MFT) Sketch Challenge this week.  My first MFT order came in this week, so I'm even more motivated to get a card in!  

Sketch # 273 is shown below (as a screenshot from my phone... oops) 



My interpretation is very close to the original sketch. I used MFTs Prehistoric Fun for the stamps and dies from Blueprints 22. 


I think it turned out great and and can be used for any occasion.  I'm pleased and will be making more! 




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Coffee Lovers

I stumbled upon the Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop over at Coffee Loving Cardmakers this evening and decided that I needed to throw something together real quick.

The theme is Spring coffee and tea... Easy enough.  Ummm... Not really.  How in the world do you make a project using coffee and making it spring-y??

So, here's my take.



Even my mom looked at me a little funny when I showed her the card and told her the theme! 
Yikes!

I'm also linking up to Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge Blog: Food & Drink.   

Fussy cutting - SSS Cute and Cuddly

Since I've discovered - and am enjoying - coloring and blending with colored pencils, I've been using a lot more of my stamps.  I guess I always steered clear of the stamps that I had to color, but there were some that I bought anyway because they are so fun.  This is a great example of that.  I bought Stampin Up's "From the Herd" about a year ago and never used it.  There's just so much coloring!  

A few weeks ago I stamped a few of the images on white cardstock and colored while watching tv. Having a plan, I crazily started fussy cutting some of the animals.  All I could think was "Wow! What did I get myself into?" 

With so much coloring, blending and cutting, this certainly wasn't a project that I completed in one sitting. But it was fun, nonetheless.  The animals have so much expression on their little faces that they just called my name everytime I saw them!  I finally finished the card on Sunday. 

I think the card turned out great.  I accidentally messed up one of the corners of the turquoise cardstock and am so glad that I did!  The folded corners kinda brings it together.  



While it's hard to see in this photo that my mom took, the bird, goat, rooster and pig are popped out with dimensionals.  As is the speech bubble (Lawn Fawn, Into the Woods).  The card base is kraft cardstock.  

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Blog Challenge is all about Cute and Cuddly animals this week. While some may say that farm animals shouldn't be cute and cuddly, I think these guys would be.  

Now I'm off to do some more fussy cutting! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Friend to Friend: MFT Sketch Challenge #269



As a recent brand convert, I am thoroughly enjoying all of the new product that I'm finding from these great shops/brands on the internet.  It's like a whole new world that I've been missing out on!  

I was originally introduced to papercrafting, specifically card-making, back in 2000.  I had just moved to a new town for graduate school and hadn't had much of an opportunity to meet people outside of school or work.  My boss invited me to a Stampin' Up party that she had been invited to.  It was fun and right up my alley, but not so much for my boss.  She made a purchase to be nice and I was a poor grad student.  Eventually, her purchase became my new crafting tools.  

For 15 years, most of my supplies have come from Stampin' Up.  I have always loved the broad lines of their stamps and the array of designs.  And, the color coordination they offer in inks and cardstock always made things easy for me.  As I've moved across Texas, I've hopped from demonstrator to demonstrator and participated in multiple stamp camps, classes, and crops.  

I won't go into why I'm no longer a loyal SU customer, as it doesn't really matter.  I still use the products that I have, but I doubt I will make as many purchases from them in the future.  Instead, I want to share my most recent purchases from the other brands!  

Lawn Fawn:  I just adore Lawn Fawn.  Their little critters are adorable and so versatile. These are some of the sets I've purchased recently.  My local scrapbook store, Scrapbook N More, carries some of the Lawn Fawn sets and is where I originally discovered their line.  I purchased Winter Alpaca there.  I purchased the others from ScrapbookPal.com (great customer service and prices).

    





















Simon Says Stamp:  What a great resource!  Not only am I in love with the store, but the multiple blogs definitely keep me on my toes!  I've participated in some of their weekly challenges and am constantly checking out their design team blogs.  These are my 2 SSS purchases.  I'll have to admit that the Circle Loops die really through me for a ... well, a loop.  I couldn't figure out how to pop the die cut out of the die.  Took quite a while to find the holes on the back that you poke to pop out the die cut.  Doh! 

Simon Says Stamp CIRCLE LOOPS Wafer Die s299 STAMPtember zoom image Simon Says Clear Stamps BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION SSS101538 zoom image

WPlus9:  My mom is a birder, so I thought the Happy Birds set from WPlus9 would be a lot of fun!  And this is the set that I used for for my next card.  Yay! 



My Favorite Things (another great brand, but I haven't purchased any of their fun products yet) came out with Sketch Challenge #269 this week.  At first, I wasn't sure if I could come up with any way to use the sketch.  Really stumped.  



After many failed attempts to make my ideas come to life, I ended up with this card. 



Instead of adding a flag to the top, I used a 2nd bird from Happy Birds.  Not sure if it flows as well, but it allowed me to use the "friend to friend" stamp from SU.
And I used the small solid heart stamp from LF's Into the Woods in light pink.  I didn't want something too bright and didn't want to take away from the blue bird and banners that are popped out of the page.  



Thanks for stopping by for a look!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wishes to You: MFT Color Challenge #39

Jumping online for a last minute card submission to the
My Favorite Things Color Challenge #39.
The color challenge includes these colors (or the closest thing you have to them): 


I dug out some of my favorite Stampin' Up colors: Cardstock in Real Red and Coastal Cabana, and Coastal Cabana for the ink.  And I colored the cutie patootie elephant and his balloon with colored pencils.  The elephant and sentiment stamps are from Simon Says Stamp Birthday Celebration. And the die cuts are Circle Loops from Simon Says Stamp.





I'm home  tomorrow... a lucky, middle-of-the-week reprise from work.  So, I'm hoping that I get some time in the craft room to play with some other new stamps!  





 
Images by Freepik