~*~ My sweet blogger friends ~*~

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cruise Portfolio Album Gift

So, I've been busy the past month making Christmas gifts and I thought I'd share. (warning: heavy graphics ahead)  Kathy Orta of PaperPhenomenon is an incredibly gifted designer or paper engineer and offers tutorials for some amazingly beautiful and creative projects.  She calls this an "Occasion Folio" and I ended up making 4 of them so far (3 Christmas themed and this one for my sweet mom-in-law of the cruise we took her on last year).  The Christmas albums were given ready for recipients to add their own Christmas photos, but I finished this one for her.  
This project is completely made of chipboard, paper, lots of scoretape, some magnets, a bit of ribbon and a new (to me) great product called Rub 'n Buff which is a tube of waxy gold numminess that dries quickly and leaves a beautiful gilt finish (see edges). It also comes in other colors and I will definitely be using it on future projects. 

Anyhoo, I had so much fun creating these albums and the family members who received them seemed genuinely impressed. Each of the center landscape pockets hold mats for additional photos and there are pockets inside the covers for tucking memorabilia or larger photos.

I'll share another one of Kathy's designs I made as a gift soon. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and area ready for a great New Year!

Monday, December 5, 2011


High school photo of my mom at about 16 years old.

It is a month ago today that my mother passed away and I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting while adjusting to the loss of a dear parent.

As I’ve mentioned before, in May 2010 we brought my mom here from California to our home in Arizona to care for her. We had fun preparing one of our sunny guest bedrooms for her and making it homey with lots of family photos and comforting possessions. Our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations last year were wonderful despite her growing weakness, and she loved being here enjoying family, particularly frequent visits with Lily and Rowan, the great grandchildren. The hospice angels who became part of our family made it possible for us to avoid hospital visits and to keep her at home despite her serious decline in recent months. For that I will be forever grateful.

My mother was fiercely independent and incredibly active. I have memories of her baking bread and cookies weekly and usually sharing a loaf or a batch with a neighbor or friend. She was incredibly generous, kind and loving and I will probably never know all the many lives she touched. Family and faith were everything to her. She lived her life with grace and courage, complaining little and with continual gratitude. Every day as I took her meals to her or helped her change clothes, she thanked me over and over again telling me how much she appreciated the sacrifices and hard work it took to care for her. Honestly, it was a labor of love and an opportunity to give back to a mother who gave so much to her own family and to my little girl self who needed her.

Now I catch myself listening for her call or planning her lunch tray and I wonder how long it will take to really adjust to her not needing me any longer. My faith assures me she is reunited with her dear Stan-- my wonderful Dad, and her parents and brother and sisters who have all gone ahead and there is true rejoicing on the other side. How I would love to sneak a peek.

Verlene Baker
July 3, 1925 - November 5, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baby you're a star

For weeks I had been trying to come up with an idea for Allison's birthday card.  Then one night I had a light bulb moment...I did a google search for vintage astrology images and found this beauty.  My halloween stash contained a sheet of sparkly black cardstock and my dear friend Wendy had sent me some die cuts of this fabulous corner design (it's supposed to be snowflake flurries, but to me it looked like stars) and my easel card went together very quickly.  I punched a few tiny pin point holes and added some random bling.  The image is fussy cut and shaped to give it dimension with silicone (which doesn't show very well in the photo).

Happy Birthday Allison!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

lily can read...

My sweet granddaughter Lily Anne who started kindergarten last month has always loved books and being read to.  Suddenly, she is reading and writing simple sentences.  We're a family of avid readers so of course everyone is quite excited for her!  When I saw Tammy's beautiful "free" digi of a child reading and her ADFD challenge " Use your noodle and add some doodles" I thought I'd play even though I'm bad...I mean really BAD at doodling.   I think the sweet image makes up for it though.

Hope you and yours are all happy and productive.   I've been postponing grocery shopping for at least 4 days now and have no choice if we are to eat tonight....so off I go now that the important stuff is done.

Basic Grey Little Black Dress dp & brad; Prismacolor, & Copics & piecing, nesties label  and flower dies, EK edge border, Just Rite alpha stamps, ribbon and buttons from stash.

A Day for Daisies - doodling
Anything Goes Challenge - use lettering (in the book)
Make it Monday - Anything goes
Simon Says - Be inspired by a nursery rhyme
Creative Craft Challenges - Fancy edges
Moxie Fab World - Tuesday Trigger (inspired to use autumn colors)
By the Cute and Girly - Anything goes

Sunday, October 23, 2011

a little Christmas...

So the postman delivered this pretty Teresa Collins dp ("Christmas Home") which I have now decided is my current favorite Christmas paper so far for 2011.  Of course I'm fickle and may have a new fave tomorrow.  Mo's little sparrow urchin, colored up with my poor Prismacolor efforts,  a pretty silken bow, some bling and a computer generated sentiment.   I thought the kraft base played nicely with the image and paper.  Nothing fancy...nothing popped but it pleases my eye.  Got to use one of the new Spica pens that I recently won to add some sparkle to the snowflakes...subtle but very pretty.

April and the grandbabies visited today and we got a preview of their Halloween costumes.  Lily will be a lovely purple butterfly fairy (adorable) and Rowan a pirate.  He wasn't in the mood to model it for us,  but we did get some lovely kisses and hugs which more than sufficed.  Lifted everyone's spirits considerably.  Hope you are all enjoying your weekends too.   


Kraft cs; TC dp; Image Mo Manning; EK border punch; CB corner diecut; Magnolia flourish and snowflake diecuts; SB circle and oval diecuts; sentiment computer generated; bling by BG, Spica glitter pen; silk ribbon from  my stash 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just Because

My blog has been neglected of late, but there's been a good reason.  For the past 18 months, I've been caring for my mom here in our home.  Her health has not been good since a bad fall about 5 years ago, but it is now rapidly declining to the point she can no longer walk or even sit up by herself.   I'm determined to keep her here and care for her for whatever time she has left.  She is frequently a bit confused (we call it foggy) and it is hard to watch her slowly fading away.  Some of our conversations are just crazy, like when she asked me yesterday how many other patients I'm currently taking care of or  tries to convince me I met my father before she did.  Yet, she still finds joy in simple things (our little dog particularly delights her) and of course visits with family and the hospice angels.  She has her frustrations at not being able to do for herself but I remind her of all she has done her entire life for so many and that it is her turn to allow others to do for her.   It's a blessing to have her here but it is difficult...exhausting...frustrating... and sometimes I doubt my ability and strength to keep going.  I'm taking it one day at a time, and so far we're okay.  Perhaps I'll share a little more about her life in future posts...she really is an amazing lady. 

This is just a quickie card I made for my beautiful daughters (with a Starbucks gift card tucked inside) "just because" I love them so and they like those coffee concoction thingies. Hope you are all having a productive, happy week.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Another Graphic45 Birthday Card

I've had this paper for a LONG time and had hardly used any until recently and now I can't seem to keep my hands off of it.....sooooo pretty!  Anyway, here's yet another birthday card.
CS: Bazzill, DP: Graphic45 Once Upon a Springtime, Kaisercraft pearls, Rubons: Autumn Leaves, Sentiment: Just Rite, Liquid Pearls, MS Lace Border Punch, May Arts ribbon, Color Box inks

Shopping our Stash - No coloring allowed


Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Your Day

Birthdays and surprises are traditional just about everywhere, but not usually combined in a greeting card, right.....unless, of course, it's a wiper card.  Very easy to make with a few extra folds, a bit more adhesive and you can find an excellent tutorial by Beate Johns at Splitcoaststampers here.

As the card opens, up pops something extra...

a little surprise...

My lighting washed out the left side of my image but you get the drift.
I really enjoyed creating this wiper card and plan on doing more of them.

Happy Friday, my friends.  It's almost the weekend!

CS: Bazill, DP: Graphic45 Once Upon a Springtime, Nestie:  scalloped circle die,
digistamp: Bits of Ivory "A Good Book" at Cuddly Buddly Crafts paper pieced and colored with Prismacolors and OMS, Marianne: flourish and flower dies, Kaisercraft: pearls, SU dimensionals, suede ribbon: my stash, rubons: Autumn Leaves, sentiment: SRM.

CCEE Stampers - Add a bird
Craft Ribbons Challenge - Anything goes
Forever Friends Challenge - Sketch and an animal
Paper Crafting Journey - Hidden messages
Craft Sentiments - Happy Birthday
Pollycraft - Pearls and Swirls
Stamps R Us Challenge - Happy Birthday
Nettie G's Digital Gems - Anything goes
Make it Monday - Always anything goes
little red wagon - repeat a stamped image (kitten)
Papertake Weekly Challenge - Creature comforts
Pink Ink - Sketch

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quickie Birthday Card

Quickie card based on a sketch from I don't remember where.  I've seen several cards in blogland based on it, so in no way do I take credit for its simple but elegant design.  It was just perfect to try out my new Nestablings (LOVE them!).  They don't photograph very well on this busy paper but look great in person.    The Nestabling were surprisingly easy to use.  I got a set of the pearls and black jewels...so pretty!  

And  if the non cardmaker recipient asks me if I placed each one of those tiny pearls by hand, I think I'll just smile mysteriously and say "aren't you worth it?" 

BG Lemonade 6x6 DP, Spellbinder Nestie Large Scalloped Circle, Label Dies,  Nestabling, MS butterfly punch, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist (Snow Queen), Kaisercraft Pearls on butterfly, pink gems from stash.

Hope you're all having a restful, crafty weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good Luck

A Day for Daisies is offering some free digistamps and this sweet little pixie was perfect paired with Graphic 45's gorgeous "Once Upon a Springtime."  I love it when a project comes together so quickly!   There's some paper piecing on her dress, cap, flowers and shoes and I popped her voluptuous wings.  Tammy's images have that vintage feel...I love that they're simple but not cartoony. She has some really adorable animal and holiday images in her Etsy shop just now, and even though I normally wouldn't pay $4 for a digistamp, there's a darling Santa's list image that I'm predicting I will end up buying.   What can I say...I'm weak. 

Good Luck Pixie digistamp by A Day for Daisies; Bazzill CS; Graphic 45 Once Upon a Springtime; Spellbinder Oval, Magnolia Doohickey flourish die,  Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, EK edge punch, MS butterfly punch, Prismacolor pencil/gamsol, Kaisercraft pearls, Liquid pearls, ribbon, SU dimensional.

Happy Tuesday, my friends!
Kathy xoxo

Challenges entered are
Little Red Wagon - Use a Die cut
Stamp Something - Anything Goes
Tuesday Throwdown - Pearls
Make it Monday - Anything Goes
Everybody Art Challenge - Flowers
Pile it On  - Layers
Catch the Bug - Let's Get Punchy
Daisy Doodles - Embossing
Ladybug Crafts - Flowers
My Mums Craft Shop - Lots of Layers
Papertake Weekly - Things with Wings
The Pink Elephant Challenge - Vintage
Craft Challenge - Children
Bee-Crafty - Beautiful borders/Frantastic Frames
Jellypark Challenges - Pass it On
Cupcake Inspirations - photo inspiration
Shopping our Stash (SOS) - vintage or shabby

Friday, September 9, 2011

Free Broom Rides

Mo Manning's images just inspire me!  Hocus is based on Bette Midler's character in Hocus Pocus.  I'm afraid I went a little overboard on this card (confessing girl gone wild here).  I knew I had some black flowers somewhere and I'd just bought some silicone for better control of dimension, so I paper pieced and gave that a try on her hair, shawl and skirts, dug out my beads and jewels and EK scalloped edge punch which all would probably have been fine, right?  I also have been wanting to do some ribbon pleating so I tossed that in the mix.  I'm afraid it's all a bit much but I'm invested here, I tell ya.  Anyway, here she is.  For some reason, this image looks washed out, but the colors are more true if you click on the pic.

Bazzill CS, Graphic44 Halloween in Wonderland, MME Spider Web, Prismacolor/gamsol, Marvy scallop punch, Mo Manning digistamp, Doodlebug jewel, beads, computer generated sentiment, black grosgrain ribbon.

Have a terrific weekend, dear friends.

The Crazy Challenge  - Spots and/or Stripes
My Mum's Craft Shop - Lots of Layers
Stamp n' Doodle - Anything Goes

And for those of you who read all the way to the bottom of my post, here's a treat.  My sweet little Maltese, Moppet on our bed.  Yep, she's a princess.  xoxo

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I WON!!!!  My sweet friend Wendy phoned this weekend to tell me that I had WON the huge Birthday Blog candy prize from LaLa Land Crafts!  If that's not a reason for a happy dance I don't know what is!  Seriously, this is what Irina of La La Land is sending to me.
  •  Set of 12 Copic Markers in NEW 2011 colors
  •  Spica Glitter Pens (set B)
  •  Pack of X-Press It Blending Cardstock
  •  New Scor-pal
  •  Pack of ¼” Scor-Tape
  •  3 sets of 12x12 Basic Grey Collections paper packs
  •  $20 gift certificate to the La-La Land Crafts Store

 Check out Irina's blog and on line store.  She has fun challenges and lovely prizes and her stamps are adorable.   So being in a party mood, I decided to enter Mo Manning's current sketch challenge with this sweet image called Abby Celebrating .  Color Abby AND me happy!  This color combination is a bit of a stretch for me, but I think it worked out okay.

CS:  Bazzill, DP is a freebie digi kit from Digital Design Essentials called Smitten. Image is Mo Manning, colored with Prismacolor pencils using the gamsol technique.  Her skirt is partly paper pieced and I used my favorite Magnolia Doohickey flouirsh with a couple of Nesties  for the mat and the ticket shape.  Ribbon is from my stash with Prima flowers, a cute Pixie Dust brad  and an SRM sentiment sticker.
Make it Monday  - Anything goes
Pile it On  - Anything with a B (bow & balloons)
Stamp Challenges - September Digi Day Challenge (digi paper & digi image)
Creative Card Crew -  Anything goes
Catch the Bug -  Anything goes
Card Makin' Mamas Challenge Blog - Go Digi (digi paper & digi image)
By the Cute and Girly Challenges - All Things Bright and Beautiful
Ellephantastic Challenges - Here Come the Girls

Have a happy day, dear friends and thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Omigoodness, do you know ANYONE who doesn't just LOVE Mo Manning's incredible artwork? This particular digi (Baby Fairy Puddle in the Spring) just gives me the giggles, so I sat down to try to do her justice with my very amateur Prismacolor/gamsol skills. I wasn't going for any particular color combo, so when she was finished I searched for some paper and embellies and found my digi set of Echo Park Summer Days was perfect. I love how you can enlarge or shrink the pattern of digi papers and only print out exactly the size you need for a card. I rather like how it all turned out and I have someone who loves frogs in mind whose birthday is almost here. I think she'll like it!

Image: Mo Manning Baby Fairy Puddle; C/S: Bazzill; PP Echo Park Summer Days; Magnolia Doohickey Flourish Diecuts, Prima flowers, BG rhinestones; patterned tape, Icicle Stickles, Nestie Labels 2; silk ribbon; SRM sentiment sticker

I'm entering her in Flutter by Wednesday's current challenge which just happened to be a perfect fit.
Thanks for looking and leaving a comment. I always try to reciprocate!

Also entered at Make it Monday.


Monday, August 29, 2011

That 'ol black magic...

I keep thinking something's missing (probably flowers or a bow) but I think I'm done.
I wanted to try this "Black Magic" technique as seen on Karen Barber's blog and it was easier than I thought it would be.   In a nutshell, using white ink, you stamp your image on black (or any dark) cardstock and then use your Prismacolors or Copics to color over the white ink.  Karen's special touch is to add the white accents which really makes the colors POP.    I believe she uses a gel pen, but I've had better luck with Sharpie's extra fine tip poster paint pens for white embellishing.  

I'm entering this card in Sketch Saturday's challenge and Make it Monday's challenge this week.
Have a terrific weeks, dear friends! 


Bazzill CS, BG Olivia PP, image is from a BG stamp set called "Wild Flowers", May Arts black grosgrain ribbon, Kaisercraft black pearls, Magnolia Doohickey Flourish dies, Prismacolor pencils, Sharpie extra fine poster paint pen

Saturday, August 27, 2011

La-La Land Crafts Birthday Celebration & Blog Candy!

This Blog Candy contains the following:
~ Set of 12 Copic Markers in NEW 2011 colors
~ Spica Glitter Pens (set B)
~ Pack of X-Press It Blending Cardstock
~ New Scor-pal
~ Pack of ¼” Scor-Tape
~ 3 sets of 12x12 Basic Grey Collections paper packs
~ $20 gift certificate to the La-La Land Crafts Store
Wow!  Check it out here!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Love Ewe

Had to play with some new Nesties that came today and a Unity stamp set that I've had forever and not used....kinda cute though.  I also had to try the reverse emboss technique using silicone glue for the dimension.  Just sayin' it's going to take some practice.  Pretty messy.  Not perfect, but I see the promise in getting the hang of it.  Anyway, here's to all my friends....love ewe!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sticky in August

So, my sweet friend Wendy and I were skype-crafting together on Sunday working with
Mo Manning's adorable "Sticky" digi.   We used to spend hours scrapbooking together when we both lived in California--I'm talkin' serious marathons, my friends, but somehow I ended up in Arizona...so now we skype and it's  almost as fun as being together in person.   Wendy's fantastic with her Copics and I'm mediocre with my Prisma color pencils and gamsol.  Here's my Christmas in August card.   I remembered I had some Liquid Applique in white, so I did up Sticky's hat and fuzzy belt ends (what do you call those things anyway).

Here's a close up of the liquid applique stuff--kinda like paint, kinda like glue, but when you hit it with your heat gun, wow!
I really need to get some better paper for stamping--this cheap Staples c/s doesn't give very good results.  Well, that's my excuse anyway.  :)

Merry August!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Had to share this photo of Rowan with his birthday card.  He opened it up, took one look and exclaimed "triceratops!"  Not bad for 3 years old.   This is why I love making cards.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


My dear daughter was involved in an auto accident last week and miraculously walked away with a few scratches and bruises.  Her car?  Yikes...totalled.  The entire family is convinced there were some mighty powerful angels on her side that day.  Anyway, I did up a quickie get well card using a vintage paper doll image, some ribbon, a MS punch and some BG scraps.  The expression on the doll was perfect!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dino-mite Birthday Card!

Our little grandson Rowan turns 3 on Monday + he really really really loves dinosaurs.  Found this perfect image on a free internet coloring page site, and printed and pieced him up.  His collar, head and rear leg are puffed out and popped for dimension.  An SRM sticker, some ricrac, a paper doily, my trusty dymo label maker, doohickey leaf die cuts and some seriously old scraps of paper and done.  This card will be for Great Grandma to give him.  I'm still working on mine.  Have a terrific day!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcoming Baby Eli

So we have a new little nephew named Eli Albert and am sending this card with a package of new baby duds.  I wanted to try playing around with dimension coupled with paper piecing stamped images.  This cute teddy bear digi was printed out twice on some Echo Park pp.  I cut him an extra head, forearm and leg and slowly and carefully embossed their backs to give those pieces a puffy look.  You are actually stretching the paper, so you have to take care.  I attached them over the entire stamped image with layered foam tape to give him a "stuffed" look.   He's very cute but it's difficult for the camera to really show his dimensionality.   Anyway, a paper doily, some baker's twine, some old Heidi Swapp chipboard letters, and more October Afternoon Ducks in a Row patterned paper and good to go.  If you click on him for larger view, you can see the puffiness a bit better.  Have a great day!

"Teddy" digital stamp courtesy of Faith of  Designed2Delight and was a freebie last year.  I LOVE him!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ribbon Rose card

I'm loving this ribbon rose technique!  Here's my Mom's birthday card this year. 
And how about that beautiful Magnolia doohickey die scroll which came in the mail just in time to add a perfect crowning touch.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Watch out for flying cupcakes!

Mo Manning's artwork is soooo adorable I bought a few of her digistamps. Her images just beg for bright cheerful colors so BG Lemonade collection seemed a perfect fit. Prisma colors, Martha's Punch around the Page, some Kaisercraft pearls and gingham ribbon made this an easy peasy card. Have a terrific weekend!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Remembering Dad

Happy Fathers Day, Dad.  We miss you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

By way of explanation...and a card

My poor blog has turned into the equivalent of a deserted ghost town and it makes me sad.  

I am alive.  I'm weary, but still here.  I do get an occasional moment here and there to make a birthday card so there's hope.   My scrapbooks?  Let's just be honest....dusty, very dusty.
Not to bore with too many details, but my long tall Texan hubbie has undergone three  hip surgeries in the past 8 months (two replacements and one complication), at-home IV treatments three times a day for six weeks, all while he's still working from home as a consultant (thank heavens).  He's doing very well now and walking without aid.  Well... bit of a wobble.  Picture a 6'1" duck.  Okay, let's call it a swagger.  Purely for macho sake. 

That together with caring for my dear 85 year old mom here at home with the help of hospice angels just about takes every single bit of energy left in this old lady but it's a blessing to have her here with us.  Here's a photo of her at about sixteen.   Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  Love you so! 

Hope to catch up on some of your blogs in coming weeks.  I miss seeing all of your incredible work.  xoxoxo