Saturday, August 30, 2014


When you host by October 31, you will earn an exclusive set as a bonus free gift when the overall sales are at least $300! Whether this is a home workshop, a catalog/book party or just your own online order, you will get the new "Good Greetings" set in your choice of wood or clear mount! These stamps cover every occasion and provide the perfect finishing sentiment for any card design! (Check out the samples on my new Holiday Catalog 2014 Inspirations page and you will see how some of my fellow demos have incorporated sentiments from this set.) 

Get started earning your free set! Contact me today!

Friday, August 29, 2014


This week's challenge on the MDS Monday blog  pushed my inspiration button immediately because I love using the overlay stamps in backgrounds! Here is Holly's sketch:

I decided to create a card this time and to use one of my favorite overlay stamps, "Paris" (from "Presto Patterns Overlays") and my favorite DSP collection, "Fanfare" to fill my punch shapes (in lieu of photos). The sketch uses a square overlay, but we could use any overlay stamp which allowed for a lot of creative room!
I love keys as symbols for love and the future, so they are perfect on any card for wedding, anniversary, valentine, or graduation! Think, "keys to my heart" and "keys to the future."

Elements and design details:
Presto Pattern Overlay "Paris" colored Blushing Bride and opacity reduced.
Punches: Decorative Label, Hearts Collection 1, Circle, Curly Label
Background (reduced opacity) and punch-fill DSPs all from Fanfare; 
lace trim (Island Indigo) from Fanfare stamps;
Keys from  Elementary Elegance and Artistic Etchings stampbrush sets;
Flower is the Whisper White #2 Festive Bloom recolored with Calypso Coral;
"Meant to be" stampbrush from "Wedding Words" stampbrush set;
"Grow & Enjoy together" (Island Indigo) stampbrush from Love Birds designer kit

Friday, August 22, 2014


When I saw this week's MDS Monday blog challenge, I immediately thought it was the perfect sketch for spotlighting the trip my husband and I took in February to the California Disneyland parks and resorts. Our trip was super special in so many ways, for so many reasons. It was a gift from my mother and a combined super-celebration of both our 2013 birthdays, our anniversary, Christmas, and 2014 Valentine's Day! Our "special needs" cats make it really difficult for us to take any trips together but for this we were able to arrange for their care (thanks again, to my wonderful mom!). More about what made our trip extra-special at the end of the post, so we can get to the visuals!

Here is the challenge sketch, which includes using a map in the background:

Here is my page based on the challenge:

Background DSP: Real Red Small Polka Dot; Daffodil Delight Pompom Trim; Crushed Curry Narrow Polka Dot Ribbon (resized); Attic Boutique Designer Kit Tickets embellishment (cropped with Get It Done punch 1)
My husband and I both love love love Disney. In fact, going to Disneyland was the first thing we ever did together (as friends, before we even started dating). It has been over ten years since we have been able to visit any Disney park, so this was an exceptional treat. We were booked into a standard room, but the hotel concierge surprised us by upgrading us to a full suite after I told her all the reasons we were celebrating. Bruce and I had traveled separately and I arrived first. I didn't know about the upgrade until I found the room number, so at first I thought there was a mistake. But the key worked, and I was blown away when I opened the door. Bruce experienced the same as I when he arrived and headed to the room number I'd given him. We ended up spending more time in our gorgeous suite than at the parks! It was only one night, but it was all magical!

Monday, August 11, 2014


The MDS Monday blog team posts a new challenge every Monday and anyone can play! Here is the new sketch, which is all about layers, layers, layers!

Here is my page based on this sketch challenge:

This was so much fun to create! I LOVE layers, especially so after I learned how to use the layering tool (yes, I can teach you!). My DSPs are all from Botanical Gazette, one of my favorites. However, I did recolor the birdcage pattern rectangle from blue to green. I chose the finch theme because I am so excited to see all the finches coming to the feeder at my mother's house, and they really do go crazy when it is full of seeds! The tree stamp is from "Forever Young" and I cropped it, and reduced the opacity to make it transparent so the DSPs and textures show through. I used a bunch of different "mis-stitched" embellishments in the corners and added the birdcage stamp from the "Nature" stampbrush set. The title text is layered onto a piece of transparent Delightful Digital Tape.

Friday, August 8, 2014


This has been one of those weeks...everything (including my designs-in-progress) sort of took a detour and I am now getting back to the track I was on a few days ago. A long-time friend who we thought of as family passed away from a brain cancer. I won't go into more; I know everyone understands. A couple of days later I had a milestone birthday. I am not going to say the number, but I've qualified for a discount at three places since.

Fortunately I had started my designs based on this week's sketch before my inspiration etc. was redirected. Now, finally, I can focus on posting them here to share with you and also post them on the MDS Monday blog post for challenge 76. Here is the template:

I often think of more than one idea, and this time was no exception. (In fact, I had more ideas I had intended to play around with but, well, you know...). When I was visiting my mom in the spring, I snapped a few photos of her in the pool - can you believe she is in her 80s? These may be my current favorite snaps of her. I love the color and texture of the pool water as a natural background.
With a template like this one, the layout is fairly simple and when the photos take center stage, there often is no need for much more (stamps, embellishments), and such things could distract from the photos. So, you will see that on this design and my others, I did not add too much. I used the "rip edges" tool on this layout and a full-blur shadow to add subtle texture and depth. The words "sunny day" and "California" are stampbrushes, but "in" is text. The heart and "my mom" are two separate stampbrushes, and the splatters are also stamps. Choosing the background was hard because I really liked several in the "Birds of a Feather" collection. I finally selected pattern #10 because the stripes made me think of umbrellas and beach towels.

My next page layout is a recollection of a garden tour I took with my mom last year. Pattern #12 from the "Cottage Wall" DSP collection coordinated really well with the close-up of orchids I used as a background for the center journaling pattern. Choosing two out of the dozens of photos I took on our tour. I had to choose ones that were not only balanced for a wide-looking crop, but that could also lose some top and/or bottom to cropping.

My last sample for the challenge is a card featuring a photo of Micky Mouse balloons I took at Disneyland a few months ago. At the time, I thought a photo of them might work well for a birthday card, and it turned out I was right! I cropped the photo three times and aligned the segments to reconstruct the original image. I used circle punches to build the Minnie Mouse head and added the bow stamp from "New Heights."  The sentiment stamp is from "Delightful Dozen," however, I cropped some of the words off so it would work better and fit inside the circle. The background is the Real Red Large Polka Dots.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


With all my time spent on creating my In Color samples, I have not had time to even think about the MDS Monday blog challenges since I got home from my last California trip. Then last Monday I was traveling back to California and that is where I am now. After arriving I spent all spare time finishing an MDS photobook so I could send it to print before the printing sale ended. At that point, I could barely look at a computer screen for a day or two. 
The worst thing about that is that everyone has been leaving me such WONDERFUL comments and compliments here, on Stampin' Connection and on Splitcoast Stampers, in response to my Work of Art samples. I have a lot of appreciation to properly express, and I will very soon!
But on Saturday morning I remembered to check out this week's MDS Monday blog challenge, and what with the eastern time deadline, I didn't have enough time to participate. I posted my regrets on their Facebook page and this morning got a post response I could still play by posting my sample(s) there since the blog link was closed.
Maybe these are too late to be official entries in the challenge, but I had fun creating them and they are looking for new members for their design team, something I would love to do!
Here is the template for the challenge (it is a page layout but I used it to create cards):

 Here are my two cards - both of which incorporated photos I took with my little Coolpix:
"SEND ME SOARING" - the eagle in the background is another of several photos I took of a statue in Camarillo, CA. I added the photo to the project, cropped and enlarged it to get the eagle image I wanted, then reduced the opacity to less than 20% and overlayed it on the background DSP. There are other low-opacity, overlayed background layers also - a texture, and a DSP page layer on the left with a torn right edge.
"MISSING YOU" features a little tree frog I who was nestled in the brick wall in front of our house. He looked so sad and lonely to me that I thought he was perfect for a "miss you" card.