Monthly Image Swap – The Pandemic Catch-up (Nov/Dec)

Ahhh! Almost done! It did not feel very good to let these lovely swappers down back in 2020, so it feels somewhat better to have caught up with my missing cards and get them posted. And then I can move onto the many other unfinished projects in my craft room. Clean up 2023….we have begun!

November’s image came from Vickie who sent Changito Coffee, by Stampendous. I admit, Changito’s aren’t always my favorite images. But, this coffee one is SUPER cute and fun to color. Here he is paired with this blue/green background papers.

My second coloring of this image, I decided to give him striped pajamas. I also tried using my new layering diorama dies (harder than it looks!). I love how this cute card turned out!

And the last image of the year, for December 2020, came from Diane. Oh my gosh, this one is a cutie!! It’s La La Land Crafts You Lucky Ducky. So cute!! Played with some different leaf colors here, as well as giving him slightly different boots. This paper was picked because the blue flowers matched his boots.

These papers came from one of my recently used card kits and were also a match to his (or her?) boots. I have been having fun making some backgrounds with striped paper, so the excellent variety of papers made me do it again!

And that’s it! 2020 is all cleaned up and I’m ready to proceed forward with the 2023 Monthly Image Swap! My February image has already arrived, so it won’t be long before I’m back with my creation.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monthly Image Swap – The Pandemic Catch-up (Sept/Oct)

Two more posts and my 2020 Pandemic Catch-up is complete! Today we take a look at the September 2020 and October 2020 cards. These images are extra special because they came from two friends that aren’t in the group this year. I hope they are both doing well!

September’s image came from Angela. It is Fluffles the Cat from Stampendous. Unfortunately, I don’t think I was as lucky with her challenge as I was with Ruby’s from July. She suggested using non-traditional Christ colors (fail) and gold or silver metallic accents (also fail). Here is my first card with Fluffles. I had surprisingly little scrap Christmas paper that I thought would go with this, but found these three pieces. I also wanted a fun sentiment for this impish cat, so here’s what I came up with!

This card I had my two papers selected (not from the same manufacturer), but wanted a way to make them a bit different than just simple layers. I used this stripe technique to add a little interest. The sentiment is from a Stampin’ Up Paper Pumpkin set that came in a previous kit and I stamped it in two colors to match my image.

The October selection was Susanne’s. It’s from Stamping Bella and is called The Gnome and the Letter. I think she made an excellent selection for October 2020, when many of us were under strict social lockdowns. I still miss some friends! My first coloring of this image was in “traditional” gnome colors, with the bright red hat.

For my second card, I wanted to veer away from those traditional colors. This gnome got a purple hat and bright green robes. This made paper selection a bit harder, but I found these bright colors and had fun putting together my hexagon mosaic.

And, that’s the end of those months. Only one more post, tomorrow, with my final cards for the Monthly Image Swap 2020!

Monthly Image Swap – The Pandemic Catch-up (July/Aug)

Here we go with more 2020 Pandemic Catch-up cards. Today’s post has my July and August images, which sat in my “to do” pile since they arrived.

The first image is my July 2020 image, selected by Ruby. She also had a challenge with her monthly image (which I may or may not have read prior to making the card – whoops) to fussy cut the outfit and include a holiday sentiment and bling on the card. Luckily for me, I managed to do all three without remembering to do so. I fussy cut his Santa suit, I used a Merry Christmas sentiment (from Waffle Flower) and I added cute snowflakes with a bling centre. An adorable card!

The August image was super adorable, but it appears I lost the slip of paper telling me what it was. From posts from others in the group, I think this is by Mabelle RO. The first card I used the sentiment sent with the image. I liked the bright colors of this paper for this art themed image.

The second card I think I went through my craft stash twice to find the perfect sentiment. In the end I settled on a thank you card. I recently got these paint splotch dies from Stampin’ Up, so thought they were the perfect addition to stick with the theme.

Two adorable little images to play with!

Monthly Image Swap – The Pandemic Catch-up (May)

Welcome to my 2020 Pandemic Catch-up, May edition.

There were two images from May 2020, but I think I managed to create and send the first one. It wasn’t in my “to be done” stack. The second image came from Tracie and she chose Big Birthday Wishes from Two Paper Divas. I know Tracie is was a big fan of Two Paper Divas (now out of business), so this was a great selection from her.

I had three images, so I decided to play with a few color combinations starting with some primary colors – red, blue, yellow (and green). These papers were “let’s see what’s in my stash” choices.

The second card used some brighter colors and I found this bit of glitter paper that matched my “birthday wishes” perfectly. I don’t use glitter paper too much and it was fun to create a design that featured it.

And finally, I played with some offbeat color choices, starting with some purples. I didn’t have too many purple paper options in my stash, but finally found these appropriate patterns. I actually quite like how this one turned out!

And, that ends my May 2020 images! It feels good to tackle these forgotten images.

Monthly Image Swap – January 2023

That’s right, I’m BACK in the Monthly Image Swap!!

When the pandemic began, I started working from home (like many people). My craft desk became my work desk, which made getting creative difficult and eventually I just didn’t want to be there in the evenings. It was no longer my refuge.

Almost a year later I was still working from home, but we decided to do a basement renovation to create a better work space AND play space that would suit our growing family and, what was starting to become more evident, a semi-permanent work at home arrangement for me. So all things crafty were packed away and once they were unpacked, it still took a bit to get my crafty mojo back.

This Christmas, I decided I was ready to get back to regular crafting. I am very thankful that my friends from the monthly image swap allowed me to come back after my EPIC 2020 failure to get all those images finished. More about that a bit later!

Imke always kicks us off in January with her image and this year she selected Taylored Expressions, Full Circle Baby. Such a cute image, but it’s always a challenge to figure out how to color and position such a large, diverse image. I colored them up first, then tried to match papers. That might have been a mistake, but I think it turned out alright.

This first card I made gender neutral. The positioning of that full circle, to the left was intentional, since I got an copic ink “bloop” on my image while coloring.

After going through all my papers, I thought this one was better suited to the pink tones and created accordingly. I love the way that triangle background turned out!

And that’s my January image…posted before the end of January!!

But back to my epic 2020 failure…I kept every envelope I received safely in my craft stash. And, when I started cleaning and organizing, I decided to tackle that year and finish things off! As far as I can tell, I missed 7 images that year. So, for the next seven days, I’ll post my missing 2020 cards….monthly image swap ladies, watch your mailboxes!!

Beauty in the Unexpected

This was an interesting lesson in artistic creation.

Sometimes when I’m coloring images, I outline the image with a faint blue marker, just to enhance it a bit. On rare occasions, I have also used a soft yellow or pink. Claire has picked up on this technique and often repeats it in her own work.

So one day, she picked up my image and asked if she could have it. And, she added a bright orange border. What am I going to do with this!!! Skies aren’t orange! It’s not a soft accent!

But, she gave it back to me and told me I should use it in a future project. And so, I put on my extra creative hat and decided to see what I could come up with. And here we are.

The papers were left over from some kits and I thought those leaves looked like they were blowing in the wind, just like our little mice. The orange border is a perfect pairing with the orange paper, and the quick add of copper specialty paper (almost a foil) gave it this little shine that added a little “oomph” to it. I love the Taylored Expressions Simple Strips and this one seemed to be appropriate, because if you’re going to be caught at the end of a dragonfly, you might as well have a friend along for the ride!

And that’s all for today!

Cozy Cabin in the Woods

There are two things I find fun about kits. One, getting to play with new images that I would never otherwise purchase. Today’s card is one of those. The coloring required for this image is…overwhelming. But, it’s such a BEAUTIFUL image and I really wanted to find a way to do it justice.

The second nice thing about kit is the suggestions that sometimes come along with them. Sometimes the kit creators include these sample cards, ideas or layouts using the image, so that you can play along, if you desire.

This image will be in a few of my projects this year and I had fun coloring it in several ways (including just using it as a black and white uncolored image). But this particular card was directly from a sample idea in my kit and I really love how it turned out, this cozy cabin in the woods.

Have a great day, crafters!

Kit Crafting

The dreaded kits!! I know, I know. If you’re a faithful reader you don’t believe a word of what I say when I tell you this is the year.

But, I’m making progress.

You know, the kits got to a point where they just overwhelmed me. It didn’t bring me joy to see them sitting there, waiting to be created into something. But after going through all of them and coloring images up, I have a renewed excitement to play with them.

There are a few that didn’t make the cut. Those have been disassembled and the parts I like kept. The number of kits in this category is few and far between, but sometimes something just doesn’t move you. Or theme….I just DON’T use get well cards, so I’d rather use the paper and embellishments that will head out my door to a recipient.

Today’s cards come from three of those kits and all have the same theme – birthday.

I think I may have created and posted a card from this first kit before. I love this adorable image! One of the challenge sometime with kits is that I love the papers and the image…but do I really need two similar cards?? Sometimes I like to change it up, color it differently, add it to other papers and see what I get. And this is the result.

This image has been sitting in my stash for quite awhile. I’m not ever sure if it was a kit image or just a swap image. And, when I discovered it, it was sitting there with these three cut pieces of DSP, just waiting to be turned into something. I love the sparkles on the ladybug straps. The perfect card for a little girl with a big birthday in my life.

And finally, you will probably see a lot of this image soon. The kit came with a very generous supply of images and since I like this vendor and this image, I just had to color them all! There weren’t enough papers in the kit to create with them all, so I headed to my craft stash with my already colored image to look for things it would work with. These two papers are not a pattern mix, but they had enough of the green to coordinate and they matched her beautiful dress. Done!

That’s it for today’s projects. But, I’ll be back in a few days with more for you.

Thanks for stopping by!

New Year, New Time

Hello everyone and I hope you are having a happy January!!

I have started the year in usual fashion, trying to tackle my overflowing craft room, bring some order and develop a consistent desire to create again. Life is so busy, with two young kids, but I have changed some things in my life in the last year that give me a little more balance and “me time” and I hope that this is one creative area that returns.

I have been busy cataloguing my stamp sets, dies and sentiments (yes, sentiments!!). I have SO MANY stamp sets and sometimes I forget about really good sentiments that fit a theme, idea or occasion that I am looking for. They are now all catalogued (I just used Google Sheets) so that I can search on the go. This allowed me to also make some choices about sets that are ready to leave my home, I’m sure to be replaced with all the fabulous new product out there.

One of the things I continue to clean is the card kits that I have talked about for many years. Are they gone??? No.

But, I have now gone through EVERY KIT and have colored the images in the kit. They sit in one spot in my craft room, ready to be assembled into amazing projects. I am more hopefully today than I ever have been that this part of my craft collection will be dealt with soon. I will have posts soon with some of the kit creations I have made.

Today though, is a couple of cards from Stampin’ Up events. I have a fabulous demonstrator who often runs craft and game nights for her downline. She will include a card (or two) in our kits, giving us a chance to stamp together. With my craft room packed up for a good portion of last year, these kits have been half assembled (no sentiments) or unassembled, waiting for me to do something with them. I’m not even sure I remember what the original card design was! But I use what was given to try to come up with something that will work.

Here are two of those projects.

The first one I am pretty sure was meant to be this beautifully assembled tree, using the stitched triangle dies. I fell in love with these gorgeous triangles and ordered them…only to find them already in my stash while I was organizing!! Whoops!

And this one is mostly Stamping Up, with a few additions. I wasn’t exactly sure of the design for this one. Clearly, it was meant to be a “gift”, but I had no information on the full design. I headed to the internet to look for ideas and found one that used these sprigs of greenery to create a beautiful gift wrapped card. I already had some pre-cut greens from some other stamp sets and used them here.

And that’s it for today, but I’ll have more soon. There is lots going on in my craft room, it’s just finding the time to photo and post.

If you’re an old reader, I’m happy you’ve returned and I hope that I can meet your expectations of posting here more regularly this year. And, if you’re a new reader, welcome! Please come by again.

Sketch Saturday #717

Hello Everyone!! Welcome back to another new year of challenges with Sketch Saturday! Our bi-weekly sketch challenge gives you great inspiration for your crafty adventures. Play as many time as you want during the two weeks, and try rotating the sketch or using the inspiration suggestion we’ve included in our post!

We’re starting out the year with four great new additions to our design team! Take a moment to swing by the blog and check out all the sparkly and shiny samples this week and give some love to those DT members. I know they’ll appreciate it.

And, to kick off our year, here is Sketch #719:

Each challenge, we have an optional twist. You can use this twist on your submission, or use it for an added challenge on a second submission! This weeks’ twist is to use a new stamp in your collection. New year, new fun!!

My card uses this adorable MFT image. I have so much fun coloring these cuties and the papers were perfectly themed!!

We hope to see you playing along with our challenges this year! See you soon.