Mystery Image Swap – 2018 Clean Up

Well, I had really hoped to clean up my 2018 Mystery Image swap cards before the end of the year, but it just didn’t happen. No worry, I’ve got them all done now and ready to start 2019 – on time hopefully!

My missing cards go back to October, so let’s start there. The image was sent by Vickie and it’s a Stampin’ Up image called sweet seasons. I paired it with some DSP from SU as well and then added a few embellishments in. The sentiment comes from a Prickley Pear set.

November’s image was selected by Sonja. She sent us a stamp this round (thank you for your generosity). I wasn’t sure what I thought of the stamp, but once I inked it up….wow! What a striking image. And, I’m so happy with how this turned out. I hope you love it, Joanna!

Check out the close up on the cup.  I added glossy accents to the colored area for extra shine. The image, for those who want to know, is Stamplorations “Caffienated Zen”.

And finally, my December card was an image selected by Joyce. She sent us an image from Impression Obsession.

And that wraps up 2018! I am in for another year of images – and, I even have January done! But, I’ll post if a few days once I get all my 2018 projects cleaned up. Thanks for stopping by!



Unidentified Image Swap – December 2018

Since it’s January 2019, you can tell that I’m late with my UIT card. The card has been done since early December (since I have mailing deadlines to make), but I just didn’t get it photographed and onto my blog.

The image for this round was chosen by Laura Jean and she selected Elzybell Penguin in honor of a friend that passed away who loved penguins. She also asked us to make a birthday card with our image, as she is going to donate her +1 cards to her local Ronald McDonald house.

Here is the card I sent her:

I can’t wait until these cards come back and I get to see the next images. And, I realized that my host round is coming up in June, so I’m going to have start thinking ahead. Time for a new stamp? Maybe!

Welcome to 2019!

Here we go 2019! I am ready to embrace you with crafty arms and inky fingers!

I started 2018 with a cleaned up craft space, creating a home for both Claire and myself to craft. Good thing too, because she’s stuck by my side this year. So much so that she’s often at her desk when I’m not….and sometimes borrowing my stuff! I have loosened my hold on my copic markers and now regular share them with both her and Nathan. It’s hard to deny Claire something she clearly loves and is good at, and with Nathan often by her side, it’s hard to be selective. Nibs can be replaced, inks can be refilled…memories last forever.

And so I head into 2019 with that attitude. What are my plans for 2019?

1. Recommit – At times, trying to get my craft stuff done in 2018 has felt like I was sinking in quicksand! The more I tried, the more I felt behind. There a elements of my creative commitments that have fallen by the wayside and I am determined to get back on track! And, if I don’t, then it’s time to seriously think about what things I remain committed to. I love being involved, and there are things I hate to give up. But realistically, I can’t let people down (which is the position I feel I’m in right now).

2. Be on Time! – Related to the first one, I have a brand spanking new journal for 2019 in  (what I perceive to be) a more effective setup. I’ve got my colored gel pens and ready or not, here I go! I’m going to dedicate time to getting things done when it is expected.

3. Color – I’ve been a member of the Kit and Clowder classrooms for almost a year now and do not have 12 projects to show for it. I had so much fun on my medical leave in September working on a few of the projects and I want to continue! I can feel myself learning new techniques and picking up on ideas. And Claire enjoys it to! As part of my “recommit” mantra, I want to catch up 2018 AND stay on track with 2019 (or, get out of the classroom!).

4. Enjoy – Crafting is not a job. It’s my relief. And so I’m bound and determined to enjoy what I’m doing. More interacting, more challenges, more blogging….2019, here we come!

And, I’m going to end on that positive note. Once again, thanks for visiting my little corner of the world again this year. I hope you like the new look for 2019 and I am thankful for your presence.

A Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. May it be happy and loving, today and through all the year.

A Year in Review – 2018

I think this is always my favorite post of the year. My last post on the last day of the year, with a retrospective on the years’ accomplishments.

2018 feels like a tough year. My kids, now 4 and 6, are growing and have increasingly more activities and demands on my free time. Work is intense and many nights, I’m just too tired to retreat into my craft room to get my projects done. I’ve always prided myself on meeting deadlines and 2018 has felt like frustration after frustration to get things to where they need to be on time.

This post makes my 100th of the year. Just made that milestone! And so, let’s start this Year in Review #8 with our favorites of the month:

January 2018: January 2018 tied for my most prolific month, with 14 blog posts. I suppose this has to do with my renewed focus at the beginning of the year. So many great cards, but it’s the January Mystery Image swap, with Unity’s “Poppy Girl”, that caught my heart.

February 2018: February’s favorite comes from one of my design teams. A combination of color, company and challenge type. I love recipe challenges and this card for The Crafter’s Cafe Challenge Blog using a stamp from Bugaboo gets my vote for this month!

March 2018: Another solid month, with 13 posts. I love Riley and Compnay and their new Dress Up Riley stamp line has been so much fun to work with! I sat down to create with their new Birthday set and fell in love with this great card!

April 2018: I joined the Dueling Darlings back in 2016 and am really enjoying their monthly challenges! It’s so much fun to receive my kit each month and check out what the challenge team has sent. Rain and umbrella stamps have always had a soft spot in my heart, so this great kit won my heart this month.

May 2018: For how many years now have I been discussing my glutton of card kits? Too many! I finally made progress on a few this year and pulled one out for the May Challenge Your Stash group. I picked the theme this month and asked players to “make something purely for you own enjoyment”. And so, using a card kit that has caught my eye since it arrived was my chosen project for the month and takes the May spot.

June 2018: I joined a swap early in 2018 that was a technique swap. Six months of great kits arrived with different techniques to try. The March kit didn’t get done on time, but when I finally got around to it in June, I had so much fun playing with my (fairly) new distress inks. I also think this was the first time I worked with chipboard elements!

July 2018: July was one of my toughest month in terms of blog posts – only 3!! But, this CAS for my DT project for The Crafter’s Cafe Challenge Blog is my favorite of the three!

August 2018: One of the great things about my DT work is the opportunity to work with different stamp companies. There is so much variety out there! Yes, there are a few that I don’t enjoy as much as others, but I can’t say that about The Paper Shelter and their amazing selection of images. I got creative with my Sketch Saturday challenge and made this fun card!

September 2018: September was the second month that tied for most prolific postings in 2018. Once school started again, I had about a week where I was motivated to color, create and blog a number of card kits. Plus, my regular DT work. When I first filtered the September posts, I knew it would be hard to beat the first post that appeared. I worked hard on coloring up this image, from Fred She Said Designs and it is a strong favorite from the year.

October 2018: Another Sketch Saturday creation and another favorite stamp company, The Paper Nest Dolls. This was a challenging sketch, since it didn’t really have a focal point for the image. This image with the snowflake banner mimicked the sketch and the added snowflakes finished it off. I love this card!

November 2018: With only 2 posts to pick from for November, it didn’t take long for me to make my choice. The November mid-month challenge at The Crafters Cafe Challenge blog was to make an envelope. I made an gift set that carried several 3×3 cards inside. It’s a cute project!

December 2018: Another busy month, with only a few blog posts! But, this Christmas themed card for The Crafter’s Cafe is my pick for my final card of the year. This was a chance to practice my coloring and also use my gloss accents on the ornaments. It turned out beautifully!

And, that’s my 12 favorites for the year. I really thought I’d have some slim pickings some months, and even worried at least one month would have no posts! I was pleasantly surprised to find posts for all months, which gives me that little boost I need heading into 2019.

Part 2 of my Year in Review is always a look back at my crafty resolutions for the year. I can’t even remember what I set out to do! Will I be pleasantly surprised again??

1. Focus: My first goal of the year was focus and to push myself to get some long held projects done.There were times I was able to make progress. I cleaned up some old project kits sitting around, got through one box of card kits and kept my Paper Pumpkin stash down (a bit). Always more to go, but I continue to work on it!

2. Enjoy: I really wanted to ENJOY my crafting again. A few design teams wrapped up in 2017 and I thought 2018 would bring more flexible time. But, with competing priorities elsewhere, I still struggled with that calm that I was looking for in my creative process.

3. Extend: I commented at the start of the year that this goal hadn’t been well thought out and that I wasn’t sure whether it would go. To tell the truth, I’m still not sure! I wanted to check out “something new”. And truthfully, I’m not sure I did that.

4. Challenge: Oh, this one makes my heart hurt a bit. I started out the year a bit better, with a schedule posted on my wall and a few challenges listed in my “to do” book. But, time is difficult to schedule and often by the time the creative process gets finished, the challenge is long gone. Interestingly enough, I also haven’t craved this part of my goals as much as I did this time last year. I hope this means that I was enjoying the things I WAS accomplishing.

5. Connect: I wanted to reconnect with my friends, both online and those that receive regular cards. I definitely struggled with this in 2018! And, in 2019, I’m looking to find unique ways to stay organized and get some more cards to those I love.

I hope you have had a productive and creative crafty year! Thank you for stopping by and reading about my accomplishments, and I will see you tomorrow, for 2019, with my crafty goals for 2019.

Sketch Saturday #543

Hello Everyone! Welcome to a new sketch challenge over at Sketch Saturday. Every Saturday a new sketch is posted and you have until Friday the following week to enter for a chance to win a prize from their terrific sponsors. We hope you’ll come play with us!

Here is sketch challenge #543:Our sponsors this week is Scrap N Dipity and here is my project for the week. I love the bright colors!

I hope you come and play along with us! One lucky challenge entrant will win a prize from our sponsor (and then maybe you’ll own this adorable stamp too!). Head on over to the Sketch Saturday blog to link up your new creation using the sketch. Good luck!

Mystery Image Swap – August/September 2018

Looong over due, but this one was a challenge for me! I love this image, chosen by Terry, but just could not make the picture in my head work!

In the end, I’m satisfied with this creation (not overwhelmed, but happy) and am thankful it will get into the mail shortly!

September’s card has been done for awhile, but I wanted to get August posted before I posted September. So, I might as well use another joint point. Dea chose this beautiful image for us and it was fun to color!

Well, the year draws to a close. Three more months left. October’s image is colored up and I hope to get crafty this weekend, while November’s image is also waiting to go. We’re already planning for 2019 and I hope you’ll be back with me next year.

Thanks for stopping by!

TCCCB – Lace and/or Christmas

Hello, welcome to the December 1st challenge with The Crafter’s Cafe Challenge Blog!

Twice a month we roll out fantastic challenges for your to play along with and we work with great sponsors so you get to see art from a wide variety of talented artists.

As we head into December, we’re ready to celebrate the season! Our challenge this fortnight is the option of Use Lace or Make it a Christmas Theme. Or, do both!

The sponsor I’m working with this challenge is Creative Bug and I’ve chosen to work with their Christmas Bells image. I love the way this one turned out!

This card was created with the sketch at C.R.A.F.T. Challenge. It’s also perfect for a few Christmas themed challenges, like Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenges, Crafting by Designs and Christmas at Sweet Stampin’ challenge blog.

Come on and play in this great challenge! You can link up your entry over at The Crafter’s Cafe Challenge Blog from now through the middle of the month. Come and check us out!