Sunday, September 9, 2012

100 Cards In 100 Days Challenge - completed!


My 100 cards in 100 days challenge is completed!  I squeaked in by the skin of my teeth, with 6 hours to spare and some of the cards I made in that last mad dash were duplicates or just had very minor changes, but I did it.
To be honest, I found the pressure of HAVING to create 10 cards in one afternoon a little stressful !  Lots of time spent creating nothing much that I liked led me to a quick dash to my LSS, where I found some new Tim Holtz stamps, which found their way in to my basket.  They have been on my wish list for some time now so I rewarded myself for finishing my challenge in anticipation of doing so using my new stamps.  Follow the logic there?
Anyhow, here are the last 3 cards made for the challenge.  Thanks for hanging in with me until the very end.

Friday, September 7, 2012

CASology Challenge #9 - Family

The CASology challenge blog is new to me, but the concept behind it fits right in to my desire to improve my cards so I was excited to find it.  

"Each week, we'll study clean and simple design using a cue word as our inspiration.  The design team will share their CAS creations and a little bit about their designs to inspire you to create a clean and simple card of your own!"

This weeks word was Family.  This little house from the Hero Arts "Right At Home" set was the first thing I thought of.   This set was designed for Operation Write Home - 25% of the profits of all the OWH /Hero Arts sets are donated to OWH so you get this super cute set, and you help our heroes at the same time.  Win, win!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

Here's one of the cards that went off to Operation Write Home last week.  No pieces of rubber were harmed in the creation of this card...... it came from a Basic Grey card making kit that I picked up in a sale at my LSS last year.  I used to have a slight obsession with BG paper - anyone else feel the need to buy two pads of their favorite?   One to use and one to keep?  I think Scarlet's Letter was  my all time favorite but really, I pretty much loves them all.  One day, in the next twenty years or so once I've used up all that's already in my stash, I may allow myself to buy some more.....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Retro Sketches #27

Loving the sketch challenges!  I found another to play along with - and  this time I've even managed to finish the card and upload it before the deadline.  Amazing what a three day weekend can do for you... .  Meet Retro Sketch # 27.

And here's my card, fitting right in to my spooky September theme.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Moxie Fab Repetition Challenge

It's taken me a long time to come to realization that you can actually learn how to make your cards better.  I know, obvious, right?  But not to me - I thought that some people were just naturally more talented at it and I was doomed to forever feel like a second class card maker.
And while I'm still fairly sure some of my favorite card makers just have more of an eye for color and design than I do, taking online classes has helped me  A LOT.
So when I saw the Paper Crafts "Card Design " edition, I was delighted.  "173 tips to design like a pro?"  Sold.
This card was made using the guidelines for Balance/Repetition as well as the guidelines for color - a gallon of orange, a quart of black and a pint of currant.    The repetition design element was featured on the Moxie Fab blog too - as soon as I saw the challenge, I knew I had the perfect stamp for it.  It's the skull from the A Muse Nevermore set, one of my current obsessions... 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Challenged by challenges

This is a card I made for a challenge. Which challenge I have no idea - I do know it never got posted, so I probably missed the deadline, which is something I do A LOT.   One of the reasons I started a blog in the first place was to be able to participate in challenges, so why do I have such issues with actually doing it?  It's one of the worlds mysteries...
Anyhow, this card was in the package of cards which went off to Operation Write Home this week.  Most of the cards I make end up with this organization which I am proud to support.  If you are looking for a home for some of your creations, please check out their website and consider sending some love their way.
Also included in the bundle of happiness was a bunch of Halloween cards - they had to be in the shippers hands by the end of August in order to make it out to the troops in time for them to send them home for October, if you see what I mean.
I'm saving those for Spooky September, so I had to dig deep to find a card to share, which leads me back to this lonely card which never got posted .  See, I did have a point!
Thanks for all the ribbon suggestions.  I knew I couldn't be alone with that challenge either.
And Lynne, I wish we lived closer too.  I suspect we would have a lot of fun!

All supplies: A Muse Studio

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bow Making blues

Only another card maker can relate to the bow making blues....
This card is for my future DIL, whom I adore.  She's a bit of a hippy chick and I thought this adorable Saturated Canary image would just be perfect for her.  I've sort of swayed away from the coloring during this 100 cards challenge because it takes me so long to color images that I don't even want to stop to calculate how long it might take me to produce 100 cards with colored images.   So today was a nice change (and this is card 100.71, just for the record)  And I knew going in to it it was going to take me longer and I was fine with that - because the card was special.  What I didn't take into account was how long it was going to take me to get the bow the way I wanted it!  I hope I'm not alone in tying and retying and tweaking and cutting and trimming.  And it's still not entirely the way I wanted it, but the ends were fraying (not to mention my temper) and I knew if I chopped much more off of them, I'd end up having to start all over again and that would not have been a good thing at all.
So that's the tale of my bow making blues... please tell me someone out there can relate?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WT389 - Head In The Clouds

This was for the Ways to Use It Challenge on Splitcoast Stampers, find a way to use clouds.  The cloud die is one of my favorites so I couldn't resist joining in.  And I think my love of polka dot cardstock has been well documented here as well.  I colored the little house from the Hero Arts set  with my sadly neglected Copic markers - almost forgot how to use them!
Forgive the lighting - it's been dark and dismal most of the day here as the storm clouds gather overhead.  
Edited to add:  the cloud die is by A Muse Studio - set of 2 for $5.95

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Muse Challenge - using felt

Angie is our A Muse Studio challenge  hostess this week, and she challenged us to use felt somewhere on our card.  This is the first time I've used felt with our dies and I was very pleased with the results.  Nice clean cuts with no frayed edges and I had no problem at all running it through the machine. ( I use a Vagabond)  The bat is the smallest die in the Big Bat trio, a set of Spellbinder dies exclusive to A Muse Studio, and for the orange moon I used one of the Nestabilities standard circle which we also carry.
The cards also feature the Nevermore stamp  set and the orange and cherry splash inks.  All of these things were on my first order from our new Holiday Hoopla catalog which can be viewed in the side bar.  I am having the hardest time not ordering one of everything in it....

Saturday, August 11, 2012

In case you didn't know.....

....I love Halloween!  I love the colors, the images, the decorations , just the all around spookiness of it all.  I tell you this in fair warning of the fact that between now and October there may be an abundance of the theme showing up here because I have way more than my fair share of Halloween stamp sets and every year i add to them because  I HAVE NO WILLPOWER. 

And because people keep coming out with stuff to tempt me.  Lookie...

Bat dies.  There was no resisting these beauties, although I really did try.  For about 2 days actually and then I gave in.  Resistance was, in fact, futile.  I have the MS bat punch which has seen more than its fair share of use, but it  only gives you small bats.  Go large, I say.  And i did.

There are actually 3 dies in the set, which is made by Spellbinders exclusively for A Muse Studio.   They are batiful, am I wrong?

I really, really tried to hold off with the Halloween stuff until at least September.  I had it all planned - Spooky September and all that - can we consider this a sneak peek at Spooky September?

Friday, August 10, 2012

August Spotlight

One of the (many) things I like about A Muse is the monthly spotlight, which features a bunch of sets at spotlight (read sale) prices, together with an assortment pack of cardstock , which is also at a reduced price.  It's a great way to build your collection of colors without having to buy a whole pack at a time.   I pretty much always end up adding a pack and, if I'm being honest, I pretty much always end up with at least one of the featured sets too because the price is just too good to pass up!

One of this month's featured sets is "enjoy the ride".  This set has been mine since the 2012 catalog came out.  It was on my very first order because I loved it so much and this card was one of the first things I made with it.  Quick and cute, my favorite type of card!

Happy Friday, y'all.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Card A Day Bloggers

Although I've fallen a bit behind in my 100 cards in 100 days project, some of my fellow challenge participants are already done.  Over achieve much, ladies??

There have been so many other good things happen with the challenge, other than the card making.  We've made new friends, learned new things, added more goodies to the wish lists and cheered each other - so much so, that the quick finishers decided they wanted the fun to continue on and now we have a new group,  the Card A Day Bloggers, so we can carry the friendships and encouragement on even after the 100 days is up.

Our first group challenge was from Bexx, my fellow Brit;  a London Calling Challenge:

Anything BRITISH goes... think cups of tea, buses, the Olympics, Big Ben, the weather, moaning... 

I was all over it!  A Muse has some very British stamp sets in the main catalog this year, which I immediately ordered and then didn't really know what to do with. This was a great excuse to use them, so I totally went to town with them.

And I've tipped just over the 50 card mark with around 30 days left to the finish mark.  It's still do-able right?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Muse Studio Red, White and Blue Challenge

The Olympics are in full swing and I'm glued to the TV for hours, cheering on people I don't know, playing sports I've never watched before.  I get totally caught up in the emotion of it all, whether it's the happy emotion of watching athletes achieve their dream or the sadder emotion of watching those dreams crushed - the tissues are right beside me and generally very much needed.  I'm originally from the UK, but have lived in the US for a long, long time so I have two teams to cheer on , which leads to double the drama.

So in spirit of the games and to honor the achievements of  the athletes from both my countries, the A Muse Studio  challenge this week is to make a card using red, white and blue.

 As soon as I saw these sets in the 2012 catalog, I knew they had to be mine!  The above card is made with the set "stamp on" embossed on to cherry red card.  Very quick and easy!

The card below is from the aptly named "british invasion"  It's full of very British images and sayings and so appropriate for the theme of the challenge

t's such an exciting time for A Muse Studio - August 1st saw the launch of our Holiday Hoopla, the 2012 holiday catalog.  If you haven't seen one, click on the link on right hand side bar to see the download.  But be warned, your craft budget may well be blown by the time you are done - there are so many wonderful new sets!  I have a wish list a mile long!

And there is more!  There is a special stamp set , available only for Holiday Hoopla hostesses, as well as a sign up special.   From now until September 30th, not only can you join the A Muse family for the discounted price of $99, but you can choose an additional stamp set to add to the standard kit contents.  It's a wonderful opportunity - if you've ever wondered, waivered or wobbled on whether or not this might be the right fit for you, now is absolutely the time to find out.  Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions at all.

And  please jump on over to the A Muse Challenge - you don't have to use A Muse products to play along but we love it when you do.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Down, but not out

So I suffered a little set back in the 100 cards challenge in the form of a nasty chest infection which really sucked the life out of me.  I can't believe how long it took me to get back to feeling near normal, or to have any desire to do anything creative.  Ah, well - such is life!  I don't get sick often, so I'm not going to complain too much.

 These cards were (obviously) meant to go with the Christmas in July theme I had going on.  I know it's August, but hey, what's a girl to do?

I'm hoping to get in to the craft room today - let's see if Mr. Mojo is feeling better as well!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 44 - 100 Cards in 100 Days

Continuing the Christmas in July theme - and the one cut, two cards epiphany, here are the next two cards for the 100 cards challenge.  I went back and counted all the duplicates, plus the cards that are so almost exactly alike that I won't be posting them and I'm at 35 cards!  And since this is the 14th of July,  I'm almost exactly where I should be.  With a little this weekend, I might even get ahead.....

I'm having so much fun with this - it has turned into so much more than just making 100 cards.  Many, many  thanks to Mindy for starting it all off.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Snowflakes in Summer

Our current A Muse Studio challenge is "Christmas in July"  so I pulled out my Christmas sets for that and went with it.   Helps me get a head start on Christmas cards for Operation Write Home too!

Here are cards 100.10 & 100.11 - and lesson # 2 learned from this challenge.  If you plan ahead, you can  accentuate the positive by using the negative .

Usually when I die cut, I  try to get the most number of cuts out of the piece of card stock,    Then it finally dawned on me that I could use the negative space too and double the cards for pretty much the same amount of effort, if I planned out where to place the die BEFORE i randomly ran it through the machine.  I'm probably the last person on the planet to realize this, but I'm sharing the light-bulb moment just in case I am second to last.

I was so thrilled with this realization that I did a whole set of these so I'm gaining on my 100 cards goal too.  Some of my co-challenge peeps are way up there, posting card # 89 and scary high numbers like that - even with my duplicates and such I'm still creeping along in the 30's.

A Muse Supplies used:
Snowflake Trio Die,  essential sentiments, sugar, winter sky & silver shimmer couture cardstock, seattle ink.   

Monday, July 9, 2012

CAS-ual Friday Challenge 60

I'm learning a lot with this 100 cards challenge!  Inspiration can be elusive, and challenges can really help with that.  I don't think I ever fully understood that before - I thought a challenge, a "must do that this way" would do the absolute opposite of creative inspiration, which just goes to show what I know.  I've found out I love 'em - I just don't always make the deadline.  

One place I always check out is the CAS-ual Friday challenge blog.  There are some jaw dropping creations over there, people!  Go  play along.  I finally found the time to post the card I made before the next challenge posted.  I may now have to go lay down in a darkened room to recover from the shock of it all.

CFC60  Use text in your Clean And Simple design

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Muse Studio Challenge - Christmas in July

Where did the last two weeks go?  Add me to the list of people who can't quite believe it's July already.  Before we know it, it will be Labor Day, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving and then Christmas again.  Which leads me neatly to the next challenge being thrown down at A Muse Studio Challenge Blog - Christmas in July.
 Smiley from

 Hop on over to see what the rest of the design team has created then, put on the holiday tunes, get a jump start on your holiday projects and share what you create with us.

You can find everything you need to create any of the projects in my Online Store If your order is $150.00 or more, please contact me directly to place your order for you, as you will receive hostess benefits!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Muse Studio Challenge - Summer Fun!

Sheela is our hostess this time around and we are celebrating the start of summer.  Summer and vacation and road trips!  And if you live in Florida, also summer storms, one of which is splashing over us right now.  Tropical Storm Debby is hovering around the west coast of the sunshine state, but we are feeling the effects.  It's wet and soggy and miserable - all the more reason for a bright and cheery card.

Come on over to the A Muse Studio Challenge Blog and share some summer sunshine with us.

All supplies A Muse Studio:
"love conquers all"
"grunged sunrays"
cloud die, bermuda polka dot & buttercup cardstock, slate grosgrain ribbon.

Friday, June 22, 2012

One Design, Three Cards

Meet 100.5, 100.6 & 100.7!  These cards were inspired by   CASED from a card by Joy Taylor that I found on the CASE study challenge blog.  If you click over, you will find that particular challenge is at least 2 weeks old!  My particular challenge is finding the time to complete challenges on time.
"Better late than never"  would be my clan motto, if i had a clan motto.    I do find that if your mojo has gone missing, CASEing a card helps to jump start it though.
So here we are on card number 7 and it's June 22nd - by my reckoning, I am falling further behind, not catching up at all.  Oh, well, it's Friday at least!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


100.4 -  My love for A Muse Studio's polka dot paper is well documented here.  This card was born out of scrappy necessity ........ all the leftovers from all the polka dot love came together in this plethora of polka dots.  If that doesn't put a party in your day, nothing will!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dreaming of you..

Well, it's the 11th day of June and so by my reckoning, I should be at least 11 cards in to my 100 cards in 100 days challenge.  And I'm not - I'm 7 cards in which isn't bad considering.  I travel a lot for my day job, so crafting time isn't always easy to find but I am determined that by the end of this challenge I will have 100 new cards in my stash.
The above card was made with the Hero Arts set I won when I joined in the Operation Write Home  Memorial Day bloghop - and it came from Miss Sandy Allnock, the president herself.  It was also on my wish list after I saw this beautiful card on the Hero Arts blog when making my rounds that day - no prizes for guessing where my inspiration for this card came from.  It's from a  set called Right At Home, one of 3 designed especially for OWH.
Happy Monday - hope the sun is shining where ever you are because we are all pretty soggy here in NE FL!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Muse Studio Challenge - Father's Day

 Our challenge this time around  is hosted by Carissa and it's very easy - create a Fathers Day card!    All of these cards were very simple to do - I think the paper piecing on the polka dot one above took the most time.  We all know how much I love that polka dot paper, right?

My love for the polka dot paper is closely followed by my love for my cloud dies .....

..... and my love for all things A Muse!

I joined A Muse because they were offering such a great deal on their starter kit.   We all know how that goes right?  Nothing to loose and everything inky to gain.   Fast forward almost a year and here I still am, in love with the ink, the cardstock and the stamps.  This company just fits my style.  If you think it might fit yours, now would be a wonderful time to find out because they are offering another great deal on the starter kit, details of which you can find in a post below or by clicking on the side bar.
Or just click on over to the A Muse Studio Challenge to see what my fellow consultants have created for Father's Day and join in the challenge!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

And we're off.....

 100.1  Ready, set, go with the 100 cards in 100 days and I'm taking my inspiration wherever I can get it - this one was from Pinterest.  Once it was done, I decided I should probably have moved the main image further up - I played with the placement before I committed to the inked image but it always looks different in real life...  I think this card and this layout would also work well for a sympathy card, so I may try that later today.  Sympathy cards are always hard to do and harder still if you leave them until you need them.  Sadness isn't always the best emotion to help the creative spirit.

100.2  Just a simple Happy Birthday card.    Yellow and gray is one of my new favorite color combinations - this is 'seattle' by A Muse Studio.   I probably would never have looked at it twice if I hadn't got a couple of sheets in one of the monthly spotlight packs and I liked it so much with the polka dots that I added a whole pack to my last order.  Expect to see it lots!

We are off out boating today - as soon as we have done painting the back room.  Nothing like a relaxing Sunday, right?  Enjoy yours!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Sale!

Who doesn't love a getting a deal at the sales?  And this is a VERY good deal .  I joined A Muse Studio when they ran a kit special last year and I can honestly say I have never regretted it.  I joined because it was such a great deal (just look at everything you get!) but I stayed   I love everything about this company - they just really fit my style .    

Kick Start your summer TODAY!  
Our Starter Kit Special includes everything you need to start your own business!
*  four exclusive 2012 studio sampler stamp sets
*  set of four clear blocks
*  ten a|s pigment ink pads {cherry, currant, fern, french roast, grass, ocean, orange, papaya, bubblegum and sky}
*  memento tuxedo black ink pad
*  one copic marker {cool shadow}
*  double scrubber
*  squeaky clean stamp cleaner
*  adhesive runner
*  glue pen
*  diamond glitter
*  cardstock assortment - enough to create 16 each of five ready-to-roll cards 
*  swatch ring
*  twinkle stickers - clear
*  pearl stickers - vanilla
*  paper flowers - meadow mix
*  three spools grosgrain stitch ribbon {french roast, papaya, slate}*  4 - 2012 catalogs plus essential business supplies

Thursday, May 31, 2012

100 Cards in 100 Days

A week or so ago, I found a post by fellow A Muse Consultant Mindy where she challenged herself to make 100 cards in 100 days using only things she had in her stash.  This called to me on many levels:

1.   I could probably make many more than 100 cards without buying another thing
2.  I could use a little motivation to create more consistently to help with #1
3.  I could step up my contributions to Operation Write Home. 
4.  I could get a head start on Christmas cards - let's not discuss the chaos that was last Christmas and the guilt I felt about buying cards (see # 1 again)
5.  If  I use up some of my stuff, I can justify buying more stuff.

So I'm in.  100 cards in 100 days.  June 1 through September 8th - that's all summer long, people!  If you'd like to join in the fun, check out this thread on SCS and let's see how far we get! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Smile :)

This seemed like a perfect card to lift the spirits as we sit here all dull and dreary, firmly stuck  under Tropical Depression Beryl.  I'm not actually sure if she is a still a storm or what, but depression seems like the perfect description.  I know we needed the rain here but jeez.... there is a certain irony in draining your pool into the lake at the back of the house while the water level of said lake keeps creeping up and the rain keeps raining down!    I could do with a bit of smiling and maybe a pink bird of happiness (yes, I know it's the blue bird of happiness, but the one on my card is pink and sparkly...)
And with the exception of that pink sparkly bird the card uses all A Muse supplies.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Let's Get Sentimental

Time for another A Muse Studio Challenge. This week we have been challenged to use a sentiment as the focus of the card. I have two favorite sentiment sets from A Muse; "essential sentiments", which has a sentiment for every holiday and every occasion and "hand scripted" which is my favorite favorite Smiley from and the set I've used here. I also used the heart die and our woodgrain impression plate and a few tinkles. Easy peasy - why not pop on over and join in the challenge with a sentimental card of your own?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Operation Write Home Sketch Bloghop

It's time for the 2012 OWH Memorial Day Bloghop!   This year we were asked to choose from the vast library of sketches available for inspiration.  I chose Sketch #28 because it reminded me (kinda, sorta, maybe?) of the flag and I thought it made the perfect back ground for the stamp set I knew I wanted to use.
I support OWH because my own DH is a 20 year veteran and I know first hand how hard it is to be separated from your spouse and what a difference getting a card from them can make to your day.
So if you're here because you already support OWH, thank you!  And if you just happened upon the celebration go check out them out here:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Amuse Studio Challenge - Color My World!

Lori is our hostess for the latest A Muse Studio Challenge  Color My World!!  I love to color and Copic markers really make me feel like an artist.    I started out with one grey marker "just to make shadows and outlines....." and then I added another, and another until now I have a collection of more than I am going to admit.  So imagine my delight when I joined A Muse and found we carried 102 different colors and refills.  If Copics aren't your thing, we also carry Tombow markers, as well as watercolor pencils, koh-i-noor pencils and shimmer chalks - something for everyone really...

Since it it is an A Muse challenge, my card  uses all A Muse products, all of which can be found in my online store.  The image is from the  "Quick & Cute Valentines" set.  (Not just for Valentine's Day, people!)   A very cute collection of images just  begging to be colored with one of the above products. And, of course, polka dots.  I really am addicted to the polka dot paper - it adds just the perfect pop of happiness to everything.  Polka dot paper and the scallop die = happy cardmaker.

Why not pop on over to check out the challenge and add a little color to the week by joining us?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Muse Studio - May Spotlight

Another quick project from this month's project - bold colors, softened for a pretty little place card.  Adorable!

a|s supplies:
marvelous marigolds stamp set
wild rose stamp set
sugar cardstock (3.5" x 4", scored on long side at 2")
vellum paper (cut and scored the same as sugar cardstock)
navy ink
burano ink
bellini ink
papaya ink

Don't forget, our ink pads are on sale this month too.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mothers Day again

I'm originally from Scotland, now living happily in Florida (hence Tartan Magnolia)  When I moved to the US, I left my family there in the same town I grew up in.  And in Scotland, Mother's Day has been and gone.   Before I became a card maker,  I could never send my mum a card on the "right" day, because I couldn't buy one at the right time.  I'd like to say that since I became a card maker she has always had one to proudly display on the mantelpiece on the day that the rest of the UK celebrates Mothering Sunday, but that wouldn't be true.  Because moving to the US did not cure me of my habit of procrastination......  her card isn't even the one I'm showing you.  Her card is on my desk, waiting to be mailed.  This is one I made for Operation Write Home so it was done back in March, I think.
I'd seen all the silhouette cards out there in blogland and remembered this old Stampin' Up set I had squirreled away.  I am sure it is long since retired, but it worked perfectly for what I had in mind.  I couldn't find  didn't have a Mother's Day stamp, so the sentiment is computer generated. The paper is Basic Grey and I'm sure that particular collection is also long gone.  I'm trying to use stuff up right now so I can buy more stuff.  None of you can relate, right?

April Bloom Box

What is a Bloom Box? It's a monthly box of gorgeousness that is delivered right to your door!  Each month you receive an exclusive...