Thursday, August 31, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches 303

I just realized that I forgot to do my blog post for Freshly Made Sketches. I worked on my card to take my mind off things Tuesday, but I guess I didn't get to the posting part.  Karren really challenged us with this sketch!  Who doesn't love a challenging challenge, right? :) You get to put on your creative thinking cap and that's what I did. I had pulled one of my card kits from Simon Says Stamp from my stash to attempt to use it up as much as possible this week, so I worked on a design using that and only that.  I think it turned out okay and I hope it's close enough to the sketch.

I know Texas is getting a lot of news coverage, but we are fine.  We were some of the lucky ones in our area who didn't flood.  All of my friends here are fine as well. School is still delayed and next Thursday is the best case first day.  Laila's principal's house flooded and was still full of water as of yesterday. I'm sure our school will be helping with that as much as we can. The school itself did not flood, so we are thankful for that. There is just so much devastation around the area that it is almost unreal right now. It will be a long time before anything is close to normal again. But, we are lucky. So lucky. If the worst thing facing you is waiting in lines for hours to enter a grocery store, that's not much you can complain about when people lost their lives and homes. Things did begin opening back up yesterday, but some will be months coming back. It is just truly heartbreaking. 

It has been amazing to see how the community, both individuals and businesses, have jumped in to help. We've gathered supplies to take to temporary shelters twice now and their needs were already met before we could get there. Restaurants are closing to focus on making food for first responders. Churches quickly opened up as shelters. People with boats and lifted trucks assisting strangers. I know on our local group a truck owner picked up a pregnant lady having contractions five minutes apart and got her to the hospital so she could give birth. Political and racial divides went out the window and it has been people helping people. We need more of that. 

I'm off to make coffee and turn on the news for a bit. Have a good week and keep sending good thoughts this way. 


Sunday, August 27, 2017

MFT Card Challenge 347

Howdy! I did a bit of stamping yesterday and today and wanted to share one of my projects. I loved the sketch at MFT Card Challenges this week. I didn't have the die to make the shape they used, so I made due with a boring old rectangle. You know how much I love this set, so I colored it in Laila's favorite colors, orange and green.  :) It probably makes it look a bit Halloweenish, but that's okay. Halloween is awesome and coming up soon, so I can always use it then.

Sketch Challenge 347 #mftstamps

Hurricane Harvey is still dropping a lot of rain on my area, so we are staying inside.  Roads are flooded and some businesses and houses are starting to as well.  We missed the direct hit and the wind, but the rain is going to do a lot of damage. :( School won't be starting tomorrow and is postponed until at least Wednesday now.  Send good thoughts to Texas in hopes that the rain moves out soon.

We did get out some yesterday during a lull and took a walk.  That hasn't happened today, so we are inside with a bit of cabin fever.  Laila wants to go splash in puddles again, but it's a bit more than puddles out there right now.  I'll share a picture of her from yesterday as well as a beautiful butterfly that came to visit.  We haven't seen any butterflies today, but the rain hasn't stopped our little hummingbird from visiting the feeder.

Off to eat lunch and maybe sneak in a nap.  I have lots of new books on my Kindle and of course there's always stamping...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches 302

Jumping in and playing along with Freshly Made Sketches this week.  I saw the sketch and had an idea, so I tried to find time to see if that idea translated well to paper.  I am happy with how it turned out.  I had the watercolor background in my stash waiting to be used, so yay for one less thing being stored. :) I've been trying to use more vellum lately too as it's been sitting unused for a while too. I hope you like it!

Before I run off and get ready for playgroup, I thought I'd share pictures of Laila's school.  

 This is the library.  It is amazing. I wanted to just move in!

 I took this when we were walking in.  It's neat because all the grades have their own hallway.

 Her classroom.  They are still waiting on tables for the room.

She made herself at home.  She was pretty overwhelmed, but she did hug her teacher by the end of our visit.  I hope she's excited to go on Monday.  I'm a bit nervous about figuring out drop off and all that, but Jason took off all next week.  I'm happy to have backup! 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

MFT Camp Create Delightful Die Cutting

I thought I'd sneak in my card for the last day of Camp Create so that I don't forget to upload it.  This one is for the Delightful Die Cutting.  I wasn't sure I could do this one, but I saw these glasses and thought they might work?  It was fun to make because I LOVE distress inks.  This was Mermaid Lagoon. Love that color!

That makes all five days for me, so yay!  There is a bonus day with an ombre theme, but I'm not sure I'll get to that one. My room is torn apart right now.  I am not even sure what to work on at this point, but I need to pick a starting point and get going again.  

Laila and I made this fancy pinhole camera to watch the eclipse yesterday.  I was skeptical, but it worked great.  One of my neighbors who had the glasses did walk over and let me borrow them for a minute to look.  So cool, huh? 

Off to clean a bit more and then shower and get ready for meet the teacher tonight.  I can't believe it's that time already.  I'm a nervous wreck.  I'm sure that's part of why I can't sleep.  I hope she does okay, but if not, I hope there's a plan to help her.  Getting kicked out of the last school type place we tried has made this so stressful.  We have one more social skills class tomorrow and play therapy on Thursday. I am sad about the social skills class as they do such much that I feel helps. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

MFT Camp Create Background Bonanza

Did you survive Monday and the eclipse?  I did, but man am I tired.  Laila and I made the viewer using a cereal box and I think she enjoyed it. :)  I wanted to share another card for the MFT Camp Create.  This one is for the Background Bonanza.  I love using stencils and this is a newer one in my stash.  I used three colors of distress inks, Candy Apple, Spiced Marmalade, and Mustard Seed.

We had three more butterflies to release today.  Laila loves them and she's always wanting to keep one.  This one stayed with her for a while today. 

I'm off to get some rest.  I have been so tired and fighting a headache all day, so early bedtime it is. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday. 

Camp Create Monochromatic Magic

Day four of Camp Create was about making a monochromatic background.  I didn't have three inks to do a background like Laurie's, so I did distress inks.  I put it on heavy at the bottom and used a lighter hand as I went up. After I had the ink on, I spritzed the background stamp with water and stamped it.  it gives some nice interest to the background I think. The rest is pretty simple.  I cut out friend from the finished panel and then again from black and then white cardstock.  I layered them up, white in the space left by the first cut, then black, then the distressed ink one.  It was a super fun card to make.

Have a fantastic week!  

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Camp Create Magnificent Masking

Hello!  I hope you've had a great weekend.  We haven't done much today and that's been nice.  :)  I've been in my stamp room again working on purging and organizing. I know it has to get worse before it gets better, but man.  It's a hot mess.  I did take some time last night to do a bit of stamping.  I did another of the MFT Camp Create challenges, this time masking. I struggle with masking, but I love the look.  I had trouble because I had to use regular sticky notes because my Post-It tape was hiding.  I think the end result is okay though.  I even decided to make a shaker card to use up some of the 4 billion sequins I "needed" at some point.

Sorry for the bad picture.  I'm trying to move my light tent and lights and I'm guessing the new place needs some tweaking.

Today we had one butterfly eclose, a male. Usually the males take off as soon as we get them out, but this guy stayed around for a while.  I think he liked getting his picture taken. :)  I'm sad because I have to take a break raising my guys.  Little Lady can't seem to shake her flea/worm issue, so I have to treat her for the third time.  The flea meds are toxic to caterpillars, so I have to avoid being near them for a while.  With school starting soon, it's probably a good time for a break anyway.  The current guys have devoured most of my plants anyway!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

MFT Card Challenges Sketch 346

Happy Saturday!  How's your weekend going?  Things have been pretty good here.  My sister-in-law came over today and took Laila shopping for  her birthday.  Her step-daughter, who is about 6 months younger than Laila, was with her so they got to play some.  I made this card for Miss Laila.  I need to get a photo box to put the ones I make for her in so I can quickly grab them on school days. :) This card uses products from My Favorite Things and is for their Card Challenges sketch challenge.

Sketch Challenge 346 #mftstamps
So Laila LOVED her swimming lesson yesterday.  She didn't have any upsets, but was probably a bit too excited.  lol  Hopefully the newness wears off and she can focus better next week.  She did great on what they practiced and is ready to go back! We had to go shopping afterwards to see if we could find her a new bathing suit. She's grown so much this summer that hers are about too small.  Thankfully Kohl's had some in the clearance that would work. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Camp Create Day 1

Happy Friday!  I feel like it's Saturday for some reason.  Do you ever do that?  It might be that I didn't get much sleep last night.  Little Lady was crazy and so was my brain.  I finally got up and have been creating a bit since way too early.  My Favorite Things has had their Camp Create this week and they have some great techniques (with videos).  For day one, we worked on Inlaid Die Cutting.  I didn't have any scenery dies like Barbara used, but I still wanted to play along.  I made a rainbow panel with distress inks and then cut it using the Snow Drifts Background.  I also cut a piece of white with the same die to use as a frame.  After I pieced in the colors, I cut out the friend and was very careful to keep all the little parts from the rainbow panel to put back in it.  Fun card and I hope it will brighten someone's day.

Yesterday I worked for hours cleaning and straightening my craft room.  I don't know that I got that far, but I'm trying to do a bit every day.  I need so much less stuff.  I think that's a common issue, yet I always want the new things I see.  I am thinking September will be a no buying anything except adhesive if needed month.  I'm going to a crafty retreat that month anyway, so there should be plenty of new techniques and fun to do with what I have. :) 

Off to get ready.  Laila has her first swim lesson at four.  Send good thoughts! I never know how it will go, but we have to try new things and hope for the best. She seems to love being in the water and I want her to be safe. 

This is me every morning around 6am.  She loves to come snuggle right on my face.  If I don't wake up to pet her she puts her paws on my face.  She's a nut.  She makes me laugh and she makes me happy with her snuggles. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mixing it Up with Avery and Ellen

Entering the Ellen Hutson Mix It Up challenge at the last minute.  I came in to organize my desk last night and ended up playing around and making the image panel.  I used the Essentials by Ellen Bold Blooms and Avery Elle Butterflies and Wonky Stitched dies.  It's a happy card I think.  I haven't been in the best mood this week, so it was helpful to create with cheerful colors.  :) Now fingers crossed I get randomly picked for the prize as they have a new gardener lady stamp set that I NEED so bad. Because I don't have enough stamps already, right?


Laila had her five year checkup today.  Now did that happen???  Her doctor was even surprised that she was that old already.  She had gotten a lot taller since her four year.  She had quite a spurt in a year.  She gets mistaken for an older kid all the time because she's so tall. That is part of the reason we decided not to hold her back another year. I hope we made the right decision.  We'll see in couple weeks I guess.  Meet the Teacher is in a week! Yikes! 

I'm off to figure out dinner (no clue!) and play animals with Laila.  She got some of those sponges in a capsule that you put in water and watch them grow today for being so good at the doctor.  Now we are going to make up a game with all the animals and food they turned into.  No idea about that either, but she wants to play, so...

Hope you are having a good week!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Stampin' Up! Dragonfly Dreams Inspiration

Splitcoast has weekly challenges, a different one every day.  I saw the Inspiration challenge on Saturday and thought I'd play along. I found this pillow and used it for my inspiration.  There's a lot of stamp sets going on here.  Stampin' Up! Best Thoughts, Dragonfly Dreams, and French Foliage, plus a Stampers Anonymous set called Papillon. It was fun to try to make and I think I need to remember to do that challenge every week if I can. :)

When we went shopping last week for school clothes Laila found one of her favorites, THE PIGEON!  She loves the Mo Willems books so much, so I had to get it for her. :) I can't believe how well she's reading. She read me a huge book of fairy tales yesterday.

And thank you guys who commented about keeping the blog going. I have a month or so before I have to pay Go Daddy again, so that gives me some time to see how things go once Laila starts school. My garden needs a lot of work after the summer heat, so that might keep me busy.  Plus I am determined to donate like half of our house.  The clutter is making my mental health issues much worse.  I can't wait to get stuff out of here and the rest organized.

And before I go, I thought I'd share a Gulf Fritillary butterfly.  We have so many caterpillars for this guy!  I only have a few in my enclosures because they make their chrysalises in places that make me have to move them and I'm afraid of hurting one.  We also have close to 20 Monarch caterpillars who are almost all in their chrysalis, plus about 5 Eastern Black Swallowtails who are still eating away. They are my favorite butterfly and I deal with the awful smell of dill on my hands to feed them. (I hate dill and all pickles!)  It's been a lot of work, but we love raising and releasing them.

I hope your Monday is going well.  Little Lady was on my shoulders kneading my arms to let me know she needed attention at 5:15 today.  I've had two coffees and am hanging in there.  Maybe I'll sleep well tonight after being up so early. :)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

MFT Color Challenge 75

I loved the colors of the MFT Card Challenge 75, so I thought I'd try to make a card for my mom.  She's been so busy lately with my dad's illnesses and my brother's home buying and has been neglecting herself.  I keep telling her to slow down and take some time for herself as well.  She doesn't listen very well.  lol  If you've followed my blog, you know my mom loves quilting.  I have several quilt dies to make cards for her. This is the MFT Diagonal Quilt die and a set I picked up in their big sale, Let's Get Cozy.  They work so perfectly together! 

Before I end, I just wanted to say thank you for all who visit and leave comments.  I've fallen out of the blogging world since I've had Laila and haven't been that good at visiting and commenting on the blogs I used to follow.  I'm thinking that next month may be the end of blogging for me and I'll just go back to uploading cards to Splitcoast or on Flickr.  It seems silly and selfish to keep trying to do this when I don't have time to visit and participate with other bloggers.  

And finally, I'll share my photography helper.  :) 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Stampin' Up! Swallowtail

Hey! I'm back. :) Believe it or not, I managed to finish all 35 of the Dare to Get Dirty challenges.  I didn't think I would as I ran out of steam on Sunday, but I jumped back in on Monday and Tuesday and finished.  It was work, but yay! Now I have to send out all the birthday cards that I missed while I was stamping. Oops!

I love this giant Swallowtail stamp.  I didn't buy it when it was current in the catalog, but I think a nice friend might have gifted it to me.  I can't remember who though. I swear I struggle with memory, sometimes to the point that I almost make a doctor's appointment for it.  Anyway...  I used just the regular distress inks and painted them on with my fingers.  I added water to the paper, pressed the ink pads on my craft mat, spritzed those, and then painted away.  My fingers were only red for four days or so after. Ha! I did dry it at that point and then lay it on the leftover inks to give it more of the water splattery look.  Now I'm making up words...

Wednesday evening Laila went out to play and I noticed she was awfully quiet and not running in and out like she usually does.  I walked out and found her like this, sitting in the middle of mud.  She was having a blast.  I let her play until time for pajamas and then shooed her into the shower to wash that off.  I'm sure my washing machine is now full of sand from washing those clothes.  I debated about just throwing them away because they were gross! Today we went swimming with a friend.  She had so much fun! Jason ended up signing her up for weekly swim classes, so fingers crossed she cooperates and has fun. We start next Friday.

I'm off to finish listing some stuff on eBay and cleaning my room.  I'm hoping to have a giveaway on my blog soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Freshly Made Sketches 300

Can you believe that we've now had 300 sketches at Freshly Made Sketches and been going for 6 years? Crazy!  I have struggled to remain a part of the team lately, but my amazing teammates keep me around anyway.  It's such a supportive group and I'm thankful that Lesley thought enough of me and my cards to ask me to be on the team.   I hope you'll come play along with us this week.  We will have the winners as usual, but one random participant will win all the cards made by the team.  I know I'd love to have them, so come play!

I love this big poinsettia stamp from Stampin' Up! and it seemed perfect for the sketch.  The sentiment is from another set that I know both Jen Timko and I love, Bright Hopes.  I hope my flower looks okay.  My lightest marker ran out and I had to try and finish with it barely working.  I need to get a refill quickly as it's one of my most used ones.  

I'm off to have coffee and wake up.  I hope to see you in the gallery!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

...and more Dirty Cards

You guys!  I am still stamping, but I'm tired!  I keep telling myself I don't have to finish them all, but then I find myself making a list of what I need to work on.  lol  I have about six more left, so Jason swears I can do it.  We'll see. :)  This card was a fun one.  I made background with Distress Oxides that I didn't need, so I die cut this pretty Stampin' Up! butterfly from it.  I kept the background simple so it would be the focus.  The embossing paste adds interest without taking away from the pretty colors of the oxides.

It's a MONARCH!  lol I got a newsletter from Inspired by Stamping and they send out digital freebies on it.  One month is was this one and I was so excited.  I finally got it printed up and used it for a challenge.  We are still raising and releasing them.  We had a lull, but the mommas have been in the garden like crazy again lately.  Most of our releases have been female as well, so maybe they'll come back.  

I didn't love this one. I fussed over it, but I couldn't get it to turn out like I'd imagined.  The background is Distress Oxides and the arrows are from my Cameo.  

I figured it was a good time to start teacher cards.  Simple, but I like it. I need more stamps for teachers as these are the only two I have!

And finally, one of my favorites.  I made the background with shaving cream, reinkers, and a stencil.  So fun! If you haven't tried that technique. go to Splitcoast and check out the tutorial.

I'm hopping off to go get ready for Game of Thrones!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dirty and Dirtier

Not going to lie, I'm about all stamped out.  I have eleven more challenges to go to finish them, but I just don't see it happening.  I guess I forgot how many there were in such a short time when I decided to attempt them all.  I have a few more ideas and some in progress, but it ends Wednesday and I am a slow creator.  Very slow.  lol  One good thing about the challenges is that I'm really using some of my stuff.  I've probably used my Cameo more this week than EVER!  I used it here for the mermaid.  I made her background using Brusho and the cling wrap technique.  So fun!  I think the cling wrap has found a new home.  I'll have to get a new one for the kitchen. :) 

I found this coffee die on clearance a while back and had to have it.  Had I used it? Of course not.  I got a new stencil and thought it might be fun to pair them up.  The background is just distress oxide in Vintage Photo with a wet stencil laid on top.  So easy with cool results! 

During this time around Eli's birthday I always go through weeks where my sleep sucks.  I have been up at 3 and 4am some nights.  Yesterday I got up around 5 and came in to create.  I made this background then and BEFORE coffee.  It turned out kinda cute, so I need to try again after I'm caffeinated and fully awake. It was fun! 

And finally...  the Cameo came in handy again. I had a galaxy background in my stash that needed using and thought it might be fun to cut the saying out of it.  I'll stash it away for Laila's backpack. :)

I'm off to find dinner and maybe work on sketching ideas for a couple more cards.  Eleven is intimidating, but I'm stubborn.  But also tired, so we shall see who wins out. My mojo might have the final say.

Thanks for looking!