Dec 31, 2022

Catch Up Club!

Here we are...the last day of the month and that's posting day for some Catch Up Cards.  

A few friends and I decided that we would make a point to complete a card or two from challenges, classes, kits, etc. that we are behind on. Voila! The Catch Up Club was formed.

Here are 2 cards from last October's Crop & Create Delivered virtual card making event.

The tutorial was led by Meghann Andrew for Elle's Studio and was entitled "Clean and Colorful Cards.

She had us cut strips of the colored stock and glue them to a piece of scrap paper. Then we cut this and used it to create the backgrounds. I thought it was a great idea!

The stamp and die set is called "Sincere Sentiments Best of Friends" and I really like it.

The sentiments and flowers stamp nicely and the dies are easy to use. This is a versatile set that will see a lot of use by me.

I also enjoyed learning the "color blocking" technique with the strips of card stock. A nice and economical way to use paper to liven up your cards.

2022 is drawing to a close today. I wish all of you many blessings in 2023. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit the blogs of my Catch Up friends:

Barb's Inkin' to Retirement

It's Totally Terry

Cre8tive Play: It's Cheaper than Therapy

Nov 30, 2022

The Catch Up Day!

Some good friends of mine, who also love paper & ink, were chatting about how behind we all are on our card making commitments and classes.  Long story short, we decided that the last day of each month would be our Catch Up Day.  Whether from a kit, a challenge, or a class, we would post a card that gets us one step closer to being up to date!

This is a card from Crop & Create Delivered held from September 29-October 1, 2022.  The course was taught by Kelly Kohout for Honey Bee Stamps. 

The stamp and matching layering stencils are called "Always on my Mind" by Honey Bee Stamps.

The image is stamped and heat embossed with gold embossing powder.  Then the layering stencils are used to apply colors.

I varied the class sample just a bit and used Old Olive by Stampin' Up to layer the panel. The panel is Spectrum Noir's Ultra Smooth Premium White card stock. This paper blends so nicely. It's almost like blending on the glass mat!

This last weekend I called a dear friend back in New Hampshire and we caught up with everything. It was so great to hear her voice! I'm sending this to her, because we all have too few dear friends and I want her to know how special she is!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and if you want to see some great catch up cards, drop by my friends and see their creations:

Barb's Inkin' to Retirement

It's Totally Terry

Cre8tive Play: It's Cheaper than Therapy

Wishing all of you  a wonderful week!

Oct 16, 2022

October Duel: Gotcha Day!

I'm a day late, my apologies! It's pathetic because my card was actually finished a few days early 😞

Our lovely Kelly was the hostess for both teams this month and came up with a really great theme: "Gotcha Day"  This is to honor the one year anniversary of her adopting a Siamese cat who needed nursing, physically, emotionally and mentally.  The theme is to recognize all rescued animals on the day that their humans adopted them.  Pretty cool!

Here's my card:  

The adorable kitten and chicks is from CC Designs.  The image is colored with Spectrum Noir and Stampin' Up  markers.

Kelly included designer papers from S.E.I Crafts, "Madeleine Collection". I used Card Layer 2 Dies by Jaded Blossom to create the background panels.  

Enamel dots, ribbon and button are from Kelly's stash. 

This posting would not be complete without including a photo of my own little rescue guy, Dobby:

Dobby is a 7 year old Havanese that I adopted when he was 4. Unfortunately his timid little soul was subjected to some harsh human behavior and he can be so scared.

But he has come a long way and has finally started trusting people that I introduce to him!! A Havanese is a perfect breed for quiet living, they rarely bark and love their sleepy days on the sofa.  

They are non-shedders and have hair, not fur, which is great for those with allergies.

I'm so lucky to have this little guy in my life. Dobby is a devoted friend and a loving companion. 

Thank you for such a wonderful theme, Kelly! It's great that we can raise the awareness of adopting pets and giving them find a Forever Home!

Sep 15, 2022

September Duel: It's a Free For All!

It's the 15th of the month and time to post our Monthly Duel cards!  

Terry and I are the hosts for the two teams of the Dueling Darlings, and we chose a "Free For All" theme.  We decided to send out the little freebie stamps that we all receive from time to time. You know, when you receive an order and the vendor includes a little gift?  So everyone received a little stamp and coordinating papers and embellishments.

Here's my card:

I used a cute little cake and sentiment set that came from Taylored Expressions.  It's colored with Spectrum Noir markers and the entire cake and plate are coated with a  clear glitter pen, also by Spectrum Noir.

The top of the banner was punched with a tag punch by Stampin' Up.

Designer papers are all by American Crafts, and so is the ribbon.

Gems are from the Paper Studio.

The papers are cut with a fun die set by Jaded Blossom called "Card Layer 2".

These die sets are made so that multiple coordinating shapes can be cut from a 6x6 piece of paper in one pass!  You may want to check them out here:

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit the blogs and galleries of the other Dueling Darlings! 

Sep 14, 2022

June Duel: Women of Strength!

I'm finally catching up on the Duels!  June was hosted by Jeanette for both teams and she wrote: 

"Knowing that we all face challenges from time to time, I wanted to remind all of us that we are 

Women of Strength"

Here is my card:

Image: Hello Bluebird, "Frosty Mornings"

Sentiment: "Next Level Amazing" by Simon Says/Pink Fresh

Papers: Moxxie Coffee Addict (the circles at the bottom of the card)

Paper Studio Cozy Little Christmas (green polka dot)

Recollections Stocking Stuffer (green striped layer)

The background panel is from Jeanette's stash. 

Ribbons: Ribbon Boutique (brown polka dots) and Sheer Creations (green sheer).

Jeanette made our kits with a special nod to Kelly, our friend and fellow Darling. Green is Kelly's favorite color, and coffee is her favorite beverage. Kelly also uses circles on a lot of her cards, so I tried to do that here!

Jeanette made an extra request: " a story or thought that highlights Kelly's strength". Hmm...there are so many over the years... How about a list of words that immediately come to mind when thinking of Kelly?

  • Devout
  • Family 
  • Loving
  • Faithful
  • Creative
  • Compassionate
  • Fun!

No doubt that this list could be a LOT longer, and it would all be true!  We are blessed to have Kelly in our lives and I am blessed to have her as a friend.

Sep 13, 2022

Crafting Duel (August)


Barb and Lorraine chose "Crafting" as the theme for our August Duel.  I'm on Lorraine's team and she sent us the most wonderful kit.  Sweet papers, adorable die cuts, images and sentiments and a bag full of sequins and gems.

Here's my card:

I tried to use every page of the lovely papers she sent to us. 

Kit Contents:

  • Images and Sentiment: "Craft Notes" by Gina K Designs. Sentiment stamped with Primaworks Primrose Pink ink.
  • Designer Papers: "Love This", "Bright Ideas" and Cute & Crafty" by Doodlebug Design Inc.
  • Ribbon: Offray
  • Gems from Lorraine's stash
Lorraine, I am sorry that my card is late. As you said, "Crafting is my hobby, relaxation and escape all rolled into one!"  I couldn't have said it better myself!

Thanks for stopping by

Jul 22, 2022

Double Duty-Squared!

On the 22nd of each month a group of friends have a challenge called Double Duty. We have a predetermined stamp company assigned to each month. We are to make two different cards, using the same stamp (or stamp set) from the designated company. 

As another way to double up, at least one item has to be used on both cards. It could be card stock, an embellishment, embossing folder, a stencil, etc.

Since I'm a bit behind on this fun challenge, so this month my Double Duty is squared! That is, I'm posting 4 cards. The current month's DD and the DD from May.

July's Double Duty:
Unity Stamp Co.

Both cards use the same stamps, same ink colors and same card stock. Both are highlighted with Spectrum Noir's glitter pen.

Stamp Set: Born Again Today by Unity Stamp Company.

Card Stock: Stampin' Up Barely Banana and Cameo Coral.

Designer Paper: "Vanilla Sunshine" paper pack by S E I.

Ink: "Ocean Mist" by Gina K Designs. 

Embellishments: hearts and ribbons are from Stampin' Up. 

May's Double Duty:
Stamping Bella

Both cards use the same stamps, the same marker colors, the same stencil and the same card stock. Both are highlighted with Diamond Stickles and a clear rhinestone on her belt.

Stamp Set: "Tiny Towne Haley the Super Hero" by Stamping Bella.

Stencil: "Here Comes the Sun" by Taylored Expressions.

Card Stock: Purple and yellow from my stash, possibly Stampin Up.

Ink: Image is stamped with Hero Arts INTENS-ified black. Stenciled yellow is Pineapple by Taylored Expressions & the purple is Plum Punch by Gina K Designs.

Markers: Spectrum Noir.

Please visit the blogs of my team mates and admire their own Double Duty Cards:




Thanks for stopping by. Please be kind to a neighbor or a random stranger today!

Jul 17, 2022

Dueling Darlings: Christmas in July!

 Tracie and Carol hosted this month's challenge and decided to feature the often overlooked Mrs. Claus.

Here is the front of my card, featuring some of the lovely papers sent in Tracie's kit.

Image: Mrs. Claus Baking Co. by Jaded Blossom.

Designer papers by Authentique Rejoice

Doodlebug red doily, miscellaneous sequins and crochet lace.

The image is colored with Spectrum Noir markers and a Spectrum Noir glitter pen highlights her apron, glasses, hair and ribbon. I just HAD to sparkle her hair, because she's a magical person after all!! Here's a close up.

The papers were so pretty that I used more on the inside.

Thank you Tracie for such a fun kit!

Tracie included one of her favorite holiday cookie recipes and asked that we also post a favorite cookie recipe.

After some thought I remembered how much my kids liked Spritz cookies and how my Mom would bake them every Christmas. 

So here's the recipe, although we never decorated our cookies. They are delicious as is!

  • Spritz Cookies
  • 1cup butter, softened
  • 1/2cup sugar
  • 2 1/4cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1egg
  • 1teaspoon almond extract 
  • Food color & currants, raisins, candies, colored sugar, finely chopped nuts, candied fruit or fruit peel, if desired
  • Heat oven to 400°F. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, salt, egg, almond extract and a few drops of food color.
  • Here, I refrigerate the dough to make it easier to work with.
  • Place dough in cookie press. Form desired shapes on ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with currants if desired.

  • Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until set but not brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. To decorate cookies after baking, use a drop of corn syrup to attach decorations to cookies.

Jul 12, 2022

Hot Mess = Success July, 2022

I am determined to get caught up with my card making commitments.  Life has been a little too full the past few weeks, and my amazing friends understand that. However, I don't want to abuse their generous nature!

Today is posting day for our Hot Mess = Success cards! This is the brain child of our dear Kelly. The idea is to create a card while getting messy. 

Way outside of my comfort zone is GLITTER.  To me, it just has messy written all over it.  Inspired by Carol, who has glitter and glitz in her veins, I decided that it was high time to tackle glitter!

Here's my card.

Please overlook the poor attempt to hand cut the brown card stock as a layer behind the glittered medallion.

Card stock is old Stampin' Up stock. The ribbon and gems are from my stash.  All other components are pictured here and can be purchased at Taylored Expressions.  

Stencil: Mandala (a clear favorite of mine)
Glue: Glitter Grab 
Glitter: Cookie Monster

I used's "All Purpose Craft Scraper" to apply the glue over the stencil.  It takes some practice since it is different than applying other mediums.  Then I removed the stencil, popping it immediately into warm soapy water.  Holding my breath (literally) I shook out the glitter, patted it gently into the glue and WALKED AWAY. Hahahaha.  Returning later to shake off the excess.  Then walked away again for several hours before attempting to brush off stray glitter.

Then I hand cut the edges and really wanted the dark brown accent behind it. Not satisfied with any choice of die cut panels I hand cut the border. Now I wish I would have just used a die cut shape. Oh well.

Will I try the other fantastic colors of glitter from Taylored Expressions?  You bet!! Will I use Glitter Grab? Yep! 

Hop on over to these blogs to admire the Hot Mess Successes created by my friends:






Thanks for stopping by!

May 15, 2022

Dueling Darlings: We Are a Rainbow!

It's the 15th of the month, and time for another Duel.  A group of friends on Split Coast Stampers have joined together to challenge each other with a monthly Duel.  Our hostess this month for both teams is Kelly and she dished up a great challenge for us!

As Kelly wrote in our instructions:

"...your theme is "We are a Rainbow!"  Each of us brings a light and color to life...each of you are an important 'band' of the rainbow, because in order to have it, we all need to be together as one."

Kelly randomly assigned each of us to a color and challenged us to use ONLY that color to make our card. We are allowed to use a white base for the card. My color is red.

Here's my card.  

May I just make this PERFECTLY CLEAR?  My face is as red as my card!  Hahahaha   It was a day where nothing went as planned.  What can I say? 

Kelly included red rainbow die cuts from My Favorite Things, red gems from Horizon Group Go Create and a rectangular scallop panel cut from white Stampin Up card stock.

I found THE LAST piece of SU Real Red card stock in my stash and used that for the base panel. Searched everywhere for a stamp set by Taylored Expressions with a rainbow image that would have been perfect as a background.  No luck. I think it may have been paid forward to someone in a card kit.

Then I decided to try this jar of chunky red glitter gel by Stickles and painted it on to the rainbow pieces.

Next I thought, "Ah ha!! I'll use Red Cosmic Shimmer paste on the scallop rectangle."  You can see that the color was not at all compatible with Real Red.  What to do?

I'll die cut "Friend" out of the panel, leaving the outline on the panel. Could not find the exact die that I wanted (it's still MIA) so I subbed this die. Yep, you guessed it! The word did not show up well on top of the Real Red panel. 

Ok, now I've ruined the scallop rectangle panel...what to do? I fiddled around a ridiculous amount of time and ended up using the die cut "friend" on the front of the card, cut some the rainbow segments to decorate lower left and right of "friend", and cut the remainder of the scallop rectangle and used it on the inside panel.

Kelly, I'm sorry!  You really came up with a fun idea for us.  Maybe it's the whole Mercury in Retrograde that made my attempts run amok. Now I'm off to admire the cards by the rest of the Dueling Darlings!   

Apr 15, 2022

Holographic Dueling Darlings!

Here we are on the 15th of the month and it's time for another Duel!  

The ever-so-creative Terry and I are partners this year and this is our month to choose the theme.  A while back some paper by Pink & Main caught our eyes. "Holographic Set 2" and the rest is history, haha!

I put together a kit of items that I thought could further the holographic theme and sent them out to my team mates.

Pink & Main's "Holographic Set 2" papers

Die cuts with Altenew's "Fine Frames Diamonds" die set - also cut onto the Pink & Main's holographic stock

Say it With Stamps by Beck Moore, by Photoplay, Birthday images and sentiment. 

Sparkly and Gem laden ribbons from Merchant 41

Gems from Paper Studio

Here's my card:

It was a bit of a trick to get the fun holographic papers to photograph at all, so the card is tilted toward the light and maybe it gives you an idea.

I fussy cut out the balloon shapes onto one of the holographic papers, and used 3 others behind them. The gift and sentiment panel are colored with Spectrum Noir markers.

I really hit the jackpot at Hobby Lobby and found some great gem/holographic ribbons for the kits. Hopefully everyone had a good time with their kit.  After so many years of Duels it's getting to be a challenge to come up with a new idea!  But I wouldn't trade this group of friends for anything!

OK!! Time for me to admire the Galleries and Blogs of the other Darlings. Thanks for stopping by!

Mar 22, 2022

March Double Duty with Pinkfresh Studio Stamps

It's the 22nd and time for another Double Duty Challenge.  A group of friends invited me to join the fun this year. The concept is to use one stamp set from a specific company each month to create two cards, (Double Duty). 

At least one thing should be the same on both cards. We can use different images and sentiments from the same set. Or we can use the same image two different ways. As an added challenge, one item must be used on both cards, Double Duty yet again.

Posting day is the 22nd - another double!

This month's company is Pinkfresh Studios, a new favorite of mine.  Here are my cards:

The set is called Just a Little Lovely and has a matching die for the floral spray.  

The image is colored with Karin Brush Marker Pro markers and is on Gina K's Heavy Weight Pure Luxury white stock.

The background panel is on watercolor stock, colored with Brushos and then spritzed with Shimmer Mist by A Muse.

This is a picture of the panel drying.

Here's the other card using the same image and sentiment. 

The panel was colored with blending brushes using Magenta Madness ink by Stampin' Up. 

The image was stamped directly onto the tinted panel and then die cut. I used my Castle Arts pencils to color it and framed the panel in black.  Don't look too closely because I had to hand cut the black panel, ha ha!

The last part of double duty on each card are the clear water droplets by Dress My Craft.

Both of these cards have been mailed out to two friends in other parts of the country. Each of them is working very hard at reshaping their life at this time. Hopefully this gives them a smile!

Hop on over to the blogs of my team mates and admire their own Double Duty Cards:




Thanks for stopping by!

Mar 17, 2022

Dueling Darlings - "Team Tea"

I am a few days late with this, our Dueling Cards are to be posted on the 15th...I seem to have a streak of Too Much Life.  More likely it's Too Disorganized...but that's another story!  

Barb ("Team Coffee") and Lorraine ("Team Tea") brewed up a coffee and tea challenge for this month. Lorraine put together a fabulous kit for us to work with!  Thank you Lorraine!!

Here's my little cuppa:

Image/Sentiments are Hampton Arts Heart Mug, steam wisps and small hearts.  The mug and sentiment are stamped with New England Ivy ink by Close to My Heart.

Designer Papers are Close to My Heart green, Papertrey Ink Ivy paper and Simply Stories brown polka dot.

Ribbons are Close to My Heart Sheer Green and Celebrate It tan jute polka dot ribbon.

Embellishments are Jolee's small white mugs (which I colored with Spectrum Noir markers), white hearts by Park Lane and a green enamel dot by Close to My Heart.

Lorraine also treated us to a teabag in our kits, thereby sending us a "hug in a mug". Isn't that thoughtful of her?

Lorraine, I truly apologize for being late, but let me assure you that it was not because your kit was hard to work with!  Thank you so much for a fun challenge this month.

Feb 25, 2022

February's Double Duty (A Bit Late)

First, let me apologize to the team for being so tardy!  This is supposed to be posted on the 22nd. Barb, Jeanette & Carol should put me in the naughty corner, LOL.

This fun challenge is the brain-child of Barb. Each month we use a stamp set from a predetermined company and make 2 cards with it. Plus, we are to used at least one element on each card.  Then, we are to post on the 22nd.  This gives us a minimum of 3 sets of doubles.

This month we used Hero Arts and I picked the 2012 background stamp called "Leafy Vines".  Inspired by Carol's brilliant black and white cards over the years I decided to give that a try.

The white paneled card was heat embossed with Ranger's Black Sparkle embossing powder. 

My photography skills come up short to do it justice.  But hopefully this shot at an angle gives you some idea of the sparkle

Here's the black paneled card.  It took 3 attempts to get what I wanted. 

This is heat embossed with Taylored Expressions Fine Detail White embossing powder.

Both sentiments are from sets by Simon Says Stamp. I must admit that cutting them is a challenge for me!  

Thanks for stopping by. Double Duty Team, I promise to be on time next month!  Hop on over to their blogs and admire their Double Duty creations with Hero Arts stamps:




Feb 15, 2022

Dueling Darlings February 2022

Did you know that February is LIBRARY LOVERS Month??!!  I didn't 😉.

However, our team leaders knew and used this as our theme.

Tracie is this month's leader for our team and sent us a kit full of fun library themed papers, die cuts and sentiments.

Of course I had to make a double pocket card to hold two bookmarks.  

The pink bookmark was included in the kit from Tracie. Isn't it pretty?

The other one I made with a piece of the designer paper, a bookworm and stack of books that were included in the die cuts that Tracie sent.  I topped it off with one of the buttons and some twine which was also in the kit.

Here's a look at the card front with the 2 pockets without the bookmarks. I thought it was a nice way to feature the pretty papers that Tracie chose.

This is a top fold card, on Stampin Up Early Espresso card stock and layered with their Pool Party card stock.

The inside is finished with one of the sentiments and another piece of the designer paper from the kit.

Kit Contents:

Stamped images from "Book Worm" by Fun Stampers Journey
Designer Papers: 
  Books: Witches & Wizards by Echo Park
  Words: Scribe by Authentique
  Cubbies: Farmhouse Market by Carta Bella
Ribbons from The Ribbon Boutique (Red) and Island Indigo (Blue) by Stampin Up.
Gems from Fun Stampers Journey
Buttons and twine from Tracie's stash.

Tracie and Carol, this was a great theme.  Thanks Tracie for such a generous kit! I'm saving the adorable die cuts left over for another card or two!

Feb 13, 2022

February Hot Mess = Success!

One day late to post this, lots going on last week.

Our group of friends have a challenge. Make a card that involves a mess. I don't think that anyone in the group likes our stamping area to be too messy, so this is a stretch for all of us.  

Here's my Hot Mess = Success! card for February:

I was back to playing with Cosmic Shimmer Metallic Gilding Polishes by Creative Expressions. I think I'm in love with these.

The stencil is one of a 3-part layering stencil called Balloon Party by Taylored Expressions.  The matching stamp set provided the black balloon ribbons.

This is white, 110# card stock with the Mediterranean Blue and Lush Pink sponged on. 

Then the stencil was used to heavily sponge on Tangy Tangerine, Gold Treasure, Red Bronze and Enchanted Gold polishes for the balloons. It all needed some drying time.

Stamping the black ribbons on top of the gilded background was a little tricky. I used Gina K Designs' Black Amalgam ink.  It did pretty well, but it is different to stamp onto the gilded surface. I masked some of the balloons to get the ribbons behind them.

The Happy Birthday sentiment had the Mediterranean Blue polish applied directly to the stamp and then stamped onto the card stock. Then it was hand trimmed.

Hop on over to these blogs to admire the Hot Mess Successes created by my friends:






Thanks for stopping by!