Category Archives: Challenges

My 4th of July wreath…


Well, not really… At least that is what I was planning to do as my door decoration… Let me start from the beginning…

When I have decided to look into creating my own 4th of July wreath, I first looked on Pinterest as many people do… However, he one that really caught my eye can be found here – something I thought would be simple enough for me to do myself (even if I consider myself not so adept at 3D paper crafting… lol) Of course, it was a couple of weeks ago so, after reading the whole post on how to create that beauty, I told myself I will re-create it while on my summer shutdown – and promptly filed it away somewhere in the recesses of my brain.

…until Tuesday, when I remembered my plans to decorate my front door – after all, my kite wreath needed a break… So, I gathered my supplies: red, white and blue cardstock and some glitter cardstock, Stampin’ Up punches, HiTemp glue gun and plenty of mini glue sticks and a 12″ foam wreath that was hiding in my craft closet (I really should have used a 9″ or 10″ wreath, but forgot to buy a new one…)

As I started to punch the necessary pieces to create my wreath, I realized that I had no idea how many pieces I really needed so, in order to have enough kept on punching till I got a big blister on my thumb and a couple of bruises from pinching my palm in the punch I was using… Obviously – I told myself, I am not using punches enough in my card making and I lacked the experience… sigh…) Then, I had to crumble over 200 pieces and that is when I realized that my cardstock was three different weights: the white cardstock was lightest and easiest to crumple, the blue cardstock was heaviest weight and I had to spray it with a water mister in order to crumple it, and the red cardstock was somewhere in between the two… My fingers cramped dozens of times and they got colored in red, blue and an interesting shade of purple…

When everything was nice and crumpled, I got my HiTemp glue gun and started assembling my wreath… After gluing a dozen of pieces – and burning my fingers every time – I realized I should have bought a LoTemp glue gun… But it was too late to do so, and I kept on working on my wreath… I REALLY wanted to make myself a new door decoration!

A day full of chores kept me away from finishing the wreath this morning, but the evening was all mine – I KNEW I was going to have it hanging by morning… Until an hour ago, when my HiTemp glue gun decided to put an end to my creativity… One of the blue pieces I was getting ready to affix to the wreath slipped and my left index finger got so much hot glue on it was blistered by the time I got to the kitchen, dousing my hand in cold water… Let me tell ya, getting glue off a blistered finger is NOT for the faint of heart! I got a cold pack, trying to numb the pain and stop the burning process, but it did not really help much…

As you can see, the wreath is unfinished and will remain that way until I can regain use of my finger… The empty space at the top will be filled with blue cardstock pieces, while the bottom space is divided in three sections to be filled with red and white pieces (about 12 pieces in each section…) At the top of my “craft” shopping list is – as I am sure you have guessed – a LoTemp glue gun for future projects… I am looking forward to crafting without self-inflicted injuries…

I wish you all a Happy 4th of July!


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Folded Mini Album/Journal

     A while back, on a sleepless weekend night,  I have decided to try to create something a bit different from just a regular card. I have started with a luminary with hand stamped and colored vellum panels, but after getting almost everything cut, colored and ready, I’ve put it aside… That project is still gathering dust today; maybe I will complete it while I am recovering from surgery…

     The second project I have started that night was a folded “Mini Album or Journal“… I had some Stampin’ Up textured cardstock in Always Artichoke and decided to work with that color as a base for the mini album and its coordinating box. Then, the hunt for coordinating pattern papers started… Anyone who took a peek inside my craft room becomes quickly aware of the huge amount of “goodies” packed in that room… I did – ever so briefly – considered getting rid of some of those items, but I could not decide what should go and what should stay… So, I am keeping it all!

     But I’ve digressed…

     After about 90min of looking through all my pattern papers, I have final decided on three patterns that were muted enough for my taste and worked well with each other… So I started with a template that I had to rework and resize; then I had to decide on what pattern papers would work best on the inside pages (where I had envisioned photos and even journaling…)  The cream and light olive seemed perfect, especially layered on the funky rustic plaid! The front of the Mini Album got the muted, rusty stripes…

     As for the box that the Mini Album goes into, creating that simple item seemed to be the biggest challenge: the measurements were off, the folds were less than crisp, the Tacky Tape would find its way on the wrong side of the template… Quite frustrating, until I realized I was completely caffeine deprived! A fresh pot of java perked my brain right up, and the Mini Album/Journal and its box were finished and done before sunrise! And I had to embellish that box a bit, without adding lots of bulk and weight, so I have added a strip of patterned paper that I’ve punched with a Scalloped Doily punch…

     Bit new and different for me, as well as out of my comfort zone – but what would life be without a personal challenge every now and then…?!

     Hope you have enjoyed your stay… Happy weekend!

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Posted by on January 14, 2012 in albums, Challenges, handmade, papercrafts


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New Year Thoughts

     We are just a few hours away from welcoming a New Year here in East Tennessee… I have considered making a few New Year’s resolutions, but the very thought of committing them to paper made them seem so… definitive… I guess that is the very idea of a New Year’s resolution, yet I will commit to memory only the never-ending list of things I would love to improve or change.

     The year has been better than the last; I have been more creative and productive where my two Etsy shops are concerned – though I cannot say that my sales have increased a whole lot. I could have promoted my shops better, or at least renew my cards more often (on thing that keeps popping up on my mental list of things that need to be improved…) Creating, taking photos, renewing & listing new items was not an issue on the weeks I was off work (six weeks due to a temporary layoff at the plant and another six weeks due to major surgery…) As soon as I returned to work, we had to work quite a lot of overtime, as Honda was trying to make up for the lost production due to this Spring’s Japan earthquake… After working 25 days with only one day off, let me tell you that the last thing I wanted to do was to sit in front of the computer… However, I am planning to work on this issue (I have quite a bit of photos taken, edited and cropped and ready to be listed – in either of the shops) Plus, I have dozens of ideas for new cards, which will come in handy as soon as I am somewhat recovered from this second surgery I am scheduled for (carpal tunnel and repair of a partially torn elbow ligament – thankfully, both on the same arm…) It will be a painful January, and hopefully I will not have to be away from work for more than 8 or 10 weeks…

     Well, I might not have any resolutions for the New Year, but I do have quite a bit on my “To Do” list, and it is mainly about re-organizing my office/craft room. I have amassed quite a large quantity of patterned paper and paper pads (I cannot resist any of My Mind’s Eye papers – they are just too beautiful…), so I need to start using it more in my card creations. My stamps, individuals and sets, wood mounted, clear or clings, they all need to be catalogued, sorted and prioritized for using… I happen to still know where everything is without searching for it for more than a minute or two, my every so often my brain seems to be taken a brief vacation – and then I am just a tad lost. I do not like that feeling!

     So, how about you, made any New Year’s resolutions yet…? Any ideas that you care to share with the ones (like me…) that are challenged…? I would care to hear what you are up to this New Year, so how about leaving me a brief comment and tell me all about it…?

     To everyone else, have a safe Happy New Year!

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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Cards, Challenges, handmade, Inspirational, Thoughts


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My friend

My friend

    It has been awhile since I have worked on any kind of challenge, most likely due to lack of playing time. However, when I’ve received a blog update from my friend Connie of Highdesert Stamper – Artistic Inkspirations, I was going to work on a card no matter what 😉

    The challenge was to use Stampin’ Up! stamp set My friend. Now, this new stamp set is from the 2011 Idea Book & Catalog – and a fresh favorite of many stampers from what I hear… For good reason, too – I love the size of the “Hello” sentiment… LOL… The sentiment panel was created on my computer, as I could not find any Friendship quotations in any of my large collection of stamps – so I had to improvise 😉

    Thank you for stopping by, and don’t forget to leave a comment!

   Supplies are Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted: Cardstock Island Indigo #122923, Natural White #102316, Very Vanilla #101650; Stamp My friend clear #122587; Ink Island Indigo #122937; Accessories 3/8″ Taffeta Ribbon in Whisper White #109070, clear jewels (Making Memories), adhesive.


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Stamping in Time & Creative Sketches Challenges

   I’ve made great plans for this long weekend, as I was working last night. On top of my list was to read my favorite creative blogs and get this old brain going. Imagine the pleasant surprise I had when I have realized that I could actually combine Our Daily Bread Designs’ “Stamping in Time SNTODBD38” challenge (that requested the creation of Christmas cards)  with Creative Sketches’ CS39 “Anything goes” challenge…

   The card is my first tri-fold and to get an idea of how the card looks, take a look at the trio of images I took in an attempt to capture everything I have done:

I really need to practice my almost non-existent coloring skills; maybe I should have worked with my Copics…

Tonight’s listening inspiration: Windham Hill ClassicsAngels” and Angie AparoThe American“.

Supplies used are Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted: Cardstock Cherry Cobbler #119681, Whisper White #100730; Markers Stampin’ Write variety; Stamps ODBD Ornaments; Spellbinders 2010 Heirloom Ornaments; Accessories Basic Pearls (SU!), Sakura Stardust Clear Pen, gold corner stickers, 3D foam dots.


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Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge 209

   With relatively little free time on my hands due to working six days a week, I have to choose “wisely” which challenges to work on each weekend. It seems that “Stamping 411“‘s challenges do speak to my perpetually tired brain (or maybe are just using easy words so I could understand… lol).

   I chose this week’s SSC 209 and one of my seemingly favorite stamp sets (Sail Away) and DSP (Nautical Expedition). The main image has been double stamped and pop-up on a seondary stamped panel, using 3D dimensionals. The panel behind it is only a bit larger – I have used Martha Stewart’s Circle Cutter (until I get myself round punches in all sizes imaginable…). However, in my trying to get the cutting blade in, I cut a gash deep into my thumb… I thought it won’t be a problem, but it kept on bleeding til I put Neosporin and a heavy Bandaid on it. Teaches me not to read my directions…

   I have used the sanding block from the Distressing Essentials to give the DSP and cardstock a weathered, distressed look and used some Craft Whisper White ink to soften the edges just a smidge… I hope you enjoy my latest card and drop me a note, if you care to… Enjoy your weekend – or the bit that’s left of it 😉

Supplies used are Stampin’ Up, unless otherwise noted: Stamps Sail Away #123013, Hello, you #117118; DSP Nautical Expedition #122343; Cardstock Not Quite Navy #119933, Basic Grey #119923, Cherry Cobbler #119690, Whisper White 100730; Ink Basic Grey 109120; Stampin’ Write Markers Cherry Cobbler & Early Expresso; 3D dimensionals;  Distressing Essentials #118762; Sakura Stardust pen.


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Stamping411 Color & Sketch Challenge

After a 45 min phone chat with my son Chris, I knew just what to do with this week’s Stamping 411 new Saturday Sketch Challenge #208 – a college graduation card for him! As he is active in the Army Reserves, it took him a little longer than most to get his Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts, but two weeks ago, his college days came to an end. He is a total History buff, but he decided that he will re-enlist this summer, therefore my choice of the sentiment I’ve used. Not sure how it happened though, but I’ve ended using Stamping 411’s Color Inspiration #159 as well (guess those colors stuck in my brain for some reason… lol)

It is 7am now; I had less than two hours sleep and I sure hope will stay awake through my CardMaker’s Dozen class I have this afternoon. Jim might take his godson to the Knoxville Zoo or to Zoomba today for a boys’ day outing, so dinner will most likely be a Turkey Bacon Avocado sandwich from Subway… Oh, so very yummy…

Supplies used are Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted: Cardstock Whisper White #100730, Old Olive #100702, Not Quite Navy #101722, Basic Gray #121044; Ink Not Quite Navy #103008, Basic Gray #109120; Stamps Word Play #120651, The Open Sea #123032; DSP Nautical Expedition #122343; Markers Basic Gray #120966, Riding Hood Red #120971; Adhesive Snail #104322, Scor-Tape; Ribbon & Twine.


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