August 31, 2012

Naki and Nina's Double Dare Challenge 3

What a wild week this has been... But actually, things have been much more calm during this first week than it has in years past. It's just been very different with our principal out and a new vice principal. But, don't let me bore you with those details... Let's get on to the good stuff!

Naki wanted us to include butterflies.

I chose the new Howlstooth & Scaringbone DSP. I told you that we end up with some crazy combinations! And I promised that we make our choices blindly!

And here are the DEEtails for my card:

Notice that I'm still in my "blue phase"... I promise it was completely unintentional! I started by die cutting my butterfly, using the Howlstooth & Scaringbone DSP. The polka dot pattern is perfect for a non-Halloween card. And since butterflies are so NOT Halloween, it seemed the obvious choice. :) And then I just layered away... A layer of Very Vanilla, then some Summer Starfruit DSP, and Comfort Cafe DSP on top of my Pool Party card. Plus another die cut butterfly, this time with Summer Starfruit card stock, and the sentiment from Just Believe. I'm loving all this patterny goodness. :)

Did you check out Naki's card this week? And be sure to pull out your butterflies and Howlstooth & Scaringbone DSP and create something fun of your own. Then link up your card below!

August 24, 2012

Naki and Nina's Double Dare Challenge 2!

Well hello there! :) Boy have I been busy! I've been back at work and the kiddos come back on Monday, so I've been going crazy trying to get things ready for their return. I've been redecorating my office and I can't wait to share it with you! I promise to show you the photos soon! For today, here's part 2 of our fun new challenge!

Naki's pick was to use an embossing folder.

Mine was to use 2 neutrals.

And here are the DEEtails for my card:

First off, I'm sorry that this photo isn't so great... Anyway, I've apparently been really into blue lately so today I'm playing with some more Midnight Muse.  I started with a crumb cake card and embossed it with the beautiful Delicate Details folder. Then I added a piece of Soft Suede and some Comfort Cafe DSP. I tied up some lovely Midnight Muse stitched satin ribbon. Love! I decided to stamp the image from Bella Blossoms. It's long retired, but it remains one of my favorites. I stamped the flower in Midnight Muse on Baja Breeze card stock. I wanted something different to make my pretty flower pop, so I got a chipboard ring that I covered with another print from the Comfort Cafe DSP. Then I stamped the image from Tea Shoppe and punched it out with the oval punch and layered it onto a scallop oval punched out of Soft Suede card stock.

Now don't you forget to visit Miss Naki and see what she did with this challenge... Oh, and won't you play along with us? Just combine both our picks and make something fabulous! We can't wait to see your creation!

August 17, 2012

Naki and Nina's Double Dare Challenge!

ETA: Due to popular demand, you can now join in the fun! Link up your creation at the bottom of this post!

One of the wonderful things about crafting and blogging is the fabulous people I've had the chance to meet along the way. One of these people is my dear friend and fellow pal, Nakaba Rager. Through excited e-mails sent back and forth, we somehow came up with this crazy idea that we should start our own challenge to help foster some creativity. Both of us have been wanting to craft and blog a bit more, but needed a little inspiration. Well, why not be that inspiration?

I am so excited to share something fabulous with you today...

Here's how it works... Every week, Naki and I each get to pick an aspect of the challenge - anything we want, a color combination, a stamp set, a sketch, an inspiration, a technique, etc. We make our choice blindly, which means we have no idea what the other person picks until we announce our half of the challenge. Then, we combine our picks for a Double Dare challenge. You never know what kind of crazy combination we'll come up with! Here's what we have for you this week...

Naki wanted us to use the scallop circle punch this week. 

Seeing that this was our first challenge, my natural choice was to play with ribbon :)

And here's what I came up with!

Here are the DEEtails:

I wanted a simple card and I was just loving Midnight Muse with Pool Party, so I paired it on my card here. I started out with my punches - a scallop circle, of course, layered on the decorative label. The thought of a woodgrain butterfly popped into my head and I'm so glad it did because it is just gorgeous. Seriously. This photo does not do it justice! I added my butterfly with some Stampin' Dimensionals and loved the contrast of colors. I lined a strip of Midnight Muse cardstock with some Pool Party Ruffled ribbon. The white grosgrain just looked right with it all - again that contrast! And that was it! Just layers upon layers for a quick and easy card!

Now head over to Naki's blog to check out what she created! If you want more of Naki & Nina's Double Dare Challenge, be sure to leave us lots of love! I'm sure we'll be back soon :)

ETA: And if you'd like to play along, we'd love to see your creations as well! Leave a link for your card below!

August 16, 2012

Pals Paper Arts Sketch Challenge

Hello! :) First of all, let me just say how overwhelmingly loved I felt by reading all your kind birthday and blog hop comments! I am so lucky to have such wonderful readers! So, please, consider this little thank you card as one just for you! :) 

As you know, today is Thursday, which means it's time for another Pals Paper Arts Challenge. This week we're working with an Original Moody! That's Margaret Moody, in case you were confused... the famous Pals Paper Arts sketch designer. :) And boy was this a fun sketch! Be sure to hop over to Pals Paper Arts to check out all the fabulous cards from our talented design team. I promise they won't disappoint! 

Now for the DEEtails:

My card is Primrose Petals - just the right kind of lovely, covered with a piece of Patio Party DSP. Isn't the butterfly pattern too cute? I used the colors in the DSP and made four little banners (Midnight Muse, Primrose Petals, Summer Starfruit, and Baja Breeze) and added a little piece of Whisper White card stock matted on Baja Breeze on top. I wanted some white space here to offset all the color and pattern going on through the rest of my card. I rounded my corners to soften things up a bit - again, a nice contrast from the boldness of my card and the angular, geometric design of the sketch. I stamped my sentiment from Sassy Salutations in Midnight Muse and added a few flowers from the Boho Blossoms punch. To top it off, I added a Summer Starfruit butterfly, sparkled with a few Rhinestone Jewels. :)

Now you get crafting and link up to Pals Paper Arts. Remember, you can use your favorite brand of craft products, your favorite colors and interpret the sketch in your own way. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

August 14, 2012

Pals Holiday Catalog Blog Hop!

Glad you could join us for some holiday crafting with the Stampin' Pretty Pals! You've probably hopped over from Sherrie Gross at Stampin Sunshine! I'm stop number thirty, the final stop on the Pals Hop and I'm glad you hopped in! I'll help you "hop along" from blog to blog where you'll find great ideas for Stampin' Up! projects featuring the new Holiday Catalog! Should you hop off course, simply click on any of the links in the Pals Hop line-up at the bottom of this post and you'll be back on track.

My card today features the gorgeous new Woodgrain Textured Impressions Embossing Folder and one of the leaves from the new Wonderfall stamp set. You may know that I am a sucker for all things faux bois and I've become quite partial to typeset as well. It seems like all the items on page 33 of the new Holiday Catalog were made just for me! I literally gasped when I saw the page! :)

I knew that I wanted a card with these two main elements, but the card really began to evolve as I was thumbing through some of my DSP. I came across this gorgeous print in Rich Razzleberry from the International Bazaar DSP and I knew that I wanted a nice piece of it across my card. Everything else just seemed to fall in place from there... I added a piece of Baja Breeze DSP and my sentiment stamped from the Just Believe set. Then I attached my leaf, stamped in Basic Gray ink on Whisper White card stock. I added a quick little flower made with the Floral Fusion Sizzlits die and the Boho Blossoms punch and tucked in some Baja Breeze Seam Binding Ribbon. I like the extra touch of Rich Razzleberry on my card.

Now hop along for more inspiring ideas starting with Lynn Hoyt at Cattail Designs, stop number one on the Pals Holiday Catalog Blog Hop! Thanks for "hopping" by!


  1. Lynn Hoyt at Cattail Designs
  2. Shannon Jaramillo at
  3. Debbie Pierce at Stampin Sunshine
  4. Jennifer Takacs at Stamped in Full
  5. Julie Trevett-Smith at The Stampin' Affair!
  6. Cathy King at chattycathycardcreations
  7. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts by Patti
  8. Beth Beard at My Little Craft Blog 
  9. Rae Harper at Wild West Paper Arts 
  10. Mary Fish at Stampin Pretty
  11. Kim Czenszak at Live Love Stamp
  12. Diane Roberts at Scoreatfourandaquarter
  13. Claire Crotteau-Hutt at stamppaperscissors
  14. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  15. Barb Furlong at The Love of Stamping
  16. Nancy Gleason at My Stampin' Space
  17. Naki Rager at My Stampin' Blog
  18. Brian King at Stamp with Brian
  19. Kim Luithle at Kim's Stampin Stuff
  20. Mikki Sarkisyan at Mikkis Creative Corner
  21. Angela Curry at Kindred Stampers
  22. Maggie Mata at Maggie Made Cards
  23. Susan Lankford at Stamp and Scrap With Susan
  24. Nicole Watt at Impressions by Nicole
  25. Bobbi Mangas at My Therapy
  26. Angie Blake at Angies Musings
  27. Kris Kilcoyne at Kween Bee Kreations
  28. Nicole Picadura at Scraps & Stamps
  29. Sherrie Gross at Stampin Sunshine
  30. Nina Dee at Deesigns by Nina Dee

August 13, 2012


Three weeks ago, yesterday, I turned thirty. The photo above is the amazing cake that my hubby made for my little celebration. I've been contemplating a lot of things recently and feel that it is time to share the rest of my world with you. I've been blessed with only good things since I've started blogging. I have the sweetest group of followers and although I don't always respond to your comments, please know that I read and cherish each and every one of them! Many of you know that I have a private blog for my close family and friends where I share my personal life more freely on there. I've always had a phobia of being out there on the internet, but as I've said many times before, you have all helped to calm those fears. My hope is that I'll be posting here more often with a hybrid of my personal blog and my craft blog. We'll see how things evolve from there...

I haven't been very good about blogging recently and I don't have any really good excuses. Don't feel neglected, because I haven't been keeping up with my personal blog either. Yes, I've been busy, but everyone is busy. I haven't been super crafty recently, but I've been working on other projects. Me projects. I've always been one to set goals for myself. I'll be honest with you. I'm not the best at following through, but I do like to make them. :) As I approached thirty, I started to reevaluate some of these goals. I knew that a lot of them were still important, although I wouldn't necessarily reach them before my birthday. But, I got to work anyway.

One of my hopes was that I would have a home of my own by the time I turned thirty. Our situation right now just doesn't allow for that. Living on one educator's salary and hoping that being in this area will be temporary isn't conducive for us to go out and purchase a home of any sort. For the time being, we'll remain in our teeny, one-bedroom apartment, but I knew that I at least wanted it to FEEL like a home. I've been reluctant to do any serious decorating here. Each year that passes, I am almost certain that it will be our last year here. So it didn't really make sense for us to do any real decorating. Last year, I came to the conclusion that if we're going to be here, for however short or long a period of time, we might as well love being here. And so began Project Nest. While I have no intentions of turning this blog into a home decor blog, I may begin posting some photos of this ongoing project. I was thrilled when my neighbor stopped by the other day and called my home worthy of "pinning", but I had to laugh because most of my ideas are indeed from the land of Pinterest. :) Regardless, I am growing to love my place and it makes sense that I share my love with you. For those of you who come here for my card ideas, I won't be offended if you aren't interested in me sharing my apartment with you. I promise there will be no hard feelings if you scroll past those posts and straight on to some card goodness.

Another goal, and probably biggest endeavor is regarding my education. I've decided to go back to school to finally pursue my doctorate. This has been a life long dream of mine. Well, perhaps not since infancy, but as far back as I can remember, I've wanted not just to go to college, but to get a Master's degree and a PhD. Since I was already two-thirds there, I figured I might as well take the leap. I started right before our school year ended and it has been an insane amount of work. I have had to make a lot of adjustments to my schedule since then, which is why you may not be seeing me in blogland quite as often as you were used to. I am scared to death of what things will be like once school starts back up in just a few short weeks! I am certainly not very good at balancing things, I can't imagine that juggling school-school and work-school will be easy!

So, while I'm not claiming that turning thirty has made me worldlier or wiser, I am just wanting to share this journey with you. I hope you will be excited to share in this adventure with me! So tell me, what kind of lifelong goals do you have that you could start working on today?

August 5, 2012

Cupcake Inspirations Challenge

Hey there! Here's my card for this week's Cupcake Inspirations Challenge. Aren't these little Oreo sunflowers adorable?!

Here are the DEEtails:

I started with stamping the jar from SU!'s Perfectly Preserved onto some Whisper White card stock. Then I added some leafy images using the bottom portion of the image from SU!'s Fabulous Florets in Gumball Green. It makes the perfect backdrop for my sunflowers. I made them with the layering three of  the smallest daisy shape on SU!'s Flower Daisies die. The card stock is Summer Sun. I made the centers of my flowers with Early Espresso card stock, embossed with Papertrey Ink's Diamonds Impression Plate, then punched with my 3/4" circle punch. I attached my sunflowers with some Stampin' Dimensionals. It is nearly impossible to see it in the photo, but I also die cut the jar on a Window Sheet to create the effect of a glossy surface on my jar. This was actually a little tricky, since the die cut is meant to be slightly larger than the stamped image. I actually lined it up with a stamped image on a piece of scrap paper and placed it on my die three times in order to cut it down to size. Perhaps that didn't make much sense...? Sorry... I used my Exacto knife to cut tiny slits on the edge of my stamped image and threaded some Linen Thread through the slits and tied on a Jewelry Tag, stamped with the sentiment from SU!'s Tiny Tags. Finally, I added a tiny bit of edging to my card base with some Gumball Green Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border and matted with some Marina Mist. Whew! That's it!

Don't forget to play along with this week's Cupcake Inspirations Challenge! Can't wait to see what you come up with! :)

Belated Cupcake Inspirations Challenge

Oops! I forgot to post my card last week. Eek! I swear... these days are just flying by so quickly! I can't keep track of myself. Anyway, here is my card...

I love the inspiration cupcakes. They are just so cute!

Here are the DEEtails:

I started with some Crumb Cake card stock, that I embossed with the new Woodgrain Textured Impressions Embossing Folder from Stampin' Up! You know I love me some woodgrain. :) Then I matted it with some Soft Suede card stock, before adhering it to my Baja Breeze card. For the nest, I cut strips of Soft Suede card stock and ran it through my crimper and then kind of crumpled it up into a nest shape. I used lots of adhesive to keep that sucker together. Haha. Then I attached my little eggs, stamped from SU!'s Take Care. I stamped the sentiment from SU!'s Touch of Kindness on some Whisper White card stock and adhered it to a strip of Baja Breeze Stiched Grosgrain Ribbon. 

Thanks for being patient with me during my moment of forgetfulness! :)

August 2, 2012

Pals Paper Arts Color Challenge

Wow... I can't believe it is August already! And time for another Pals Paper Arts challenge! This time we're playing with one of my new favorite colors, Summer Starfruit, in this fun summer combination.

Here are the DEEtails for my card:

I started by creating a simple award ribbon embellishment, which is lots of fun to make, by the way. I scored a strip of DSP from Summer Smooches for the base and added the stamped image from the new Friendship Preserves set. I attached some strips of Marina Mist and Summer Starfruit DSP and some Real Red Stitched Grosgrain ribbon. Behind my award ribbon, I attached some Summer Starfruit DSP trimmed with some Marina Mist punched with the Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch and some Real Red card stock. Then I added a tiny brad to the side and tied up a piece of Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine. I randomly cut pieces of DSP, card stock, and ribbon in the challenge colors from my scraps and attached them to my Baker's Twine. So quick and easy. Hope you like it! 

Don't forget to play and link up your creation at Pals Paper Arts. What will you make with these fun colors?