You Were the Music in My Heart

Fusion Heartful 6

Apparently I’m ending January the same way I began it–with shiny gold stuff that’s impossible to photograph well with my current set-up. But, in keeping with the other, better-known January tradition–of setting resolutions/goals and trying to stick with them–I’m going to plow right on and be happy that I played with paper and ink and was creative ANYWAY. ūüôā ¬† So, to my card:Fusion Heartful 2

I’ve been looking for the perfect inspiration for the one special card I decided to make this year–one I’ve never made since I started stamping several years ago. I found that inspiration with the Fusion Heartful Challenge this time.

Fusion HeartfulI love the Fusion concept, because you can use all or just part of the challenge and still be following the guidelines. ¬†I chose to follow the sketch and a few of the elements of the photo to help me put together this labor of love (little pun there). I’ve used old and new supplies, stash product–including elements from my sewing stash, and some current tools to pull it all together.


Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps: Seasonally Scattered (retired SU!)
  • Paper: Basic Black and Real Red Card Stock. And some gold metallic textured paper from an old paper-pad–I think the texture kind of mimics the wood grain look in the photo.
  • Ink: Versamark and some Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder
  • Tools: Hearts a Flutter, Circles Collection, and Apothecary Accents Framelits; Sweetheart Punch and Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack; and a gifted-to-me embossing folder with a sheet-music look to it
  • Embellishments: some metallic red and some uber-cool black with red bling in it ribbons from my stash, and –my favorite thing: I found some buttons that look like they’re a perfect match to that one little red puffy-heart in the photo inspiration piece!

I’ve zoomed in here and worked with the lighting a Fusion Heartful 3lot to try to show the true focus of this card: the sheet music embossing with a cut out ruffled heart shape, leaving a kind of “hole”¬†that I backed with red and then filled with the gold Sweetheart and the one tiny black popped up heart. Hard to see in the photos, I know–but trust me that the texture is there to tell the story behind the card. The music in MY heart died in 2006, so the hole cut out of the music here is a graphic representation of the way I feel. This valentine is for my hubby, whose absence from my daily life left quite the hole in my real heart.

Fusion Heartful 5I actually got into stamping for the first time and papercrafting (again) thanks to his daughter/my stepdaughter, who became a Stampin’ UP! demo the year after he died–partly to give herself something happy to do. It’s quite true that throwing yourself into a creative passion helps to fill voids in your life and gives you a place to put your feelings in a productive way. It helps you heal–somehow (I surely don’t know HOW)–a bit with everything you create. Perhaps because especially THIS particular hobby helps you see beauty again? I just know that I’m glad to have this outlet, this place and way to funnel what sometimes overflows from my heart from the hole that was left there.¬†This year, I’m finally ready to “make things FOR” some of the people I love so much that left my life too soon. Greg was so very supportive of all my creative endeavors and I know he would have been my biggest cheerleader in this one.

And I’m happy that I know this, that THAT part of him remains with me even after all this time he’s been gone. ¬†So, I took that little music-embossed heart that I punched out of the front piece….and I put it inside the card. Sort of like how I still feel that he is with me–even though I can’t see him where he used to be. He was the music in my heart….I just have had to learn how to sing and dance and play the tunes in a new way. ¬†And, so, even if there’s some bittersweetness to this post and this creation, I am concentrating on and can FEEL the underlying joy (of my memories) and beauty (of my hope). That’s got a lovely melody all its own.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

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One of a Kind (CAS)E

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I CAS(E)d this Sketch (CTS108) to maybe, finally, come up with a genuine clean and simple CTS_108card. It feels totally naked (eeek!) and underdone, especially when compared to my usual highly fussy and heavily-layered style, but it DID give me a pretty quick, cute card to use for a “for no real reason” greeting when I need one. I’ve had that stamp set for awhile and never could come up with a way to use that particular stamp, and this little sweet, simple sketch seemed just the ticket. ¬†It’s a very good sketch–one that will also lend itself to *ahem* some somewhat less than CAS efforts that I may do in the future. But for now, I’m quite happy that I played outside my comfort zone and have a keeper, rather than something I immediately wanted to re-do! ūüôā

CTS_108-1

Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps: A Dozen Thoughts; You Brighten My Day
  • Ink: ¬†Real Red
  • Paper: Whisper White and Real Red Card Stock; I Am Me DSP (retired). I cut the intended-to-be-diagonal striped paper so that the lines would run horizontally to match the sketch. I’m not a huge fan of most diagonals, but absolutely loved this paper when cut to run this way. Go figure!
  • Tools: Chalk Talk Framelits; Corner Rounder Punch, …..and……
  • *GASP* only one embellishment: a piece of (retired)¬†Real Red 1/4″ Grosgrain Ribbon. ¬†I DID add it atop a slice of the camera-patterned DSP to make the embellie “bigger”. I couldn’t help myself. At least I didn’t add any candy dots or anything else. I thought if I ever got started….I’d never stop.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

A Crisp Pistachio Hello

Crisp Pistachio Hello-3

In the process of creating my Good Thoughts card the other day, my creative process (impressive-sounding words for what is actually¬†my trial-and-error-figure-out-what-the-heck-I’m-doing-here-thing-I-go-through every time I make something) produced an extra sheet of washi-layered paper that I wanted to put to use elsewhere. CCMC339-Good Thoughts 6I had started out trying the washi on a piece of black cardstock, but decided it didn’t highlight the white background in the washi too well (and which doesn’t photograph well at all, either!). So then the obvious choice was to add the washi to some white cardstock. Good choice, and a lesson learned in washi-wisdom; I was very late to the washi party table, so obvious-to-everyone-else stuff takes me a CCMC339-Good Thoughts 5bit to catch on to. I used the washi “panel” with the two black-fan designs on the card here, so I had the heavy-on-the Crisp Cantaloupe and Pistachio Pudding piece to work with today. So I went a lot lighter and brighter, and also played the use-it-up game and cut my card base to 4.25″ x 4.25″….only because that was just about the size piece of Pistachio Pudding Card Stock I had laying on my work table. The lazy stamper strikes again!

Crisp Pistachio Hello

Because I had an odd-sized card, I also got to play with the Envelope Punch Board to make a custom-sized envie…of course, this meant I had to actually get up and get the Punch Board, which kinda negated the whole lazy-stamper thing that caused the odd-size card to begin with. But I digress, and also didn’t¬†Crisp Pistachio Hello-4really mind the getting up, because I don’t remember to play with this great tool nearly enough. I’ll amend my “lazy-stamper” comment and call myself “frugal” instead, since I also used up a retired piece of DSP to make my envelope (since it so-happened to have my two yummy colors in it). I chose to make the envie sized for a 4.5 x 4.5 card, partly because of the lazy-thing again (didn’t want to try to do the math to figure out how to make it¬†for the exact size I had), and partly because this card is thick enough that a slightly larger envelope seemed in order anyway. Perhaps I’m the “practical” stamper above all else. ūüôā


Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps: Perfect Pennants; Six-Sided Sampler (for the cute little “my friend” part of the sentiment)
  • Ink: ¬†Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Memento Tuxedo Black
  • Paper: Pistachio Pudding, Whisper White, and Crisp Cantaloupe Cardstock; Venetian Romance DSP (retired)
  • Tools and Embellishments: Sweet Sadie Washi Tape; InColor Boutique Details (retired); Pistachio Pudding Thick Bakers Twine; Pistachio Pudding Ruffled Ribbon (retired); Modern Label Punch; Envelope Punch Board

I love the light, happy tone to this card, which is headed to a friend who is like me–really looking forward to the gray days of winter being far, far away. Hope this will set the tone for the groundhog to predict an early end to this nastiness!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Good Thoughts for CCMC339

CCMC339-Good Thoughts 3

Some of SU’s stamp sets just blow me away, either because of the lovely artwork, a fabulous font, or just the perfect quote. Perfect Pennants is one of those that just nailed it¬†in all three of those categories, and it’s the focus of my card today.

CCMC339-Good Thoughts 1

CCMC339-SketchCreate with Connie & Mary’s Challenge 339¬†provided the inspiration for the entire card. To me, this sketch just screams WASHI TAPE, so after deciding just which washi I wanted to use most–out of a stash that I have neglected horribly–everything else fell together very quickly. Colors, embossing folder–all of the component pieces practically leapt¬†out of their hidey-holes and jumped up and down for me to finally create with them. I tend to have big projects (big for me, anyway) going on most of the time that force a focus on a narrow range of supplies. It’s very nice to finally get to use stuff I’ve had–some untouched for two years!

CCMC339-Good Thoughts 3

Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps: Perfect Pennants, Gorgeous Grunge. (GG is the most aptly-named stamp set I’ve ever seen.)
  • Ink and Paper (all Cardstock): Memento Tuxedo Black/Basic Black; Pistachio Pudding, Crisp Cantaloupe; Whisper White
  • Tools & Embellishments: Neutrals Candy Dots; Incolor Boutique Details (retired); Sweet Sadie Designer Washi Tape;¬†Fancy Fan Embossing Folder (It’s hard to photograph the black embossed card base adequately with my current lighting setup, but the Fan is there. The washi tape’s similar design informed me that it had to be paired with this particular embossing folder, and in real life, it provides the perfect textural oomph to the background.)

So, there it is–pretty straightforward, and it seems that the good thoughts flowed through in a clean-lined concoction for a change! ¬†ūüôā


Positive energy, happy thoughts, the power of prayer: whatever form our words and thought-life choose to call them, these “good thoughts”–directed both outward to the world and inward to our own hearts and minds–provide a powerful antidote to the negatives this world sometimes tries to knock¬†us down with. What we allow ourselves to think, we learn to believe, and then can become–good or bad. For 2015, I’ve made the most-positive choice to concentrate on those “good thoughts” to let some real joy flow back into my life. It’s been here all along, I just need to open up the floodgates and share. I’m finding that this desire to reconnect with my joy is also reigniting the spark¬†of creativity. ¬†And the world is always brighter when we let our little sparks light our little corners of the world, wherever they may be.

–So here are some good thoughts sent your way–and thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Sweet Valentine

PPA237-2

Valentine sweets–that’s what this challenge and my card make me think of. Candy and sweets are in every store and love is definitely in the air all over papercrafting-land, so I combined three challenges and played with paper rather than buying the three boxes of candy I really wanted!

First up, the bones of the card, via Pals Paper Arts #237PPA237-sketch sketch. I pretty much followed the sketch exactly for a change. Although that long rectangular bottom panel has a couple of the layers in the shape of a banner, the base piece holds true to the sketch’s shape. ¬†And, of course it IS heavily layered with CS, embossing, and three different ribbons. Oh-one change: I layered my sentiment piece atop the heart border piece, rather than vice versa.

cqc276

My colors were supplied by Colour Q‘s most yummy #276 choices. How can you NOT think of candy when Chocolate Chip is on the menu? I definitely thought of the sweet little candy hearts available this time of year. But there’s a candy from yesteryear that was coated in chocolate and the centers were just about exact replicas of the SS and CC here…and COCONUT candy centers, too… hence my inclusion of Whisper White as my neutral of choice.

PPA237

I was also inspired by the Just Us Girls Challenge’s #277 photo. ¬†This photo is the essence of¬†sweetness, and the scattering of tasty-looking JUGS#277chocolate-based hearts definitely inspired and influenced my stamping arrangement as I smattered some colorful “candy” hearts across my background paper. ¬†Ah, these Valentine sweets, that I don’t need to buy OR bake! Thankfully my hands have been ¬†occupied with heart-shaped paper cutters, rather than the cookie cutters in the photo here!

PPA237-1I had fun putting this one together; I especially liked doing the white-embossed sentiment with “rubbed-in” inks from all the challenge colors. When my fingertips are as colorful as the paper when I’m done, it’s been a good stamping day–and keeps me out of the candy, cookies, and all the other sweet yumminess out there right now!


Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps: Good Greetings, Seasonally Scattered (the sentiments); Something to Say, You Brighten My Day (the hearts)
  • Paper (all Card Stock) and Inks: Strawberry Slush, Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip
  • Tools: Corner Rounder and Hearts Border Punches; White Embossing Powder and Heat Gun
  • Embellishments: Kraft Taffeta and Chocolate Chip Grosgrain Ribbons (retired); Strawberry Slush Thick Bakers’ Twine

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!¬†

Some Twin-tastic Shower Prep

It’s a Girl….and a Girl!!

Baby Welcome Sign in process2

Right now I’m in the middle of a very time-consuming, very labor intensive, very much-loved project….and it just dawned on me that– so is the mother-to-be! Thankfully, all I’m having to do is help her friend get ready for the upcoming baby shower. Whew!

There will be a couple of banners that I’m making thanks to the Simply Created Build A Banner Kit. I love these letter stencils and will be adding them to a couple of pre-made kraft-paper banners from the local crafts store.¬†Baby Welcome Sign in process

The two little girls on the way are getting their names done up in either pink or purple, and all shades of those two colors will be used throughout both the shower and the babies’ nursery. I like to decorate any shower “room” with items that can be reused or re-purposed once mama gets home with the goodies. These banners will be adorned with enough tulle (the mom’s choice) to make any fru-fru lover swoon with delight. I think I’ve bought 12 rolls of tulle ribbon so far for the various items, and there’s no end in sight!

There will be some nice little favors for each guest to take home with them, all being put Shower prep 1together courtesy of the Mini-Milk Carton Die I just recently purchased off the SU! Clearance Rack. It seemed perfect for this project. ¬†I’m just up to my eyeballs in all kinds of papers that I’ve die cut, punched, and glued…and will BE glueing for awhile now! I’ve pulled out every single SU pink or purple paper–new and retired stock, along with every other paper in my stash. Who knew I’d finally get to use up all this Concord Crush Card Stock¬†I’ve been hoarding?

Since these babies will be my newest great-nieces, I’m delighted to be so paper-deep in work, and decided I’d document my Shower prep 2creative process here for posterity, as well as the finished products–if I ever get them done! I keep thinking of new things to add to the projects to make them “just right”. (These are the first twins in two generations in our family, so we’re all kind of excited and overwhelmed with the prospect!)

And, naturally, this is providing me with loads of double-the-fun in creative opportunity. ¬†Here’s the little poem I came up with for the favor boxes:

Double the sweet, Double the fun;

Double the diapers when day is done.

Double the giggles, Double the curls;

Our lives’ll be blessed with double the girls.

Now, back to work!


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

A Collection of Affection for RRBC06

RRBC06-Friend

I’m very excited to be playing along with the very talented group at Retro Rubber Challenge Blog¬†this time! Retro Rubber’s concept of encouraging us to re-engage with our old favorite stamps makes me smile every time I see the new challenge posted and the wonderful entries by the Design Team and followers alike.

RRBC06 (2)RRBC#06 Challenge is a really sweet sketch, and got my creative gears churning overtime.¬†I knew exactly which stamp sets I wanted to use, and thought I wanted to go with a very bold, much more graphic look (for me, anyway)…and so I did, and originally made a card featuring black, white, and red–and an additional old stamp set, (featured in another post here). When I was done, though, I realized I’d changed the sketch around much more than suited me for this particular challenge, so I kept one of the same stamp sets, and went wild with texture, layers, and a much softer color palette of Blushing Bride, Cherry Cobbler, and Very Vanilla. I’m happy with both finished projects, but this one is much more in keeping with the #06 sketch!

RRBC06-Friend2


Here’s what I used, retired and retro-wise:

  • Stamps: ¬†Affection Collection (from the 2012 SU Holiday Mini)
  • Tools/Embellishments: Elegant Lines and Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folders; gathered ribbon in Blushing Bride; Cherry Cobbler and Blushing Bride buttons.

And I mixed all that in lovingly with my current and MUCH newer goodies:

  • Stamps: ¬†Gorgeous Grunge
  • Tools/Embellishments: Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder; Corner Rounder, Modern Label¬†and Sweetheart Punches; Cherry Cobbler Candy Dots; Cherry Cobbler 1″ Sheer Linen Ribbon (from the 2014 Holiday catty).

RRBC06-Friend3

This card combines an eclectic “affectionate collection” of some of my favorite stampin’ stuff–soft, sweet, and on the vintage side. ¬†I love giving new life to classic stamps–and supplies–by mixing them in with all my new crafting goodies. Best of both worlds! ¬†I really enjoyed playing along again with Retro Rubber and look forward to seeing the new “old” creations this time!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!!

Stretch with a Sketch

PPA236

I’m not a “Clean and Simple” kind of gal. Simple-minded maybe ( ūüėČ ), and I am a bit of a germaphobe, but in the papercrafting world, CAS and I generally don’t stay in the same room together for long. But I tried to stretch–at least a bit–with this card. No extra-inking, no voluptuous bows, nothing truly superfluous to the design.

PPA236-1

Pals’ Paper Arts provided the sketch for my stretch outside my comfort-zone¬†PPA236 Sketchhere. I consider this a very CAS layout¬†by the Pals’ Kerry.Bray, and I really wanted to play along with her debut design for PPA236, despite my CAS fears. Since I associate geometrics with CAS-style, I finally–yes, finally, after how long now??–put my Six-Sided Sampler Bundle to work. (Of course, in the back of my mind, I also knew this would let me use the embossing folder that coordinates, so that helped me get over my white-space phobia this time.)

I kept strictly to the basic sketch layout, but did add some height, depth, and a bit of piece-work matching up the punched hexes, giving me my PPA236-2much-loved vintage throwback–here to a quilt. The punched hexes are staggered up and down randomly with varying heights of dimensionals doing the trick. And I used ribbon to give some extra length to my little Banner punches.

My color scheme was inspired by the CAS-Colours and Sketches Blog’s #107 Challenge (hence, another reason to attempt the CAS stretch here). The combination cas 107of Cherry Cobbler, Basic Black, and Crumb Cake–with a tiny pop of white on the sentiment–is both clean and a bit retro at the same time. It made me remember a much-loved/much-used quilt my grandmother made that had similar colors, which of course further inspired the design here. This cold night could actually use another quilt right about now!


Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps: ¬†Six-Sided Sampler, Banner Blast (retired)
  • Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Basic Black, and Whisper White Card Stock (not a speck of DSP this time!)
  • Ink: ¬†Cherry Cobbler, Memento Tuxedo Black
  • Tools: ¬†Honeycomb Embossing Folder; Hexagon and Banner Punches
  • Embellishments: Basic Black Candy Dots; Kraft (now Crumb Cake!) Taffeta Ribbon (retired), and a smoonch of the Cherry Cobbler Ribbon from the holiday catty (love that stuff and will use up every tiny tidbit somewhere!)

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Lovely Diamonds and Roses

rrbc06-2

In keeping with my New Year’s resolution to play with my paper goodies more in 2015, and inspired in part by the encouragement from Retro Rubber Challenge Blog to do so, I’m digging back through my stamps and supplies to create with some items that, in many cases, haven’t seen any crafting-time in a long time. A VERY long time, in one case here.

rrbc06-1

Amongst the huge stack of goodies a dear friend donated to me a couple years ago (to assist with some Relay for Life charitable projects) were quite a few truly retro Stampin’ UP! stamps. Since rosy hearts aren’t necessarily easy to work into projects for the Relay cancer-fighting cause, I knew then that I’d have to wait til I had a lot of time to play with paper–hopefully sometime around a Valentine’s Day in my not-too-distant future. So, fast forward two years later, and here I am finally finding–or rather, making—¬†the time to thoroughly enjoy doing just that.

rrbc06-3I grabbed the fabulous rose-filled heart from the set (from 1998!!) from my friend, the “Love” sentiment from another set from 2012, and a bunch of tools and embellishments, both old and new. My Basic Black, Real Red, and Whisper White result is cleaner-lined and much bolder than my usual style, but is still crafted with lots of layers, some very-decidedly-girly touches, and a bit of the vintage vibe that makes my heart sing.


Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps: Kindness Shared (the heart, retired); Affection Collection (sentiment, retired). Both were inked in Versamark and heated up with White Stampin’ Emboss Powder¬†to add more texture.
  • Tools: Fancy Fan Embossing Folder; Large Oval, Extra Large Oval, and Scallop Oval Punches; Ovals Collection Framelits. (I would really love to see if the Hearts Framelits will “fit” this heart image, but since I don’t have that set yet, I ended up fussy-cutting out my heart. Doing so immediately moved the purchase of those framelits¬†to much higher on my never-ending “SU! to Buy” list!)
  • Embellishments: ¬†1/4″ Real Red Grosgrain Ribbon (retired); Tea Lace Paper Doilies; Rhinestone Basic Jewels; and the silver blinged-out heart is an actual pendant–a remnant from an old collection of costume jewelry that I keep on hand for just this type of project. I’ve attached it to the card in such a way that it can be easily removed and be used as a necklace again, if desired. This card is earmarked for a niece who enjoys vintage goodies as much as her old aunt does, and she’ll particularly love that heart’s “diamonds”, since that’s her birthstone!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

PPA235–A Gift of Winter Blues

PPA235-Winter Blues3

Okay, so usually the blues in winter isn’t exactly considered a “gift”. And usually by now I’m pretty fed up with cold weather–wait, I guess I AM fed up with it. However, I’m working on the whole attitude-of-gratitude thing and choosing to see all this cold yuckiness out there as an excuse to stay in the warm in here…and play with pretty paper goodies.

PPA235-Winter Blues

And the Pals’ Paper Arts PPA235 Color Challenge provided me with my very favorite colors to play with. Any shade of blue is PPA235on my “love” list, but Pool Party is my absolute favorite current SU color … and possibly EVER. ¬†And it looks so lovely when combined with the deep Island Indigo and the sweet and very Soft Sky.

I really, seriously wanted to try to make a one-layered…or at least a two- to three- layered card, when I started out with my sponged, stamped panel. But it apparently just isn’t going to happen without some kind of anti-layering intervention. I’ve got another dozen or so going on again with this one, counting all the flower petals. But I had such fun putting it all together!

PPA235-Winter Blues2

I¬†spent a lot of time sponging all these lovely blues to create backgrounds here, both in the main panel on front, and on the inside with some background flowers created using the negative of the punched petals as a template. I think my favorite part of this is the “extra” scalloped oval piece I got from cutting out the front panel. I used it on the interior of the card to carry my theme all the way through. Oh, and I got to make another yummy Pool Party Bow. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Aren’t gifts always tied up with bows?


Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps: ¬†Affection Collection (retired)–the “Always” sentiment;¬†Gifts of Kindness–main panel flower and then my “gifts” sentiment on the inside. (What a lovely thought this one expresses!); Flower Shop; Petite Petals
  • Tools: ¬†Ovals Collection Framelits, Pretty Print Embossing Folder (retired); Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Corner Rounder,¬†Scallop Oval, Large Oval, Extra-Large Oval, Pansy, and Petite Petals Punches
  • Embellishments: Pool Party 1/2″ Seam Binding (retired–I better buy up a bunch of the Soft Sky to make sure I don’t run out of my “blue fix” in this uber-luscious-to-work-with ribbon!); Pearl Basic Jewels

Here’s to hoping all my winter blues make me this happy–I got utterly wrapped up in making this, staying oblivious to the cold for hours while accomplishing something I love! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!