Pinktober 2016 Wreath


Back in June, I had the pleasure of creating party decor for the 90th birthday of a close friend’s mom. My friend wanted understated elegance ar-table-decor-2and not too expensive; her mom loved pinks and girly; and “bling” was essential for all.  So we ended up with simple white fabric cloths topped with equally simple, but stunning, vases filled with lush pink silk blossoms.  The original table arrangements are pictured here on the right.  We were all very pleased with the results and the sweet birthday girl had a wonderful party filled with friends, family, good food and fun, and much-deserved joy.

As it turned out, the 90th would be our birthday girl’s final one; sweet Annie Ruth passed peacefully in her sleep about a month after her big day. No matter the age of our moms, when they leave us, it’s always too early, always heartbreaking, and always leaves us with a gaping hole in our lives. We’d barely had time to put away the leftover trappings from a festive birthday party before my friend was planning a funeral.  No words can convey how hard this was, of course.

I wanted to do something for my friend as she grieved, as a reminder to her of the wonderful gift she’d given her mom–a token from the party that had been such a highlight of sweet AR’s last days.  So I took apart all those lovely pink blossoms from the birthday table flowers, disassembled all the lengths of pearl garland used, and determined to be creative with a dual purpose: as my friend is a breast cancer survivor, a new combination Pinktober observance and birthday-party-souvenir wreath would be born. And it would be very girly in honor of both of the ladies I adore: one is a friend (for literal decades now!) that I’m grateful is a 4-year breast cancer survivor; the other, her sweet now-sadly-gone mom whom I have learned to love with all my heart, too.  So, an AR Pinktober special it is:


I can’t help but look at this and think how much my own mom–who wasn’t so fortunate ar-pink-wreath2in her breast cancer battle (now 26 years ago)–would also love this creation. As my mom celebrates yet another October birthday in Heaven, this year, I’d like to think that Cissy and Annie Ruth are looking down on their girls (and all their progeny) with smiles and love … and forgiving me once again for my inability to type this without shedding a bunch of tears.

Happy Pinktober; hug your moms close. And remember that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month–and it IS a big deal.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Stockpiling Some Good Thoughts

Amazingly Amazing-3My goal the rest of this month and the next two is to stockpile a bunch of cards with “good thoughts” in them, for various fundraising and charitable efforts scheduled for late Spring.  Good thoughts = anything positive, upbeat, encouraging, uplifting, or that will generally just help someone SMILE.

This means I’ll finally get to play with a bunch of stamp sets that haven’t seen ink in a long time–or EVER–because I’ve been so busy with other, more specific projects. This Amazingly Amazing-4first card features a sentiment that will reappear a LOT.  Who doesn’t want to hear that someone thinks they’re amazing?!–especially if they’re going through a tough time!

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to see where my card making-thoughts take me, and there are a lot of techniques, pinterest-inspired goodies, and “stuff” I want to experiment with as I strive to put together cards that will brighten someone’s day. I’m going to concentrate on making things that I know I would like to receive when I’m needing a little sunshine in my own days.Amazingly Amazing-2-2

I used the embossing folder as the springboard for the whole card, and then played with some sponging to create the background and used up some more dsp on my grungey flower. It ended up being a quick card to do, even with all the steps involved.

Here’s what I used (all SU, unless noted otherwise):

  • Stamps: Painted Petals (retired)
  • Paper: Whisper White Card and Pear Pizzazz Card Stock; Gingham Garden DSP (retired)
  • Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, Pear Pizzazz, Soft Suede
  • Tools: 1-1/4″ Scallop Circle Punch (to cut out flower pieces); Rose Garden Thinlits Die; Sizzix Elegant Wreath Embossing Folder

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

One of a Kind (CAS)E


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! 🙂


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. 🙂

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!  🙂

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!

A Collection of Affection for RRBC06


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!


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).


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


I’m not a “Clean and Simple” kind of gal. Simple-minded maybe ( 😉 ), 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.


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!

NAC123–Always Thankful


Always thankful.  It’s something I’ve always tried to be. Some of the things I’m thankful for at this exact moment are: good friends, sweet iced tea, and new papercrafting goodies…. not necessarily in that order!  (My friends know my love for tea far too well to wonder where THEY fall on that spectrum…)

At any rate, I’ve only just now started getting new goodies a bit at a time in from the new Occasions Catalog and Sale-A-Bration for 2015. In this batch, I got a wonderful SAB stamp set and some paper that I almost cried over, it’s so gorgeous! I never, EVER immediately open a pack of DSP and want to start cutting it up, but with this it was either do so IMMEDIATELY….or try to find a nac123way to preserve it for all time, fighting off friend and foe alike in an effort to hang onto it. It’s GORGEOUS. I’m talking about the Painted Blooms DSP that jumped out of the pack and made itself into a card to go along with the Nacho Average Challenges NAC123 sketch. This sketch is absolutely perfect to showcase some great paper. I chose two of the happiest designs from the batch, and then used them to dictate the embellishments and cardstock colors I used to layer it all up (Pacific Point, Rose Red, Whisper White, and Daffodil Delight). Primary colors at their best ever in this paper!

NAC123-Always Thankful

The sentiment is from my favorite SAB item: You Brighten My Day, a very cute set with both images and some very upbeat sentiments. This particular one actually coordinates with the Note Tag Punch, but I chose to layer it up as a simple rectangle.  I also punched NAC123-3out some little flowers (with the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack and the Petite Petals Punch) from the DSP to make the border element the sketch called for, and then I went a little wild with the bow. I am a bit bow-dacious in my crafting, and the friend this card is going to will expect nothing less from me. Between the about a dozen layers of paper and ribbon, and the big ole bow, it’s a good thing I’m hand-delivering this thing!

There really IS always something to be thankful for–I have found that true even in the midst of change, upheaval, hurt, pain, and even in loss. Sometimes I’ve had to look really hard…but oftentimes I’ve just had to open my eyes to the beauty and opportunities around me. I hope sharing this card with my friend will both adequately thank her for being part of all my blessings through the years, and will uplift her spirits with its bright hopefulness.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today! 

Ghosts of Halloweens past…

Skeerkrows by 2Ks&aT

Okay, so these aren’t ghosts. And they aren’t too skeery as Halloween ghouls go, but I wanted to throw them in here now, as I begin to work on my Halloween goodies. I just “re-found” a couple of these that I had stashed in with my fall papers and such and was thrilled to see how well they’ve held up–for two years now!  These were created in a fun afternoon crafting project with my niece and great-niece, who was only eight at the time, and I think she did a fabulous job.  Honestly, I don’t even remember who did which one–although I’m leaning toward thinking the youngest girl amongst us may have been the one applying the bright pink lips. I do remember that playing with the Big Shot was a BIG hit as we cranked out the Top Note Dies that are the bases for these darlings.

BC6 Scarecrow

This little lady to the left is the version I made for a Breast Cancer Awareness project. I decked her out complete with an actual earring (amazing how I’ve accumulated so many lone costume jewelry earrings through the years), and a real pink-ribbon-rose. She was all pink and purty and dressed up to hawk my Relay for Life’s team efforts back in October, 2012. Our theme for the month was, “Help us Scare Up a Cure”, and we mixed the BCA October Pink Ribbon month with Halloween ghoulies throughout the month to drum up interest–and funds–for our American Cancer Society Relay team. It was the beginning to a successful year for the Team, and it was a fun way to get us all on board with the effort.

The idea for the scarecrow came from here from the uber-talented Rae at Wild West Paper Arts. The die makes it easy to do, and the fun is in the “dressing up” on this one. Seeing these today got me a bit more fired up to get cracking on some new Autumn projects!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Happy Day

Happy Day to You


Just a quick post today. I practiced some brayering for the background, did some pretty straightforward stamping, coloring with my SU Markers and then a whole lot of sponging to blend it all together to my liking. My fingers were a lovely orangey-red by the time I was finished with this one, and it was a nice warm and bold pop against a very gray day.

  • Stamps: Up in the Air; Friendly Phrases
  • Inks:  Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso, Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, Stazon Black, and a bit of some old SU oranges I still have on hand
  • Paper: Whisper White and Cherry Cobbler Card Stock
  • Tools and Embellishments:  Framed Tulips Embossing Folder and some little floral buttons from my stash.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!