Pinktober 2016 Wreath

ar-pink-wreath3

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:

ar-pink-wreath

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!

A really special birthday

ar-birthday-photo-display

Ninety.  90 years.
–that’s how many years Annie Ruth has been making the world a better place.

Finally got to celebrate the big day for my friend’s mom. All the literal weeks and months of preparation were well worth it as the birthday girl was feted by friends and family to an afternoon of lots of food, fun, and laughter.  And a lot of memories were shared.

20160618_133324

Simple but elegant table arrangements, a happy birthday banner, lovingly made and set up with a photo memory display of the birthday girl through the years — these were the things I created to contribute to the festivities. We set up in an event room at my friend’s church, so we had a lot of room to work with. Good thing, coz once everyone got there, the place was packed.  And the guests enjoyed reminiscing with the honoree over the photos–many of which her grandsons couldn’t remember ever seeing before!ar-pl-album-2016 They spent a good bit of time poring over the Project Life scrapbook-photo album I put together of the original family photos to provide a permanent keepsake. It totally made my many weeks of efforts with the uploading and editing of old family photos absolutely worth it, knowing how much joy it gave both the birthday girl and her guests getting to share these memories.

Of course there was good food–and what celebratory party would be complete without a delicious birthday cake?

A simple, but completely melt-in-your-mouth fabulous, sheet cake from a local baker was the order of the day.  I can’t bake, but I definitely could add some flowers and some bling to tie the cake in with the rest of the decorations for the room.  (Um, and then I may have eaten more than my fair share of this thing!)
And we had some equally delicious very pink punch, made by my friend especially to acknowledge her mom’s love of all things pink–especially very hot pink!–and some labelled-for-the-occasion water bottles, created by my sister.  My favorite label was the “1926” one, which included the names of well-known people born the same year as our honoree–definitely a conversation starter!

This was definitely a very special birthday party for a very special lady. Happy 90th, AR!


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Freshly Made Vintage Birthday

Kris Bday1

Freshly Made Sketches provided the starting point for today’s clean-lined, but still vintage-vibed birthday card. FMS 233-001The sketch has a lot of room for interpretation and PROBABLY is intended to feature a lot of white space; mine is just filled with some lovely designer series paper instead.  This English Garden pack has some very soft and kind of dreamy patterns in it–very definitely evocative of a well-loved floral paradise, and very much in keeping with the tastes of the recipient of my card.

I also took liberties with the round shape in the layout. I substituted a signature bow (it’s Kris Bday2in a rounded shape, right?), made with both the seam binding ribbon and some retired Crumb Cake grosgrain-type ribbon that turned out to be the exact match for the color in the dsp that is  either a muted version of Hello Honey or Soft Suede (not sure which!). I had fun with the dsp, creating my horizontal stripe piece by simply cutting the diagonally-striped pattern in the pack to be the size and “direction” I wanted it to go. Kris Bday3


Here’s what I used (all SU):

  • Stamps: Perfect Pairings (SAB)
  • Ink: Night of Navy
  • Paper: Night of Navy and Whisper White Cardstocks; English Garden DSP
  • Tools: Curvy Corner Trio Punch
  • Embellishments: Night of Navy Seam Binding Ribbon; Kraft (Crumb Cake) grosgrain (retired many moons ago); Thick Whisper White Bakers’ Twine (to tie up the bow with–leftover from a Paper Pumpkin); and a Night of Navy button from my stash

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Springy Floral Frame

Spring Round Frame 4

Here in my neck of the woods, we had a February that felt like Spring, and now that Spring is actually here per the calendar, it’s gotten much more like the weather we usually have in February.  Cold, damp, and kinda yucky (especially today).  I decided I’d try to tempt Spring back here by adding a bit of it to my room decor.

This little frame and the matching easel are in a style that is very much “me”–vintage, shabby-chic, and providing a starting point for seasonal changes. So far, I’ve changed it out to decorate for Autumn and Christmas–with simple inserts behind the glass–but this time I went all-out with some fru-fru on the outside of the frame, too.

Spring Round Frame 2

For a change, even though it’s topped with a signature bow, I’ve made the flowers more the focal point, punching out several shapes and sizes and adding in some shaped and scored leaves to give it more dimension. An old (and favorite) embossing folder, cut out along the embossed shape, provided some textural interest behind the glass, over a piece of some retired–but still well-loved–dsp.  The colors blend well with my room decor… and I’m REALLY hoping this will help summon Spring back my way!


Spring Round Frame 3-1

Here’s what I used (all Stampin’ Up!):

  • Paper: Pacific Point, Pool Party, Night of Navy,  and Wild Wasabi Cardstocks; Painted Blooms DSP.
  • Embellishments: Night of Navy and Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon; Silver Brads 
  • Tools: Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Petite Petals and Pansy Punches; Flower Garden Embossing Folder; and a whole lot of glue dots to put all those flowers and leaves on the frame!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

Another Bloomin’ Birthday

Mar Bday 2-4-2

Amongst the seemingly-endless need for birthday cards this merry-month-of-March, I wanted to make one especially sweet and feminine, but I didn’t want it too frilly or fru-fru-ish for the down-to-earth 20-something recipient.  So, SU’s Birthday Bouquet DSP provided the perfect starting point, and a couple of card challenges helped me get from start-to-finish fairly quickly.  I ended up with a soft and slightly-vintage feel that I’m happy with, in colors that are both soft and spring-fresh-bright.

Mar Bday 2-1-1

GDP028 Jess Williams CASE

 

 

Global Design Project‘s
challenge this time was to CASE Jess Williams’ card.  The elements I was inspired to include in my own creation include her ribbon, the floral aspect, and I echoed her wreath shape with my circles in this layout. I also reflected a bit of her design’s “softness with a bold pop of color” and the vertical line element present from her use of cardstock placement translated into my use of the striped dsp.


pp287

The Paper Players‘ inspiration challenge this week was to “Celebrate Spring”, so I definitely got my Spring on with this one, with the soft colors and happy blooms provided by the fabulous paper. And there’s something about those glitter enamel dots (even in a pink-y color) that put me in the mind of raindrops.

Who doesn’t love a “birthday bouquet,” especially when there’s no mess or actual watering or sudden Spring showers involved?


I managed to miss the entry deadline to add my card to the site, but Pals Paper Arts provided the sketch basis (here) for my card and the original inspiration for the use of the three different dsp designs and all the yummy cardstock to anchor it.  Having these three challenges to work with together helped move me quickly through my design process, which is a big deal in this celebration-filled month.   I’m definitely working on bringing birthdays back!!


Here’s what I used (all Stampin’ Up!):Mar Bday 2-4-1

  • Stamps: Kinda Eclectic; Sky is the Limit
  • Ink:  Mint Macaron
  • Paper: Birthday Bouquet DSP; Whisper White, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, and Watermelon Wonder Card Stocks
  • Embellishments: Watermelon Wonder 1″ Stitched Satin Ribbon, and the lovely Blushing Bride Enamel Glitter Dots from the Love Blossoms Embellishment Kit
  • Tools:  Circles Collection Framelits

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

Sweetheart Blues

Kylee Valentine 16-6Today’s card is a combo-greeting–a late Valentine, an early birthday, and a “just because I love you” for my great-niece who’ll be hitting her last year of tweenager-dom in a couple of weeks.  As I take her out for a shop-til-we-drop day this weekend, I’ll start our visit with this card, made with her favorite color. Lots of shades of blue going on here.

Kylee Valentine 16-2

All these blues and other “b’s”  mean I qualify for The ABC Challenge this week, and here, “B” is definitely busy.ABC Challenge

B is for Blue, just because I adore my beautiful soon to be birthday girl”.  And I can’t believe she’s going to be 12!Kylee birthday 2012

I think I won’t get in trouble for this one, since the pic is from her birthday four years ago and we’re both kind of “incognito” in our huge birthday specs. We’re very much “in the pink” here….and it seems like only yesterday!  I can’t believe she’s about to be 12 (and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t wanna be seen in these glasses NOW!).


Here’s what I used for these happy blues (all SU, unless stated otherwise):

  • Stamps: Good Greetings for the sentiment; the little heart stamped a zillion times is from the January My Paper PumpkinKylee Valentine 16-5
  • Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Pool Party, Encore Gold (used to emphasize the embossed hearts and highlight the card edges)
  • Paper: Whisper White Cardstock; Gold Foil Sheet. Blue Glitter paper from The Paper Studio was used to cut out that gorgeous heart and back the sentiment frame. It was hard to photograph, but it’s a deep, bright, rich sapphire blue.
  • Tools: Happy Heart Textured Impressions Embossing Folder; Bloomin’ Heart Thinlits Die; Large Oval and Scallop Oval Punches

–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!

A Primrose Heart

Primrose Heart-4This happy-heart Valentine’s Day time of year gives me the chance to play with all the girly colors of paper and ribbons I’ve hoarded for years, so I spent a lot of time with the retired SU Primrose Petals this weekend along with some new tools to make my paper-play time even more fun. JUGS 330And I found the Just Us Girls #330 challenge to play along with for this card. The “add a tag” requirement for this week gave me the opportunity to keep my stamping to a minimum and feature both a fabulous die and a very versatile punch.

SU’s new Bloomin’ Hearts Thinlit Primrose Heart-2is the most beautiful die I’ve ever seen and I may develop tennis elbow using my Big Shot to cut out a zillion of these things. And the Curvy Corner Trio Punch added the perfect touch to highlight the shiny, glittery paper panel on today’s card.

My tag here allowed me to add a sweet sentiment in its own fun way, without detracting from the heart at center stage.

This card went together quickly, with a combination of old and new items, and the result is a card in lots of shades of pink, with an overall subtly-vintage vibe.


Here’s what I used:

Stamp: Good Greetings (retired SU)

Paper: Bravo Burgundy, Primrose Petals Cardstock (retired SU); Ecru glitter paper (My Paper Studio Cardstock Pack); several pieces of scrap (very retired) SU DSP in Pink Pirouette and Raspberry Ripple .

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Embellishments: Pearl Basics Jewels; Primrose Petals Stitched Satin Ribbon (retired); some twine leftover from a Paper Pumpkin valentines kit from last year (I save everything)

Tools (the star of this show!): Curvy Corner Trio Punch; Bloomin’ Hearts Thinlits Die; Extra Large Tag and Boho Blossoms Punches (retired),  and Hearts A Flutter Framelits Die (retired)


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

 

A bright Valentine greeting

AR ValentineThe Global Design Project has a great sketch this week and I used it to showcase yet another cut from the Bloomin’ Hearts Thinlit Die, AR Valentine-3which I’m over-the-moon in love with. This time, however, the heart went inside my card, and some retired, but still well-loved dsp took centerstage on my card front.

GDP022I’ve interpreted the sketch pretty strictly, except I went square with my card shape.  My card is for the mother of a dear friend, and I wanted something with vibrant colors to brighten her day. I’ve got a lot going on here with the vivid colors, the shapes, the tactile experience of the popped up flowers, twine, and layered doilies, and the shiny sparkle added by AR Valentine-4the gold doily and the Wink of Stella added to the entire face of the Daffodil Delight heart cutout inside. As with all my cards, there’s a good mix of old and new items here; and I always love seeing how well all my crafting “stuff” coordinates as a project comes together.

And since I’d created an odd-sized card, I had a great reason to make my own AR Valentine-5envelope (and use up even more of my hoarded huge stash of dsp). I love all the gingham and floral print going on here. I hope it made the recipient’s heart smile as much as it does mine.


Here’s what I used: (all SU! unless otherwise stated)

Stamps: Good Greetings (retired) and a couple of heart shapes from last year’s My Paper Pumpkin Valentine set.

Inks (and other liquid-y stuff): Memento Tuxedo Black; Melon Mambo, and Smoky Slate pads, Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker; Clear Wink of Stella Glitter Brush

Paper: Gingham Garden DSP (retired); Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, and Whisper White Cardstock; Gold metallic heart doily from this year’s MPP; a white paper heart from the Valentine’s goodies section at my local craft supply store.

Tools: Curvy Corner Trio, Sweetheart, 2″ Circle, and 1-3/4″ Scallop Circle Punches; Bloomin’ Hearts Thinlits Die; Boho Blossoms Punch (retired)

Embellishments: Some sparkly twine and a Blushing Bride pearl (both from MPP kits)


 

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

Silver and Blue Mojo

Shiny Blue Valentine-4Blue is my favorite color, so it’s not surprising that even though it’s far more normal to see pinks and reds this time of year, my valentines often end up in some form of my most loved shade.  I did a silver and blue valentine last year too (here), Mojo434but this year’s is even shinier, I think, as I play along with Mojo Monday this time.

Shiny Blue Valentine-2-1

The MM sketch just kinda yelled “doilies” to me, so that’s the way I went, and built the rest of the card around these blingy-things. I layered the doilies with several flower punches and pieces from the Rose Garden die.
Shiny Blue Valentine-5

I’ve had a stash of blue glitter paper for months now and the pages are slowly working their way through my projects. This time, I added a touch of embossing on my sparkly-blue panel (hard to see in the photo) to add even more texture.

Right now, there’s zero stamping on my card, because I realized it didn’t have to be a Valentine’s Day-only greeting. I’ll add some stamping inside the card and probably another little stamped banner on the front when I decide where it’s going.


Here’s what I used:Shiny Blue Valentine-2

Paper: Whisper White Cardstock; Sapphire Blue Glitter paper and some retired dsp from my stash; Silver Metallic Foil Doilies

Tools: Rose Garden Thinlits Dies; Curvy Corner Trio, Flower Medallion, and Pansy Punches; Blossom Punch (retired); Happy Heart Embossing Folder

(Just paper and lots of tools used for this one.)


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!