A Bright Valentine for PPA238


Whew! Didn’t know if I’d make it in, in time for this Pals Paper Arts Challenge. I really loved PPA238 Colorsthe colors for PPA238, though, so I had to do my best to play along. (I’ll regret this when it’s time to get up for the day job here in just a few hours, but glad I completed my mission!)  With Basic Gray, Pink Pirouette, and Rose Red, I knew I wanted some hearts, knew I wanted to use some stitching on my card, and knew I wanted to play with my new PP Blendies I received this week. Other than that, the card kind of shaped itself as I went along.


I used Watercolor paper as my base to play with my inks. I don’t pretend to be any kind of artist, but I really do love playing with PPA238-2colors, and getting the new blendies in the softer colors for Spring is exciting. I worked in the PP Blendies first, then water-washed in varying intensities of the Rose Red (using my finally-purchased Regals refills–how did I live without these before?). I stamped in some Basic Gray with various pieces of a couple of sets. I wanted to give my card both a vintage, “well-loved” feel, but also with a bright “bling” to it. This card is earmarked for a sweet great-niece who likes this kind of style…and who really does brighten my day. I hope this card will brighten hers!

Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps:  You Brighten My Day; Gorgeous Grunge, Butterfly Basics
  • Inks: Memento Black, Basic Gray, Rose Red, Pink Pirouette Blendabilities
  • Paper: Basic Gray Cardstock; Watercolor paper; a salvaged sheet of DSP in a Pink Pirouette pattern from a really old SU batch
  • Tools: Hearts a-Flutter Framelits, Sweetheart Punch; Occasions Paper Piercing Pack
  • Embellishments: Whisper White Bakers’ Twine, Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon (from a Paper Pumpkin kit); Silver 1/8″ Ribbon; 952,000 Rhinestone Basics Jewels (well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration–sure felt like it, though)

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!


Trash to Treasure: Two Twin Topiaries Touting Tutus


Ta-Da!  There, that was my quota of “T-alliteration” for at least a month! 🙂 I think I may be a bit punchy from exhaustion, but I finished another aspect of the upcoming baby shower and I’m definitely PLEASED as punch with the results.

This is a trash-to-treasure story because they started out the day in a sorry state. Although in great shape structurally, they were missing all but a bit of ivy-greenery and they were filthy Topiary Before(so filthy that I didn’t take a true “before” picture and instead waited til I had at least dusted off a couple pounds of dust and dirt). These were a cast-off from a move by another family member who knows I’ll attempt to recycle anything into craftiness. When we started talking about doing everything in “twos” for the shower, I knew I’d found the new incarnation for these sad little things. The pots were just a standard “clay pot color” til I shined them up with some Silver Metallic Stazon that I’d bought on clearance awhile back at my local craft store. I painted these at (my day job) work today on my lunch hour (ignore the stuff on the counter where I worked!) so they’d have plenty of time to dry before I started handling them so much. I also removed all the greenery sprigs and soaked and scrubbed and cleaned and revived them enough to re-use a lot of the pieces of them, too.  The spanish moss was a total loss, however, and had to be replaced.  Here’s the way they looked when I finished them at about 1:00 a.m.:


The color in the photo was impossible to get right with these two together, but one is in pinks and the other in purples (which you can tell better in the  individual photos below) to go along with the rest of the shower goodies.

Purple TopiaryAfter replacing the spanish moss Pink Topiary2on the cast-off topiaries, I covered the entire topiary post with tulle yardage and gathered underneath the styrofoam ball at the top, and then again at the point where the post attached to the clay pot. Then I added back the greenery sprigs, adding in some to help make it full enough.

I had found some lovely little silk roses in my chosen colors in the bridal section of the local box store–at half price (yay!) that were done like a garland. This was perfect to use on a topiary base because all I had to do was play around with the location of each rose bunch by moving the ribbon garland strand around til I had it where I wanted it, then secure each section of rose cluster with a florist pin.  The hardest part of all of this effort is that I’m 6-feet tall and was working with an item that was about 2.5-feet tall on a tabletop, trying to make sure it was all evenly spaced, not top-heavy, didn’t have any gaps anywhere, and looked good from all angles. This kind of stuff was a lot easier to do when I was 30 years younger and making stuff for the current mom-to-be as a newborn!

I tried to make these very, very similar, but with their own bit of personality–hence the dots and chevrons on the ribbon I chose to finish them off with, rather than totally matchy-matchy. (I wasn’t a fan of chevrons for a long time, but I think this ribbon may have won me over completely now. LOVE those polka dots totally, though!). In addition to the big, bold main bow, I snipped several lengths of ribbon and tucked them in (with straight pins into the styrofoam) among the greenery and roses to really make the whole thing pop with color and fun.

So, shower day is getting closer, and my to-do-list is getting shorter. Very happy with this project, but glad to have it done. Too tired at the moment to even look to see what’s on the agenda for tomorrow!

–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!

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!

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! 

Shiny Baubles

Ornaments 1

After playing with shiny stars for a couple of days, I was back to working on shiny Christmas ornaments. Thankfully, we’ve had several special orders for the “Ornaments for Life” my friend and I have been making to raise funds for Relay for Life, so you’d think I’d tied enough bows to last me a lifetime, just doing that. Instead, it’s inspired me to make some ornaments for gifts and personal use, too. But I definitely chose to go the non-breakable route on the base for these baubles, rather than the LOOKOUT, THAT’S GLASS!! of our Relay ornaments!

Ornaments 1-1

As with all things shiny, it’s hard to photograph the finished product.  Here’s a shot of some of the component parts, which hopefully show up better:

Ornament components

A 6-pack of shiny PLASTIC (read that: pet- and kid-friendly!) Christmas ornaments from the local crafts store, along with both some additional shine (from the ribbon with the medallions), and some decidedly UNshiny, more natural-looking elements (from the “Merry Christmas” cotton ribbon and the little pine cone picks), yielded a half-dozen very elegant-looking, yet rustic, happy additions for my sister’s already rusticated Christmas tree this year.  And easy-peasy they were: some hot glue, a bunch of ribbon, a base-bauble … and done!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

A forest of tabletop trees

Bowdacious Relay 2014

As we concentrate on selling our handmade ornaments for my Relay for Life team, I’m getting ready for a couple of arts and crafts fairs that are happening toward the end of the month. I’ve spent a LOT of time with ribbon, glass orbs, and even more time planning. But, just for ME in all of this, I wanted to make a trio of trees to adorn the crafts tables. I’ve been inspired by fellow stampers to make the paper trees, and I’ve seen the burlap ones everywhere this year. I thought they’d be lovely additions on our tables, and then I’ll have some decorations all set to go…for ME!

Christmas Tree Table Decor 1

All three tree bases are the papier mache ones I found at my local Hobby Lobby.  I used retired SU Christmas dsp on both of the paper-covered trees.  And both of them have all that fabulous dsp cut out with the Tree Punch in the holiday catty. I bet I punched 3 billion trees to cover these two…well, at least my hand felt that way after awhile. But it was so worth it–the punching went very fast and then I had the perfect pieces to layer and create with.

The colors used on all trees reflect the more “natural vibe” we’ll be striving for in our crafts-table setup…Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler, Baked Brown Sugar, Old Olive,  and some Gumball Green in Tree 1.  Tree #1 also has retired lace ribbon and a little bow of Very Vanilla Seam Binding at the top.

Christmas Tree Table Decor 2Tree #2 is edged along the bottom with a row of the retired ruffled ribbon and topped with a burlap “bow” and some streamers of 1-1/4″ Burlap Ribbon and some retired tulle ribbon. I save everything and eventually use it up somewhere. All these items worked together so well–color-coordination and “feel”.  I think they ended up with a timeless and traditional-Christmas quality.

My burlap-covered tree was a big ole “ouchy” to put together. At least the “base” of it was. After covering the plain papier-mache with a camo-styled wash of Cherry Cobbler, Baked Brown Sugar, and Mossy Meadow inks, I used a glue-gun to attach both some of the SU 1/4″ Burlap Ribbon and some box-store wider, open-mesh ribbon. I interspersed the two, to give it an even more textural look, and it was using that open-mesh ribbon that …um… kinda toasted my fingertips. I let out a couple of genuine screams a couple of times when I found the still too-hot glue with my skin instead of the ribbon!

Christmas Tree Table Decor 3

Thankfully, I survived the base layer and was able to attach my massive amount of very-randomly placed buttons with glue-dots. I’ve got a stash of buttons I save for exactly this kind of project… some of the green ones, in particular, are likely 20 years old!!…so this project is vintage in the very real sense of the word.

Atop the tree, I dangled some Linen Thread adorned with more buttons and then added some tulle streamers, a Burlap bow, and an Early Espresso Seam Binding bow atop that. I went through a bunch of ribbon on this one!  All this layer of bow-dacious effort is attached with some more of the dreaded hot-glue. I managed to NOT burn myself when I added this crowning touch.

I’m looking forward to adding these into the table scheme, both at the crafts venues, and later at home. I must remember to photograph both settings to see if all this work paid off!

Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Inspired by Hope

Keep Calm and Fight OnWhen I discovered Pinterest a couple of years ago, I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven.  I go down so many rabbit holes online at times, I had probably 30 million bookmarks of pages I wanted to remember. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration, but not really much of one. Pinterest now provides me with a much more easily categorized and retrieved VISUAL way of accessing all the things I want to remember for future use–all the wonderful bits of fun and decorating ideas and inspiration I find all over the internet.

Case in point: the lovely card here, a pink ribbon project dedicated to the memory of the crafter’s sister. Her card was such a poignant inspiration to me, because I think of my mother, who died from breast cancer in 1990, every time I see a butterfly. Since Mom loved a more “cluttered” style–and passed that and the love for everything vintage onto me–my card version is a lot less clean and simple:

BCA Ribbon of Hope

Although the colors didn’t photograph “true”, I’ve got Melon Mambo, Blushing Bride, and Pink Pirouette all over these Papillon Potpourri butterflies–some of which were stamped directly to the card, and others punched out with the Bitty Butterfly Punch and popped up to add some dimension and a sense of “flight”–a very important component of my inspiration card. One big Elegant Butterfly-punched image is used with the sentiment from Blooming with Kindness, which has been framed by a couple of the shapes from the Apothecary Accents Framelits–one of them modified by cutting the right tab off so it would be flush with the edge.  I’ve added some Rhinestone Basics Jewels to add a bit of sparkle to this explosion of pink wings.

To me “hope takes wing” with this card and reminds me of good memories of my mother–and that I’ve got two dear friends who fought this awful disease and won. Keep calm and fight on….and thanks for visiting my Little Corner Today!