Thursday, October 12, 2017

Transition time.

With October's arrival, it's transition time. Temperatures are cooling and rain is starting to settle in again. This combination of change in the weather suits me just fine.
Time for warm comforting soups, hot tea and hot cocoa. Yum, bring it on!

My projects today are really a mixed bag of techniques. The wonderful fairy is a card topper (a freebie from "Cards and Papercraft" magazine) just popped up on a foam sheet over a very simple background paper. The topper is such a lovely piece of art. Added gold dazzles for the sentiment and corner embellishments for shine. Easy, peasy and done.

This seascape card was quite a bit more difficult. I used four shades of Ranger Distress inks to create the watery background. I started at the top with my lightest shade and blended each darker color as I moved to the bottom with a sponge blender tool. The jellyfish were stamped with Versamark ink and embossed with silver embossing powder. I wanted to try to recreate the translucent look of jellyfish I've seen at the local aquarium. My sentiment, coral and seaweed were stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink. Sprayed a bit of water to distress and added the clear bubbles for my final touch.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Trick or Treat and eat Pizza, too!

Yes, October is not only the month of Halloween but it's also National Pizza Month - what could be better?  Did you know the first official pizzeria in the USA opened in 1905 in New York City. Since then there's been no going back. 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month.  So, this month celebrate Halloween but also celebrate the joy of eating pizza. Sometimes on busy craft days pizza is just the right thing.

Here are a few cards I have been creating on my busy craft days.

These cards were made using items from the Simon Says Stamp card kit for September.  I also incorporated some items from my supplies. The background papers were included in the kit and are from My Mind's Eye. Just love the color combinations. The sentiment stamps are so versatile. For these cards I stamped with VersaMark ink and embossed with gold and navy embossing powder. The navy embossing powder was a part of the wonderful card kit, it's rich and has a pearly finish when heated. I die cut the flowers and hearts for the first card and plan on using it for Valentine's Day (maybe).  This has turned out to be one of my favorite kits from Simon Says Stamp - can't you tell?  I'm sure I'll be using many of the components over and over again.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific. Lily Tomlin

Kind of like not knowing what you what to be when you grow up... I still don't know. I'm already retired but my career did not define me as "what I wanted to be", I just was and am. I always disliked the question and try to keep  from asking the kids in my life that way. I just want them to DO whatever it is they are passionate about. Being retired has given me the chance to play nearly everyday with my crafts - right now that's my passion.

So here are the latest projects I've been working on.

A very simple birthday card (never have enough) in which I employed the "use up your scraps" mode. All the papers are scraps from other projects and the stickers are left overs I keep just because I might find a use for them. No inking on this one.

My photo has a reflection of light that is not great for displaying this card; I'm sorry. The background paper is a very shiny gold but not as reflective in real life. The plaid of this ribbon just called to be used in a Christmas card. I found the ribbon slide in my stash and started there. The red and gold ornament and stars stickers are Dazzles from HOTP. A quick simple greeting for the coming holiday season was very easy to put together.

Finally did some stamping in the creation of this greeting for Thanksgiving. My focal image is a cricut print and cut image I had uploaded a few months ago. Love his expression. The utensils and sentiment are stamped and embossed and my little pilgrim pig is surrounded by red enamel dots and gold glitter hearts. The background paper is from Paper Studio. Let me know what you think.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.

It's here and so far it's wonderful! After a few soggy days the sun has returned bright and shiny, full of warmth for my tomatoes.  I have so many tomatoes to ripen on the vine yet and I'm hoping for a few more sunny days at least. The longer I can keep them on the vine the tastier they will be.  Last season it was October when the harvest was complete and I made and canned tomato sauce.  That time is fast approaching this year.

More cards to display today. Lots of September birthdays consumed some of my stash so I've worked on birthday cards, Christmas cards and still more Halloween cards.

The background for this card is sponged on distress inks. They blend so well to make a beautiful sunset. I've only tried this technique a few times but I really enjoy the look.

Another masculine themed card for a birthday boy. Boots and hat were cut using my Cricut Explore. The papers I used are specialty papers; hammered gold from HOTP and a shimmer glitter brown from DCWV. The plaid background paper is from my paper collection and I'm not sure who the manufacturer is.

My latest Christmas card is another House Mouse creation. What fun it is.

Finally, another Halloween card. Last year our son was superman for Halloween so when I found this Dearie Doll digital image I knew I had to use it to create a card - just because.

My inspiration!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Equifax - wrong on so many levels.

You've probably heard by now that Equifax, one of the largest credit bureaus in the United States, had their databases breached in a massive cyberattack. The private data of an estimated 143 million Americans -- information like names, social security numbers, birth dates, even some driver's license numbers -- was stolen. These consumers weren't even necessarily Equifax customers. Equifax aggregates personal information and credit data from consumers all across the country. Now instead of taking responsibility for their failure to protect private information, Equifax is trying to get off the hook. They're doing it through  something called "forced arbitration." Forced arbitration is a clause companies bury in the fine print that protects them from liability. They can also prevent you from joining with other victims in class-action lawsuits. After Equifax announced this massive breach, they offered to allow people to sign up for their own credit monitoring service called TrustID. But anyone who signed up for this service had to waive their right to sue or join a class-action suit against Equifax.  They decided to remove the clause from the agreement for Trusted ID, but they still have an arbitration clause as part of their Product Agreement and Terms of Use on their main site. This is wrong on so many levels. We have no choice in the matter of the basic use of their product, our data is collected by them to be used by creditors. This isn't the way to do business. Equifax allowed private information from millions of consumers to be stolen. Americans need to know what they can do to protect themselves. Equifax needs to disseminate that information without attaching forced arbitration strings to it.

Now that I have that off my chest I'll show you a few cards that I've made

This is a card for Valentine's Day using a Paper Tole dimensional from HOTP mounted on a shiny background paper. Colors are red, silver and black with just a splash of white here and there. Sequins and ribbon add a little more sparkle.

This is truely the time of year for sunflowers. These are two different mediums I used to color the same stamped image. For the top card I tried watercolors on watercolor paper and I used colored pencils for the bottom card. The watercolors are way more intensely colored. I added Wink of Stella to the flower petals on both cards. It's hard to tell but it's there.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Crisp mornings - almost FALL y'all!

Had to put on a jacket when waiting for the school bus with our son this morning - just a little crisper but an indication that fall is coming. It's exciting for me as fall is my favorite season; love the scents, the colors, the harvesting, the gathering and just the feeling of autumn all around me. I was prompted to take down my butterfly welcome sign and replace it with a stacked pumpkin sign. No Jack-o-Lanterns yet just plain orange pumpkins.

Here are some Thanksgiving cards I've made. These are actually from last Thanksgiving but I've not displayed them here before and I thought I'd share as long as I was going on and on about autumn...  Giving thanks is another reason to love the season. Gratitude soothes the soul, especially in these trying times we are experiencing.

The Pilgrims image is a Dearie Dolls digital image as is the cornucopia. The middle card was stamped with stamps from Simon Says Stamp. I watercolored the apples and the pie is a pre-made chipboard die cut. I used a Spellbinder's die to cut the fancy flourished oval. Couldn't leave out the beautiful Paper Studio background papers - enjoyed those warm fall colors - still do.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Positive thoughts for Florida

We've been glued to CNN and MSNBC watching the coverage of Hurricane Irma,  Hoping this storm passes with no loss of lives in Florida. The destruction looks less than the islands at least so far - trying to think positive thoughts for all those going through this.  To all my family and friends in the southeast we are praying for your safety.

Wanted to share a few cards with you. These were created with females in mind. The fairy topper and background paper are so beautiful and both were free gifts from a Great Britain magazine I subscribe to. The pinks are so lovely and feminine. Just added a pale pink ribbon on the left side for an accent.

This is another House Mouse topper from my purchased CD. I printed the image on white cardstock and used my Wink of Stella brush pens to add the glitter. The pink cardstock is from Simon Says Stamp. I used VersaMark ink to stamp a Happy Birthday sentiment all over the pink cardstock to create a background for the foam mounted image. Also raised the square sentiment with foam tape and added Dazzles pink jewels embellishments for a bit of glitz.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Call for crafting...

Have you created something awesome and want to share it? Have you tried a new recipe, something surprising growing in your garden, sewn, knit or crocheted something with your creative hands? Or maybe you have taken a beautiful or striking photograph. Whatever your creation (G rated of course) please share it for all to see.  My creations are from many types but mostly paper crafts. My love of all things paper began as a love to scrapbook for my grandchildren and has evolved into making greeting cards. With a large family and extended family it keeps me busy and fulfilled. I also enjoy sewing and have made lots of projects and just last year learned how to can, pickle and make jams and jellies from the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and berries we grow in our garden.

Here are a few cards I've worked on lately.

 Very simple card but I used lots of  "tools" in the creation of this one. The white background was made with a Spellbinders embossing folder. The Thank You is die cut - I die cut it three times and glued the layers together to give the letters strength and dimension. Just love my new cactus stamps. I  put this image together using just a few of the stamps. They are colored with distress markers.  The oval and scallop edged oval are also die cuts.

So I guess you can see that I enjoy die-cutting. These lovely butterflies are all die-cut from scrap papers I had in my stash. Basically I was just making sure the dies worked and put together this quick birthday card. In real life the background paper is a light green - my photo skills are lacking - hence, the green pearl decorations. They really do look much better than the photo shows. Enjoy.

Monday, September 4, 2017

I love "House Mouse Designs"

 These designs created by Ellen Jareckie are  available as stamps and digital images for card making and personal crafting.   I have a few stamps and a three CD set of images I use in card creations and scrapbooking. They are so adorable - just love the expressions and humor in each and every one of the designs. Here are a few greeting cards I have created for my family and friends using House Mouse Design images.


                                    Beautiful design.                        

         Yum, fun!

As you can see I'm getting ready Christmas. My goal was to make at least four Christmas cards each month - I'm way behind. I tried to use background papers that worked with Ellen's beautiful designs and added bits of glitz and glitter when I could. Sure hope my recipients will enjoy these cards as much as I do. It's almost hard to part with them...  Still have many more to go.

© House-Mouse Designs. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Grateful & Blessed

Feeling very happy, grateful and blessed today.  The first week of school went well, the holiday weekend is here and the weather is perfect. A bright sunny forecast for the entire weekend is on; end of summer BBQ's should be amazing. The State Fair started on Friday, too. I'm sure people all over Washington are looking forward to the smells and sights of the fair. I know the kids are.
Feeling grateful has prompted me to work on some cards for Thanksgiving for family members near and far as we cannot all gather anymore. We may not all share in the feasts of the day but we do share in love and grateful hearts.

Just finished this card. Started with a digital image from Dearie Doll. It was already colored but of course I had to add some color and glitz of my own. The oval was cut using a stitched oval die from Simon Says Stamp. Acorns are Dazzles stickers and the ribbon  and background paper were in my stash. Love fall colors!

For this card and those that follow I played with my Cricut Explore. Employing both the cut feature and the print and cut feature helped me with designing these cards. The background papers are from Paper Studio seasonal pad and the embellishments are all from left over scrapbooking supplies. I love adding sequins and ribbons and a glittery shine with my Wink of Stella brush. What a great hobby!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

One project done...

Halloween craft number one is completed - another "jar" of items for witches brews or potions. With some help from my daughter this one features eyes. She found a bag of plastic eyeballs at the dollar store and I came up with the jar, the label and the fabric topper and twine. Label is mod-podged onto a recycled glass jar; it is a free printable downloaded from the internet. Do wish the interior eyeballs displayed better in the photo. Fun new decoration for my spooky "apothecary" shelf this year.

 Can't leave out Christmas as I did work on a Christmas card as well. Trying the "Use what you have" challenge I created this card from items in my scraps and stash. The image is one I've had for many years tucked away just waiting for the right opportunity. Very simple card, a strip of gold shimmer paper and the image backed with green paper and taped onto a precut white cardstock. Just a straight forward "Merry Christmas" sentiment inside.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Back to School = Happy Dance

Today is the first day back to school for our district - I'm doing a "Happy Dance" with lots of parents on my street. Our little guy got on the bus smiling and eager to go. We are blessed with a wonderful bus driver; she loves and is a fierce protector of all her little charges. They, in turn, love her. 
We were able to run errands and I even made it to my craft room for a bit today. I'm working on more apothecary jars for Halloween decorating. I'll publish a picture as I complete the projects.
Of course, I also finished two cards.  The nautical one is for my granddaughter and her husband who are at Great Lakes Naval station in Illinois and the other is a birthday card for my stash.  Both were quick cards. I found the clip art anchor on line, printed and cut it out to mount on the card with foam tape. Glued on the star sequins (making a few messes) and pretty much called it done. The anchor is more red in real life than it shows in the photo.

This garden window is a HOTP paper tole decoupage image. It is dimensional with three layers raised with foam tape. The wood plank design paper is from Simon Says Stamp and pink sequins from Pretty Pink Posh. Again, my photo skills are lacking and don't give justice to the lovely colors of the florals in real life.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Always give 100% (unless you are donating blood).

Just a little friendly advice for today!

It's been a busy week. We had appointments or commitments every day from Back to School Night, Occupational Therapy, a doctor appointment, shoe shopping. You name it, I think we did it. Makes it really feel like the end of the lazy days of summer. Our little guy starts second grade next Tuesday. We are all excited for the beginning of the school year. 

Praying for all the victims of Hurricane Harvey and hoping Texas will recover from this horrific storm soon. The devastation is so widespread and costly. Keep Texas in your hearts and minds, please give whatever you can to help.

My card today is a birthday card I created using a Digital image I found on the Internet. I added colors using distress markers and colored pencils. The balloon embellishments are Dazzles stickers backed by design paper. Fun card to make and right now I don't have a particular person in mind for it but it does have a masculine feel with the green plaid background.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Back to the craft room.

Summer seems to be beginning to wind down some. Mornings are just a bit crisper and it is taking a while longer for the heat to appear each day. The garden is producing it's fruits, I get to harvest a bit of produce nearly every day. Just sent a bag of cucumbers to my daughter so she can make another batch of pickles. I've already pickled enough for my little family for the entire winter. Just love to preserve the harvest in this manner. Glad I learned to can.
It's been a challenge finding moments to work on paper crafts this month but I have slipped in some sessions here and there. The cards I'm displaying today are my attempts to come up with some masculine feeling cards. I started with a Darice embossing folder with "Gears" as a background on a bronze shimmer paper. The embellishments were from Anna Griffin; leftovers from a kit I purchased a few years ago. Both were quick and easy and came together nicely. I will probably send them out as birthday cards - no inside sentiments yet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse Day

Most of the United States was able to experience at least a partial eclipse. My daughter and son-in-law took their daughter to Oregon to be able to be in the totality path. All agreed it was an awesome thing to behold.  Here is their commentary -

"An unforgettable experience. I understand now why people travel the world chasing eclipses to get it again for a few minutes. We met people from all over the planet in a tiny little town in central Oregon.

Sadly unprepared for the photography this is what we could do. With the naked eye the visual was about 15 times the width of the black circle - a glorious crown that stretched across an unbe...lievable area of the sky. It grew cold instantly as night fell and the stars came out. For two minutes the sky was governed by this... the corona of the sun. And then as suddenly it was over.

The next one in North America is in 7 years. In Mazatlan! Next time we will be more prepared."

Here is their photo.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Making Halloween cards...

So here are the Halloween cards I've worked on so far.  I know it's early but with so many grandkids I have to start early. I was able to use mostly all my "tools" on these cards. My Cricut Explore, my Grand Calibur and dies, my Misti, lots of stamps, inks, markers and even some water coloring. Love all the design papers that are out this time of year.

 Watercolors, markers

 Features smooch inks

Cricut Cut & Print

  Dazzles & Cricut