Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Mistletoe - just for kissing?

In ancient times, both the Druids and the Romans hung sprigs of mistletoe in their homes and places of celebration to bring good fortune, peace and love.  It's a great tradition, I'm glad it has survived this many years. The kissing under it is good, too!




Here are two cards that celebrate love. Both were fun to create and will be passed on with love to a deserving recipient. Just love the hedgehog topper!


One of my final Christmas cards this year. The words are die cut three times and layered for dimension and the background is a foiled image I created using my Minc and an Anna Griffin image card. The cardstock is more of a cranberry color than a Christmas red. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Russia Interfered...





Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"Tis the Season

With all the Thanksgiving leftovers gobbled up and the December festivities heating up, 'tis the time to celebrate, reflect and again count blessings. We will say goodbye to 2017 and embrace all the hope of a new year and what it can bring. Let us continue to shine a light on the positive things in our lives, on the unsung heros in our communities, on all of those around you who make a difference or have interesting and warm stories to tell. 


Here are a few greetings I've been working on.


Florals for Mother's Day and birthdays.


This floral stamp was a freebie from Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine. I stamped it on watercolor paper using Memento Pearlescent Beige pigment ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder in order to try my hand at watercoloring the lovely bouquet. I used a combination of distress inks and Prang watercolors as my mediums. 


Thinking spring - just a little.

Monday, November 27, 2017

"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?" –Bob Hope

Only four weeks to go; my family and I have planned a very different Christmas this year. No gifts except ones for those who are still looking for Santa. Instead we are planning a four day family mini- reunion at a beach house on the ever stormy coast. We'll enjoy a Christmas movie marathon with lots of hot cocoa and popcorn and board games and hopefully some walks on the beach. From Friday until Tuesday there will be no wi-fi to lure the teens away. Hope we don't all kill each other.... There will be 22 of us from 6 months old to "older" grandparents. Togetherness!

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


A simple birthday card to add to my stash. The oval is mounted on an action wobble spring and moves like crazy. Colored with Distress markers and added some sequins for pizzazz.


This card is part of my "scrap busting" creations. I made this for Valentine's Day. Once every few weeks I try to use up my paper scraps in a creative manner. These hearts were all die cut from scraps in my red paper bin. I ink splattered the background with distress ink (Picked Raspberry) and just layered on the hearts.  Of course, there's a bit of Wink of Stella glitter just for fun.



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Are you thankful?

If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.

I try to share the best of me through my crafts, mostly my greetings to my family and friends. I try to put a bit of myself into every card I make. Here are a few of my most recent creations. Sometimes I have a specific recipient in mind and at other times it's a holiday I'm thinking of or just a state of mind. I'm dabbling with watercolor and just love that medium.


This card was made with items from the Simon Says Stamp November card kit. It's actually for Easter as is the one below.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Pacific Storms

A high wind warning is out for most of western Washington this afternoon, just the first in a series of storms expected to pound us with wind and rain for a few days. Nice weather to hunker down inside and craft like crazy.
I have been working on cards and scrapbooks - always trying to keep ahead of holidays and birthdays and the unexpected occasion that pops up. Our family had a wedding(an elopement) sneak up on us lately. I had to hurry up and create a card for the adventurous couple.


This is the card I made for them - not conventional, but neither are they.


This one is a fall birthday card for one of my grandsons.


I played with my Minc foiling to make this Christmas card. I used both the mirror foil and the glittering foil for this card. I'm still learning the secrets of foiling and not positive of my results all the time but I'm okay with this one. You can't go wrong with red.

Maybe I'll have more to post after the storms!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

November

November comes
      And November goes,
      With the last red berries
      And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
      And dawn coming late,
      And ice in the bucket
      And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
      And the kettles sing,
      And earth sinks to rest
      Until next spring.
~Elizabeth Coatsworth 

  November is here and with it the time for remembering the things that deserve the most gratitude. It is the season for enjoying the fullness of life and sharing the bounty of the harvest with others. 

I have been working on Thanksgiving cards again. The beautiful images on my cards are free printable images I found online and adapted for use on my greetings. I downloaded the images and printed them on cardstock.  Using various dies I cut the images, Choosing the background papers was probably the hardest decisions I made - just wanted to do justice to the lovely images.  My embellishments are simple - ribbon, fiber string, pearls and a few dazzles stickers. Hoping my recipients will enjoy them.





Monday, October 30, 2017

I REALLY DON'T LIKE HALLOWEEN ALL THAT MUCH By Mary Ellen Smith



Just round about midnight on that All Hallows Eve

I felt something tugging on my jammie sleeve.

I woke up quite slowly, my vision was blurred 

And that’s when I heard what I heard what I heard. 

I bolted back under my blankets and sheet. 

Curled up my legs and drew up my feet. 

I lay there in darkness my eyes open wide

When I felt that same tugging now at my side.

I rolled away quickly from that haunting touch

Rolling quite frenzied, I rolled way too much.

Off of the bed then I fell with a thump

Hitting the floor and my head with a bump.

Rolled up like a sausage in a pancake vice

I tried to stand up not just one time but twice

But before I could get my feet firm on the floor 

I heard the slow groan of an old creaking door.

"Cre- creak" said the door as it slowly swung wide

I hopped about looking for someplace to hide.

"Creeeea-creak" the door said, ever louder it grew

As I managed to hide behind drapes that I drew.

The light from the window begged me to look

Urged like the ending to some scary book.

My arms were quite useless there bound to my side

So I tilted my head for a view from my hide.

The room looked so eerie in the filtered moonlight

And I shook from the fear on that Halloween night.

The fear of not knowing what might be ahead

And that’s when I felt a light touch on my head.

I screamed with the scream of a frightened tom cat!

I didn’t know screaming could sound quite like that.

I screamed such a scream it rang both my ears

A blood curdling scream brought on by my fears.

And that is precisely when I awoke from my dream. 

I woke the cat, too, with my ear splitting scream.

He rubbed up against me. “Don’t worry.” He purred.

I was the sound that you heard that you heard.

Just had to pass it on. Happy Halloween. 


Here's a card featuring a Mary Ellen image.

Monday, October 23, 2017

FACTS PLEASE




Three thinking.

A great deal of our world works in threes. We think of our diety in three, the trinity, there were three wise men, three stooges, three blind mice. Triangles and pyramids get their power from three sides. Most stories have a beginning, a middle and an ending. Thinking in threes may help you to compose a layout or scheme for your cardmaking. I try to utilize the concept as much as I am able for a more eye pleasing composition on my creations. Sometimes it's a matter of colors, sometimes it's a visual variety that I'm looking for and sometimes it's to lead the eye to a focal or to unite separate parts into a whole.  Here are a few cards I've made lately - can you find my "three thinking"?



Of course, it isn't a requirement for every greeting I create but it is something that I've learned from watching some very talented artists and it really has helped me feel more capable when I begin a design.

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.

 Noel!

                                    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!