Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sweet Treat Gifts

Hi friends! I L-O-V-E the holiday season. As a matter of fact, I would say that I love all the days before Christmas more than the actual day.  I totally love shopping for presents for others, baking (especially cookies), making special handmade gifts, & of course, making holiday cards. Don't get me wrong, the spiritual part of Christmas is more important than any of the gifts or commercial aspects but I just love 'spoiling' others! So- just a warning...I get real sappy this time of year.

Today, I want to share with you some more of the treats I made as gifts. More bread - another 9 loaves of banana bread for my hubby's co-workers. For my Stamp Club friends, I made a treat jars filled with tootsie rolls (12 of these babies!). You've probably seen these before- not a new idea, but I enjoy giving 'the girls' a little something more than a card for our December swap. The jar supplies are strickly Stampin' Up out of respect for my wonderful demonstrator. The jars are recycled Starbucks cold beverages jars that we sanitize & save throughout the year. (My youngest daughter who is in college does a good job of adding to my jar supply each year!)

I'm gearing up for a modified Project Life for 2013. So be sure to check back with me to see how I'm doing. I'm avoiding perfection & believe I've come up with my own solution on how to capture our lives.
Enjoy your holidays! Hugs, Marilyn

Monday, December 10, 2012

Food Gift Wrapping

Today I am sharing the way I wrap one of my favorite gifts to give- mini bread loaves! I love making & giving these little bits of baked goodness to friends with whom we don't typically exchange gifts. It's just a little something that let's them know they are special but it's not a big deal. Just a little, non-store bought gift so they don't need to feel like a return gift is necessary. That is the really important part for us- we are so blessed & don't want for anything.

The wrapping puts a special touch to it especially with a personalized handmade gift tag. The hand wrapping also helps keep the cost down as I use plain foil loaf pans without lids & plastic wrap versus the fancy foil with hard plastic lids or the ceramic pans that some of the discount stores sell now.

On these two loaves, I used some retired SU! designer paper  & ribbon in Baja Breeze and my tag stamp was from SU! Tags Til Christmas stamp set. The tag was tied with retired SU! silver elastic cord (circa 2008...sometimes my supplies seem to last for-evah!). The SU! DSP is a nice thickness and gives the gift a sturdy feeling that thin wrapping paper can't create. I use Sookwang double stick adhesive tape to secure the edges on the bottom. The DSP with matching ribbon & gift tag make such a nice presentation- at least IMHO (in my humble opinion).

Enjoy your holiday season! Hugs, Marilyn

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Hey there, Friends!
I hope you are having a good week. This week I have been catching up with friends that I haven't seen in a while.  I have been so blessed with good friends from different times in my life. Today I lunched with a girlfriend from my very first post-college job- we've kept in touch over the 30+ years & it is always so wonderful to see her.

My card today is for two challenges.

The Freshly Made Sketch #64 for this week was the design that I used. I have eight of these felt wreaths & I needed a sketch to accommodate. I think this FMS sketch fits the bill perfectly.

The colors I used were from this week's Color Throwdown Challenge #221. I'm so glad they chose Christmas colors because I'm still making my holiday cards. I love making Christmas cards- my favorite kind of card to make. I have so many Christmas stamp sets...I'm downsizing my stamp collection, but I can't part with any of my holiday sets. And look I barely used any stamps here...go figure!

That's it for me! Have a great weekend!
Hugs, Marilyn

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Come to Bethlehem Cards

Hi Friends! Today I am sharing some cards I made recently with the Stampin' Up stamp set called "Come to Bethlehem". I was experimenting to determine which card to make in duplicate or mass production style (& getting DH opinion too). I intentionally did not add pop-up elements or many layers so the cards would be postal friendly.

The papers are: Concord Crush & Poppy Parade cardstock and DP (retired) & Old Olive. I used the new Champagne glitter paper in the SU! holiday catalog on some. Gold embossing powder and Concord Crush for the image. The ribbon on third card is a retired SU! ribbon package called Jersey. I added a rhinestone on the star on the non-embossed cards.

I ended up liking all of them & for different reasons. Some of which has to do with using retired supplies- LOL! but seriously!! DH's choice was the first one. There is something regal and Christmas-y when gold and purple are together.

What do you think? Have a great week! 
Hugs, Marilyn

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm Back & with a Holiday Card

Hi there, Friends!

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. We sure did- both our daughters made it home for a long weekend.  I've been MIA from Blogland for a few weeks - busy with job interviews (nothing yet) & having the interior of our home painted. With a two story entry foyer, the hubby said "call professionals'. Isn't he smart?! So that's where I've been. But I have been making holiday cards...nothing out of the ordinary & some case'd, but I'll post some of my creations over the next few weeks in case any spark your creativity.

My card today is for the Splitcoaststampers color challenge (CC403) to use Gumball Green, Real Read and Basic Gray. Great combination, don't you think? I used my new stamp set from the SU! Holiday catalog called Winter Memories. My background is Basic Gray stamped on white using Stampabilities Wood-grain stamp.I've had that stamp for a long time & it never gets old...just a classic wood grain.

Thanks for stopping! Hugs, Marilyn

Stamps: WInter Memories (SU); Woodgrain (Stampabilities)
Ink: Basic Gray, Basic Black, markers (SU)
Paper: Real Red, White, Gumball Green, Basic Gray (SU)
Designer paper: Christmas Plaid (Paper Pizzaz) 
Accessories: Holly punch (MS), 1/4" circle punch (SU), green twine (MS), gray white twine (Twinery)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Holiday Card Fun

Hello again, friends! I hope you had a nice week and Halloween. Lots of fun in our neighborhood. Today I am posting one of my first holiday cards for two challenges. I used this week's sketch, #59, from Freshly Made Sketches; see below.

The second challenge was the Dynamic Duos challenge to use Gumball Green & Raspberry Ripple. Nice holiday color combo, don't you think? I like these cute images from Inkadinkado called Santa & Elf. I hope you like too. Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mummy's Here

HI again! It's my second post today because I didn't get this card posted yesterday. Scroll down for my Colour Q and Sketch for you to Try card. We did have a great yesterday- even though it did not involve stamping. We got a lot accomplished around the house. We will be painting on our main level soon (before Christmas) & we spent a lot of time at the paint store trying to pick out a color. Plus we got other supplies for some other home improvements projects. 
My card, another Halloween card was made using the Mojo Monday 264 sketch

All supplies are Stampin' Up except the large scalloped circle which was made using Marvy punch.
Have a great week! Hugs, Marilyn

Going Batty

Hello! My card today incorporated a sketch challenge and a color challenge; I love to combine these two types of challenges. Anyway, the sketch is from October's Sketch for You to Try by Jen del Muro on her site
Interesting sketch, huh? Im anxious to view all the submissions to see what the other stampers did with it. I used the Colour Q #160 challenge calling for Rich Razzleberry, Tangerine Tango, Kiwi Kiss, Black and White. My Rich Razzleberry looks a little more like a wine or a maroon; I had trouble with capturing the true color with the non-sunlight lighting.
Have a great day, friends! Marilyn

Stamps: image-Studio G ; sentiment- SU!
Paper: Rich Razzleberry, Basic Black, Tangerine Tango (SU), White (Neenah)
DP: Echo Park
Ink: Jet Black Stazon (Tsukineko), SU markers
Accessories: EF-Lacy Brocade, bat punch (SU)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Farewell CPS

Happy Weekend, friends! My card today was made for the very last CPS challenge- pick your favorite sketch. That would be a challenge to pick just one favorite from all the super CPS sketches. I did settle on the one below, CPS222. As sad as it is to see this blog go, I am happy for Tami Mayberry. I admire her for letting go of something she loves, the CPS blog, in order to make room for new exciting adventures in her life. I am also very excited as she will be working on Project Life which has become a recent interest of mine. Good Luck, Tami!!
I also used the colors from this week's Color Throwdown Challenge (CTD215) to use Pumpkin Pie, Certainly Celery, Almost Amethyst & Black. 
I'm almost done with my Halloween cards & I'll be posting them every day between now and Halloween. So please come back soon. I really appreciate your comments & your friendship.
Hugs, Marilyn

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Not So Scary" Foursome

Happy Thursday, Bloggers! I hope you are having a great week. More Halloween cards from me. For those Halloween cards to arrive at their destination on time, they need to be in the mail by Saturday. So I hoping to finish the remainder by tomorrow. This card was made for the Pals Paper Arts (PPA 145) challenge. This week it is a sketch from Margaret Moody as shown below.

Pretty cool sketch, don't you think? I am sure that I will use it again; love the banner!

I've mentioned that I am on a buying moratorium, it is partly financial (to save a few dollars but no need for alarm there is still food in the pantry!) and partly to downsize or better put 'rightsize' my supplies. My studio is overflowing & it is hard to find my creativity in all of "the stuff", hard to keep organized, and thus at times, it is hard to find a clear horizontal surface to make a card. So anyway this stamp set is one of the culprits, it was one that I purchased because it was 'too good of a deal to pass up". Did I really need another Halloween set? Of course not! My Marshalls had the set of 8 Inkadinkado acrylics for $1.99 & they were labeled as past season. I thought they were cute & how could I pass up such a good deal?! Does this one stamp set take up that much space? No but five, ten or fifteen of these really good deals each month really does take up lots of room. So my mantra now is: "You live in the land of plenty, there will be more _(Fill in the blank)_ when you really need it." In other words- No Hoarding, no buying just because it is a good deal. 

I'd love to hear your strategies on keeping your supplies in check. If I get lots of ideas, I will devote an entire post to the topic. Feel free to email me if you'd like to remain anonymous.

Have a great day! Marilyn

Stamps: Trick or Treat (inkadinkado)
Paper: white (Neenah), Black and Only Orange (SU)
Designer Paper: Happy Halloween (Echo Park) - another really good deal but I don't recall the details
Ink: Jet Black Stazon (Tsukineko); SU markers
Accessories: Black Grosgrain ribbon (retired SU)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chevron Witchy

Happy Monday, friends! Here is a card I made last night. I'm several cards short on the number I need for Halloween. I addressed my envelopes the other night & then counted the cards I already had on hand...darn- more envelopes than cards.

The sketch I used was from Freshly Made Sketches (FMS57). This is a sketch that is very versatle. Just take a look at the gallery on the FMS website. Flip it, change the shape of the central image & you've got a completely different card.

I used the colors from the ColourQ challenge (CQC159).  

Great colors for fall or Halloween. I don't think you can tell but the little witch has got googly eyes, which will make one of my great nephews happy. This card also qualifies for the Raise the Bar Challenge (RTB116) to use a witch.

That's about it from here- lots to do today so I'll be back later tonight to check out your blogs. Have a great Monday!! {{{Hugs}}} Marilyn

Stamps Ghostly Ghouls (SU), sentiment (Studio G)
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Basic Black (SU), White (Neenah)
Designer Paper: Chevron (Paper Imaginations), Green-black stripe (MS)
Ink: Black Stazon, Markers- Pear Pizzazz, Tangerine Tango (SU) 
Accessories: Oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Bat Punch (retired SU), ribbon (Target $1 spot), Google eyes (Paper Studio)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Brilliant Blue- I love you!

Hello Blogger Friends! I hope you are having a nice weekend. Today I played all! It has been a long time since I've done that & it sure was fun. I visited with friend who was selling her handmade jewelry at an artist market which was located at one of the old parks with huge trees, gorgeous gardens & beautiful fountains. Next I went to a stamping event that another friend was holding. We made five cards- they were all so cool! The trees here in St. Louis are at their peak of fall colors & so driving was enjoyable too.

The card I made tonight was for two challenges. The first challenge was My Favorite Things' Wednesday Sketch Challenge (MFTWSC94) shown below. It is the first time I've played this challenge even though I have had good intentions of playing many times. They give away prizes & you can win even if you don't have any MFT stamps. How nice is that!?!! So check it out!

The second challenge was for the Color Throwdown Challenge (CDT214). The colors are Old Olive, Summer Sun, White & Brilliant Blue. Brilliant Blue is one of my very favorite colors. You may know that I love the color blue- any shade! And Brilliant Blue is at the top of my list. I have a few sheets of paper left & I am hoarding a partially used packet of 12 x12 for scrap-booking as it happens to be one of the High School's colors. (My youngest will be graduating with her undergrad degree in you think I will ever get the HS years done?! HA! Maybe I should just start using it too! LOL)
Yet, I digress...anyway, when I saw this challenge, I just had to play.

One last note- I am being frugal these days as I look for a new position, so what this means for you is this: you will see a lot of retired (or not brand new) papers and stamps. This is a good thing for me as I have so many supplies; I am actually quite happy as it will help me pare down and it will spur my creativity to look at my current supplies in a new ways. Not having lots of new things certainly won't keep me from enjoying stamping and card making! 

I hope you like my card, but even more importantly I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!
Hugs, Marilyn

Stamps: You're So Tweet (MFT- Pure Innocence), Tiny Tags (SU)
Paper: Brilliant Blue, Watercolor (SU), White (Neenah- Solar White)
Designer Paper: Prestwick, Playdate, Ski Slope (all retired SU)
Ink: Jet Black Stazon (Tsukineko), Ink- Brilliant Blue, So Saffron, Daffodil Delight, Pink Pirouette, Melon Mambo, Bashful Blue. 
Accessories: Blender Pen, Circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Brilliant Blue brads (SU); Yellow Bradletz (ProvoCraft- circa 2006)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mojo Found :)

Hi blogger friends! Happy weekend! My day started out wonderfully- with a cup of coffee in hand, I finished this card and several others. Doesn't get any better than that! My card was made for two challenges. The sketch is this week's Mojo Monday sketch shown below.

The colors are based upon the CR84FN challenge to use light pink, tan and cream as shown above.Be sure to read the quote- its from a famous Missouri author and humorist, Mark Twain, aka Samuel Clemens. Love it!

I'm happy with this card- mostly because I broke out of a long period of "lost mojo".  It took way too long to find my groove. This lost mojo happens to each of us at some point & my solution is to CASE others so that I keep stamping; in essence, "riding the storm out". When I have made originals during this stretch, it has been awkward & required lots of concentration. But yesterday & today, it all just came together- not much conscious effort, just flow. So it was a very happy day today! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend, friends!

Stamps: Floral Silhouette (Stampabilities); Sentiment (Studio G)
Paper: Blushing Bride, Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake (SU!)
Designer Paper: Blushing Bride- polka dots (SU!), Lost & Found- Madison Avenue (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Crumb Cake, Regal Rose marker (SU!)
Accessories:Circle & Curly Label punches (SU), Circle nestabilities (Spellbinders), Crumb Cake seam binding ribbon, Pink Pirouette Taffeta ribbon SU!). pink & white twine (The Twinery), button- stash.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Christmas CASE

Hey there friends! My card today is a CASE from Lynn Put who was the Featured Stamper on Splitcoaststampers this past Sunday. I started my card on Sunday afternoon but then got distracted getting ready for the girls to come home on their college fall breaks. (how did their empty rooms get so dusty?!) Anyway, her gorgeous card is shown below.

I just love Lynn's style. It is the style that I aspire to create. She uses designer paper frequently (me too!) & she often has a few layers but at the same time it is a very clean looking style. I'm not sure what you call the style, but I love it! If you have a chance to glance through her gallery you too will be inspired by her work.

I kept the diagonal DP & the Lovely as a Tree single tree. I kept the same basic design & the button. I substituted the paper layer with a paper & scalloped tulle ribbon. 

Thanks for stopping! I'll be back later tonight after I join a friend for dinner & then grocery shop on the way home. Hugs! 

Supplies: All Stampin' Up
Stamps: Lovely as  Tree, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Lucky Limeade, Cherry Cobbler
Designer Paper: Festival of Prints stack (current Holiday catalog)
Ink: Lucky Limeade, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Cherry Cobbler button, 1/8" Lucky Limeade organdy ribbon (2012 SAB enchantment pack),  Cherry Cobbler Scalloped Tulle (Current Holiday catalog)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Keep Calm & Shop On

Hi Friends! How are you? All is well in St. Louis. Our weather has turned cooler; probably like your neck of the woods. My DH and I are doing some re-decorating of our home- wallpaper removal, new paint, & new decor. We've also been downsizing. Since we started mid-summer, we've made three trips with a filled SUV to our local Goodwill. Since I am home full-time now, I thought I'd be creating cards & on-line checking out galleries & challenges, but I haven't been. I am having a lot of creative fun in our home though but I feel a little rusty with my card making...whenever I get away from creating daily then I am much slower & also more indecisive about the details. Let's see if I can get back into the daily routine. I enjoy it so much when I play in the studio every day!

My card today is for the CR84FN challenge. The colors are light blue, yellow and green. I chose to use River Rock as my background base to coordinate with my focus of green. I rarely use River Rock so I thought it would be good to switch it up. My DP is from my 6x6 pad of Basic Grey Picadilly. I just love this color combo from CR84FN- my Studio is painted in colors similar to Bashful Blue and Certainly Celery so I wanted to challenge myself to use a different green. I was so indecisive about the big brad, ribbon and blue floral embellishment that the card stayed on my desk for two days- I changed the embellishments numerous times & finally just made a decision on what you see here. Below is a close-up. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping! I'll be back later tonight to see your galleries,
Hugs, Marilyn

Stamps: Carry On (SU!)
Paper: River Rock (SU!), White (Neenah)
DP: Picadilly (Basic Grey)
Ink: Bashful Blue, Daffodil Delight (Sponged edges of nestie shape) (SU!)
Embellishments: Jumbo Grommet in white, Vintage Flower in Blue, 3/8" Old Olive ribbon (SU!), White Large Glitter Brad (hiding under flower) (Americal Crafts), Labels 4 Nestability (Spellbinders)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Poppy Polka Dots

Hi Friends! I hope you had a great weekend; I sure did. Yesterday we got to see our two daughters who are away at different colleges. It is always a special treat when we get to see one of them, but seeing both of them is extra special.

My card today is for the Freshly Made Sketches challenge as shown below.
I have been making an assortment of cards for my daughters so they can use them for their own needs. I mentioned several months ago that I call this project- CB42DD- Card Box for Two Dear Daughters as I have decorated a box that matches their decor & will fill it with these assorted cards. Often I have been using retired card supplies for the cards; & when making my monthly club swap cards I just make two more. I hope to have a nice collection for them by Christmas. Speaking of Christmas- have you started your cards?! I've made some but not near enough. Look for a Holiday card here later this week.
Hugs, Marilyn

Supplies: SU unless otherwise described
Stamps: Fresh Vintage
Paper: Poppy Parade, White (Neenah-solar white)
Designer Paper: Poppy Parade, Concord Crush
Ink: Concord Crush
Accessories: Punches: Modern Label, Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer, 1/2 circle, Blossom & MS Leaf. Circle Rhinestone brad & Poppy Parade ribbon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Denim & Burlap

Hi Friends! How are you? Happy Friday!
This card was made for two challenges. First, the CR84FN63 challenge (below) to use the colors denim, tan and brown. They are having an open call for Design Team members. I'm all over that! Wouldn't that be a blast to be a part of that awesome DT?!!

Several months ago I purchased two pairs of toddler jeans at the local Goodwill. I intended to make some denim flowers but I never got around to it. So when I saw the CR84FN challenge, I knew exactly what I wanted to do- make those flowers after all! I was struggling with the design when I decided to look out on blogland at some of the sketch challenges & found this week's Pals Paper Arts challenge, PPA143 (below) which was perfect for my flower idea! It's a great sketch, very versatile- I'd like to use it with my blossom punch later.

Hope you like my off-beat creation!
Hugs, Marilyn

Stamps: Vintage Labels (SU- retired)
Paper: Basic Brown textured, Very Vanilla (SU!)
Designer Paper: Basics Manilla (Basic Grey)

Ink: Vintage Photo Distress Ink (Ranger)
Accessories: Denim, Burlap material; Corduroy Brad (Eyelet Outlet), Dahlia nestabilities (Spellbinders), Pop-Pom ribbon (stash), Curly Label punch & 1" circle punch (SU)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lavender Sympathy

Hi friends! This card was made for the CR84FN challenge to use lavender, peach and a neutral & I chose vanilla. They are also having a DT open call. I would so love to be a part of this design team. Check it- there is still time for you to throw your hat in the ring. I am not much of a lavender color gal although it is one of my most favorite scents. That's it from here! Have a great evening! Hugs, Marilyn

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Images: Reason to Smile & Teeny Tiny Sentiments (SU!)
Paper: Groovy Guava (retired SU!); Solar White (Neenah); DP- Dreamcatcher (Sparky & Marie)
Ink: Blush Blossom, Lavender Lace, Sage Shadow (SU!); Black Tuxedo (Memento)
Accessories: ribbon (American Crafts), flowers (Prima), pearls & tulle (stash), Small Labels & Fleur de Lis Rectangles (Spellbinders)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy Bark-day

Hi there friends! I mentioned recently that I'd be around a little bit more & that is because I am in-between jobs. So I am home, keeping busy looking for a new position that won't require travel and 60 hour work weeks & also keeping busy by doing much needed jobs around the house. And while I am home, I get to spend time with my little dog. She's adorable, but she is a terrier which means she is a 'barker' dog; so "Happy Bark-day"  has a new meaning for is every day.

My card today was made for two challenges over on Splitcoaststampers; the sketch challenge from today SC401 which is shown below. The other challenge was the SCS color challenge from yesterday, CC391, to use Basic Gray, Chocolate Chip and Gumball Green.

 I used the cute stamps from Paper Smooches called Birthday Buddies- love these adorable characteres. My DP is from the DCWV Green stack. I colored my dog with SU! markers- retired Creamy Caramel & Going Gray & Gumball Green for his hat. The card base is Very Vanilla & the other cardstock is Basic Gray, Chocolate Chip and Gumball Green.
Have a great evening & thanks for stopping over! 

Hugs, Marilyn