Saturday, December 10, 2016

Checking In With a Few Cards

Hey there!

It's been quite awhile since my last blog post so I thought I should pop in and share a few recent cards I've created.

This first one took me all day long but I think the end results were worth it. I used Hero Arts' gorgeous Antique Poinsettia stamp. Love coloring it with Copic markers! I added a bunch of white dots with a gel pen for a snowy effect. The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp.

Have you seen the newest, DieCember release from Simon Says Stamp? It's filled with fabulous products to celebrate our love of die-cutting! This next card uses the new, Curly Streamers die set. I cut out the two different streamers which come in the set, a few times each, with some glitter paper and added a sentiment. The silver gel pen dots add a bit more fun! This set could be used for many different occasions - birthdays, New Year's, retirement, or any kind of celebration.

And here is another new product from Simon's DieCember release. It's called Corbel Border and there are so many possibilities with this die! I cut it four times acros a panel, then added that cut-panel to a card base, which was ink-blended with some rainbow colors. So fun!
 On both of these last two cards, I used a wonderful stamp and die set from Simon Says Stamp called, You Matter.

That's it from me today. I hope you're all getting finished making your holiday cards! Mine are all done, stamped, addressed and mailed out! Feels so good to be ahead of the game this year! (Another reason to be grateful for retirement.)

Hugs and happy stamping!
Barb ♥


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Kathy's 30-Day Coloring Challenge Blog Hop!

Hi there!

Welcome to my stop on the Daily Marker 30 Day Coloring Challenge blog hop!

Today I'm part of a THREE DAY blog hop to jump-start your creativity. Bloggers are up today, with Instagramers hopping tomorrow and Friday. If you're new to the coloring challenge, or have any questions, you can refer to this post. There you'll see more details by watching Kathy's, "Getting Started" video. 

If you are coming from the talented, Dana Kersey Joy's blog, you are in the right place. To start at the beginning of the hop, go to The Daily Marker blog here.  

GIVEAWAY : 12 GOODIE BAGS ! That’s TWELVE CHANCES TO WIN during the three day hop. The more you comment on each hopper's blog or instagram, the more chances you have of winning. Winners will be chosen randomly FROM THE BLOGS and INSTAGRAM hop comments. The full list of winners will be announced on Wed. Nov 14th 9 am. EST at (contest closes on Nov. 13 at 11pm. EST)

So let's get started! I first want to share one of the ways I like to color. Since my craft area is not very close to where my hubby likes to watch sports, I needed to find a way to color comfortably, in a recliner chair that I sit in, when watching with him. (I love sports too!)

I found this lap easel on Amazon that works perfectly!

In the photo above, it's sitting on my desk but I really only use it when I'm sitting in the recliner. It's a large chair, so I can bring over my Copics or watercolor markers and they fit easily, right next to me. The easel has saved my neck and back from getting stiff and achy, which is such a relief!

Sometimes I don't have enough time to create an entire card but that's okay! Kathy always says that even just 10 minutes of coloring is good for you. And that is so true! I always feel better if I've colored, even if it's only for a few minutes each day. For the hop today though, I had the time to not only color but create a card too - yay!

I love this pretty set from Simon Says Stamp! It's called, Poinsettias and it's really fun to color! I white embossed the images on a piece watercolor cardstock then used Zig makers for the water coloring.

I hope you'll all find some time to color each day this month, even if it's only for 5 or 10 minutes. It relieves stress, it's so relaxing and it's fun too! 

Don't forget, if you're sharing your coloring on Facebook or Instagram, make sure you use the hashtag #thedailymarker30day. Click here to check out their Facebook group, in case you'd like to join.

The next stop on the hop is the amazing, Sonja Kerkhoffs!

Thank you for the visit and happy coloring! ♥

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Simon Says Stamp Blog Hop Winner!

Hi everyone!

Just a short post today to announce the winner of the $25.00 gift card to Simon Says Stamp, from my stop on the Believe In The Season blog hop.

The winner is. . . .


Wowzer!! I don't even know what to say except that each of your cards are amazing!! I just kept scrolling down and LOVING each every one!! So many different styles and I love them all!! Thanks for the inspiration!! 

Congratulations Patty! I've emailed you so please check your inbox (or spam folder if need be.)

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. I read every single one and love your feedback and kindness!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hero Arts Hostess Reunion Blog Hop!

Hey there everyone!

(If you're looking for my Simon Says Stamp, Believe In The Season blog hop post, click here.)

Welcome to my blog! I'm excited to be participating in the Hero Arts Hostess Reunion blog hop, celebrating products from their newest 2016 release and winter catalog!

I always enjoy getting back together with my hostess sisters! We share a love of Hero Arts and card making and we sure have had a blast preparing for this hop! I've got lots of wonderful, holiday inspiration for you.

If you're arriving here from the blog of the talented Anita, you're in the right place. If you need to start at the beginning of today's hop, which is day 2, click to be taken to Donna's blog here. If you missed day 1 of the hop, click to be taken to Virginia's blog here.

Hero Arts will be awarding 4 prizes!
---Today's hop:
1 winner will receive a $25 Hero Arts shopping spree, randomly chosen from comments on all stops along the hop 

1 bonus prize on the Hero Arts blog
---Yesterday's hop
1 winner will receive a $25 Hero Arts shopping spree, randomly chosen from comment on all stops along the hop 
1 bonus prize on the Hero Arts blog The more comments you leave along the hop, the better your chance of winner! One comment per person. Please comment by Sunday Oct 30 by 11:59pm PT for a chance to win.

Okay, now that all the details are out of the way, let's get started! I had so much fun playing with some of the wonderful, holiday stamps from Hero Arts' recent release! 

My first two cards showcase holly stamps from the clear set called, Happy Holly Days. On this first one, I used Copic Markers and added white dots with a gel pen and some sequins for a bit of sparkle. I do love coloring holly!

Here's my second holly card, using the same set but different stamp. Again, colored with Copics. I love that you can take the sentiments from this set and create lots of different ones!

Boy do I love these amazing ornaments from the, Ornaments Stamp and Cut set! I heat embossed them in white, cut them out and colored them with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers. I just had to add some sparkle with Wink of Stella because ornaments should definitely sparkle! :) The sweet sentiment comes with the set, along with a couple of others.

And last but not least, the Antique Poinsettia woodblock stamp. I ADORE it! Yes, I used my Copics again. I know, I know - but I can't help it - I love to color! This was the first time I've tried the hidden sentiment technique. I don't know why it took me so long. It's such fun and I love the results. The die cut sentiment is from an older Simon Says Stamp set that I thought went perfectly with this beautiful stamp!

That's it for me. I hope I've inspired you to get a head start making your Christmas cards, if you haven't already. Because the holidays can really sneak up on ya, can't they?

Okay, the next stop on the hop is my amazing, talented, sweet friend, Kathy Racoosin, at her blog, The Daily Marker. She is sure to WOW YOU!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Simon Says Stamp Believe In The Season Blog Hop!

Hey guys!

Welcome to my stop on the Simon Says Stamp, Believe In The Season blog hop! I'm excited to share my cards with you today!

If you've come from Anna-Karin's amazing blog, you're in the right place. The hop started here, at the SSS blog, so if you find a broken link, you can head back there for the full list of blogs participating.

Simon is letting each blog hop participant give away a $25 gift card to their online store! Woo, hoo! You just have to leave a comment below on this post, or on my Instagram post here by Wednesday, October 26, 11:59pm Eastern Time. I'll randomly select a winner from all those comments and announce it the next morning in a new blog post. Good luck!

This release is chock full of awesome holiday products! I've had such fun playing with some of them in the last couple of weeks, so let's get started.

For my first three cards, I used the adorable, Color Me Trees clear set.

So fun coloring these sweet trees with Copic markers and adding some white gel pen dots. I cut each piece individually (I didn't have the matching die but there is one!) and added foam adhesive for some dimension. Love how whimsical they look!

Is this tree fun, or what?! More, simple Copic coloring and a bit of shimmer added with Wink of Stella. I do like using non-traditional colors for Christmas.

For this one I used lots of water coloring. Distress Inks for the background and Zig markers on that fun, adorable tree.

I used the gorgeous, Nothern Lights Snowflakes die for this next card! What a beauty!
I die cut it out of watercolor cardstock and spritzed it with Peacock Feathers and Brushed Pewter Distress Spray Stains. Then I just added some splatters, a few sequins and the silver embossed sentiment. Easy and quick!

Last but not least, is the pretty Poinsettia clear set.
Before retiring, I worked in a floral shop and always loved the gorgeous, blue, sparkly poinsettias that would come in during the holidays. That's where my inspiration came from for this card. I colored the flowers and leaves with Copics. I then added a little bit of Multi Matte Medium to the edges of each pedal and sprinkled that with Clear Rock Candy Dry Glitter Distress Stickles. It gives such a pretty shimmer!

I hope I've inspired you and given you some ideas for using these fabulous products for your holiday cards! There are tons more goodies to be seen in this release! You can click here to head over to Simon Says Stamp to see the full release.

The next stop on the hop is my wonderful, talented friend, Shari Carroll!

Thanks so much for the visit! ♥

Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's Gonna Be a "Cute" Christmas!

Hi guys!

I thought I'd pop in and share a few Christmas cards today. I usually start making them in October and never end up having enough. Hopefully, this year will be different and I'll get more of them made in time.

For this first one, I used an old favorite from Art Impressions. I decided to make a shaker card with these adorable snowmen. Colored them with Copic Markers.

This next one is so fun to color too! It's such a cute stamp from Simon Says Stamp!

Here's another adorable stamp. This one's from Penny Black. Are ya seein' a theme here? I hadn't realized, until I started writing this post, that almost all the Christmas cards I've made this year have a "cute" theme. 

Yup! Another cute one. This reindeer is from Art Impressions and he cracks me up! The nose is die-cut and placed on a mini action wobbler - so fun! This time I used color pencils.

And is this stamp and die set cute, or what?! It's from Simon Says Stamp and it has so many darling, vintage toy images! Again - fun to color!

I think I'm drawn to cute images this year because there are so many fun ones out there to play with. I hope you've all gotten a start on making your holiday cards!

Thanks for stopping by. Oh! And if you like sketch challenges, there's a good one going on until Thursday Oct. 13th, over in the Simon Says Stamp Flickr group. You can check it out here. There are two, $25.00 gift cards up for grabs! 

Hugs! ♥

Friday, September 23, 2016

Special STAMPtember Colaboration With Hero Arts!

Hey everyone,

I'm back today to share a fun card created with a new stamp set. It's a colaboration of Hero Arts and Simon Says Stamp for STAMPtember! 

It's a cute, little set with some fun images and lots of sentiments that you can mix and match, for your autumn and Thanksgiving cards. It's simply called, Happy Thanksgiving. Here's the card I created.

I stamped all the images with versaMark on kraft cardstock and white heat embossed each one. Then I added a bit of coloring with Copic Markers, attached a dark brown strip of cardstock to the right edge, added the sentiment strip and it was done.

Check out Simon's blog today for links to more inspiration using this set.  

Thanks for stopping by and happy weekend! 
Barb ❤️

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Tim Holtz STAMPtember Exclusive!

Hi everyone!

I'm excited to share the fun, new Holiday Stamp and Stencil Set created by Tim Holtz for STAMPtember!

I was lucky enough to receive this set to play with and I had such fun!

We were asked to send our cards to Tim, so he could do a video, sharing some of them. I sent two cards in the mail but for some reason, I only took a photo of one of them - doh! So here it is. 

I used the gorgeous stencil that comes in the set, with lots of yummy Distress Inks. I placed the stencil over my watercolor panel, smooshed some VersaMark ink through the stencil, white heat embossed the images and then the fun started with the Distress Inks. The sentiment is included in the stamp set.

After mailing my cards, I decided I needed to play with the stencil again, but this time with a more girly feel. :)

 Ahh, Spun Sugar and Worn Lipstick always make me happy. And I love pink for Christmas, don't you?

I promise I played with the stamp set too but that's the card I forgot to take a photo of! 

This stamp and stencil set are now available at Simon Says Stamp, but it's a limited edition, so ya might want to act fast before they're gone!

Be sure to also check the Simon Says Stamp blog all weekend long! They've got lots of fun planned, with inspiration, videos and a giveaway from Tim!

Thanks for stopping by today! ♥

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Simon Says Stamp Masterpiece Box Blog Hop!

Hi everyone!

Welcome to my stop on the exciting, Masterpiece Box blog hop with Simon Says Stamp!

If you've been following along, you should've come from Caryn Davies blog. Isn't she amazing?! If you just happened to stop by here, you can find a list of blogs participating in the hop, right here at the Simon Says Stamp blog.

You can also win a Simon Says Stamp gift card too! They will randomly choose one comment from each stop along the hop to win a $25 gift card! That's 22 different winners! Yay!

In case you're wondering what this Masterpiece Box is all about, it's an amazing, fun idea for all of you! The box is on sale at Simon and it's filled with 15, NOT YET RELEASED products, from 10 different, industry leading companies! Is that cool or what?!! Such a brilliant idea, don't ya think? Please note that the boxes are in limited supply, so once they run out, they will NOT be restocked.

I was sent some of the products that are included in the Masterpiece Box to showcase today and I'm excited to share my projects with you, so let's get to it!

First up is a card created using a beautiful stamp set from Hero Arts called, Color Layering Cardinal. I used some soft blue Distress Inks to shade the background but the rest of the card was done with just stamping.

Next, I have a planner page for you. I usually keep my planner pretty simple, with just a bit of stamping here and there. The adorable Penguin Planner and Panda Planner sets from Clearly Besotted are perfect and so fun and easy to use!

I couldn't share this post without using the gorgeous, Oh Happy Day stamp set from Simon Says Stamp! I did a bit of water coloring with Zig Markers on the flowers.

There is also a beautiful die set from Memory Box, included in the Masterpiece Box. It's perfect for using on gift tags for the holidays. And the sentiments on each one are from the Hero Arts Cardinal set I shared above. I plan on writing To: and From: on the back of each tag. 

I used some glitter and shimmery cardstock to cut out the dies. Then I did a little layering with the poinsettia portion and added Stickles along the edges for some extra sparkle.


I hope I've given you some inspiration for using some of the products in the awesome, Masterpiece Box! Your next (and last) stop on the hop is the fabulous, talented, Heather Hoffman!

Thanks so much for stopping by! ♥


Monday, July 11, 2016

Kathy's 30-Day Coloring Challenge Blog Hop!

Hey there!

I'm so excited and very honored to be a part of Kathy Racoosin's 30-day coloring challenge blog hop! This is Kathy's fifth coloring challenge and she wanted to get together with as many past Hero Arts hostesses as possible, plus a few other amazing guest artists, to help her celebrate The Daily Marker 30 Day Coloring Challenge! We all met years ago over in the Hero Arts Flickr group, which turned into an amazing place to share our love of card making and to get to know each other. I love that we've all kept in touch and stayed friends! ♥

If you'd like to start at the beginning of the hop, there is a list of participants on Kathy's blog here. If you're already hopping along, you should've come from Arlene's blog

And since we are all past Hero Arts hostesses, and/or worked with Hero Arts, they have decided to give away a $25.00 shopping spree to two randomly selected commenters along the hop! Woo, hoo! How fun is that?! Thank you, Hero Arts!

If you haven't heard about Kathy's 30 day coloring challenge, you can head to this post here, where she explains all the details. Anyone can join in, at anytime during the challenge. You do NOT have to participate in each of the 30 days. Kathy just encourages us all to take time to color, whenever we can, even if it's just for 5 minutes. If you miss some days of the challenge, you do not need to catch up. This challenge is meant to be fun with no stress!

So let's get to the reason for this fun hop - coloring! I love to color and I know many of you do too. I've recently learned so much about different coloring mediums, different techniques and different ways to color, by following the artists I love, taking online classes and practicing. So today, I want to share a card I created, using both Copic Markers and watercolors.

I used the Hero Arts' Lattice Cling Background Stamp (which unfortunately is no longer available but it's one of my faves) with Zig Markers for my water coloring. I then die-cut one of Simon Says Stamp's Stitched Circle dies and placed the negative portion over the water colored lattice piece. The flower and leaves were colored with Copic Markers and are also from a Simon set, called Handwritten Floral Greetings. I just chose very similar Copic colors to match my water coloring. And I adore that sentiment! It's from a set called, Uplifting Thoughts by Simon Says Stamp. There's a few pink and green watery paint splats here and there in the background too but they are a little difficult to see.

That's it for me! Your next stop on the hop is my good friend and fellow Minnesotan, Linda Wetterlin. She loves to use bold, bright colors, so I know you'll enjoy seeing her post!

I hope you all enjoy the hop and get inspired to color more often! Thanks so much for stopping by! ♥♥♥


Monday, May 30, 2016

Summertime and Flowers!

Hi guys!

Can you believe May is just about history? Why is it that time seems to go faster and faster, the older I get? Lol! 

It's my favorite time of year too. I love it when it's the beginning of summer and you know all those wonderful, warm, sunny, flower-filled days are ahead of you.

Speaking of flowers, I've been playing with a few lately - in my craft room and in my garden. Up first are a few from my pots on the deck. Makes me so happy!



Those dahlias inspired me to play with the new Altenew set called, Dahlia Blossoms.

I colored the flowers and leaves with Copics after a bit of masking.

I wanted to make another card with the same set but this time using my Zig markers.
Don't ya wish there were blue flowers like this in real life?!  
I've also been playing with the Mama Elephant, Organic Blooms set. First with Copics. . . .

. . . . .and then with Zigs again. 
The "dream" die is from Simon Says Stamp.

I'll leave you with a few photos of my deck. If someone is looking for me, this is usually where I am during the summer months. (Unless I'm makin' a card)
 I'm planning on painting those two chairs in lime green. I have another large, Adirondack chair, which I'll be painting orange! Then everything will coordinate with my chair cushions around the table.

I painted the bench last year and absolutely love it! The little pillows are so fun too! Can ya tell I needed more color in my life?! Seriously, my house is all neutrals inside and I'm so sick of it! But now I can head outside and enjoy some color!

And since we're talking about summer, if you're interested, there's a "Summertime Fun" challenge going on right now in the Simon Says Stamp Flickr group. Check out the details here. I hope you'll come and play along! As always, they're giving away two, $25 gift cards for the randomly selected winners!

Thanks for stopping by! ♥ I hope you are all enjoying the start of summer! And if anyone is wondering - I am still LOVING being retired! :)