Happy Independence Day!

Today we're celebrating Independence Day here in the United States.  This has always been my favorite holiday.  Even though I missed out on the fireworks last night (DD goes to bed long before they start...), I could still hear them off in the distance.  Today is the official holiday, so we're spending the day as a family before my parents arrive for the weekend!

I had to make another patriotic card and found inspiration for the layout over at the Muse Card Club challenge.  This week's muse is Jennifer Wills, one of the sweetest, most selfless women I know!  She's been visiting my blog for a very long time now and I love her comments and support!  Plus, she's a part of the CASology design team!  Seeing her work, it's no wonder one of her cards is the inspiration for this week's challenge.

I loved that she created a scene within a circle and used simple layers to add dimension!  Her card is a beach scene, but I created a little 4th of July fireworks scene since that's what was on my mind!

This is me in years gone by, enjoying the fireworks display.  In a few more years, it will be DD.  The fireworks image is actually a flower from SU's retired Betsy's Blossoms set!  I'd had the thought before that I should use it for fireworks, but never did.  I guess this year it was time to give it a go!  I'm absolutely loving Mama Elephant stamps and dies right now!  Their recent new release about did me in!

I am also joining in the Anything Goes challenge over at The Pink Elephant

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We'll be digging out the sparklers here at home this evening.  DD has to celebrate earlier than the rest of us since she's too little to really enjoy the after dark festivities.  At least she doesn't mind her mother dressing her up for a little bit!

Have a fabulous Friday!

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Life is a Beautiful Thing

Today, I'm happy to announce that I've been asked to guest design for Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps for the month of July!

For my first project as guest designer, I decided to use a clear stamp set and a couple of Prickley Pear's wonderful dies.

I started out by cutting a smaller square to use as my main panel.  I then die cut a flourish with the Flourish Die.

I layed the die cut on the square panel and lightly sprayed with some Heidi Swapp Color Shine Spritz.  I removed the die cut and the outline of the flourish remained.

Next, I created the ladybug image using the Dragonflies clear stamp set and the coordinating die.

Complementing Clear Stamp Set - CLR011 Dragonflies (Not Included)
To add a little interest and shine, I applied a little Crystal Effects to the ladybug.  I stamped the sentiment last and then popped up the entire main panel using foam dots.  So simple!

I hope you'll take a look at all the recent additions to the store!  There are so many fun summer stamps including flowers, cars, animals, camping images and sentiments to go along with them!

Life is interesting around the house.  It would seem we have a couple little inventors working away in the garage this summer!

A few drilled holes in a Planters Cocktail Peanuts container and you've got yourself a homemade sprinkler!

Have a spare yogurt container and a piece of cardboard?

You can create your very own marker holder!

You never know what bright ideas are hiding in the minds of children!  It's quite something what they come up with on their own if given the chance!

Have a happy Thursday!

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Happy Birthday, Darnell!

Today is the birthday of someone famous in the crafty parts of blogland for her wit, humor and genuine kindness. Who could be so well rounded, you ask?! It's the one and only Darnell Knauss!  Seriously, if you haven't visited her blog before, you must put it on your summer bucket list.  Period.  Ardyth over at MASKerade is having a birthday linky party for this special occasion, so you'll have to play along if you didn't already know the big secret!

Given her wonderful sense of humor, I thought Darnell might appreciate a little humor on her birthday card...

The inside says, "Happy 29th birthday.  Again!"  I'd never guess Darnell is anything more than 29!  She's got plenty of mischief in her eyes and a wit that doesn't quit!  If I'm half as lively when I'm 29 (again), I'll be tickled pink!  Thank you, Darnell, for giving us something to laugh about on a regular basis!  Laughter is, after all, the best medicine!

Have a very Happy Birthday...and many, many more!

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CASology 101: FLOAT


Here it is Tuesday again and a brand new cue word is up over at CASology!

With the Fourth of July coming up this week, I couldn't help but think of parades and the fun floats that roll by with people throwing sweet treats from them!  Thus, the reason my card has a line of marching children.  I'm sure I'm probably confusing a few people over on the challenge blog right now!

I clustered all the design elements into the lower right corner and was able to preserve white space.  I'd forgotten I had the blue gemstone stars, but figured they'd add just the right amount of interest to this one layer layout.  I had to add just a tiny bit of red too, of course, since the sentiment needed some patriotic support!

Be sure and stop by the design team and guest designer blogs this week!  Once again, they've been working hard at providing inspiration and would love to receive a little virtual wave from you!  Then, don't forget to link up your own creation on the challenge blog by Monday at NOON (CDT) for your chance to win a prize from Cindy Coutts, this week's sponsor!

Meghan McMillan (on a break)
Melissa Chipperfield (you are here)
Tracey McNeely
Guest Designer:  Kylie
Guest Designer:  Lindsey

It always seems like the increased speed of summer becomes even more pronounced once the Fourth of July comes and goes!  With the coming school year beginning about a week earlier than usual this year, I'm afraid it's going to feel like we've been cheated out of some of our summer!  Until then, we're just going to have to savor every moment.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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A Hello Hoot

Owls.  I was exposed to them at a very young age...

Now DD seems to have an affection for a certain pink polka dotted one that I happened to stick in her crib along with her elephant and soft doll.  I figured since her room is done up in an owl theme, she might as well have an owl in her stuffed animal collection, right?!  Little did I know she'd latch onto it like she has!

Inspired by owls, I created a card for today using supplies from i{heart}papers who is having a 30% off moving sale until sometime in early July as they make their move!

I used the fun owl in Paper Smooches' Kitschy Kitchen set, inking it up with four different colors of neon ink!  I framed it with the stitched circle die from Lawn Fawn's Stitched Party Banners die set.  The little cursive hello can be found in Lawn Fawn's Love 'n Breakfast set.  I decided to add a little something extra to the eyes with black rhinestones.  As always, I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink for the black sentiment!

It's raining cats and dogs here today, so rainy day activities abound.  DS3 fell asleep on the couch a few minutes ago and DD seems to be amazingly sleeping through all the rumblings going on in the sky!

Have a marvelous Monday!

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STAMPlorations Birthday Blog Hop

Lots of excitement to share today!  STAMPlorations is turning a year old and is celebrating with a blog hop!  I was asked to join the celebrations as a guest designer!

Visit all the stops on the hop (a total of 14) and leave a comment for a chance to win stamps. We're giving away over $120 worth of stamps!

FOURTEEN (14) lucky hoppers randomly drawn from the designers' blogs will each win a stamp set and ONE (1) lucky hopper randomly drawn from the STAMPlorations blog will win all the stamps in the July release! You have until Wednesday, July 2, 11:55 p.m. PDT (GMT -700) to comment here and on my fellow designers' posts for a chance to win. Winners will be announced on the STAMPlorations blog on Sunday, July 6.

I decided to play with the oh-so-fun VIGNETTE:  Puzzle Pieces set and guess what?!  You can win this set by commenting on my blog post by next Wednesday (July 2) at 11:55 p.m. PDT!

To create this clean and simple card, I stamped three puzzle pieces and fussy cut them.  I then spritzed them with three different Heidi Swapp Color Shine colors before popping them up on the main panel with foam dots.  I added a heart gemstone that I'd colored with a red Copic marker.  DS3 is into puzzles these days, so I need to make a card for him with this set later in the summer!

The new release is available in the store today!  A bundle of all 6 of the new July sets is available for $30 (17% off) + free shipping in the US (flat rate to other countries)!

After leaving a comment at the bottom of this post (for a chance to win the stamp set I used...), be sure and visit the rest of the blog hop stops listed below!

*** The stops in the hop*** 
Design Team:
Cornelia | Debra | Kylie | Maria | Monika | Nonni | Shery | Shirley | Vicki
Guest Designers:

Have a terrific Thursday!

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CASology #101

Happy Tuesday!  I didn't get around to wishing you a happy Monday.  We had weekend company and another round of company will be arriving tonight and staying until Friday morning!  At least the house is pretty well clean!

Today, it's time to move on to CASology's 101st challenge!  It's still hard to believe 100 challenges have already come and gone!

I started out using a woodgrain background stamp, but just couldn't make it work for me like I was hoping, so ended up going a totally different route:  roasting s'mores around a campfire, something that definitely requires a little wood, right?!

I popped up a panel of kraft on a kraft card base to create a little dimension.  I fussy cut the s'more after coloring it with Copic markers.  I added star sequins for some simple embellishments and tried to create a bit of a visual triangle with them.

Want to see my clean & simple flops?  We all have 'em, don't we?!  Take a look at these:

I'd originally added a woodgrain frame to the kraft panel (still trying to work that woodgrain background stamp into my design...).  I finished the card and then it started bugging me.  I finally had to go remove the woodgrain from the design.  It just didn't feel clean enough for my liking!

And my original idea that flopped?!

I had this bright idea that I'd layer a woodgrain panel on top of a woodgrain card base, going for the tree look, of course.  Well, it ended up looking like a visual mess in which you are lucky if you can even find the sentiment!

So there you have it.  I am totally and helplessly human.  Thank goodness for a recycling truck that visits our house each week!  As Gillian says...It's just paper!

Don't forget to visit the design team member's blogs to see a little more explanation of their designs.  They love hearing from you just as much as you love hearing from them!

Then, don't forget to link up your own WOOD creation on the challenge blog by Monday at NOON (CDT) for your chance to win a prize from this week's new sponsor, Add a Little Dazzle!
Enjoy your day!

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i {heart} papers Moving Sale!

It's Friday already and I found a little crafty time this morning (accompanied by the three boys)!  I'm always amazed at the energy boost a little creative time gives me!  It's almost as good as a cup of strong coffee!  Almost.

There's a moving sale going on over at i {heart} papers right now that you'll want to take advantage of if you're due for a little stash update!  There's a lot of inventory to unload before the big move, so they're providing a little incentive for you to help them lighten their load!

I created a little celebration card and am linking it up with CASology's current CELEBRATE challenge!  July 4th is coming up rather quickly!  So hard to believe it's almost here already!

I'm absolutely loving my Wink of Stella Brush pen right now!  I can add a touch of sparkle so easily!  I added some to this popsicle for a frosty appearance!

Have a fabulous Friday!


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