Pixel Moments

One can only do so many things in one day.  Today, I've been focusing on a little side project I hope to get going in 2014.  What is it, you ask?

As you know, besides card making, photography is a big part of my life.  With the encouragement of family and friends recently (including some of my dear friends here on this blog), I'm timidly moving forward with what I see as a future endeavor.  Baby steps.  Literally.  I hope to focus on babies, children & a few random families for this year.  I'm going to send hints to family & friends to allow me to use their children and families as subjects.  So...any of my family & friends that live close by or find me visiting them this year, this is your opportunity to get some free (yes, I really said that) photos taken!  You'll be responsible for printing the photos unless you want my help finding a good quality place to have them printed.

In the meantime, my dear blog readers, you can visit my blog-in-progress at Pixel Moments Photography!  I'm a bit nervous about this whole thing, but here I go!

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday!
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CASology: Contrast

I'm flying by the seat of my pants again.  Thus, the reason this post didn't go live at 8:00 a.m. this morning as it should have.  I apologize!

Being Tuesday, we're off and brainstorming for a new cue word challenge over at CASology!  This week, we're also reviewing what exactly defines CAS design, so sit back and take the refresher course as you hop between the design team members' blogs this week!

When I think of contrast, I immediately think of black and white.  Two very different colors, but they are such a complement to each other so well!

Since we're trying to give visuals this week showing some of the aspects of CAS design and I'm not much of a lots of embellishments & decorative papers kind of gal, you'll have to humor me a bit with my attempt to make a not-so-CAS card!  Drumroll, it is...

Stamp:  Uniko Studio
Now to some, this card looks very CAS!  After all, there are no embellishments!  I'm just going to show you a little tweaking that I did to help CASify it a bit more.  You probably wonder what exactly the design team looks for each week when selecting the winner and honorable mentions!  While this design seems plenty CAS, here is what I did with it...

First, I reduced the busy look.  I went with the Rule of Three and only placed three circles on the design.  This accomplished two things.  First, it freed up more of that beautiful thing called "white space."  Second, it allowed the sentiment to be more center stage.  Do you notice one other subtle difference?  To add a little more interest (due to the lack of embellishments), I stamped the sentiment twice!  Do you see how it visually adds a little more dimension?

It's little things like these that can kick your CAS cards up a notch!  I don't always get so technical when designing cards, but sometimes when I feel like a design is going nowhere fast, I'll stop and start thinking about the components of a true CAS design.  Often times, it helps get past the brain block!

I hope you'll join us over at CASology this week for this challenge!  We're not asking you to make two versions of a card!  In fact, interpret the CONTRAST cue any way you like!  We're just using this word to give you some visuals of CAS design!  Be sure and visit the rest of the design team members' blogs for even more CAS design tips and go say, "Hi!" to our guest designer this week too!

Guest Designer:  Amy 

Be sure and link up your CONTRAST creation on the challenge blog by Sunday at 8:00 a.m. (CST) for a chance to win a seat in a class over at My Creative Classroom, our fantastic new sponsor!

I'm going to be busy playing with pictures today!  I kind of offered to take some photos of some friends' children at the last minute yesterday.  Love little ones!  If I ever got serious about doing photography as a side business, I'd totally focus on children!  They make me laugh!

Have a terrific Tuesday!
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More Sweet Fun!

The weekend is just a few minutes away and I thought I'd share a couple more sweet cards from Sweet Stamp Shop's January Release! Speaking of which, you only have a few more hours to use the 20% off code (NR20) on the new release stamps! By placing an order today, you also become eligible to win a fun prize! You can see it on Facebook! Oh, and one other thing I should mention! I wonder if you've liked Sweet Stamp Shop on Facebook yet? Be sure and post "Melissa sent me!" to the Sweet Stamp Shop wall after doing so! (I'm rather curious to see just how many of you I can get to pay them a visit!) By liking their page, you'll never miss the extra discounts and news that are posted there for future releases! Just so you know...the February release is another outstanding one, so better go Like 'em now before you forget!

So what other simple Sweet creations are setting on my work table?

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp Shop (Anatomy of Love, Just the Basics - sentiment)
This is a genuine CAS card, don't you think?!  I stamped the images and sentiment in black, punched a heart out of some glitter cardstock and then popped it up with a foam dot.  Easy as ever!

Do you like birthday cards that you can specify the age of the recipient?  How's this?

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp Shop (Numbers - Symbols, Just the Basics - sentiment)
I'll be using this number set a lot!  Milestone birthdays are fun to personalize, aren't they?  I think children's birthdays are too simply because kids are actually quite proud of turning another year older!  Unlike myself...

Okay, it's on into the weekend!  Snow is forecasted for tomorrow, so house projects will be up & running!  My new basement craft room is beginning to materialize and I am trying to contain my excitement!  There's a lot to be done, but it's so exciting just knowing that is what DH is focusing on right now!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Sweet Stamp Shop January Release!

I need a little more excitement today.  Okay, it depends on what kind of excitement.  This week has been full of the kids-sick-at-home kind and I'm really not in the mood for more of that.  Now new stamps excitement?  I think I can handle that and today happens to be Sweet Stamp Shop's January release day!  I promise you are going to love what you see!

I created a handful of cards to jump start your excitement, but be sure and visit both the Sweet Blog as well as the other design team members' blogs for even more creative goodness!

First up?  The Just the Basics sentiment set!


I think you'll agree there are lots of fun possibilities with this one!  Since I tend to miss birthdays and the like these days, I decided to make a Happy Everything card!  I'm guessing I will be using it sometime in the very near future!

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp Shop (Just the Basics, Speedy Greetings - inside sentiment)
I used the "Happy Everything" sentiment from the Speedy Greetings set inside the card.  The heart was created using masking.  I used my handy dandy pencil eraser with red, pink, orange and grey inks.  I stamped the sentiments on top of the dotted heart and then added a piece of grey cardstock behind the main panel before popping it up with foam dots.

Next up?  The Numbers - Symbols set!

Yet another set with endless possibilities!  (I love sets like that!)  For this set, I chose to make a new baby themed card.  I got the idea from some maternity photos I took for one of my sis-in-loves long, long ago in the year 2012...

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp Shop (Numbers - Symbols, Anatomy of Love)
See those adorable little people images?!  They are part of the brand new Anatomy of Love set!

Yes, you are seeing correctly!  Is this one fantastic set, or what?!!  Just think of all the fun you could create with this one!  I created a card just for this particular set...

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp Shop (Anatomy of Love)
I'm not quite done yet!  There is one more set I want to show you!  When I first saw this set, I laughed out loud!  It is going to be used a lot in my house!  Introducing, the Foxy set...

I have visions of one-of-a-kind valentines for DS1 and DS2 this year!  Take a look...

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp Shop (Foxy)
These are mini cards that will be perfect for a school Valentine's Day party!  I stamped the fox so he is peeking over the edge of the card and popped up the grass image after fussy cutting it.  Inside, it says, "Happy Valentine's Day," a sentiment from the Just the Basics set.

That's it for me today!  Now go have fun hopping around the Sweet Blog and design team members' blogs!  Then, go shopping, of course!  (Yes, I'm a big time enabler today.)

It's snowing outside, so I see shoveling in my near future.  DS1 is home with the tail end of an ear infection, so I may be enlisting his help!

Have a fantastic Thursday!

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CASology: Connect the Dots

I'm seeing stars dots today.  Why?  CASology has a new cue word challenge starting and it is all about the word DOT this week!  I am tapping my foot, impatiently waiting to see what creative entries we have this week because I really think this one could take people off in many, many directions!  You know I just love a good ole dose of creativity!  With Neat & Tangled sponsoring us (while offering a prize!) and generously providing the design team with stamp sets, there is a whole lot of inspiration floating around!

With two boys who are into connect the dots puzzles and color by number pictures, I had to go with a design that would include something to do with the former.

Stamps:  Neat & Tangled (You + Me)
I realized after I put this together that it resembles a target with a heart for a bull's-eye quite nicely!  Love happy accidents like that!  I used gemstones for the dots and connected them all with the circle image of the stamp set.  I placed the words and signs at each dot.  Both the red and white circles are popped up individually as I really liked the look of it and it still looks very CAS!

Please take some time this week to visit the guest designer and design team members' blogs!  They've put together some gorgeous cards!


Don't forget to link up your own DOT creation on the challenge blog by Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (CST) for a chance to win a free stamp set from Neat & Tangled!

It's a balmy 29 degrees here today and I'm rather liking it! Interesting how life's experiences change one's perspective quite regularly! This would seem like Antarctica if we'd just left summer behind!  I'm enjoying some quiet this morning as DD sleeps and DS3 is happily preoccupied with play.  It's been a while since I've had such a morning and I'm rather liking it!  I must forge through the piles of laundry and piles of who knows what that have started to collect here and there due to the crazy that's been ours the past while!  I can't wait to get things back to a more manageable level!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Sweet Photography & Triangle Play

Today I'm sharing another photography tip post over on the Sweet Stamp Shop blog, so be sure and bop over there to take a peek!  This week it's about a couple camera settings that you might want to play with!  I'm having so much fun with these posts and I hope someone is learning a little something that will help them improve their card photos!

I used this card for the post:

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp Shop (Triangle Style, Austen Obsessed sentiment)
I had so much fun with the triangle set!  I had Valentine's Day on my mind as you can see by the color and theme.  I simple inked each triangle with SU's Melon Mambo ink (hot pink) and then dipped the three edges in a little big of Real Red to give a two-tone look.  I created a random pattern, stamped the sentiment and added three black gemstones.

I kept right on going with the triangles to create two more cards!

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp Shop (Triangle Style, Packaged Pretty sentiment)
I used the exact same technique, but popped up the sentiment over the middle of the heart.

Stamps:  Sweet Stamp shop (Triangle Style, Wheely Like You sentiment)
For this card, I used Bermuda Bay and Tempting Turquoise inks, fussy cut all of the triangles and popped them up with foam dots to create the heart.

After a week of arctic snow days, freezing rain, a respiratory bug, evening events and what I think might be a teething DD, I am hoping for a rather uneventful week.  I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed, anyway!

Have a marvelous Monday!

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CASology 77: Bubbly!

It's time for another cue word challenge over at CASology and this one is a fun one!  Lot's of things came to mind for this, but I settled on laughter.  I'm sure everyone knows someone whose laughter is bubbly and rather contagious! 

Stamp:  Endless Creations (Dot Smile Face)
I used one of my favorite color combinations, hoping to give the design a light, happy feel.  I was looking for a well known saying to go along with my idea and actually found it in my stash!  See!  There's actually an advantage to having a big stash sometimes!  It ups your chances of having exactly the right image or sentiment stamp available at just the right time!

I hope you'll take some time to visit the rest of the design team members' blogs this week!  We have two new members joining us and you're going to love seeing their creative work in the months ahead!


Don't forget to link up your own BUBBLY creation on the challenge blog by Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (CST) for a chance to win a free Stampin' Up! stamp set and coordinating punch from Cindy Coutts, our sponsor this week!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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