I am dragging today. Between late nights, overnight guests and grumpy little boys, I had to finally make myself take a mini nap this afternoon and am feeling a bit better. DH had a two-day business trip Monday and Tuesday to New Orleans which included a delayed/missed flight on his trip home.  He ended up having to get a rental car to drive three hours home, getting in around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning!  I can't sleep when worrying about him out there on the road at that hour of the night!  Since I get up at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings for my one morning/week of dental work, I was in for it!  Overnight guests arrived in time for supper last night and once they'd headed out and the boys and I had eaten a quick lunch today, I was about to drop over!  But enough of the sighing. There is so much more to be thankful for! Like love.

This month, my two younger brothers & their spouses are celebrating wedding anniversaries! Doing the math, it's hard to believe the amount of time that has already passed! One has been married ten years now and the other is coming up on three years. My older brother and his wife have now been married sixteen years!  Then I remember our parents have now been married forty-three years!  Time really does fly!

I created a one-layer masked card for this week's Splitcoast Stampers Clean & Simple Challenge and it ended up being an anniversary card!  Putting this blog post together, I realized I forgot to share some exciting news with you!  I was selected to be on the Summer CAS Challenge Design Team last week!  I am so excited to be a part of such a great challenge and online community!  This is my first card as a DT member!

I masked the silver stripe with Post It Notes, keeping the heart separate with a heart shape I'd die cut with my Nestabilities.  I then used the negative of the die to sponge the red into the heart.  I stamped the silhouette image and sentiment last.  Very simple once I figured out what I wanted the final design to look like!  This would be so easily reproduced for a nice stash of wedding/anniversary cards!

I need to start making a school shopping list this month so we can get that done before my due date gets much closer!  I see school supplies beginning to make their debut in the stores, so realize school will be starting in just over a month!  Summer seems so short anymore, doesn't it?!

I hope you've had a wonderful Thursday!

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It's time for a new cue word challenge today over at CASology!  This week, you'd better put your shades on!

I quickly realized I am not the proud owner of anything even slightly neon in color in my stash of craft goodies, so had to quickly jump out of the box a bit to find a solution to my "problem!"  After quieting that inward voice that tried to persuade me to just pay Hobby Lobby or Michaels a visit, I remembered those useful little things called highlighters!  My college days yielded a handful of them!  I grabbed what I could find from the office desk drawer and settled on the pink one.

Stamps:  Hero Arts
Paper:  Paper Trey cardstock (white), pink glittered cardstock
Ink:  Memento (Tuxedo Black)
Accessories:  pink highlighter, pink gemstones, clear Stickles, foam dots

I did discover a Hero Arts set in my stash that has a few neon type signs in it, so that is what I used, stamping one of the images in black.  I used my pink highlighter to color in the dots on the sign and then placed a tiny dot of clear Stickles on each one for sparkle.  DS1 had selected a bright pink sheet of glittery cardstock a couple weeks ago while accompanying me to the craft store, so I nabbed a chunk out of it as a matte!  Three varying sizes of hot pink gemstones later and I was done!  Whew!

Be sure and visit the other design team members' blogs as well as our guest designer's blog for even more inspiration!  Then, don't forget to link up your own NEON creation on the challenge blog by Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (CDT) for a chance to win a gift certificate from Avery Elle, this week's sponsor!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Masculine Monday: A Directional Birthday

I'm off to a slow start today and am simply blaming it on Monday! Monday takes the blame for a lot things, doesn't it?!

I whipped up a quick birthday card this morning while the house was still fairly quiet.  It's so nice to start the day with a little quiet time, especially when energy is dragging!

Stamps:  Uniko Studio (Arrows), Paper Trey (Birthday Basics)
Paper:  Paper Trey cardstock (white)
Ink:  SU (Gumball Green, Pacific Point), Memento (Tuxedo Black)
Accessories:  black gemstones

I stamped the arrow border, inking the two rows of arrows in different colors.  The sentiment was stamped three times and then black gemstones were added as embellishments.  Simple as that!

We're still recovering from our Michigan vacation.  It always seems to take a few days to catch up on sleep and energy!  We had a wonderful time away!  We found some sweet cherries to pick, plenty of sand and waves to explore and I was even able to convince DH to stop and let me pick up a few fresh, handmade chocolate truffles...pure indulgence!  I shared.  I promise.

Have a marvelous Monday!

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Happiness is…

...a day at the beach.

...the sound of waves meeting the shore.

...sweet cherries.

...a fireworks display.

...the rustling of leaves in the breeze.

...the gentle touch of morning light.


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A Big Bang!

Nope. This post is not about anything sitcom related. It's just time for a new CASology cue word challenge and this week's word is full of excitement!

I personally love fireworks and the BOOM!, crackle and dazzling display that we get to see each Fourth of July here in the USA!  On the occasion that I miss them due to weather or life circumstances, I find myself feeling pretty disappointed!  Must be the little girl in me.  That said, I decided to try to create the emotion that accompanies observing fireworks!

Stamps:  CAS-ual Fridays
Paper:  Paper Trey cardstock (white)
Ink:  Memento (Tuxedo Black)
Accessories:  Smooch spray, Balzer Designs stencil, clear gemstones

There is actually a little sparkle to the Smooch spray I used, but I couldn't get the lighting to show it well.  I used a simple stencil to create the background, stamped the bold sentiment and embellished with three clear gemstones.

I hope you take some time to visit the blogs of the rest of the design team and our guest designer this week!  Lots of fireworks going off for your viewing pleasure!  We have two new design team members joining us this week, so be sure and leave them some love!  Then, be sure and link up your own fireworks creation on the challenge blog by Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (CDT)!

(you're here!) 
 Rosemary Dennis 
 Tracey McNeely 
 Guest Designer:  Jenny 
Have a terrific Tuesday! 

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Masculine Monday: Love at Sea

It's another new week and we're heading off for a little family beach vacation before the holiday arrives!  Not to the ocean, but to a lake beach.  No jellyfish.  No sharks.  No crabs.  No sea salt.   I love the lack of such things with little ones under my watch!  Not that I don't mind a stroll next to the impressive ocean from time to time!!!

Since we'll soon be stepping out into the sand and the final round of the SCS Summer DT call involves a sea theme, boats and the like were on my brain over the weekend!

Stamps:  The Craft's Meow (retired set), Paper Trey (Tiny Treats Valentine)
Paper:  Paper Trey cardstock (white)
Ink:  Memento (Tuxedo Black), SU (Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight)
Accessories:  Smooch spray (Shimmer), red heart pearl, sponge, foam dots, cloud die (MFT)

The sun was sponged, using a small Nestabilities circle as a mask.  The little cloud was die cut and sprayed with a shimmery Smooch spray for a little touch of shine.  The ocean liner was stamped and fussy cut.  Both the cloud and boat were popped up with foam dots for dimension.  I added the little pearl heart to finish things off!  Another card in my stash for DH!  Valentine's Day, perhaps?

Have a marvelous Monday!

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Happiness is…

...the soothing sound of a gentle rain.

 ...good memories, relived in photographs.

...strawberry shortcake.

...the smell of sweet clover.

...a kindred spirit.

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Wood & Burlap Birthday

Everywhere I look lately, I see burlap. It's funny how one doesn't really think about such things until they are everywhere, staring you in the face! Online and in stores, it's hard to miss it right now! I timidly made my first couple of burlap purchases in the form of some ribbon and some simple, textured letter stickers. The stickers I used to make a card this week.

No stamps!
Paper:  Paper Trey cardstock (white)
Ink:  SU (Basic Gray, Sahara Sand, Whisper White)
Accessories:  Sizzix embossing folder (woodgrain), burlap letter stickers, sequins, foam dots, Nestabilities (circle)

I rubbed three different ink pads on a white panel of cardstock to create the mottled blend of color and then embossed it with a woodgrain embossing folder.  I cut out a small circle in the lower right hand corner and then popped up the panel with foam dots.  I placed the burlap letters in the center of the circle and added sequins for a little pizzazz.  Simple birthday greetings!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Be Fruitful

With the weather heating up and the humidity setting in around here, we've been enjoying smoothies regularly again! Nothing cools me off better (without making me feel guilty) than a good ole homemade smoothie filled with frozen fruits, Greek yogurt and orange juice! Sometimes I'll even throw in a few salad greens for good measure!

I couldn't resist making a fruit themed card this week as I found myself dreaming of smoothies and strawberry lemonade!

I stamped and die cut the lemon and strawberries, adding Crystal Effects for shine. I popped them up with foam dots after stamping the simple sentiment and added a trio of yellow gemstones as the finishing touch.

Are you craving something ice cold and delicious now? How about I share my favorite basic smoothie recipe?!

Basic Fruit Smoothie

Throw the following into a blender:
a base layer of 100% orange juice
vanilla Greek yogurt
frozen strawberries
frozen blueberries
any other frozen fruit you like

Blend together on high, pour into glasses, add a straw and enjoy!

Have a fantastic Thursday!

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