PagesPat's Ponderings

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Squigglefly Christmas Showcase

Last summer I paid three dollars for this 18x18 inch piece of wall art.  It originally had eight 3x3 colorful panels (one of them was missing).  I've kept it in the dark recesses of my craft closet, knowing I wanted to do a montage of images for a special occasion.

Inspiration finally struck today and I printed out several Squigglefly digital images in a Christmas theme.  I love the diversity of the many artists who design for Squigglefly.  While I have my favorites, I can't name one whose images I don't like to play with.

I played with thoughts of painting the base of my wall art, but my daughter (an artist in her own right) told me she liked the dark brown background, so I chose a color palette with blues and yellows and greens, and let my Copics provide the tone.  I used blue cardstock to frame each image.

Let me introduce you to the many "faces" of Christmas that Squigglefly offers.  The first two are colored images by artist Inger Harding.  They are part of a "Print, Cut & Paste" collection called Winter Wonderland Papers.

Next up meet artist Lynne Stansbery through her awesome sketches-turned-digi images.  The one below is called "Three Stockings Waiting."
On to a couple of images by Marla Shega.
Both Marla and Lynne make coloring their images easy with the way they sketch in shading, making them more realistic.

This first is called Kris Kringle.  He's one of my favorites when making Christmas cards.  I changed him out by coloring his hat blue!  I know, Santa is probably putting me on his naughty list as I write. But he looks good in Blue, don't you think?

The second image is called Holiday Bells.  They are so pretty!  I placed a jewel where the bell's clapper hangs for some extra sparkle.  By the way, I used Distress inks around the edges of all my images.

Another favorite artist in the Squigglefly family is Cheryl Grant Alger. She has so many cute and awesome images, and I especially like her line of Snowman images.  The one below is called "Family Snow Day." There are quite a few snowman images she offers through Squigglefly, and each one of them is on my Christmas Wish List (are you listening, Santa?).
Pamela Lehto is a crafting friend of mine, and I am thrilled she has joined the Squigglefly team as an artist.  I love the images she has drawn, including this one.  It's called "Christmas Tree with Candles and Holly."  I chose to top her tree with a snowflake.

To finish off my rundown of images I used on my project, I colored a fantasy-themed one by Rachel Goble.  He's called "Christmas Dragon" and he certainly looks happy knowing Santa remembered him this year!
I hope you like my wall art.  I am happy with how it turned out, and since I am my own worst critic, that is saying a lot.  I hope you have time to craft before Christmas, and I hope you enjoy what you do!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Girl from Queen Kat Designs

I'm really happy to be starting my Christmas cards for the year.  I have some lovely new images with which to make them.  This one comes from Queen Kat Designs, a pretty little image called Christmas Girl by Milky Cat Studios.

After coloring her with Copics (YR00,R05,G02,BG72 & B04), I framed her using a die from Spellbinders Nestabilities (Scalloped oval) and patterned paper from DCWV.

She looks wistful, as if she's missing someone this Christmas season.  Or perhaps she's impatient, waiting for the festivities to begin.  She could even be waiting for the photographer to snap his picture for her annual Christmas cards.

Regardless, she makes a pretty picture in her holiday dress, sitting in front of the tree.  As far as the embellishments  go, I pretended my card was a Christmas tree and hung all kinds of pretties on it!!

Have you been celebrating the Queen's birthday with us this month?  You only have a few days left to snag this awesome Christmas set.  It is FREE with your rubber stamp order of $30 or more-offer ends on November 30!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Brian and Sonal and Baby Makes Three

I made my first "dresser card" for my cousin's son and DIL's baby shower.  I stayed up until midnight the day before the party to finish it and package up the present I was giving them a photo of (ordered online and shipping directly to their house).  Then I get the call to go to work--wah!!
So I'll be mailing it all to them instead of seeing them, which is a bummer but can't be helped.  The card was fairly easy to make, just a side step card with extra pieces of paper for the drawers and a punched bottom to give it that "dresser" look.  I made a quick run to Hobby Lobby to get some tiny baby embellishments, but the rest was easily at hand because I am a paperholic and a hoarder of craft supplies.
The sentiment was stamped with a CTMH stamps set, and the embellies are a combo of buttons and stickers.
This is the oh-so-cute baby gift I ordered for them.  It's a hot pink flower of a bath tub, made of plush, machine washable and dry-able material that mold to any sized sink or fits in the bath tub for babies 0-6 months old.  I added some hot pink wash rags to the order.  Can you tell what gender the baby will be???

The baby bath comes in four colors and can be found HERE.  I'm sire I should have ordered the generic Yellow one, as I'm also sure they'll have more than one child, but that Hot Pink is so darn cute and VIVID and their first is a baby GIRl, so I couldn't resist going full hog on the Pink part. LOL

But it wouldn't arrive by the day of the party, so I printed up this photo and made a lovely presentation folder to give to Brian and Sonal, which is the next photo.  Now since I can't go to the party, I bubble-wrapped the card and folder and am sending it out tomorrow.

I covered an over-sized envelope with patterned paper and leftover embellies from the dresser card.
Lots of fun, lots of time, lots of love, but, sigh, no party for me!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tell Them Now

Every year around (and sometimes on) Thanksgiving Day, I call a few special people. people whom I feel have made my life blessed in the last year.  I call them up and tell them how grateful I am that they are a part of my life, and why I think so.
I like to do this because many people are their worst critics.  They're having a bad hair day or they had a fight with their significant other, or they made a mistake that they themselves can't forget nor forgive.
I am always surprised at how surprised they are when they receive my call.  I can tell that when we hang up, the person on the other end of the phone is happier than when the phone was answered.  And that makes me happy.
Today I want to start another new tradition.  I want to do the same thing I just described to you, but I want to do this on a continuing basis.  I am grateful for so many things and so many people who have walked in (and sometimes walked out) of my life.  And if I wait until a specific date on the calendar, I might just be too late to tell them!
So, who is the lucky recipient of my undying gratitude at this moment.  There are three people who have blessed me with their presence, albeit only in the virtual world.  I have yet to meet them, and some day I might, but they are strewn across the globe.  I want to thank Holly Young, Vicky Douglas and Lisa D, crafters, artists and writers, all.

Holly is the owner of Squigglefly Designs, a digital image company.  She was the very first person who asked me to design for her company.  She has stretched my comfort zone until it's more like a comfort planet, with blog challenges and the lovely images to use for them.  She is talented, supportive and truly generous.  I wouldn't be the artist I am today without her.  Thank you, Holly.
Vicky is the owner of Queen Kat Designs.  She took me under her wing and helped me expand my style and discover new techniques through the rubber stamps she let me play with.  She saw my organized mindset and willingness to help and gave me extra responsibilities and I have grown because of her.  Thank you, my queen.
Lisa is the owner of the Path of Positivity Challenge blog.  She is a newcomer into my life but no less valued.  I have mentioned to her that if she hadn't start her blog, I would have started one with exactly the same mission and goals.  Everyone needs some positivity in their lives.  Too often we can trip down the wrong path and feel the crushing weight of responsibilities, pressures, depression and heartache, with no end in sight.  Enter Lisa and her offering to brighten the darkest day with art and words-you can see her smile in her words and it's contagious.  I love to create with a postive mindset, and Lisa has let me share that passion with others through her blog.  Thank you Lisa.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Queen Kat Designs!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY QKD!!!  Today we celebrate seven years of magical, fantastical, funky and steam punky stamps and digi images from the Queen and her Royal Court of designers!   
Queen Kat Designs just released some awesome rubber stamps and digital images this month, and I got to play with one of them.  Her name is Snow Crystal and she is designed by the lovely Marianne English.  I fussy-cut my image after coloring her with Copics because I love to pop some of my images into a "scene."

Here she is walking through a winter wonderland, on her way to the Queen's birthday party.  I used patterned paper from Pinecone Express Papers, and cut the trees with a QuicKutz die.  The sentiment is from Making Memories and the snowflakes are from (gasp) WalMart!  Copics used are: BG72, 10; BV00, 02, 04; B63; R00 and RV11.

This month, order $30 or more of rubber stamps by November 30 and get this stamp FREE!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Leftover Lace Makes a Great Embellishment

This week fits in well with my stash of leftover lace, as the newest challenge over at Squigglefly Challenge blog asks card makers to use LACE or RIBBON.

Today I am continuing to add to my collection of Christmas cards this year.  I used a lovely new November image from Squigglefly called Santa Cone by the equally lovely Pamela Lehto.

After coloring Pamela's digi image with Copics, I added a bit of Stickles for some shine, then fussy-cut it and adhered him to my card front.  I added a white frame and embellished with white rub-ons.  Of course, the side of my card showcases the lace I used.  A couple pearls finish off my card.

Time for you to play in the Squigglefly challenge. All you have to do is use a Squigglefly digi image and follow the challenge requirements for your chance to win a free digi from their store!

If you need a freebie, you can "try before you buy" HERE.  Have fun!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Holly Jolly House Mouse Triptych

I love trying new techniques and using new products.  Sometimes I love one so much it becomes a passion for me.  While I enjoyed making this triptych ornament, I don't think I'd do a lot more.  It was fun, but I would need more practice, especially when it comes time to hang things from inside the ornament, like my snowflakes here.  How to tie the strings together, and then where to hang the ribbon holding the snowflakes-ugh!  Too much thinking! LOL 

But it seems to have worked out okay.  I stamped and colored 3 stamped images of "Silent Night" House Mouse, Stickling here and there for some shine.  I cut them to ATC size and used a Martha Stewart punch to decorate the edges before adhering them together to form a 3D triangle.  I tied the hanger with baker's twine, and attached a snowflake to each end of organza ribbon and hung this from the inside of my ornament.  A little Stickle on the frames of each "panel" gave it a little more shine.  I want those Christmas lights to reflect off the ornaments when it is hung on the tree.  Can you see the miniature pine cone attached to the baker's twine just below the knot?

Hope you like my project. I made it for a swap in my House Mouse group on Paper Craft Planet, as well as for the Outlawz Saturday Paper ala Mode, where this week's challenge is to make a project using Stars and/or Snowflakes (mine are hanging from the ornament).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Big Fat Thank You's!

You know that exercise where, if you’re feeling sad, name five things you’re thankful for? I fail that exercise every time.  I always run out of paper!
I start with those major things in my life, like, well, life and health, family and friends. Then it spreads to things like a home, heat in the winter, running water, a job, a car to take me there. Pretty soon I’m going on about that bit of sunshine on an overcast day, a choice parking spot at the grocery store, a fabulous find in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby, and even purple nail polish, for goodness sake!
Once I start I can’t stop, because no matter what worries are weighing me down, I have so much to lift me up. No matter what things I wish I owned, I have so much that others don’t. No matter how many times I close my eyes in weariness, I can still look all around and rejoice that I have eyes to see, ears to listen, and a heart that sings with thankfulness for that which surrounds me!
For the next few weeks, you'll see more than the average number of posts here, as I celebrate all the lovely things and people in my life and offer up my thanks for being so lucky!

Today I am thankful for my new daughter-in-law. Who would have thought that my son would find the perfect wife?!  She loves him madly, has supported him in his military career, has welcomed his daughter into her family of four children as if she were born to her naturally, and miracle of miracles, is a crafter and scrapbooker!!
I couldn't have done better if I had gone hunting for a wife for my son on my own!  LOL
Last weekend we spent some quality time together at a crop, and we worked on pages of her and my son's weddings.  Yes, I said weddings, as they got married twice, once last year with a small civil ceremony and then a reception at my house (Chase thought he was deploying).  When the deployment fell through, they went full throttle and had the wedding she always wanted, with the church, gown, bridesmaids, limo and hall.
I managed to scrap ten glorious pages, have a lot of laughs, ate delicious food and wonderful snacks, didn't win any raffle prizes, AND am finished with their first awesome wedding.  Above is the cover page that starts my layout.

Got something to be thankful about?  Want to celebrate the fact, or make a project that reflects your gratitude?  Play in the Path of Positivity Challenge Blog with this month's theme of Thankfulness and you could be a winner of some awesome prizes.  Go check out all the wonderful projects and posts as women  put a positive spin on the daily events of their lives.

I'm Seeing Dots and So Will You

What's more fun than using a Squigglefly image on a card?  Using TWO!!
I made a Christmas card with two new Squigglefly images.  The one toward the front is from Cheryl Alger, called Christmas Bauble Trouble; the second is called Christmas Tree with Candles & Holly by Pamela Lehto.

I colored both images with Copics. After using Stickles to give her bauble some bling, I used a corner punch on Cheryl's image and framed it onto green cardstock.  I fussy cut Pamela's image of the Christmas tree and adhered it directly to my polka-dotted patterned paper.  Since the new Squigglefly challenge this week is to use Polka dots on your project, I piled it on by adding some dotted ribbon as well.

Ready to get dotty?  Make a project with a Squigglefly image and use polka dots for your chance to WIN!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Today I Am Thankful

Today I am thankful for my grandma. She is 103 years old, God bless her. She is almost blind, deaf in one ear and can’t hear well in the other. She needs help walking, and is very demanding on the phone when something goes wrong and needs fixing (she wants it taken care of NOW). She’s cold all the time so her thermostat is set at 85 degrees (I have shorts and a tank top I leave in my car, even in winter, for extended visits to her house).
But she is so much more than that. She is the woman in the photo at age 19.  She is the woman who crawled around on the ground with me when I was a toddler, who hand-sewed Barbie clothes, and played board games as I grew older . She let us climb her Queen Anne cherry tree and pick the fruit off the tree, sometimes not leaving any to bring back down for her. We baked bread and sweet rolls together, shared family recipes, and she taught me to sew on her Singer (1929 with the knee paddle). I learned how to crochet and needlepoint and make French knots and cross stitches from her. Drive-in movies, Christmas dinners, catching lightning bugs, hugs and kisses and special treats…
Sometimes it’s difficult to bring up that vibrant, laughing woman who reigned as a true matriarch of the family, especially when I see her today in the hospital, confused, scared, not able to stand by herself or take care of personal hygiene. That’s when her legacy really kicks in. When you are loved all your life so unconditionally, you instinctively return that love and care a hundredfold. Just as she held me and washed me and was unendingly patient with me, so I must be with her. Not out of a sense of duty, although she did instill that in me; no, it is out of a sense of unconditional love returned…and a sense of gratitude for all the many years I have had her in my life.
So in celebration of my grandma, I made a mixed media canvas a few months back to remind me that while she and everyone else grows into old age, in my heart SHE is forever young.

What are you thankful for?  Does it inspire you to create with paint or paper or words?  Share your story or your craft with Path of Positivity Challenge Blog.  Show them your interpretation of what being thankful means to you. You can make any sort of project and/or post as long as it is positive in nature and relates to the theme.  Each challenge will be open from the first Monday of one month to the Sunday before the first Monday of the next month. When you link up, leave a comment summarizing what it is about your post that you feel is inspirational / positive / motivational and if it isn't obvious, how it fits with the theme.  A top seven will be chosen by the entire Design Team (DT) and will be posted in a separate post. You will then have one full week to vote on the creation or post that you have found to be the most inspirational of the bunch.
Whether you participate in the challenge or not, everyone needs some positivity in their daily lives, so go take your medicine with a spoonful of sugar and you'll feel better immediately!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Squaring Off on the Christmas Card Front

Have you started your Christmas cards yet?  I know, I know, it's only October!  But...November is tight around the corner, and you know how fast the days fly!  That's why when I read that the Squigglefly Challenge this week was to make it square-make a square card or use square-shaped embellishment.

My card is square-shaped, as well as showcasing several square-shaped patterned papers and a sentiment framed in a square.  I used a November new release from Squigglefly called Candles Angel by the very talented Pamela Lehto.  I colored Pamela's image with Copics.

I kept my embellishments down to a few rows of jewels, since there are a lot of patterns on my card.  And I think the jewels are enough, as they play into the silvery circles on the black patterned paper.

You can play in Squigglefly's new challenge, and make any card you desire--just use a Squigglefly image and "make it square!"  One random winner will get to choose a free digi!! Need some inspiration?  Check out the Squigglefly Facebook page.

Good luck and Happy Crafting!