PagesPat's Ponderings

Monday, November 30, 2015

Anything Goes at the Ourlawz Monday Greetings Challenge Blog

Time for another challenge at the Outlawz Monday Greetings group. This week's theme is ANYTHING GOES. I decided to continue creating pages for my desk calendar, using a digi image from this week's sponsor, Di's Digi Stamps. The image is called Snowbabes Sleigh Ride, and my sentiment wishes everyone who comes into my office some :Winter Wishes."
Because each page of my four-sided calendar is nestled in between two pieces of clear acrylic, they must be CAS, but just because something isn't chunky doesn't mean it has to be plain. I embellished with die-cut snowflakes and tiny jewels to give it some shimmer.
Now that I think of it, I should be making 2016 calendar pages, but then I couldn't show it off at work yet! I also need to put some pens and pencils in the open center, so it's not only pretty but useful.
Anyway, the Outlawz Monday Greetings challenge is open through next Sunday evening, so stop by for some inspiration and don't forget to link up your ANYTHING GOES project for a chance to win prizes from or sponsor.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Once upon a time, there were three bears-papa bear, mama bear and baby bear. They wanted a larger family, but mama bear couldn't have any more babies. They decided to adopt a little blond-haired, blue-eyed girl. They loved her and she was very happy with her new family, but there were many who didn't think it was proper to adopt outside of one's own species. Luckily, the Bear family, as well as their newest member, Goldilocks Bear, were thankful for the chance to be a happy family, which is all that mattered. The world needs more love and happiness, after all, don't you think?
I was inspired today to create another page in my acrylic album. This time I used a digital image from Ike's Art called Goldilocks. I used it for my DT project over at Ike's World Challenge blog, where the theme is Childhood.
I colored and fussy-cut my image, then framed it onto my page, ever mindful that the pages are clear. Whatever I place on this page will be seen from the back on the next page. Besides all my  lovely embellishments, my sentiment reads: "There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." It's a quote by Walt Streightiff.
You have another week to join in the Childhood challenge at Ike's World challenge blog. Remember, you don't have to use an Ike's Art image, but you'll get double the chances if you do, and there are always freebies on the blog as well as on the Ike's Art Fan Page. See you there, and have fun crafting!
Challenges I am Entering:
Daring Cardmakers - Anything but a Card (acrylic album page)
Fussy & Fancy - Thankful (for Family)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Holiday Baking with Lacy Sunshine at Craft Your Passion Challenge Blog

Chicago lived up to its reputation for fickle weather this weekend. After a very mild November, Bella blew in and dropped 8 inches onto my part of the northwest suburbs--which puts me into a holiday baking mood. And this gorgeous image from Lacy Sunshine, called Pinni Cookie Crumbler, carries my mood into my crafting.
My granddaughter was over this weekend, and we baked a few goodies for our Confirmation Bake Sale. The 8th graders bake for and work the weekend-long sale, and the monies go toward a Christmas Party they host for families in the New Hope Program of Catholic Charities. This is our 8th Annual bake sale and Christmas party, and in Chicago we don't let a little snow get in the way of going to church and supporting our students.
Lacy Sunshine is this week's sponsor over at Craft Your Passion challenge blog, and I used Pinni Cookie Crumbler on a side-step card. I just love the presentation a step card makes! And every bit of my card except for my image comes from last year's holiday crafting leftovers!!
The weekly challenge starts today, so go visit Craft Your Passion for some inspiration, then link up your own Anything Goes project for your chance to win prizes.
And as always, crafters, have fun!
Challenges I am Entering:
Lacy Sunshine challenges - Anything Goes
Crafty Friends challenges - One for the Girls
Alphabet challenges - T is for 'tis the season (tis the season for baking holiday cookies)
Digitally Sweet challenges - All about the Title
Jingle Belles - Holiday leftovers
Cardz 4 Galz - Favorite Christmas Color combo (red & green)
If You Give a Crafter a Cookie - Photo inspiration (I used the color combo)

Christmas in Two Colors! New Challenge at the Outlawz Monday Greetings!

Time for a new challenge at the Outlawz Mondays Greetings blog, and the theme this week is Christmas in 2 Colors. I went with the traditional colors of the holiday, Red & Green. My image is called Stardust Enchantress. After coloring her with Copics, I added some shimmer with metallic gel pens and framed her. This pretty little Winter image is from this week's sponsor, LACY SUNSHINE.
My card base is from a pack of plain Christmas cards from the local thrift store for 50 cents. The only thing good about them is the greeting inside, so they make a great base for my handmade cards. To give it more color, I inked the edges before popping on a festive paint strip in shades of green. I hid the unpainted strips with pieces of leftover Christmas ribbon.
I embellished simply with glittered snowflakes that look enough like stars to me; a small ribbon bow, and a mid-sized flower just because!
You have one week to create and link up with the Outlawz Monday Greetings challenge. Let's see what you can create for Christmas in just two colors!! And as always, crafters, have fun!!
Challenges I am Entering:
Brown Sugar challenges - Anything Goes
Simply Papercrafts - Anything Goes

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Happiness is Wilson

Stop the world - I just bought a dog! Since I was three years old, I have been afraid of dogs. Pair that with allergies to all cats and most dogs, and you have fish for pets. Then I met a girlfriend who owned a big black lab. Her name is Maggie and she led me a merry chase toward comfort in the company of canines.
Many "friends with pets" later, I started leaning toward my daughter's yearnings for a dog, and so began the search for the perfect pet.  Just surfing the websites and watching cute animal videos--at first. The main hold-back was my husband. Meanwhile, I was ruthlessly cleaning out the house to make room for a new family member.
Earlier this month, hubby gave the thumbs up, and we started checking out rescue shelters in earnest. And Saturday, we met Wilson, a nine year old Silkie Terrier who stole our hearts. We took him home, of course.
Christmas came early to the Martin house, and for that I am so thankful!

Monday, November 16, 2015

So Very Grateful

The theme for the Path of Positivity Challenge blog this month has been Gratefulness. Their sponsors are Kitten Scraps and Scribbles Designs. I had chosen this awesome image, called Maple Leaf Doodle, to write about the blessings of changing seasons and how grateful I am to live in an area that reminds me of the beauty of nature.
But today I write about faith. Those of you who have been reading my posts know that I have been in fear of losing my job of 15 years. Although my relationships with staff and teachers is comfortable, although I have skills that would best serve the program, I was positive that the powers that be would choose my co-worker over me for purely financial reasons. My faith in the church was in jeopardy.
However, last week I met with my pastor, my new boss and the business manager and was completely blindsided when they offered me a new job description that met my needs. The hours are the bare minimum needed to be benefits eligible. I wanted less work hours but the ability to carry insurance for my family, and they gave me what I prayed for!
So, today I am grateful for my job, where there are people I care for and the insurance and benefits I need to carry me through to retirement. My faith in people and life in general has been restored, and hopefully strengthened.
Meanwhile, you have until the end of the month to create a project that reflects the theme of Thankfulness. Now let's take a look at the pries offered by Kitten Scraps and Scribbles Designs:
  • A prize package from Kitten Scrapfor the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
  • A $10 gift certificate from Scribbles Designs, one of our guest sponsors this month, for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
  • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital SnapShots for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
There will also be:
  • A small selection of digital designer papers from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky person who leaves a comment on posts published during the challenge time frame.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge. 

A Pop of Fuchsia Colors my Ourlawz Monday Greetings Card Today

Brr! Well, winter arrived with November, and it's a tad chilly in the Chicagoland area. So I wanted to bring a little sunshine and warmth to my project today. I created a page for my acrylic album using an image from A&T Emerald called Kayla & Twinkie. A&T Emerald is a guest sponsor for the Outlawz Monday Greetings challenge this week. The theme is to use the color FUSCHIA.
My acrylic album is getting very chunky, and I really like the pages I'm creating there. This is my first acrylic album, but I see a few more in my future. I would love to create one for the holidays, and maybe a scrapbook one with photos of the grandkids in in. The possibilities are endless.
Meanwhile, come on over to the Outlawz and link your Fuchsia project or card for your chance to win prizes. If you need inspiration, there's plenty at our sponsor's store!
Challenges I am Entering:
Allsorts challenges - Anything but a Card
Crafty Calendar- November: Sparkle, Bling & Embellish
Suzy Bee's Bloomin challenges - Anything Goes w/Fairies
Crafting with Friends - Anything Goes
Altered Eclectics - Anything Mixed Media/Altered Art Goes (acrylic album page)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Keep the Christmas Spirit All Year Through

We;re coming into the home stretch now. How is your stash of Christmas cards piling up? Ready to mail out now? I have loads of cards, some I can mail out like this digital card, nice and flat and only needing one stamp. Others are a bit chunkier, and will be handed out to family, friends and co-workers. It's been a wonderful year, and I am so thankful to have been asked to join the DT at the 12 Months of Christmas Link Up challenge blog.
This month's theme is "Sparkle, Sparkle, Everywhere" and who better to sponsor the challenge than the glitterati of sparkle itself, Sparkle N Sprinkle. In order to have a chance to win the prize from our wonderful guest sponsor this month, we want to see a Christmas or other holiday card that has lots of sparkle and shine on it. Here is your chance to grab your glitter, sparkles and other forms of bling and get to it! If you do follow the optional theme, be sure to add FT after your name so that we include you in the draw for the prize.
Remember, you don't need to follow the theme to link up your cards and earn a free paper each month, and have your name thrown into the year end draw for some extra digital goodies. You only need to follow the theme if you want a chance to win this month's sponsored prize of a $15 gift certificate to the Sparkle N Sprinkle store.

I decided to use a non-Christmas-themed image. I love mixing things up like that. I chose a darling little mermaid called Darien, and imagined how she would get ready for Christmas. Presents, of course, for her underwater besties and perhaps some ornament-laden coral as well. I love how she made her sandy floor sparkle (with a little help from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles' Gold patterned paper from the new Glitterati Paper Pack). There's as much shimmer and shine below the water as there is above it.
Along with my holiday-minded mermaid, I used the following:
Papers: Decosse’s Dynamite Doodles “Glitterati” Paper Kit, Gold & Blue; Marta Van Eck's “Winter Scene” Paper Kit
Elements: Sparkle n Sprinkle digital image “Southern Santa” (presents)
Rucola Designs “Dead or Alive” Collection: Stars
Decosse’s Dynamite Doodles “It’s Ornamental” Paper Kit, Green Balls (ornaments)
So let's see some shiny Christmas spirit on your cards this month as we get ready to send out all the cards we've created throughout the year. Happy crafting!

  • Additional Sponsor: Décosse's Dynamite Doodles
  • Prize being offered: One free digital paper to everyone who links up a minimum of two cards to the challenge.  Cards can be anything goes for this prize, they only have to follow the theme if they want a chance at the sponsor's prize.  The mini set of six digital papers called Glitteratti Set 1, will also be offered up as a prize to one random winner.
  • Link:  As I don't have a store, you can simply link to my personal blog-- 
Challenges I am Entering:
Crafty Calendar challenges - Sparkle, Bling & Embellish
Left of Center Creative challenges - Sparkle
If You Give a Crafter a Cookie - Photo Inspiration (I loved the subtle blues, greens and frosty shimmer of the photo. I added a little red to the mix, but the shimmer and colors make up the bulk of my project)
CraftyHazelnut's Extra Christmas challenge - Any Christmas card

Challenge Midway with Sweet Pea Stamps at Your Scrapbook Place

How did the month fly by so fast? It's already the middle of November, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I don't even want to think about Christmas!! So my card is anything but a holiday card. I created this thank you card for one of the teachers at the school I work at. She had a little baby girl and needed another thank you card and here it is.
The image is from Sweet Pea. It's called Mama Ellie and Me from artist Sandra Caldwell. I love this image of mom and daughter, don't you? I decided to create pink elephants, and added a couple baby-themed buttons as embellishment. everything but my image is from my stash, but you wouldn't know it to look at it. Looks just as jam-packed as ever before (sigh).
We've reached the midway point of the challenge at Your Scrapbook Place. Although the store is closing, Sweet Pea very generously sponsored our challenge blog.We wish Lynette all the best in her new ventures, and hope to see the many artists who sold at Sweet Pea on Etsy and Facebook soon. Sandra Caldwell already has her Facebook Page set up, which makes me happy. I love her images.
It's always Anything Goes at Your Scrapbook Place challenge blog, so don't forget to link up your card or project for some awesome pries in this month's challenge.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Where There Are Mussies, There Must Be Tussies

Have you heard the term "mussie tussie"? I was introduced to the art of mussie tussies a few years ago, and fell in love with these handy-dandy containers, especially when the holidays come around. They are so convenient to pack with treats and prizes for children and adults alike.
So when the theme of Recycling" came up this month in my swap club, I knew I had the perfect recycled craft to share with my fellow crafters.
My mussie tussies recycle cardboard toilet paper rolls. Because of my resolution to use up my stash, I killed two birds with one stone, creating these delightful treat holders from leftover patterned papers, ribbons and embellishments. No new product was purchased to create these gems. Even the candy is leftover from the nasty Halloween we had in the Chicagoland area. Rain and cold winds kept most children from trick-or-treating this year.
So I now have a box of mussie tussies in my car for tonight's swap meeting, and can't wait to pass them out. I wonder what my fellow crafters have recycled for me this month? Looking forward to the inspiration I get at club meetings every month!
As always, crafters, have fun!
Challenges I am Entering:
Crafting with an Attitude - Anything Goes
Crafty Girls Creations - Anything Goes
Creative Moments - Anything Goes w/optional Winter Birthday (these make great favors at birthday parties)
Decorate to Celebrate - Anything Goes (I love to put these on my Christmas tree and see how long they last!)
Inspiration Destination - Anything Goes
Sisterhood of Craters - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Altered Eclectics - Anything Goes
Just Keep on Creating - Anything Goes
Sparkles Christmas challenges - Christmas Decorations (I love hanging these on my Christmas Tree)
Sisters of Craft - Anything Goes

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Guardian Angel

When I was young, I was a daredevil. I ran away from home once, went water skiing before I learned how to swim, went spelunking without a partner, and dated a few dangerous guys. I believe I had a guardian angel who kept me from losing my life a couple of times...and I believe I wore her ragged with my "adventures."
When I saw this digital image in Ike's Store, I knew I had to create something with her. She looks like my guardian angel might have looked after a particularly rough patch, needing some downtime far, far away from earthly noises.
The image is called Angel 2, and this is my DT make for Ike's World Challenge Blog. The theme is Vintage, which I don't do very often. After I printed and fussy-cut my angel, I covered her clothing with very fine white glitter. I used a little flocking along with some glitter on her wings, too.
I dug out an oval unfinished wooden plaque I had kept through the last three moves (one of them across two states!). Wiping gold metallic paint across the wood gave it more of a stained look than a painted one. Then I sprayed paper doilies with homemade shimmer mist, tore them and Mod-Podged them onto my wood canvas.
Next came my angel using dimensional tape. I didn't think her wings looked feathery enough, so I added a couple white feathers to frame her, hiding their stems with the single rose. I glued both white fuzzy fiber and a string of palest pink pearls to the edges to give my art a more solid frame. To finish off my mixed media piece, I cut up lace flourishes and flowers I snagged off a vintage collar fond at a rummage sale. A few assorted pearls and jewels decorate the rest of my canvas and I am very happy with my Vintage Art.
Ike's World Challenges run every two weeks, and today is the midpoint of the most recent challenge. You have a few more days to gather your Vintage mojo to you and create for your chance to win a gift certificate to Ike's Store. Yu don't have to use an Ike's Art image to play, but you get double points in the drawing if you do. AND she gives away freebies often!!
If you would like to own this altered art piece, please visit my Facebook Page, Patacake's Paper Play.
Challenges I am Entering:
Come & Get It challenges - Lots of Sparkle
Quirky Crafts challenges - Light as a Quirky Feather
Clear It Out challenges - White + One/must use stash item(the oval wood frame)
Creative Card Crew - Sprinkle!
Going Grey with Scrap Creations - Make It Sparkle
Through the Craft Room Door - Always Anything Goes

Monday, November 9, 2015

Welcome, Winter!

This week brings another challenge to the Outlawz Monday Greetings group. Today the Dt is shooing off their stitching. Of course, if you're like me, and don't sew, you can still enter the challenge with "faux" stitches somewhere on your project. Where did those lovely REAL stitches come from on my card? I snagged a handful of card faces with stitching on it from another member of the DT, Linda Weber. She is sew talented! LOL
This week's sponsors are Bugaboo and A Day for Daisies. My image, called Blustery Day, is from A Day for Daisies. One of my favorite techniques is ripping paper. There's something about a torn edge that I love. So much so that I tore both the image and the patterned paper on my card!
The image looks vintage to me, so I went with a sentiment and font that looks the same. It reads: Winter arrives with bluster and snow, And brings to our cheeks a rosy glow
I hope you get a chance to join our challenge this week!

Sending All My Love to You This Thanksgiving

It's always anything goes at Craft Your Passion challenge blog, and this week brings a new challenge with a new guest sponsor, DeeDee's Digis. I played with a digi set called Sending My Love. The set comes with: 1 outline image, 1 pre-colored image, 1 white-filled layering image, and 4 sentiments, in JPG and PNG file formats.
Sometimes when winter hits, I feel like this little guy. No matter how close your destination, it takes forever to get there. I'm worried about my son and his family now that they live in Wisconsin. It's only a two hour drive, but double that time when winter kicks in--or cancel a trip to visit family!
So I'm sending them all my love in a card this year, just in case Thanksgiving comes and goes and we don't get together. I am, however, grateful for whatever time we do spend together. My son got a rocky start to adulthood, hanging with a crowd that led him down a dark path. There were days when I didn't think he would be alive to graduate high school.
But he survived, went to college, joined the Army Reserves, met the love of his life, and has gifted me with not only a crafting daughter-in-law, but four grandsons and two granddaughters. The youngest one is not quite three months old.
No matter where my  children and their families will be in this whole wide world, I will always have them in my heart. And for that I am thankful.
You have a week to create anything your heart desires, and link it up at Craft Your Passion challenge blog. Have fun, crafters!
My project uses:
Image & sentiment: DeeDee's Digis-Sending My Love
Papers: Decosse's Dynamite Doodles Christmas Grunge in Blue; from Mischief Circus, Marta Van Eck's Winter Scene Papers; from Mischief Circus, Krysty Designs' Glitter Overlay #09
Embellishments: free clipart Snowflake; Kitten Scraps Nathalie MacKay-Kerr Three Ring Show Add-Ons, Build A Flower #52 & Blue Bead

Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome to the Circus that Is My Life

It’s that time of year again when we all sift through the year that has passed and count our many blessings. This month at the Path of Positivity brings the theme of GRATEFULNESS. You may wonder how my DT project showcases this theme.
Lately, my life has felt like a circus, but I know to appreciate all the acts under the Big Top—the clowns that have brought laughter into my days, the high-wire act reminding me to keep on my toes, and the trapeze artists daring me to reach out for the things I want.
I’m thankful for the animal acts that force me to stick my neck out at times, the bare back riders who prove that hard work and dedication will get results, and finally the man who keeps a hundred plates spinning on sticks, showing me that my life does indeed have the balance that I so need.
My life may be a three-ring circus at the moment, but everyone enjoys a good show. To me, it’s the greatest show on earth, and as ringmaster, I invite you to visit my blog to see all the acts in the year to come…
My project uses papers and elements from the digital kit “3 Ring Circus” from Kitten Scraps, one of our sponsors this month,

along with Scribbles Designs.

My set comes with: 24 Solid Papers, 24 Patterned Papers, 328 Elements and 6 Full Alphabets (Uppercase, Numbers & a couple Symbols)..
Crafters have the month of November to create a card or layout, alter some art, throw everything but the kitchen sink onto a mixed media canvas, write a pondering on what thankfulness means to you, the sky's the limit! Link it up at the Path of Positivity for your chance to wwin the following fabulous prizes:
  • A prize package from Kitten Scraps for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
  • A $10 gift certificate from Scribbles Designs, one of our guest sponsors this month, for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
  • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital SnapShots for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
There will also be:
  • A small selection of digital designer papers from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky person who leaves a comment on posts published during the challenge timeframe.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge. 

Reflecting on the Challenge at the Outlawz Monday Greetings

Welcome to another challenge at the Outlawz Monday Greetings blog. Today most of us can really feel winter coming on, and as Halloween is now behind us, our hearts (and muses) turn to the holidays. I have much to be thankful for, especially around Christmas time. I want to share that good feeling so I am trying to finish off my stash of cards to send out by Thanksgiving.
The theme for the challenge this week is Christmas Reflections, which means to use mirrored or super shiny embellishments in your cards and projects. Remember, it can be anything, as long as it has a sentiment or greeting on it.
This week's sponsors are SLS Lines and Poppyseed Graphics. I used a pretty little image called Christmas Elf from SLS Lines for my Christmas swing card. 
 My sentiment reads: Christmas is coming, it's almost here- With Santa and presents and good will cheer
Besides the small round mirrors I've framed with a ribbon and a jeweled flourish, I found a scrap of lace, a flower and a ribbon bow in my stash to embellish my card.
While the card looks awesome all closed up flat, it makes a great presentation when open as well, don't you think? Since this one is a tad bulky, I'll give it out on Christmas Day when my family is all together.
Now it's your turn to add to your (hopefully) growing stash of holiday cards to gift to others. Embellish with mirrors and shiny stuffs for our theme and link up with us at the Outlawz Monday Greetings challenge this week.
Psst, want a heads up for the challenges in the week's to come? Here they are:
November 9 - Use Stitching on your project
November 16 - Use the color Fuschia
And as always, crafters, have fun!
Challenges I am Entering:
the Sisters of Craft - Anything Goes
Scribbles Designs challenges - Fancy Folds or Shapes

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Anything Goes at Your Scrapbook Place

Happy November, crafters! Today starts a new challenge at Your Scrapbook Place challenge blog. Our sponsor is Sweet Pea Stamps, and we are sad that the store will close very soon. There are so many talented artists whose images have brightened our days. Look for them on Etsy and Facebook.
Meanwhile, I created a card using  an image from Sandra Caldwell, one of my fave artists from Sweet Pea.The image is called Three Stooges. These guys were my hubby's favorites when it came to slapstick and guaranteed laughter.
Which makes my sentiment perfect for my card: "A good time to laugh is any time you can"
The challenge at Your Scrapbook Place runs the full month of November, and has an Anything Goes theme. So get crafty and link up with us for some fun, inspiration and a chance to win free prizes!!

Do, Do That Voodoo, That You Do So Well

I love Progressive Freebie challenges, don't you? Once you start, there's nothing stopping you from getting a year's worth of free digis as long as you create with each digi and post it.
Which is exactly what the Outlawz Progressive Freebie challenge is all about! This month we have a sweet digi from the master of macabre, Rick St. Dennis.

The image is called Voodoo Man and I framed him in a Halloween-themed shadow box with goodies from my gruesome stash. Those embellishments include charms, stickers, glitter, handmade flowers, a few Dollar Store snags, even a feather! I love Halloween in all its cuteness, its candy-liciousness, its spookiness and, as seen above, its grotesqueness.
Come visit us at the Outlawz Progressive Freebie challenge. Hopefully our projects and cards will inspire you to join in the fun (and free digis)!